Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5E Greyhawk Sentinent Items

Welcome back Greyhawk aficionados. Today I'd like to once again peruse the new edition Dungeon Masters Guide and see what lore of hawk they've latched onto if you haven't already been convinced to buy the book already. Greyhawk is well known for its magic items of course, so it is pleasing as a fan to see the section on sentient items include a trio of weapons straight from the classic module White Plume Mountain:

"Hidden in the dungeon of White Plume Mountain, Blackrazor shines like a piece of night sky filled with stars. Its black scabbard is decorated with pieces of obsidian."

Blackrazor is a "legendary" great sword that can only be attuned to non-lawful creatures. The entry says Blackrazor is bossy and used to getting its way. Plus in a Stormbringer-like dash of flavor it says the sword's purpose is to consume souls. Any souls. Including the wielder's. Blackrazor of course feels a strange connection to the other two items in the set from White Plume Mountain:

Wave is a legendary trident (probably the most legendary I'd say) attuned to worshipers of a sea god, which is a nice touch. Wave likes to convert mortals to worshiping the gods of the sea (including the wielder of course!) The trident has an interesting backstory worth looking into (spoiler ahead):

"The trident has a nostalgic attachment to the place where it was forged, a desolate island called Thunderforge. A sea god imprisoned a family of storm giants there, and the giants forged Wave in an act of devotion to - or rebellion against- that god."

Then of course there is Whelm, the legendary dwarven warhammer whose purpose is to kill goblinoids and giants. It also has a nice bit of lore attached (more spoilers):

"Whelm has ties to the dwarf clan that created it, variously called the Dankil or the Mightyhammer clan. It longs to be returned to that clan...
The hammer also carries a secret shame. Centuries ago, a dwarf named Ctenmiir wielded it valiantly for time. But Ctenmiir was turned into a vampire."

Even though the lore given for these sentient items come from previously published material (Revised White Plume Mountain namely) they seem fresh presented here in a core book for general use. Hopefully these entries will entice some people to try them out in the new rule-set or in the very least try out White Plume Mountain again. More DMG exploration next time.


tom said...

I've always wondered: are Greyhawk's sentient weapons and other items intentionally created that way (like Stormbringer and its siblings clearly were in Elric's universe) and if so, how and why?

Or do they just start off as "ordinary" magic items, but gradually accumulate stray bits of life force and psychic residues from the creatures they meet until one day they reach critical mass and become self aware?

Mike Bridges said...

I like option two. It certainly sounds more epic!