The sword's the thing … or is it?

Welcome to RPG Corner, a place where you can share your knowledge and thoughts of the Role Playing Game world. Each week we will have a new topic to discuss, so feel free to talk it up, make suggestions, post images, and have a good time.

This week's topic is weapons.

dnd_weapons_legacyLet's face it, for an awful lot of us RPG fans, the fight's the thing. Back when we used to play "Champions" regularly, we would joke about everything else being a search for the "large open space", the immediate prelude to battle. Few things are as satisfying in the gaming world as grabbing a big double handful of dice to fling across the table, determining just how much damage your Hammer of DOOM! did to the bad guys.

Every system has certain iconic weapons that resonate with you, whether it be your fledgling D&D Fighter's frantic search for a bastard sword -- we didn't know what it was, but it felt delicious saying "bastard" where your mom couldn't hear, and it did wicked damage -- or a strange and burning desire to find Foxbat's ping-pong gun.

So have at it -- what weapons did you most commonly use in your RPG? By no means should you limit it to pen and paper RPGs, either, if there was a special Final Fantasy item that really tickled your fancy, I'd love to hear about it.

For fantasy, did you stick with the basic longsword, or did you prefer to go with the Friar Tuck special quarterstaff, a whip, scythe, or some other more uncommon choice?

What "special" or magical weapons do you remember your characters aquiring? Does your super-powered character have some awesome weapon you think is aweesome?

So have at it, folks, the RPG Corner is open for geeking!

19 Responses to The sword's the thing … or is it?

  1. The Imp says:

    I always thought the items in Diablo and ESPECIALLY Diablo II were awesome, especially the crafted items in II you could make out of various components. It was the world’s geekiest scavenger hunt! πŸ˜€

  2. Tigerguy786 says:

    In my RPG experience, I’ve always tended to go for the bigger weapons. Heck, in every game I play I lean towards bigger guns. Fable, Dragon Age, both I went for the huge 2 handed weapons.

  3. William A. Peterson says:

    If it emits Plasma, preferably in gouts and torrents, I was usually in favor of it…
    Of course, I’m the sort who thinks 50-megaton Nukes are ‘pretty good for Crowd Control’… πŸ˜€

  4. Darth_Neko says:

    I almost always go with something exotic looking for my role-playing characters. I really don’t like my character’s weapon of choice to be some dull and boring looking iron longsword which does next to nothing damage wise.

    I long for a blade that’s either curved, made out of a rare metal, has excellent craftsmanship(Which is always a must have!)and is powerfully nimble yet very flexable…. Plus the fact that it can kill a sleigh of enemies, helps much too! πŸ˜‰

  5. Iago_Valentine says:

    Blades all the way. Usually a shortsword, since I tend to work with casters more than melee. Once I went with a twin blade staff. Think Darth Maul, but with silversteel blades. That was a good campaign…

  6. Skiriki says:

    Couple of weapons come to my mind, and one specific case of lack of weapons.

    In a Middle-earth (Rolemaster) campaign we had a long and exciting fight against a dragon (non-winged, fire-breathing worm), and against all odds we survived. I pulled a broadsword out of the loot, and it turned out to be all kinds of special.

    First, it was made out of two materials: blue laen and white eog; the blue glass-like substance was on the inside, while white metal formed the edge.

    Second, it was a holy weapon, forged some time around the First Age; now, holy weapons have a class of their own in Rolemaster (affectionately/derisively known as Chartmaster as well), which meant that against certain creatures I’d roll in a different chart, and the results were pretty much “holy crap, how much and what kind damage you did?”.

    Third, it turned out that Calluin (as the sword was known) was holy because it housed a soul of a captive elf slain in front of Morgoth, using that very blade to do so. This fact became relevant when our PCs had unknowingly gathered together all the items required to bring back Morgoth himself! An epic fight ensued, and that “merely” involved Morgoth’s hand reaching out of Doors of Night as he tried to pull himself back to the world.

    Long story short, Calluin gained some extra oomph (+100 OB on top of everything it was already!), and cut through the wrist and separated the hand from its owner, while an another PC used his memorable weapon (a black eog dagger, which had an interesting story itself) to shatter the crystal which kept the Door open.

