D&D 5E Survivor Iconic Artifacts: Sword of Kas WINS


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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Neither did I. Always looked at it as a copy cat of Stormbringer.

Always good to see other folks viewpoints. Neat.

I've always been partial to artifact swords. Even so this wasn't my first choice, but my first few were early casualties.

Stormbringer was a soul stealer. The Sword of Kas was not and had a purpose against undead that Stormbringer did not have. What made you think it was a copy cat?
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
For some reason I thought it boosted STR like stormbringer. My bad.
One incarnation I saw did that. It gave giant strength. Stormbringer didn't give giant strength, though I don't think. It raised Elrics very low strength to something a bit higher than average. Stormbringers main ability was to drain souls. The D&D 9 lives stealer is the Stormbringer knockoff ;)
 


Celebrim

Legend
Neither did I. Always looked at it as a copy cat of Stormbringer.

It's not a copy of Stormbringer (see Blackrazor for that). But it's so un-iconic that there is no agreement over what the sword is like, what it looks like, or whether it is particularly effectual against Vecna or particularly impotent against Vecna. I always saw it as an item that was strictly subordinate thematically to the Vecna regalia, and only was associated with them. So almost by definition I considered it less iconic than the Hand and Eye, which I would also considered less iconic than the Wand of Orcus, Axe of the Dwarven Lords, and Rod of Seven Parts.

My list as I saw it at the beginning

Tier 1:
Wand of Orcus - Most iconic artifact ability, associated with one of the most iconic villains
Axe of the Dwarven Lords - Tolkien reference, PC aspirational artifact, major module written about
Rod of Seven Parts - Major module written about, DM inspirational fluff text, homebrew item (1 piece isn't campaign breaking)
Tier 2:
Hand and Eye of Vecna - Source of endless humor, associated with one of the most iconic villains, various modules written about
Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut - Major module written about
Orbs of Dragonkind - Close cousin appears as major plot element of Dragonlance
Tier 3:
Codex of the Infinite Planes - One of the most powerful items in existence
Cup of Al-Akbar - Major module written about
Heward's Mystical Organ - One of the most powerful items in existence
Machine of Lum the Mad - One of the most powerful items in existence, references in multiple video games
Teeth of Dahlvar-Nar - Appears in a module, very homebrewable (1 tooth is not game breaking)
Tier 4:
Sword of Kas - First +6 sword, PC aspirational item, supporting role in the Vecna myth. However, not that much more powerful than any intelligent sword and a girdle of giant strength (and potentially less powerful), obviously less useful because bigger drawbacks, and harmed by lack of agreement over the item in published text.
Mace of Cuthbert - PC aspirational item
Invulnerable Coat of Arnd - PC aspirational item
Tier 5: All other items appearing in the 1e AD&D DMG

I wouldn't at all be surprised to see different orderings than mine, as obviously this is subjective and depends on the sort of things you've played and encountered ("Die Vecna, Die!"?), but I'm a bit stunned that anyone would rank Sword of Kas above Hand of Vecna. I can imagine picking Hand of Vecna #1, but not the sword.
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I wouldn't at all be surprised to see different orderings than mine, as obviously this is subjective and depends on the sort of things you've played and encountered ("Die Vecna, Die!"?), but I'm a bit stunned that anyone would rank Sword of Kas above Hand of Vecna. I can imagine picking Hand of Vecna #1, but not the sword.
I think the sword made it over the hand and eye simply because Vecna is so overplayed. Kas not so much.
 

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