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5E Curse of Strahd - Sunsword alternative

Or are you starting fresh and your player who got the sun blade last time would be a little put off to basically get the same weapon again?
-This makes the least sense to me, since it implies Hypothetical Bob is playing the same character, or a similar enough character again.
Really? Huh...as a player I would feel kind of disappointed to have the same item show up in two consecutive campaigns.

-And frankly, The Sunsword had some serious restrictions on who could use it (don't know if CoS removed these). It was entirely possible to run a Ravenloft campaign back in the day and nobody could actually wield the thing.

It is THE Sunsword, not a sun sword. The original you might say. Often imitated, never duplicated.

The Sunsword itself was not a particularly WOW! weapon, pretty much ever. It's setting implications were what mattered since it was basically the only thing capable of destroying Strahd for good. I would suggest to the OP to look into ways to pump up the flavor factor of the weapon. It's less what it does and more what it symbolizes in a setting like Ravenloft.
Why is why they never should have put it in OotA.
 

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toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Sorry for any confusion. We are ending an Out of the Abyss campaign, which introduced a side-quest where a Sun Blade could be found early on. The party gave it to an elven war cleric and she's been using it for about a year of real-life time. We are starting a Curse of Strahd campaign soon with brand-new PCs and I feel it'd cheapen the unique artifact quality of the Sunsword to have the same item show up again with a different name.

In retrospect, had I known I'd be running COS a year ago, I'd have replaced the sun blade treasure.... but done is done.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In my opinion the Sunsword should never have been put into Out of Abyss. It's canonically a Ravenloft thing, and personally I've never liked the whole lightsaber thing in the first place. I suspect the reason the designers like it is because it effectively becomes whatever type of sword the user wants it to be, which makes it a more versatile magic item placement. .
The Sunsword isn’t in Out of the Abyss. A sun blade named Dawnbringer is.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Sorry for any confusion. We are ending an Out of the Abyss campaign, which introduced a side-quest where a Sun Blade could be found early on. The party gave it to an elven war cleric and she's been using it for about a year of real-life time. We are starting a Curse of Strahd campaign soon with brand-new PCs and I feel it'd cheapen the unique artifact quality of the Sunsword to have the same item show up again with a different name.

In retrospect, had I known I'd be running COS a year ago, I'd have replaced the sun blade treasure.... but done is done.
I'm still holding out hope you go with the detachable chainsaw hand.

Why is everyone laughing? I was serious.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sorry for any confusion. We are ending an Out of the Abyss campaign, which introduced a side-quest where a Sun Blade could be found early on. The party gave it to an elven war cleric and she's been using it for about a year of real-life time. We are starting a Curse of Strahd campaign soon with brand-new PCs and I feel it'd cheapen the unique artifact quality of the Sunsword to have the same item show up again with a different name.

In retrospect, had I known I'd be running COS a year ago, I'd have replaced the sun blade treasure.... but done is done.
Ah, ok, that’s a horse of a different color. The Sunsword is pretty classic to Ravenloft, so I wouldn’t ditch it. But maybe give it different properties. Maybe instead of the hilt of the Sunsword being a Sun Blade, it’s just a straight up-useless sword hilt. In order to use it against Strahd, they have to find the pieces of its original crystal blade, which are strewn about Barovia. You could put one piece in each of the possible locations the Sunsword might be found (the place indicates in the reading is just where the hilt is). Then when they put it back together it’s a Holy Avenger.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Really? Huh...as a player I would feel kind of disappointed to have the same item show up in two consecutive campaigns.
As someone who has played Ravenloft before, I don't think the setting would feel right without it.

It's not Rando Campaign #5 that just happens to include the Sunsword. It's Ravenloft. The Sunsword is not simply a weapon that appears it, it is a fundamental element of the plot of the swtting, the one item that Strahd truly fears and is capable of destroying him. It's the Matrix to Unicron. It's The One to Mr Smith. You can even stay on fairly friendly terms with Strahd up until you recover the Sunsword, at which point Strahd will wholesale murder you just to be safe.

Yeah, if they were playing Rise of Tiamat or Storm King's Thunder and the Sunsword showed up randomly, with no real relevance to the game, it'd cheapen the whole thing.

But it's not that. It's Ravenloft.

Sorry for any confusion. We are ending an Out of the Abyss campaign, which introduced a side-quest where a Sun Blade could be found early on. The party gave it to an elven war cleric and she's been using it for about a year of real-life time. We are starting a Curse of Strahd campaign soon with brand-new PCs and I feel it'd cheapen the unique artifact quality of the Sunsword to have the same item show up again with a different name.

