Not Another Long Sword
Hello again dear reader, one thing that has always bothered me about AD&D is the overwhelming choice of long sword for most characters as their primary weapon. Now part of this is of course because of the excellent damage it does as a one handed weapon, but that can be somewhat overcome if you use the Weapon versus AC chart (I do not use specialization in my campaign so I am not including it as part of the thought process).
The primary push for players to choose the long sword however is because of the likelihood that any magic sword found will most likely be a long sword, at least if the item is rolled randomly as directed in the DMG. I decided long ago that there should be more randomness in the allocation of magic weapons across the board. As a result I have created the following process and charts to use when rolling for magic items. I hope you find this useful in your campaign if you have a desire to present a larger variety of magical weapons.
To start, when using table III in the DMG to determine random magical items I have adjusted it as follows
III. Magic Items
|41-45||Rods, Staves &Wands (D.)|
|46-48||Miscellaneous Magic (E.1.)|
|49-51||Miscellaneous Magic (E.2.)|
|52-54||Miscellaneous Magic (E.3.)|
|55-57||Miscellaneous Magic (E.4.)|
|58-60||Miscellaneous Magic (E.5.)|
|61-75||Armor & Shields (F.)|
|99-100||Special Weapons (H.)|
As you can see I have combined the swords and miscellaneous weapons catagories, this is going to allow a much more aggressive spread of weapons. Once a roll has determined a weapon should be the magic item rolled for, I use the following process starting with table G.1., be sure to regard the notes on determining specific weapon type. Originally table G.1. was built to reflect my campaign setting where the spear, axe, and dagger are the most common weapons. So, I have listed two sets of number ranges in table G.1. the first set is what I use for my campaign, the second set in (parentheses) is a more even distribution among weapons.
I would encourage each individual DM to assign the G.1. table to best fit his/her campaign. Perhaps if your campaign is along a coastal region there is a greater chance for tridents and spears. If it is a barbarian campaign perhaps a greater chance for axes and clubs, whatever makes the most sense for your world.
After the weapon has been determined I then roll for the weapons magical properties. I have separated the weapons into 5 different categories.
- Propelled (arrows and bullets)
- Distance (weapons used to propel an object and darts)
Each category has a magical properties table, roll to determine the properties associated with the selected weapon.
There are some magic properties that I feel belong with a certain weapon types (such as a holy avenger) and have included those in table H. Special Weapons
|Dice (1d100)||Result (Magic Table to Use)|
|01-05 (01-05)||Arrows/Bolts (Propelled)|
|06-12 (06-10)||Axe (Slashing)|
|13-20 (11-15)||Bow (Distance)|
|21 (16-17)||Bullets, sling (Propelled)|
|22 (18-21)||Club (Crushing)|
|23-26 (22-25)||Crossbow (Distance)|
|27-39 (26-29)||Dagger (Piercing)|
|40 (27-29)||Dart (Distance)|
|41-45 (30-33)||Flail (Crushing)|
|46-50 (34-38)||Hammer (Crushing)|
|51-56 (38-42)||Mace (Crushing)|
|57-61 (43-47)||Morning Star (Crushing)|
|62-70 (48-51)||Pole arm (Slashing)|
|71-73 (51-55)||Pick (Piercing)|
|74-76 (56-60)||Scimitar (Slashing)|
|77 (61-62)||Sling (Distance)|
|78-82 (63-67)||Spear (Piercing)|
|83 (68-70)||Staff (Crushing)|
|84-86 (71-75)||Sword, Bastard (Slashing)|
|87-89 (76-80)||Sword, Broad (Slashing)|
|90-93 (81-85)||Sword, Long (Slashing)|
|94-96 (86-90)||Sword, Short (Piercing)|
|97-98 (91-95)||Sword, Two-handed (Slashing)|
|99-100 (96-100)||Trident (Piercing)|
Arrows: Arrows/Bolts will come in batches of 2-16 and 75% of the time they will be arrows, with the rest of the time being bolts.
Axe: 60% of all axes will be battle axes, with the rest hand axes.
Bows: 65% of bows will be short bows, with the rest being long bows. Furthermore 5% of all bows are composite.
Crossbows: 80% of all crossbows are light, with the rest being heavy.
Flail, Mace & Pick: 70% of these weapons will be of the footman variety, with the rest horsemen.
Pole arms: Roll on table G.2. to determine type of pole arm.
Spears: 10% of all spears are pikes.
Tridents: 20% of all tridents are military forks.
G.2. Pole arms
|21-26||Bec de Corbin|
Once weapon type has been determined, roll on the appropriate magic modifier table as indicated in table G.1. above (Propelled, Distance, Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing)
|51-60||+1/+2 v Smaller than man sized|
|61-69||+1/+2 v Larger than man sized|
|70-75||+1/+2 v magic using or enchanted creatures|
|76-80||+1/+3 v regenerating creatures|
|81-85||+1/+4 v reptiles|
|89-90||+2 giant slayer|
|91-92||+2 dragon slayer|
|98||Of Life Stealing|
|56-64||+1/+3 v Lycanthropes & shape changers|
|65-79||+1/+3 v Undead|
|90||+2 giant slayer|
|26-30||+1/+2 v magic using & enchanted creatures|
|31-35||+1/+2 v larger than man sized creatures|
|36-40||+1/+2 v smaller than man sized creatures|
|41-45||+1/+3 v lycanthropes & shape changers|
|46-50||+1/+3 v regenerating creatures|
|51-55||+1/+4 v reptiles|
|61-65||+2 giant slayer|
|66-69||+2 dragon slayer|
|70||+2 nine lives stealer|
|83||of Life Stealing|
H. Special Weapons
|Dice Roll (1d100)||Result|
|01-50||Sword – Flame Tongue|
|51-70||Axe of Throwing|
|61-84||Crossbow of Speed|
|85-92||Hammer Dwarven Thrower|
|93-95||Hammer of Thunderbolts|
|96-98||Sword – Holy Avenger|
|99-100||Sword of Dancing|
For swords on the above table I determine sword type as per the DMG.
If you have a desire to see a wider array of magical weapon types then I hope this has been helpful, even if you do not use the charts as presented perhaps they can be modified to fit your campaign.
The Looking Glass
This week I am presenting a item in one of my upcoming modules. The idea was to cerate a wand that simulates an apprentice wizard.
Wand of the Apprentice XP: 2,000 GP Value: 12,000
This multi-function wand is highly prized by beginning magic-users as it duplicates 4 different spell like functions. The wand is only usable by magic-users and is rechargeable.
1. Burning Hands: The wand emits a plane of fire 3’ in length in a horizontal arc of 120 degrees in the direction the wand is pointed. It does 6 points of damage and requires 1 segment and 1 charge to activate.
2. Spider Climb: This effect functions the same as the spell of the same name. The effect lasts for 7 rounds and requires 2 segments and 2 charges to activate.
3. Unseen Servant: This effect functions that same as the spell of the same name. The effect lasts for 7 turns or until dispelled or destroyed in the same manner as the magic-user spell. It requires 1 segment and 2 charges to activate
4. Read Magic: This effect functions as the spell of the same name. It lasts for 1 turn and requires1 segment and 1 charge to activate.