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D&D 5E The Sun Blade is a Lightsaber?


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Henry

Autoexreginated
The module WG4 from AD&D had an item called the Wand of force, which, among other things, upon command could spring a blade of pale-blue-white energy from its tip, which acted as a +5 bastard sword, and used 1 charge per 10 rounds.

THAT was a lightsaber.
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
the first time I saw the Sun Blade published was in the 1e Unearthed Arcana, which means it was probably a magic item in an earlier published module. At the time it seemed pretty clear it was inspired by Thundarr's Sun Sword (which had been on the air only a year or two before).
 


ccooke

Adventurer
Except that Thundarr stole it from Lucas from 3 years earlier. Lightsaber first. Sunsword second.

Ah, but the important point here is that D&D stole it from Thundarr thirty-odd years ago. Everyone knows that cultural expropriation that's older than a significant portion of the relevant population is perfectly acceptable tradition!

In making a new 5e version of the Sun Sword, WotC are merely updating an established piece of lore to the new edition. It has nothing to do with lightsabers at all!

(... you believe me, right?)
 



Zardnaar

Legend
Its more or less a lightsaber from the SWSE game. Main difference is 1d8 vs 2d8 and radiant vs energy. Funtionally its a lightsaber.
 


MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
The only way to decide this is to see who shows up when you get one. If it is a big hairy guy and a princess AND a lovable scoundrel, then it is a lightsaber. If it is just the big hairy guy and the princess, then it is the sunsword.
 

seebs

Adventurer
The 3E "brilliant energy" weapon always gets pointed to as "like a lightsaber", but it's nothing like a lightsaber.

Brilliant energy: NO EFFECT ON INANIMATE MATERIAL.
Lightsaber: Cuts metal and stone.
 

The 3E "brilliant energy" weapon always gets pointed to as "like a lightsaber", but it's nothing like a lightsaber.

Brilliant energy: NO EFFECT ON INANIMATE MATERIAL.
Lightsaber: Cuts metal and stone.

That's mostly because a real lightsaber that cuts metal and stone is ridiculously useful. We had a DM that made the mistake of giving us one in 2e. It worked exactly like a lightsaber... for about three sessions. Then it basically functioned like a brilliant energy weapon. A real lightsaber is too useful.

"You find the outline of a door in the wall."
"I open the door."
"How do you try to open it?"
"We cut through the wall with the lightsaber."
"Uh... you won't be able to close it."
"Yep."

"We destroy the altar and the chalice."
"How?"
"I cut it to shreds with the lightsaber."

"There's a deep pit that extends down the passageway. You can't see the bottom of the pit, but you can can see that the passage continues about 50' away, but there's no obvious way there."
"OK, we carve a ledge we can walk on with the lightsaber."
"That's going to take awhile."
"Yep. We have time."
"Where do you put the rock you cut out?"
"Into the pit!"

"You find a steel chest."
"I search it for traps."
"There are no traps."
"I open it."
"The lid does not open."
"OK, we cut the hinges off with the lightsaber."
"There aren't any visible hinges."
"You might hit something inside."
"Yep. We're not going that deep. We cut the top inch of the chest off."

"The door is locked and appears to be held."
"We cut through it with the lightsaber."
"It's adamantine; that won't work."
"Yeah, but door frame is still stone, right? Or the frame is set in stone? So we cut the whole door out. Or just go through a wall."

Seriously. Being able to cut into anything with no effort solves so many adventuring problems. There are no longer any obstacles anymore. Everybody at the table figured it was a problem pretty quickly.
 
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hejtmane

Explorer
In prior editions, the sun blade seemed like a regular sword that had the ability to light up. In 5e, it's very much a lightsaber.

Nothing wrong with that, of course. :cool:

However, I have to ask - was my original assumption that the sun blade was an actual sword correct, or has it been a lightsaber all along? I've looked back to the 2e and 3e descriptions, and I could see it going either way.

Thoughts?
It looks the same as the 1e days I have no clue about 3 or 4 editions

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The 3E "brilliant energy" weapon always gets pointed to as "like a lightsaber", but it's nothing like a lightsaber.

Brilliant energy: NO EFFECT ON INANIMATE MATERIAL.
Lightsaber: Cuts metal and stone.

It's *like* a lightsaber. It's not *identical* to a lightsaber. It's certainly not *nothing* like a lightsaber. A cabbage is nothing like a lightsaber, as is a velociraptor. A brilliant energy weapon is definitely like a lightsaber.
 


seebs

Adventurer
It's *like* a lightsaber. It's not *identical* to a lightsaber. It's certainly not *nothing* like a lightsaber. A cabbage is nothing like a lightsaber, as is a velociraptor. A brilliant energy weapon is definitely like a lightsaber.

I'd say it's less like a lightsaber than a flame tongue is. It does not in any way make me think "lightsaber" because the defining characteristic of brilliant energy weapon is "no effect on inanimate objects", and that's... pretty much not even part of lightsabers.
 

seebs

Adventurer
That's mostly because a real lightsaber that cuts metal and stone is ridiculously useful. We had a DM that made the mistake of giving us one in 2e. It worked exactly like a lightsaber... for about three sessions. Then it basically functioned like a brilliant energy weapon. A real lightsaber is too useful.

I think it was "wand of force" in 1e that did the "blade that can cut anything".
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'd say it's less like a lightsaber than a flame tongue is. It does not in any way make me think "lightsaber" because the defining characteristic of brilliant energy weapon is "no effect on inanimate objects", and that's... pretty much not even part of lightsabers.

The defining characteristic of a lightsaber is that it's a sword made of energy. Much like, say, a brilliant energy weapon. Anything else is just details. So the lightsaber is 4 inches longer than the BEW or the BEW is a lighter shade of blue, or one doesn't work on inanimate objects, or whatever. None of those things make them "nothing like" each other.

A rapier isn't "nothing like" a longsword. It's nothing like a spaceship, or a fish, but it's not nothing like a longsword.
 

seebs

Adventurer
... okay now I get it, I've been trying to figure out for AGES why people thought "brilliant energy" was like "lightsaber", because in my mental map, "is effectively solid" was essential, and nothing not-solid would count as being much like that. But if you're focusing on "made of energy" rather than "made of energy which is effectively solid", that totally makes sense.

TIL: Not all people have identical intutions or ontologies.
 

egomann

Explorer
OK, a little OT but isn't this the perfect weapon for an Elven Rogue. It is a Longsword with the Finesse AND the Versatile properties so you can use it two handed for 1d10 on Sneak Attacks.
 

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