Friday, January 2, 2009

Seven Days, Seven Blades of Luck - Equilibrium

This sword was created when a dark haired barbarian prayed to his god "It is a good day to die, Crom, but grant me one request. Grant me revenge! Let me bring my foes along to the afterlife. And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!"

Equilibrium is heavy and larger than the typical broadsword. Its practical leather wrapped hilt and plain iron cross-guard belie its magical nature. So does it's normal looking steel blade which appears to be above average quality albeit well used, sporting several nicks along its length. A nice, big barbarian sword. Nothing spectacular. That it never dulls is a clue that it's no common orc stabber. Another is if the nicks are ground out they will reappear exactly as before after a few hours. Additionally the leather grip will never rot. In fact until the world splits and the gods die Equilibrium will remain exactly as it was them moment Crom granted that request.

[Original FUDGE rules] Every attack roll the wielder may flip any number of their dice to +1. The DM keeps a running total of the dice so flipped by Crom's blessing. For his boons must be paid back. The DM may spend these "flips" as modifiers against the wielder of this sword. Any contested roll, not just combat, is eligible for these modifiers. If it "is a good day to die" and Equilibrium's wielder has enough "debt" the GM is encouraged to use all of it for a grand climatic death scene.

Damn FUDGE and it's flexibility! Without thinking too hard on it. For d20ish games I'd let the player swinging Equilibrium to add as many +5's as they want to their attack. After the roll but before the results (hit/miss) are announced. As DM keep track of these adding 1 to Equilibrium's "balance" for each use. It's best to keep the balance close to zero say in a range of +5 to -5. Reducing the balance by 1 means the DM gets to apply a (secret) -5 penalty to one of the players rolls; saves, skill checks, to hit rolls. This is a situation where Castles & Crusade's universal d20 mechanic pays off.

Hmmmm, this sword is definitely not for everyone. It takes a certain kind of player to not whine like a bitch when all that remains of their character is a bloody mist after whilly nilly overusing bonuses from this "uber" sword without a thought as to the consequences. Then again this might be just the item to make such a player go away.

P.S. Equlibirium (the movie) kicks ass.

[From the series Seven Blades of Luck and examples of Magic Items Should be Magical. All seven blades were once part of an article I submitted to Fudge Factor a sadly defunct e-zine for FUDGE.]

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