I’m currently looking for some ideas for a Holy Sword found by our group’s Paladin.

I’m currently looking for some ideas for a Holy Sword found by our group’s Paladin.

I’m currently looking for some ideas for a Holy Sword found by our group’s Paladin. It was found a few sessions ago, but we haven’t done anything special with it yet.

One thing I’ve noticed is this player has lots of fun with the “what here is evil?” question Paladins get to ask, so I was thinking of building something around that. Maybe gaining hold when an evil creature is slain?

Curious if anyone has other ideas!

13 thoughts on “I’m currently looking for some ideas for a Holy Sword found by our group’s Paladin.”

  1. One of my favorite thing about magic items in Dungeon World is they don’t need a mechanical bonus: they can magical through their description instead. e.g. this sword could glow blue in the presence of evil. Gives your Paladin that extra edge to detect evil without any boon to rolling.

    No matter what you come up with, ask your player about the sword’s history. They come up with the coolest stuff and it might well give you the magical effects right there 🙂

  2. Well it’s holy to someone but which temple is it from & who used it? They are made or given to somebody for a particular task. Just because it’s more of a holy item than some item a wizard made gives it more lore possibilities than some bored mage making a buck with enchanting magic items to sell to gullible adventurers or nobles. You could do a ton of world building & history just on how this item figures into all of it.

    As for other sword abilities, pick a few tags or spells to see how would it relate to it’s task & the deity it serves, whether or not it agrees with your paladin. Does it do more various powers against certain enemies to kill, convert, subdue or get them to talk? Is it part of a set of items?

    I think I must be getting too influenced in the DM side of writing by Ross Payton and the fun at Role Playing Public Radio podcast & their actual plays (great Dungeon World game there in the actual plays with a not-so-typical sword they found). You can go even more in depth with finding out if everyone at the paladin’s temple is happy this item is found or someone who wanted it for some other purpose.  Toy with the idea too of how the paladin’s deity/temple feels about the item being found again, could this be the omen of a great event to happen where the item is an iconic part of things to come.

    With cleric week announced, lots of ideas will pour out of that too on things like this. Find out about your paladin & where the item came from & share it that week if you like as it should be fun to hear how this turns out.

  3. Stefan Grambart

    Another good one I was just thinking of in a lesser degree, sure it’s holy but is it some Excalibur quality one of a kind piece or something that was given out to all the temples so much that it’s a joke or people use it for opening letters. It could be quite fun to have the paladin walk into a temple claiming to find some divine relic worth a few extra coins or a better job only to find it goes in the stack with the 100 other ones like it over in the corner.

    Also with the right enemy or purpose or magic/divine spell, does the sword have any intelligence to it & are you sure you want it talking (and how’s the sword’s thoughts on the religion or task) as it could be a spirit possessing it or a divine servant of the gods like an angel or just Steve, the temple custodian we just wanted to get rid of?

  4. I think it should be something noteworthy, like a long-forgotten weapon forged by a founding high priest to root out early church heresy, heresy which eventually blossomed into the dominant sect that the paladin currently serves. Be a fan and give the paladin the means to change the world, if he so chooses.

  5. Two things I focus on when creating a magic item; non-mechanical abilities (as a few people have mentioned) and also ways to “Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment”. Sure the sword glows in the presence of evil but it also pretty obvious and may draw unwelcome attention or other complications. 

  6. A sword that cuts the very fabric of space to create a one way dimensional portal to the Dungeon Dimensions to banish the spirit of your slain foe through.

    Downside: The previous owner failed his DD Dex roll after stepping on a banana skin and fell into the Dark Dimensions himself…

  7. When you strike a creature you know to be evil with this holy sword, choose one:

     – Ignore its armor or other defenses

     – Permanently maim, scar, or diminish it

     – Banish it to its home dimension

  8. Just ask them some leading questions and the players will tell you about it:

    You never noticed before but the blade has distinctive markings: what have you suddenly recalled about the extremely grisly fate of the most famous holy champion who previously owned this legendary sword?

    Do you happen to remember why that champion regretted his decision to continue wielding this blade?

    Etc… If they pike out and say there is nothing wrong with it, then it’s a sentient sword that awakens the first time something decently evil is within range and proceeds to ‘detect evil’ by screaming ‘THERE’S SOMETHING EVIL HERE. LETS KILL IT!’

    This is its default detect evil response; it refuses to learn another way as ‘whispering is for cowards’.

    It considers everything less than screaming as ‘whispering’ …

  9. Wow, thanks for the responses! Some awesome ideas here that I’ll definitely incorporate into the sword’s “new found” abilities

    The expanded background for the sword isn’t that special I’m afraid. Basically, the Paladin started out first session with a quest to find a relic of his god, Valorus (god of battle). When they actually found it in a destroyed castle, I asked what it was and it turns out it was a holy weapon.

    They took it to a church of Valorus and confirmed it as a true relic but turns out it’s powers are still sealed. I’m looking to open those up pretty soon when the fiction dictates a good reason (a supremely evil foe, perhaps?)

    The holy avenger DOES sound right up his alley, but that might have to be one for a later time!

Comments are closed.