Excerpts Archive | 8/15/2011
Article Header Image
New Weapons
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium Excerpts

It might surprise some who know my reputation as a mighty wizard, but I have found that a weapon serves as well as a spell on many occasions. I speak not just of wielding a staff to ward off an enemy or using the knife kept for cutting meat to slash a sleeping throat, but also of keeping a scabbarded blade at my side. I have in my time smashed foes with maces, hacked them with axes, slashed them with swords, and impaled them upon polearms.

We who hold discourse with demons and cull reagents from corpses should not be so effete that we fear calluses upon our palms. Indeed, every wizard should take note of the use of martial weapons. If nothing else, you will understand as you die why you should have ducked instead of parried. Why let your last thought be one of confusion?

More to the point, you should have a deep knowledge of magic weapons. So many enchanted blades, enspelled spears, arcane arrows, and other such baubles litter old battlefields that I’ve heard of farmers turning them up in their fields when they plow. Such objects of power should not be allowed to ricochet about the world. They must be catalogued, measured for their danger, and each tracked according to its threat.

Woe would come to us all if Blackrazor or a vorpal sword were allowed to circulate unchecked by our vigilance. By the same token, we must understand that not every dancing sword or dragonslaying lance represents a grave threat to global stability. Many magic weapons should be examined for their properties and then be allowed to move through the world as the whims of fate decree.

When you find new properties on weapons (or upon any other items, for that matter), please record them in your copy of this book. Doing that will transfer them to my master copy, and I will then disseminate that knowledge to the others who hold a copy of this work. Please include any information you gather about creating the various properties of magic items, and be assured I will keep such knowledge in the strictest confidence.
—Mordenkainen, from his master copy of the Magnificent Emporium

Scholar’s Note: Of special note is the last paragraph, which was redacted from the few copies that Mordenkainen disseminated before he reclaimed and destroyed them.

(225 Kbs PDF)

Weapon Feat Categories

Each of the feats in this section belongs to one of two groupings, or categories, based on its general theme. Feat categories were introduced in Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms as a way for players to organize and tailor their feat choices.

Weapon Training: The intense study of a single weapon allows a warrior to achieve unmatched levels of skill, though at the cost of flexibility. Three of the feats in this book are part of the weapon training category.

Weapon Training Feats
Flail Expertise
Pick Expertise
Polearm Expertise

Strike Specialization: The power strike power represents a sudden surge of adrenaline, a focused attack, or a savage twist of a blade. Some skilled warriors learn to incorporate it into their fighting style, using their cunning, strength, and foresight to deliver an attack that takes advantage of a weapon’s unique traits.

The feats in this new category all modify the power strike power. They are ideal for rangers, fighters, and other characters who have access to that power.

Strike Specialization Feats
Axe Strike
Flail Strike
Hammer Strike
Heavy Blade Strike
Light Blade Strike
Mace Strike
Pick Strike
Spear Strike
Staff Strike

Hammer Strike

Your tactics are as subtle and indirect as a warhammer to the head. You line up your enemy and knock it senseless with a powerful blow.

Prerequisite: Power strike power

Benefit: When you use power strike with a hammer, you can daze the target until the end of your next turn, but the extra damage is reduced by 1[W].

Mace Strike

A mace excels at delivering crushing blows against a foe’s armor or protected areas. Your attacks do more than crush armor. By focusing on a vulnerable area, you can break ribs, snap bone, or hit your foes where it really hurts with a single blow.

Prerequisite: Power strike power

Benefit: When you make a melee basic attack with a mace against a target’s AC, you can use power strike before making the attack roll. Instead of gaining the power’s normal benefit, you make the attack against the target’s Fortitude, rather than AC. In addition, if the attack hits, you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll against the target. This bonus increases to +4 at 11th level and +6 at 21st level.

Magic Weapons

Legend holds that the first magic weapons were crafted as gifts from wizards and clerics to their people as a token of alliance and friendship in the earliest days of history. After all, while a weapon is a warrior’s tool, its crafting requires the expertise of a skilled spellcaster or an expert smith. Rarely does the hand that forges a blade wield it in battle.

Magic weapons are powerful symbols. A simple +2 longsword might stand as a symbol of sovereignty, granting the crown to whoever carries it. An otherwise plain magic axe might be the one weapon foretold to defeat the demon king. When an adventurer pulls a magic weapon from a treasure cache, it carries with it the legends and history forged by its previous wielders.

Flame Tongue Weapon

Many magical blades glow in darkness. Some shimmer so brightly that their light can be seen by daylight. Flame tongue weapons are to these what a bonfire is to a candle. When a flame tongue weapon’s wielder speaks a command word, the weapon bursts with roaring flames capable of searing flesh and setting ablaze anything flammable.

Some flame tongue weapons are paired with enchanted scabbards or harnesses, allowing them to ignite immediately as they are drawn and readied. Ill suited for those who prefer the shadows, flame tongue weapons are made for those who lead from the front, acting as a beacon to foes and promising those enemies that searing flame awaits them should they attack.