D&D 5E Renaming +1, +2, +3

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Of course, the trope began early on when the DM was handing out +1 weapons like candy by 5th level back in the day. Who had the time and imagination to name all those magic weapons and armor? Especially when most of them would be given away. (I fondly remember equipping the entire militia of our base town with +1 weapons we had no use for, and +2 or +3 for the officers, in more than one campaign!)

But with 5E, perhaps naming magic items might actually be worth it? It looks like it may well be.


First Post
Imagine the perspective of a person who *creates* a +1 weapon.
Does that person name it?

Depends on whether they only make one or two in the course of their life, or whether they crank out several +1 weapons daily as an assembly-line worker for Thaum-Mart.

That's not intrinsic to the 5E rules; that's a setting question. Some settings don't even have Thaum-Mart.

That said, I've known people who named their cars, although those cars were cranked out on production lines which had even higher output than Thaum-Mart.

Do you know anyone IRL who has named a firearm?
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Charles Wright

First Post
It's also probably that a type of blade could be named and all blades of that type carry the same bonus.

For Example: An order of knights who defend Durban all carry +1 blades. This would mean "You have found a Durbanic blade" would mean something to a character in-game without giving the blade a unique name.

The origin of the Durbanic blades themselves might need some thought - eg forged from meteorite steel - but this is a neat idea. Although swords with bonuses due to special forging as opposed to being enchanted wouldn't require attunement so that might be a loophole there...

Bit off topic perhaps, but how about a weapon that doesn't give you a plus, BUT whatever your to hit roll is, you can rotate the die by one adjoining face? Increases your chance of a natural 20/crit from 1 in 20 (5%) to 4 in 20 (20%). Too OP?
Or rotate one way only, say to the number 'below'?
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I think generally it is enough to say it is "enchante." You can get fancy, saying it "is a war axe from Elder Days, wrought in the long forgotten forges of Baarruum." You might even name the thing, "Drasig's Doomhammer, the Trollbreaker." In the end, the pluses go on the character sheet and the name goes in the game.

More importantly to make those weapons feel special is to give them unique features. These features might have minor mechanical effects but even if they are purely descriptive they go a long way in stopping the "+1" mentality. Luckily in 5E items are intended to be rare enough you should not be expecting PCs to throw out the +1 sword by 3rd level when they find the +2.

I agree. I think adding a bit of RPing fluff is important for magic items. There are tables in DMG to get the imagination going in this regard.

Interestingly 13th Age items all have little quirks attached to them. It does make items more interesting and unique imo.


Naming weapons assumes a non random treasure generation game. Everything must be made for a purpose and while in theory it's great. In play, and if you ever want to just randomly combine stuff with a chart or program this approach completely and utterly breaks down. A +1 being the name of a particular material will give you a name of description and the ability to randomly generate mounds of treasure. There was someone complaining about looking this stuff up in tables. I'd argue giving every weapon a game (when there are hundreds or thousands of them) would be ... god I don't even want to think about a book of just weapon names and stats. At least with the +1 being Darksteel you could eventually memorize what the darksteel plus was.

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