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Break my game: Indestructible sword at level 1


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Votan

Explorer
I've seen people bend swords or break bats over their thighs, rendering them useless...but I've never seen a MMA fighter even come close to doing that to a human. :)

I have no doubt. But the idea that the weapon is the easy target seems to be belied by the logistics of medieval warfare and the normal result of duels. There were well understood exceptions (the vikings and shields, for example) but the classic duelist did not break weapons. Just powering through an opponent's katana (but leaving them fundamentally unharmed) seems like a rare event.

Or is there a resource on dueling that I am overlooking?

In terms of MMA, people would be much more badly injured if real (sharp, metal and properly smithed) swords were allowed in the octagon. :)

Conversely, disarming seems to be a common outcome of duels (and taking full control of the weapon might allow breakage). So it was always odd to me that sundering might end up more common than a simple disarm attempt.
 

Relique du Madde

First Post
Outside of movies, I don't think sundering weapons was a viable military tactic (beyond an attempt to destroy a polearm). Now, I could see the occasional weapon being sundered as a result of someone trying to parry an attack and having their weapon snap, but outside of that, I doubt it often happened intentionally.
 

Aberzanzorax

First Post
I dunno....

There are real life weapons called "sword breakers". I suspect those broke their fair share of weapons in the day.


In what context, and how successfully, I don't know.
 

MarkB

Legend
The campaign is going to be against people who'll be destroying whatever they can get their hands on. The sword belonged to them. Something they can't destroy in the hands of their opponents is an ideological threat to them.

Can't they just grab the sword, tuck it away where it can't be found, and claim they've destroyed it?

Or is the sword a symbol to others, not just to them - a rallying point for those opposed to this faction?

And, given that there's a powerful group dedicated to destroying weapons, how hard is it going to be for the rest of the party to obtain and keep weapons?
 

jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
Can't they just grab the sword, tuck it away where it can't be found, and claim they've destroyed it?
They who? The bad guys? No, because that wouldn't accomplish anything. They are the ones who care whether others are armed. They are the ones who care that someone else has taken the sword. They intend to use it themselves, as they think they are destined to.

Or is the sword a symbol to others, not just to them - a rallying point for those opposed to this faction?
It might become something like that.

And, given that there's a powerful group dedicated to destroying weapons, how hard is it going to be for the rest of the party to obtain and keep weapons?
Not destroying. Controlling. But what they feel they can't control they'll destroy.

And how that affects the party depends largely on what the party will be composed of. They are undecided as of yet.
 

WHW4

First Post
Except that possession of the sword in that case will make the wizard a primary target of this campaign main bad guys. He might refuse to buy it, and just set them after the PC's.

Well, someone will buy it. A simple demonstration should be enough for some noble somewhere to be willing to throw down gold for it. And note I said benevolent wizard; I wouldn't be trying to peddle this thing to some self-serving miser in a lonely tower of power. Without knowing all the niggling details of your campaign world that's as much as I could say on that.

If the party hasn't decided what they're going to be, then I guess alignments are open? Maybe one of the bad guys will buy it?

I'm just trying to convey the fact that as a player, I've never had a love for MaGuffins that make me a target. If all else failed I'd chuck the thing into the ocean. I don't know what type of players you have, but I'd prepare myself for that course of action.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I have no doubt. But the idea that the weapon is the easy target seems to be belied by the logistics of medieval warfare and the normal result of duels. There were well understood exceptions (the vikings and shields, for example) but the classic duelist did not break weapons. Just powering through an opponent's katana (but leaving them fundamentally unharmed) seems like a rare event.

It is a rare event, at least in part because so few people would be trained in doing so quickly and efficiently. Easier to kill or disarm.

But if you know what you're doing...

D&D streamlines this- like all other aspects of combat- and makes this into a 2 Feat technique. This makes it more viable...and potentially more common.

