Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Greyhawk Poll Result: Which Sword Would You Carry

Hey Greyhawk fans! It's GaryCon week. I hope to see more than a few of the community in Wisconsin. Until then, let's muse over my latest front page poll: Which Sword Would You Carry? That is sentient magical swords. There are many so I kept the list to a handful. Let's get to it:

Coming in tied for last on the list at 4% is Dreamsinger and Swiftdoom. Dreamsinger is from the 2E module Five Shall Be One. Too bad this weapon got such a low vote, it is the sword that gets the ball rolling for the quest to find all five Blades of Corusk. It is a unique empathic broadword in that Dreamsinger gives the bearer visions of how to find the other artifact weapons. Without Dreamsinger it is quite impossible to find the other blades. This sword is tuned to bards unfortunately, meaning if you are a thief, great! But in the hands of a bard it unlocks even more powerful effects like a magical fire spear. In my Sea Princes campaign I updated Dreamsinger to be a rapier to better reflect current D&D trends, plus there is no broadswords in 5E. You can check out my conversion here.

Meanwhile, not many people picked Swiftdoom, one of hero-deity Kelanen's two, yes count them two sentient blades. Well they are hard to distinguish at a glance, but Swiftdoom is a bastard sword +6 (another relic of AD&D weapon lists) firebrand that always strikes first. Among Swiftdoom's laundry list of powers is vampiric healing; a nasty enough effect to have for a fighter without peer like Kelanen. In the hands of a lesser adventurer, Swiftdoom would make them legendary for sure.

Speaking of legendary, the infamous Sword of Kas comes in second with 7% of the vote and this is probably for good reason. This magical blade has changed so many times over the editions. It was a short sword, then a two handed sword, then a longsword and back to short sword, or whatever. Read about here. Originally seen in the earliest days of D&D but featured prominently in the module Vecna Lives!, the Sword of Kas is definitely an evil sword bent on trying to kill its creator the Arch-lich Vecna.  However, it has built in limitations when going after Vecna. So for that reason and many more, Kas' sword is not that desirable of a weapon for adventurers to own. To destroy? Maybe yes...

Next up with 15% of the vote is Swiftdoom's sister sword, Sureguard. Kelanen packs two sentient blades, this one is a broad sword +6 (yeah DMs where can players get one of those?) that is also a dancing frostbrand defender. Yes you read that right. The defender ability alone makes this sword quite impressive, but in tandem with Swiftdoom, Sureguard is a defense/offense dream. Keep dreaming though, because the Prince of Swords will not give these blades up over his dead body.

Speaking of dead body, many of you picked (29%) the legendary sword Fragarach. Another broadsword, this sword called "the Answerer" is seen in the classic adventure Temple of Elemental Evil. It is a chaotic good weapon whose main power is to unerringly counter attack any foe who hits the wielder first. Deadly accuracy, but the blade plays fair. Legends say it came from another plane, notably Earth the home of Manannan Mac Lir, from whose myths the blade was borrowed. Somehow though it ends up on Oerth in the hands of one Prince Thrommel, who has not been seen for a while...To see more on Fragarach (including its copies), Swiftdoom and Sureguard check out this comic of mine from way back.

Lastly at 38% we have the most desired magic sword in all Oerth history: Blackrazor. One of the objects of White Plume Mountain is to recover this sword from the evil lair of Keraptis. Blackrazor is a soul draining weapon that is definitely an homage to the sword Stormbringer from the Elric saga. It's secondary effects and sword type varies between editions, but they all agree, Blackrazor is Evil and likes to eat souls, even its owner's if given a chance. Just like its cousin Stormbringer, Blackrazor is not just a sentient blade, it's rumored to be a negative energy entity of some kind. Why would any hero want to carry this sword? Probably for bragging rights, or intimidation factor, or maybe they just don't know better. Now you do.


MP said...

My vote would have been for Swiftdoom, but I thought it only allows true neutral wielders, so I went with Sureguard instead.

I'm surprised anybody voted for the evil swords. We saw how well Stormbringer worked out for Elric, and there's no reason to expect any better from Blackrazor. Kas isn't doing so hot these days, either. :P

grodog said...

It was good to see you at the show, Mike! :D