10 Quirks for Magic Weapons

Almost every adventurer wants a magic weapon—even a monk or wizard often coverts a magical dagger as a backup weapon (after all, it’s very hard to flurry of blows or magic missile your way out of an entrapping net!)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Not all magic weapons are created equal, however. Some have greater magic woven into their fabric than others, while others are studded with gems or jewels or are even forged from silver, mithral or adamantine. Other weapons are different due to a quirk of fate perhaps owing to their history or fabrication. Such weapons are atypical; they often have an odd appearance or strange, but minor, additional powers.

Use the table below, to determine a magic weapon’s quirk. Remember, though, some of the quirks might not make sense applied to every kind of weapon. Re-roll, or modify, inappropriate results.

  1. When whirled vigorously above the wielder’s head for a round, the weapon emits a high-pitched keening sound not dissimilar to a scream.
  2. When used to slay a sentient creature, the weapon emits a red glow equal to that of a candle for 1 hour per hit dice possessed by the slain enemy. If multiple enemies are slain, this time stacks.
  3. The weapon is quasi-sentient and has a semblance of feelings. Occasionally, in situations of high stress, these feelings “leak” from the weapon and spill over everyone within 10 ft. Only a detailed magical examination reveals the source of these feelings.
  4. The weapon once belonged to a feared assassin or slaver. His evil—and the darkness in which he lurked—has imbued the weapon with an unsettling ability. When cloaked in shadowy (or darker) illumination, wisps of darkness appear on its blade or haft. These wisps begin to swim to the weapon’s head, tip or point. If the weapon remains in shadow long enough, the weapon goes completely black. This effect fades over the next few days.
  5. The weapon is soundless in battle; when used to parry blows or strike enemies, it makes no sound.
  6. The weapon creates a great clamour in battle; sounds created when blows are parried or enemies struck are amplified two-fold. This makes it virtually impossible to use the weapon stealthily.
  7. Blood sticks to this weapon and is hard to clean off. If blood is left on the weapon for longer than an hour or so, it starts to be absorbed into the weapon itself.
  8. This weapon weighs only half what a normal weapon of its type should weigh. It is no less durable, as a result.
  9. By grasping the weapon and concentrating, the wielder can change some facets of its appearance including its colour, general condition and ornamentation. Such a change remains until the owner wills a change.
  10. When the weapon was forged, magic was used to infuse it with diamond dust. Consequently, it glimmers in the light and appears far more valuable than a normal weapon of its type. Extracting the diamond dust without powerful magic is—sadly—impossible.

20 Things II_SNE_220This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

For more free content, check out our Free Resources page.

If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One thought on “10 Quirks for Magic Weapons