Magic Item: Sword +(level)

I'm looking for some feedback on some magical items I have come up with.

The first is a sword that gets stronger as the PC goes up in levels. At level one, it is a sword +1. At level two, it is a sword +2. Ad infinitum.

My thought is that a +1 sword isn't too powerful for a first level character, heck these editions it's just called a Masterwork sword, if I understand correctly. Also a +2 sword isn't too bad for a second level PC to have, etc. But if the sword grows with the PC, then it's something a little more special.

The sword's value comes not only from getting stronger with the PC's levels, considering PCs are likely to find swords of similar power at similar levels. The sword's value can come from it's rarity (you don't have to find or buy a new sword at each level), and it's power.

A sword that grows with the PC's power probably, at some point, has a sentient will of its own. If the sword doesn't start with a will, it probably "grows" one as it gets stronger. As the PC advances, he/she finds that she has to overcome the sword's will, like any sentient sword with an ego in D&D.

This is where some more roleplaying fun can come in. At lower levels, if the PC fails to overcome the sword's ego, they can find themselves nudged in certain directions. At higher levels, the PC's will could be dominated if they have not yet overpowered the sword.

Those are some of the ideas I'm working with. Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?


Mike Leger said…
What is your goal to have the weapon level up on its own, is it to make it easier on the players so there is less purchasing required while leveling?

i think that 4e artifacts provide the solution your looking for, the weapon gains more power as certain tasks are completed, then at a certain point it is gone.
mthomas768 said…
Rather than a straight up +N bonus, I'd think about alternate powers and abilities. Of course it depends on your campaign's level range, but a +5 or +6 weapon is pretty darned powerful in anyone's hands.

I wrote an article about my own system of 'growing' magic items a couple months back. Here's a link if you're interested.
Anonymous said…
Midnight, by Fantasy Flight Games, had magical items called "Covenant Items," in which they gained additional powers every few levels the character went up. Kind of like mthomas' mentioned, I suppose - I use them in my campaigns as well.
Squirrely said…
Mike: My goal. Good question. My goal is to have a really cool, hopefully unique (of my making) magical item that will be something the player doesn't want to get rid of. Something they will name. Something they don't want to lose. They might fight extra hard to make sure they're not captured an their weapon isn't taken away. I wanted all that, but I didn't want to start out too powerful, so I thought about growing the + per level.

mthomas: I'm interested. I'll check out the link.

tatwd: Thanks for the heads up.
Rover Ussrover said…
looking at your blog Sword +(level)
I did a write up as an item with chart
if you want to look at it send me an email at ussrover (at) gmail (dot) com
subject Sword Plus
it is in Open Office format
Roger said…
Can you put it in a Google Doc and share the link with me?
Rover Ussrover said…
easier if I email the file to you
it has a small spreadsheet embedded in to the doc file and I can send it as a DOC or ODT file format
that way if you want to make changes to it you can Example if you want to increase / lower Experience required you can
I used AD&D 1st Dungeon Master's Guide
for the table information
The chart and description I think is helpful.
So pop me an email I send the file in DOC or ODT format your choice
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