10 Remarkable Longswords

One-dimensional, unremarkable treasure is boring. Adding interesting descriptions to treasure adds depth, detail and verisimilitude to the GM’s campaign.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

Of course, a GM doesn’t have time to slavishly detail every piece of treasure in his campaign. That’s where the list below comes in handy.

The GM can use these descriptions to bring to life the weapon wrenched from the corpse of a defeated foe, as the basis for a magic weapon or even to depict a PC’s treasured heirloom possession. However they are used, the descriptions below are inherently more interesting that, “It’s a longsword.”

Use the table below, to determine the longsword’s appearance:

  1. Plain, unadorned and of solid, functional design this longsword holds a wickedly sharp edge. A maker’s mark—a hammer set under a soaring raven—adorns the hilt.
  2. Polished to a mirror-like sheen, this is a noble’s weapon. Its hilt is of smoothed ivory and the crossguard is wrapped with silver and gold wire.
  3. Chipped and battered, this longsword’s blade seems old and dangerously weak. The pommel and hilt are of much newer and solid design; they are clearly not original.
  4. The hilt of this longsword is engraved with several esoteric sigils denoting victory and glory. The weapon’s haft is well worn imply it has seen much action; however the blade itself is in excellent condition.
  5. This longsword has an ornate basket hilt, which is chipped and dented. The blade itself is highly polished and glimmers in the light.
  6. The pommel of this serviceable weapon is shaped like a clenched, gauntleted fist.
  7. The hilt of this longsword is of horn wrapped with worn leather for better grip. It has a simple crossguard inscribed with the sword’s name, “Gutripper.”
  8. The pommel and crossguard of this crude, heavy longsword are stamped with Goblin runes. They speak of glory, death and battle. It is sized for a hobgoblin, not a goblin.
  9. This sword’s pommel is carved from a large shard of onyx to represent a grinning skull. Additionally, ash has been worked into the blade and haft to give it a dull, dark grey appearance that seems to drink in the surrounding light.
  10. This silvered steel sword glitters and glimmers in the light like ice. Runes speaking of goodness, light and glory are engraved into the blade itself while the pommel is decorated with the holy sigil of a good-aligned martial deity.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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7 thoughts on “10 Remarkable Longswords

  1. I believe I pointed out _Dragon 180_ to you before, possibly because of the article, “Your Basic Barbarian”. It might’ve been for another article, though, about describing interesting swords, in a manner similar to what you’ve done here.

    At least, I’m pretty sure it was Dragon 180. I’d have to check.