In retrospect, had I known I'd be running COS a year ago, I'd have replaced the sun blade treasure.... but done is done.
Really I still think the solution is to play up the relevance to the setting of the Sunsword. It's not just a shiny weapon. It's the light in the darkness. The last hope against evil in the realm. So mighty is its power that even Strahd fears it and would do anything to destroy it and those who might possess it.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Really I still think the solution is to play up the relevance to the setting of the Sunsword. It's not just a shiny weapon. It's the light in the darkness. The last hope against evil in the realm. So mighty is its power that even Strahd fears it and would do anything to destroy it and those who might possess it.
Replace "Sunsword" above with "Detachable Chainsaw Hand" and your entire paragraph still works. Maybe even a little better with the change.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Replace "Sunsword" above with "Detachable Chainsaw Hand" and your entire paragraph still works. Maybe even a little better with the change.
Sure, it's the McGuffin, no argument there. But it's the Ravenloft McGuffin. I would think for anyone even remotely familiar with the setting not seeing it included would be worse.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Sure, it's the McGuffin, no argument there. But it's the Ravenloft McGuffin. I would think for anyone even remotely familiar with the setting not seeing it included would be worse.
Yeah, maybe. I like poking canon right in the eye though and I find Ravenloft to be more fun when played as a campy, B-movie. I could see changing the whole Sunsword story into something involving a warforged with some kind of chainsaw that runs on vampire blood. It seems like D&D is lousy with Sunswords seeing as how a PC already nicked one in Out of the Abyss. It's less special now (to me).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
surely there could be something that is similarly evocative yet different?

The Dawn Blade, a sword made of stained glass (think the windows of a cathedral) - when exposed to the first rays of the dawn, the sunlight is captured within, and for 24 hours the blade shines with an inner light (and Strad is vulnerable to it)
 

toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Never ran the 3rd edition version, but know they kept with uniting the blade and hilt (instead of the light saber) and had options for the artifacts to be legacy items. My players love those, might have to go homebrew route. As for the chainsaw hand, pretty sure my players know Ash better than Strahd!
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I think the most obvious answer is that whenever this new party arrives at the location where the Sunsword is supposed to be... they find it being held by the self-same elf cleric who had it in your previous campaign, except she's now undead. Alongside the undead forms of the rest of the OotA party. 😁

Somehow Strahd drew the previous party into his realm off-screen and killed them all. This new group has to kill Strahd not only to allow their own escape from Ravenloft, but also to free the souls of their previous PCs.

Sent from my SM-J320V using EN World mobile app
 

Quartz

Adventurer
I like this:

If it's new PCs with same players...

Don't have it just be a sunsword. Have it be THE SAME SUNSWORD. Have bits of obscure legends about the old PCs scattered here and there :D
And this:

I think the most obvious answer is that whenever this new party arrives at the location where the Sunsword is supposed to be... they find it being held by the self-same elf cleric who had it in your previous campaign, except she's now undead. Alongside the undead forms of the rest of the OotA party. 😁

Somehow Strahd drew the previous party into his realm off-screen and killed them all. This new group has to kill Strahd not only to allow their own escape from Ravenloft, but also to free the souls of their previous PCs.
Is a suitably horrific way of introducing it.
 

grimslade

Adventurer
I think the most obvious answer is that whenever this new party arrives at the location where the Sunsword is supposed to be... they find it being held by the self-same elf cleric who had it in your previous campaign, except she's now undead. Alongside the undead forms of the rest of the OotA party. 😁

Somehow Strahd drew the previous party into his realm off-screen and killed them all. This new group has to kill Strahd not only to allow their own escape from Ravenloft, but also to free the souls of their previous PCs.

Sent from my SM-J320V using EN World mobile app
This is brilliant. It gives continuity for the players and provides a link between campaigns. The only caveat I would worry about is how your players would feel about their former PCs being killed off-screen. Maybe stage it as a flashback scenario where they can use their old PCs and are betrayed by a minion of Strahd? You know your players best.
 

toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Mean DMs, killing off poor former PCs for story plot...

I went with a hybrid setup, all rights reserved. For the card reading, [sblock]I expanded the telling to 6 cards. Madame Eva explains the number is 6 (cards) based on alignment of the stars. For visual, I will cross (lay a card over) the Power card for the Sunsword, as something that broken or that which must be healed. One extra locale added for the blade and hilt. That issue easily solved.[/sblock]

As to the Blade, modified the 3rd edition legacy version. Once the hilt and blade are within 60' of one another, the hilt gains sentience and imbues the wielder with vision of how to unite the blade.[sblock]Bonding: Hold the blade and hilt together for 8 hours while beseeching/praying for the Morninglord to unite the blade. Once done, it becomes a +1 weapon with finesse option, dim blue light that changes to angry sapphire when vampire in sensory range, and the next two rituals are imparted.

Fires of Heaven: Borrowed this from 3rd edition, defeat an evil (DM discretion) by use of wit or stratagem instead of force. This can be any number of foes in the land. Complete another Bonding and now 1/long rest can summon daylight as an action by holding blade over head and intoning "Lumina zilei!" (daylight). A 10' radius globe of sunlight centers around you. Good creatures can use an action to expand the globe by 10', max 60'. If a round passes where the globe is not expanded, it persists for 1 minute then vanishes.

Bane: Defeat a vampire or other suitable creature of the night (DM discretion) with use of the blade (must have assisted in some way). Complete another Bonding and unlocks +1d6 radiant damage vs. vampires. If a good wielder, add another +1d6 and can now use Fires of Heaven after a short or long rest.[/sblock]
 
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