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Mercurial Greatsword

Rashak Mani

First Post
Scythes also only critical on 20... Merc Swords on 19-20... so much for any similarity there.

I think its a useful weapon to have in the list insofar as it gives away munchkin players. When a new player asks for this weapon you know immediately he is not a serious gamer and you can proceed to excluding him from your gaming group ! Treat as a Detect Munchking Item.

Since this silly weapon has shown up... not even some die hard min maxers have had the courage to ask a DM to use it. :)
 

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redhawk

First Post
Carceri said:
Ok, this is a rant. I am here to bitch about one of the cheesiest weapons ever developed for D&D. First off, I'd like to know where the idea for this weapon even spawned. Can anyone tell me? I've read my fair share of fantasy novels, and I do not recall a particular hero or villain using a mercurial weapon.

Apparently, you've never read Gene Wolfe. Severius, the torturer, carried <i>Terminus Est</I>, a mercurial greatsword.

Redhawk

EDIT: Spelling.
 
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EricNoah

Adventurer
Re: Re: Mercurial Greatsword

redhawk said:

Apparently, you've never read Gene Wolfe. Severius, the torturer, carried <i>Terminus Est</I>, a mercurial greatsword.

Redhawk

And apparently YOU've never read perhaps the greatest work of literature known to man -- a little something called "The Rest of This Thread"!

:D

(Sorry, man, couldn't help it. :) You're like the 4th person to point this out. I was the second!)
 

LGodamus

First Post
Re: Re: Re: Mercurial Greatsword

EricNoah said:


And apparently YOU've never read perhaps the greatest work of literature known to man -- a little something called "The Rest of This Thread"!

:D

(Sorry, man, couldn't help it. :) You're like the 4th person to point this out. I was the second!)


Kettle this is pot, Pot this is kettle..be nice to each other....



lol, sorry eric....I had to.
 


Staffan

Adventurer
Teflon Billy said:
I have no idea if the physics on this are correct (or need to be), but I think that's how the description in S&F goes.
It doesn't work, at least not in the real world. You might try a somewhat safer experiment to see how it (doesn't) work: take a big bottle (2 liters or so). Fill it about one third to one half with water, and put on the stopper. Try swinging it around and see if you get any additional accelleration from the water sloshing around in it.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Well, I guess "silly" is subjective, especially in a game about elves and dragons and wizards, so I'll not try to explain why I don't think they're all that silly ;)

Anyway, in the books from which the sword sprang, these swords were absolutely not very common at all. They were, in fact, very rare, and only seemed to be available to members of the torturer's guild. They also seemed to have been made in the distant past, presumably using forgotten techniques, which made them work exactly as described in the books - the mercury drained into the handle when the sword was raised, and flowed out when the sword was swung down, giving the blow greater impact - without shattering, or without the mercury easily escaping. I'm sure this could be done now, of course, but given that the story is set millions of years hence, one might assume that metallurgical techniques would be vastly improved, or at least different, from what we have today. Or maybe they used magic, or technology sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic (to borrow from Clarke).

Anyway, in my own campaign, they are not easy to come by. They certainly aren't available for sale. They would only be found by PCs after a grueling series of adventures, in the hands of enemies that will use them against the PCs.

Oh, and I'll address another point, but it involves a


SPOILER BELOW


Severian's sword, Terminus Est, does, indeed, shatter during use at one point in the story, destroying it irreparably.
 

totoro

First Post
Rashak Mani said:
Scythes also only critical on 20... Merc Swords on 19-20... so much for any similarity there.

I think its a useful weapon to have in the list insofar as it gives away munchkin players. When a new player asks for this weapon you know immediately he is not a serious gamer and you can proceed to excluding him from your gaming group ! Treat as a Detect Munchking Item.

Since this silly weapon has shown up... not even some die hard min maxers have had the courage to ask a DM to use it. :)

Christ! 2d6, crit x4 and you have to spend a feat (and the weapon weighs more and is more rare). Or 2d6, crit 19-20/x2 and you don't have to spend a feat. Duh.

The two most over-used words on these message boards are munchkin and munchkin. Is a person now a munchkin if they choose and unusual weapon? Will everyone be happy if we all go back to using longswords (2e)?

The unfixed version may have been over-powered (average 2 more damage and x4 crit instead of 19-20/x2), but now it is not. In fact, I doubt that many people would select it as their weapon of choice unless they really wanted something unusual. A power gamer would take the greatsword and select the improved crit (17-20/x2 is as good as x4 crit) feat instead of wasting an exotic weapon proficiency on a weapon that you will never find.
 


Re: Re: Mercurial Greatsword

Mark said:


More importantly, how popular is it with DMs...?
I tend to give out at least one variation of it in almost every campaign I run,but then again I am a huge new sun fan. Of course it also tend to be a magical weapon too, and one of those that goes up in power as the party progresses. so that when they find it it is liek plus 1 but it gain in power as the owner levels. before they came out with the mercurial sword. I used to make it +1 +2 damage to start, then +2 +4 damage etc as it's power progressed, but I liek the right up for it so know I use it pretty much as written in the book.
ken
 

Re: Re: Re: Mercurial Greatsword

EricNoah said:


And apparently YOU've never read perhaps the greatest work of literature known to man -- a little something called "The Rest of This Thread"!