As to the ease of sundering- presumably in reference to items' paucity of HP as compared to living things- I look at it this way: a sword has a LOT less mass and volume compared to even a small person, so it takes proportionately less damage to reduce it to uselessness. Sure, it may take about as much force to break my arm as it does to break a sword, but I have another arm, 2 legs and my mind...
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
A simple demonstration should be enough for some noble somewhere to be willing to throw down gold for it.

"Hi, I'm Dannyalcatraz, and I'm here to show you the most amazing sword you've ever seen: it slices, it dices, it eviscerates! It cleaves and sunders! And it never rusts or needs sharpening! You can cut through an Antipaladin's mithril shield and the indestructible blade will STILL slice this tomato into vellum-thin slices! How much would YOU pay? Well, act now, and receive THIS special gift: ArmorOdor Eaters! That's right!! Now how much do you think this is worth? HOLD UP! There's more..."
 


On Puget Sound

First Post
So I think the answer is:

Its unbreakableness is unlikely to overbalance your game; there is no significant combat value to that quality in game terms.

Its value as a unique item, a symbol and a plot point is what makes it worth a story. For those purposes, it could just as easily be an untarnishable sword, or a non-magical sword once used by the Lost King.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Technically, since tarnish is a form of corrosion, a truly indestructible sword would not tarnish. You could get it dirty, yes, but it should wipe clean with little effort, and there should be no etching.

Staining, however, is a different issue. Whatever it is made of may still be somewhat porous.
 

Votan

Explorer
It is a rare event, at least in part because so few people would be trained in doing so quickly and efficiently. Easier to kill or disarm.

But if you know what you're doing...

D&D streamlines this- like all other aspects of combat- and makes this into a 2 Feat technique. This makes it more viable...and potentially more common.

As to the ease of sundering- presumably in reference to items' paucity of HP as compared to living things- I look at it this way: a sword has a LOT less mass and volume compared to even a small person, so it takes proportionately less damage to reduce it to uselessness. Sure, it may take about as much force to break my arm as it does to break a sword, but I have another arm, 2 legs and my mind...

I am still not sure about this. I have seen people break weapons but the idea of doing so without first taking the weapon away from your opponent and then giving them an opening seems like a challenge. The break moves I have seen require full control of the weapon and, at the very least, you have just engaged a lot of your body in the breaking of the weapon. Think of the muscular effort involved and that you have an opponent in physical close enough to be also touching the weapon (and we are taking steel swords). Can this be done fast and without concentration and without opening yourself to a joint lock?

What happens if your opponent is trained in both kenjutsu and jujutsu (the latter of which is actually designed to be used with a sword in hand)?

Or how are you closing to grapple range with a rapier?

There are stunts that can be done against an obviously inferior opponent that would be . . . dangerous versus a equally skilled opponent.
 

Heathen72

Explorer
Staining, however, is a different issue. Whatever it is made of may still be somewhat porous.

Blood stains, no doubt, but then, it's an Al Qadim campaign. I suspect they will just use all the perfumes of Arabia to sweeten this little sword*. Ho Ho Ho...

*not that it will work.
 
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Raven Crowking

First Post
[MENTION=10324]jonesy[/MENTION]: Let 'em toss it into the sea. Let 'em sell it to the bad guys.

Those can result in game play which as just as interesting as being pursued for the sword. Especially if the weapon shows up again inside the belly of a great fish.....


RC
 

Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
I don't have much to contribute but it could be used to bar a door or to fish something out of a deadly liquid (acid, poison, lava).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I am still not sure about this. I have seen people break weapons but the idea of doing so without first taking the weapon away from your opponent and then giving them an opening seems like a challenge. The break moves I have seen require full control of the weapon and, at the very least, you have just engaged a lot of your body in the breaking of the weapon. Think of the muscular effort involved and that you have an opponent in physical close enough to be also touching the weapon (and we are taking steel swords). Can this be done fast and without concentration and without opening yourself to a joint lock?

Again, quoting myself:
D&D streamlines this- like all other aspects of combat- and makes this into a 2 Feat technique. This makes it more viable...and potentially more common.
 


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