|Hand Weapons of Mass Destruction/ Victor Naumenko|
Most suitable, I think, for the lower level/magic end of the game scale, or for when you don't expect to go beyond a few sessions.
Some things aren't going to work the same (or possibly at all) due to the niceties of various similar systems. Eg. even across AD&D, Chainmail OD&D and LotFP a 4th level Fighter is different.
System agnostic but reeks of D&D.
I've generally got swords in mind here, but why not axes, spear, hammers and bows, too?
1. Roll d6:
- Won't break through normal use. Creative misuse, specialised technique or a feat of great strength to destroy. Still needs sharpening.
- A blade that won't bend or blunt. You can shave with it, hack apart doors and vines, run through countless armoured foes, and you'll also have to institute damage & degradation subsystems for other weapons, or it's not really worth a damn. Can still be broken.
- Invulnerable Monsters are vulnerable to it. But this pre-supposes a setting where immunity to normal weapons is much more special than in vanilla fantasy, or maybe a monster whose Invulnerability is a function of its great size.
- Raise your Strength to the next adjustment/bonus tier (eg. penalty to no penalty, no penalty to bonus etc) while wielding the weapon. Maximum benefit is superhuman/one tier above human maximum.
- Raise your Dexterity to the next adjustment/bonus tier (eg. penalty to no penalty, no penalty to bonus etc) while wielding the weapon. Maximum benefit is superhuman/one tier above human maximum.
- When you wield the weapon, you go berserk until there are no suitable enemies in range to engage (as 1e AD&D Cavalier?). At which point you immediately take any negative effects. Use variations of 3e+ Barbarian Rage, DW Blood Rage, or any other suitable berserking mechanics.
- Ignore non-magical protective value of leather armour.
- Ignore non-magical protective value of metal and leather armour.
- Ignore protective value of all armour.
- A shield or helmet will only protect against the weapon by being Splintered.
- When wielding the weapon you roll to hit as a higher level Fighter (suggest 4th or 8th).
- When wielding the weapon you Cleave as a higher level Fighter (suggest 4th or 8th).
- Boost the Morale and Loyalty of your allies when wielding the weapon in their presence.
- Reduce the Morale and Loyalty of your enemies when wielding the weapon in their presence.
- A successful hit forces a Morale Check on the victim.
- A successful kill forces enemies nearby to check Morale.
- Enemies nearby must take Morale Checks when you draw (to attack) or brandish/flourish (foregoing your attack that round) the weapon.
- Anyone fighting you makes all rolls with disadvantage/penalty.
- All hits cause min. average damage per die.
- All hits cause max. damage per die.
- All hits are crits/double damage. You cannot use this weapon to inflict non-lethal/subdual damage. 'Double crits' are spectacular killing blows, enough so that they will shock onlookers - even the weapon's wielder.
- Any mortal wound is incurable except by extraordinary means. Successful death saves/recovery rolls only means you linger for another day/week, remaining at 0 hp/casualty state. Might feel like cold, might feel like poison; might be accompanied by creeping shadows drawing ever closer, or a little white bird refusing to look you in the eye.
- Any crit also inflicts a cumulative level of fatigue. This is now the most rested/restored the victim can be unless treated with extraordinary means. Some more powerful opponents get a save and will be alerted to the risk.
- Any crit immediately reduces enemy to 0 hp/casualty state, regardless of their current hp. Some more powerful opponents get a save and will be alerted to the risk.
- Weapons wielded against yours much save vs. normal or crushing blow (1e/2e AD&D DMGs) each round or break. If you already have weapon breakage rules in place, this weapon is more likely to do it. Not necessarily resistant to breakage itself.
- As above, but also affects armour and shields.
- The weapon vibrates/hums/screams/chimes/bursts into ethereal flames/twists in your hand when enemies (or treasure or secret doors) are within range. This is sometimes helpful.
- A dazzling (blinding?) flash when drawn in dungeon darkness, gloomy wilderness or the fog of war. As well as illumination and dazzling, this could also extend the range of Morale/Loyalty effects.
- The weapon is always at hand when needed. This is more subtle (and also maybe more unnerving) than it just teleporting to your hand. You can still be disarmed and have to pick it up. It can be taken from you and held hostage
- As long as it's within range, the weapon comes when called (command word, concentration, whistling etc). It travels at least as fast as a thrown missile. You could conceivably fumble the catch, but have it jump into your hand on the next round.
- Make your attack/combat rolls with advantage. Negated vs. an equally or more powerful magic weapon.
- Your opponent makes their defence/combat rolls at disadvantage. Negated vs. an equally or more powerful magic weapon.
- When using the weapon against a more powerful (higher HD/level) opponent, you attack and defend at their ability, rather than your own.
- The Fighter is the traditional enemy of the Magic-User (and the Evil High Priest) and this weapon is the exemplar. You make all your saves vs. their magic with advantage/bonus - on a critical success, you are immune to their spells for the rest of this encounter. You must be holding the weapon.
- When using the weapon against a more powerful (higher HD/level) opponent, they attack and defend at your ability, rather than their own.
- Every hit connects, regardless of target's armour, agility, damage resistance etc. Roll to hit, but only for crits and fumbles. Crits as normal, but a fail takes you straight to 0 hp/ Casualty state as the weapon turns against you. If you survive, you can never wield it again. You can make max. 1 attack per round with this weapon, but can dual-wield if appropriate.
Multiple properties for individual weapons. Of course. Why not? You can see that some abilities above are geared towards the mass combat and even social/downtime portions of the game, and don't have much application in dungeon-bashing.
Magical weapons are intelligent and controlling. No independent personality or speech (unless they're a spirit or demon bound to the object) - they're just addictive objects that get you into all sorts of scrapes.
And you can also use their stats to decide which magic weapon is strongest when their effects clash with/contradict each other.
Magical weapons are unique. I think I might have said this somewhere before, but each magic weapon is the only one of its kind - if you find a +1 shortsword, then that's the only one that exists in the game.
This is not entirely compatible with the d66 presented above, but I'm calling them alternatives and options, not another canon.
Except when they're not. The shared characteristics of (say) Dark Elf knives and Wood Elf bows is down to the materials and traditional skills of the users. But you can't just pick them up and expect the same bonuses.
You can/can't craft your own. Following on from the third point above, you can't make a second +1 shortsword if one already exists in the game - you certainly can't churn them out in your downtime. You could make a shortsword of venom instead, or a frost brand, and so on.
Magic arrows (and other ammunition) are something of an exception, but - unless it's just a single special arrow of slaying - any set of arrows will include a cursed one that you won't know about until you nock it. As is tradition.
The scarcity of magic weapons and the desire/need for them in the fiction means that making them should be part of the adventure anyway; every weapon is, at some stage, Sacnoth.