:D

(Sorry, man, couldn't help it. :) You're like the 4th person to point this out. I was the second!)
And I am about number 10 :)
ken
 

SpikeyFreak

First Post
Staffan said:

It doesn't work, at least not in the real world. You might try a somewhat safer experiment to see how it (doesn't) work: take a big bottle (2 liters or so). Fill it about one third to one half with water, and put on the stopper. Try swinging it around and see if you get any additional accelleration from the water sloshing around in it.
It has nothing to do with acceleration.

--Pointy Spikey

Edit: Yes, do a little experiment. Take an empty 2-liter bottle and hit your computer with it as hard as you can. Now take one half-full and do it. See which one does more damage.

Edit2: The idea is from Gene Wolfe's works. Severius, the torturer, carried Terminus Est, a mercurial greatsword. ;)
 
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Carceri said:
Ok, this is a rant. I am here to bitch about one of the cheesiest weapons ever developed for D&D. First off, I'd like to know where the idea for this weapon even spawned. Can anyone tell me? I've read my fair share of fantasy novels, and I do not recall a particular hero or villain using a mercurial weapon.

Secondly, what were the developers THINKING when they made this weapon? It is easily one of the biggest if not THE biggest min/max weapons in the game. Did they think players would NOT abuse it?

I need some feedback here. Exactly how popular is this weapon amongst other players? I am curious. I only play with a couple of different groups and only one particular person from the groups I play with uses one, but just that is enough to drive me nuts, especially as a DM.

Mercurial Greatsword? I thought you were describing the spiked chain!
 

Negative Zero

First Post
y'know, the so called "game balance" argment is just the ultimate GMs tool for telling a player "nyah-nyah you ca-an't haaave it!" :p

seriously tho, DnD IS a min-maxer's game. always has been. (at least 3.0 which is the bulk of my DnD experience always has been.) the DnD system assumes that the characters will specialise. and that different specialties will come together to make a great fighting whole. heck there was even min-maxing advice in the back oh my PHB.

the idea that somehow you were a "munchkin" if you were specialised in combat simply came about when some of us got older and started getting tired/bored with simply killing things. there is nothing wrong with powerful weapons. unless of course you've "graduated" to more social games. in which case, just don't use 'em.

~NegZ
 

y'know, the so called "game balance" argment is just the ultimate GMs tool for telling a player "nyah-nyah you ca-an't haaave it!"
I'd like to know why a player thinks they're entitled to something found in an optional book.

They know it's too good to be true.
 

(Psi)SeveredHead said:

I'd like to know why a player thinks they're entitled to something found in an optional book.

They know it's too good to be true.
If a player want an item then it is up to the player and the Gm to come to terms. Game balance it ultimately in the DM hand. if the party is tough then you just add a few more mobs . If the game master feels some how a weapon is unbalancing there are lots of ways to bring the game in balance, .The game is about both the players and the game master creating a good game right?
Ken
 

Carceri

First Post
Thank you all for your responses and your input, and thanks for welcoming me to the forum. So the mercurial greatsword is from a story that is basically more of a sci-fi/fantasy genre than a straight up fantasy genre? I always did get the impression of 'Final Fantasy' when I considered the merc greatsword.

Anyway, I suppose some of us can agree to disagree, but I feel the mercurial greatsword is the most broken weapon I've ever seen. Drawing comparisons to a scythe...hmmm... ok, I see your point somewhat, but I think I'd rather see someone trying to abuse a scythe (as silly as it may look) than a merc greatsword. It isn't so much JUST the mercurial greatsword as it is the character wielding it. Ok, let me give you an example of what the character wielding one of these in the campaign I am running. He's a half-orc fighter/weapon master; with feats that are geared towards getting the most he possibly can out the particular weapon he uses (improved crit, power critical, specialization). I don't think some of you are taking into account such things when seriously weighing the differences between a standard greatsword wielder and a mercurial greatsword wielder.

Yes, the threat range is lower on a merc greatsword, but a merc greatsword crit has more potential to kill a foe in one blow than a standard greatsword does. I don't even think a greataxe is as deadly.

I thank you for some of your suggestions, but I do not know as though I can bring myself to sunder a character's favorite weapon. That isn't normally what I like to do and I don't think I've ever used the Sunder ability on a player yet. Sundering is not as easy as it sounds to begin with anyway. As I stated previously, this particular merc greatsword is magical; a mercurial greatsword of the planes. It just so happens that the creatures that they are fighting most of the time are outsiders, and none of them wield +4 or better weapons.
 

Negative Zero

First Post
(Psi)SeveredHead said:
I'd like to know why a player thinks they're entitled to something found in an optional book. ...

bah! everything in DnD is "optional." unless you use only the 3 core books and nothing else, you're in no position to talk about "optional" books. if you use even one house rule, you' you're using "optional" stuff.

(for the record i am using the collective "you" here.)

in addition, no one said anything about being "entitled" to anything. at least, i didn't. i see no reason why players and GMs can't discuss things.

also, i hope you realise that you quoted the joking part of my post (minus the smilie) and seemingly ignored the rest of it.

~NegZ
 

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