    And then we broke time-space continuum, but that’s a separate story. Now, having fulfilled its goal — striking back at Morgoth — Calluin was free from the elven soul and its holy quality, reverting to a “mere” orc/troll slayer sword. But by then my character had grown so fond of it so she decided to keep it.

    Then there’s the weapon my character uses in our Marvel-based superhero campaign, a naginata. Although the weapon itself keeps changing all of the time (due to it occasionally being stolen, taken away, destroyed, lost), it is a signature of my character (who can easily recreate it whenever, with a simple thought). She uses it for a couple of reasons: one, it resonates with her heritage, she’s half-Japanese, and a naginata is very much a women’s weapon in that cultural context. Two, it gives her reach, and all the messy business happens at the far end of the weapon, away from her body. Three, since she flies, a bit of crossguard, and she can do a really nasty charge from the air (because naginata blade is not the only one it can project, a normal spearhead as well; I should note that my character is very much a greyside type, rather than a straightforward goodie-goodie hero).

    And then there’s the case where the lack of weapon is because the character itself is that weapon: my shifter psychic warrior is quite fond of her manifested claws of the beast and bite of the wolf, although her dual-traits of longtooth shifter and razorclaw shifter keep her armed even if she ever ran out of power points (which can happen, since she’s also fond of dropping lots of points to vigor power). And she once slaughtered a ship full of pirates all by herself.

  7. The whip from the original Castlevania.

    The Artful Dodger from Car Wars. A motorcycle’s best friend and worst enemy.

    Not a weapon, but The Mutant Chronicles gave Imperial (Britain) the advantage of “The Time Has Come”. Automatic initiative! So handy.

    Anything you can slap on a Battlemech.

  8. Letrune says:

    My best rpg weapon ever was my speechcraft skills in a game we played with a few friends… Everyone was armed with guns and swords (it was an industrial aged game), I didn’t even skilled myself in hand-to-hand (why should a lady hit someone?). When it was a figth or a brawl, I tried to convince the brigands to put away their weapons, and they mostly did. πŸ˜›

    However, there was a case in this game where I lost my dress and the guards caught me for breaking the laws (being half-naked in that game was one of the few laws that wasn’t punished with death but bribe and being ashamed – and I olny had a corset)… There I learned how to hit someone with a high heeled shoe and that it can be ouchy. πŸ˜€

  9. Jadebrain says:

    I’ve played a few different characters, but they all seem to fit the “brute” theme, or at least the general melee theme. One was an Elf Soldier, sword n’ board style. I was the only person who knew how to fight in a party of thieves, librarians, and people who owned a boat in my first PnP campaign ever: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Next was Iron Kingdoms in DnD (I think 3.5), and I was an Ogre Paladin with a Warcleaver (Think ffvii buster sword on the end of a long stick). In GURPS I played a minotaur monk (the martial arts type). I was the hardest-to-kill, the most-likely-to-kill-the-enemy, and generally the most amazing in my party. Later, I joined a 4th-edition DnD game where I was a maul-weilding Dwarf Paladin, who eventually got switched with a character based on Guy from ffii (the japanese ffii, not the american one.). He had an axe. Also in 4e, in a different campaign, was a minotaur fighter who could switch between melee and range by throwing spears instead of thrusting them. The one character I played that wasn’t melee at all was an Eladrin Wizard, also in DnD 4e, and currently I’m back to melee with a Minotaur Warden with a giant axe.

  10. The Eric says:

    My current DnD Dragonborn Ranger is vaguely Native American, so he’s got a bow and dual tomahawks. My 3.5 Sorcerer before that had dual daggers, which i thought could be used to climb something if he needed to. (He might work well in 4e, too.)

    My next Barbarian will probably use a longspear and javelins. If i played a Wizard i’d want to be Eladrin, because they are always good with longswords and i like to be a melee-capable magic-user.

  11. Cybertourk says:

    I tend to acquire weird weapons or play engineering types that make them so I’ve had a few really off the wall weapons in various RPGs over the years. To make a really long story short one on my Werewolf: The Apocalypse characters had a magic item Puppet that he could send into battle. It strongly resembled the Puppet from the game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It was very violent and could manifest weapons at a whim. at one point it manifested a portable gauss cannon that fired “very phallic-looking silver projectiles at obscene velocities” one hit usually tore living targets in half. My character eventually began dressing like the puppet and acting like the puppet, until one day he woke up and the puppet was controlling him. But for three months of fun my character and the Puppet terrorized both Allie and Enemy alike. You know what they say though: Power corrupts, but absolute power is kinda nifty.

  12. Connor S. says:

    I know, I’m a nerd, but I really like DnD. It’s a fun experience that’s almost like reading a book, but unpredictable. Your DM may have sent you through a barren strip of land, and you come across a dragon that somehow you never saw before. It’s just a good time, and it’s pretty simple. My characters are: A wood elf prince (rolled a 99 ftw) fighter magic-user with excellent stats at lvl 12. My other one is a human fighter that’s stronger than Hercules. (Thank you Girdle of the Cloud Giants) But he’s slow as a sloth and that gets me into a shitload of trouble when dealing with trap setters. (With my DM, that’s almost always the case D: )
    Now switching to a more modern RPG, in WoW I have a level 71 (I took like months at a time breaks) Dreanie warrior tank.

  13. Connor S. says:

    And I am a dumbass because I did not read the topic. I will say some stuff on weapons now lol. Well… my fighter human has a +5 Vorpal (acquired when I lobbed off the head of a Gith Yankee Captain in a war, and then almost lost along with my life when my leg was chopped off by a Gith Yankee Grunt. I know, fail. πŸ˜› ), and my elf has a +4 Defender. (Attained when I travelled on a quest to start a companionship with a bronze dragon which i still have to this day.) I know, nothing extremely awesome and epic, but I’m not a major DnD player.

  14. Jeff Hebert says:

    Neat stories so far guys, thanks for sharing ’em!

  15. NEON_N64 says:

    So far I’ve never played a commercial RPG (like D&D), only “custom” RPGs made by friends and videogame JRPGs (like Final Fantasy).

    Anyway, in one of those custom made RPGs, during a brief time, my character Eolith ( ) had a small dagger called “Saba”.

    After Stabbing its victim, the blade would became liquid and start running through the victim’s veins, then it would solidify again and then I could pull it out.

    Also, it had a mind of its own, it was capable of controlling dead bodies after stabbing them.

    Yep, that was a nice weapon to have.

    Oh, and in general I like swords, preferably Katanas.

  16. Hammerknight says:

    Great stuff everyone. I like to have a bow with everyone of my characters. A battle axe or a long sword are what I use most of the time. I would love to find a game that had some real good hammers to go with my name sake. Maybe when I work up my own RPG, I’ll put some cool hammers in it.

  17. PCFDPGrey says:

    My oldest super hero character (which is to say the first one I ever made and the first I create any time I build a super in a new game system) is/was a cryokinetic that made Bobby Drake look like an ice cube maker. For ranged attacks, this guy hurls Ice Swords and when he feels like getting up close and personal, he wields a halberd made of glacial ice. When he was first created, the coolest name I could come up with was actually a Dragonlance weapon of similar description as my characters. So, with that, he was christened Frostreaver; and with his halberd, he has cut vehicles in half with one swipe. One of my absolute favorite characheters. And he never had a physical embodiment until HeroMachine 2. So, for that, I have to Thank Jeff. Frostreaver never would have been seen anywhere but in my mind’s eye without your program. Thanks.

  18. drummergirl4 says:

    So, my bard started out playing a cello that doubled as a short bow. I know, that’s absurd. I pretty much stopped using it as a weapon when we came upon our first cache of magic items and I got the +1 merciful shock short bow. Now we’re playing with the house rule, that if you roll a natural 1 you hit yourself. I’ve rolled natural 1 enough times that I had electricity resistance put on my armor. Then there was the mighty cleaving gnome-bane whip, which I got to hold on to cause nobody else could use it. I think I only tried to use it in combat once, but it was so much fun to threaten the gnome with it. Then, we hit the mother lode; the nest of a magic eating monster. In it, we found many powerful magic items, and a baby monster that we adopted. I ended up with the +4 brilliant energy longbow and the +5 rapier with speed and keen. That’s right +5 rapier with speed and keen. Time to buckle our swash.
    That said, I also really do like to make characters that specialize in quarterstaff.

  19. Sean Murphy says:

    I was always one of those who looked for something more exotic than a “plain old sword” – most often, Quarterstaff, sometimes Kopesh or three-sectioned staff. I took a similar attitude toward other classes and their tools – my Bard played the Bagpipes so sweetly he could charm the Sylphs out of the air.