Item Idea

Item Idea

Item Idea

The +1 Sword

(Close, +1 damage, Cursed)

This well crafted blade seems to be of exceptional quality, at least at first glance. Once it is used however, it is revealed to be quite average. It is also cursed, compelling the user to only wield it and no other weapon. While cursed, you can never bring any other weapon to bear and you treat all of your modifiers as +1. 

19 thoughts on “Item Idea”

  1. When you propose a magic item with nothing but a mechanical bonus, like a +1 ongoing to Hack and Slash, choose 3:

    * Someone points out that mechanical bonuses are just kind of boring

    * Someone points out that +1 ongoing to a move is actually, like, really powerful

    * Someone else goes on about how you shouldn’t let people have modifiers higher than +3 or maybe +4 because then you can never fail

    (yes, there are only 3 options; choose all of them)

  2. This is off-the-cuff and based on something I did with a wand in The Dark Forest…

    I think a straight + 1 bonus can work with an appropriate, fictional (not mechanical) drawback:

    The Sword of Whatever grants its wielder a + 1 to Hack and Slash (or damage, or both) and the Watch your back move.

    Watch your back

    When you use the sword of whatever around people who’ve never seen it before, they covet it! Roll + WIS, and always watch your back.

    7+ You notice the one who covets it the most. The GM tells you who it is.

    10+ You tell the GM who it is instead.

    Fictionally that could be really interesting because that kid you saved in that place that time MAY have been dreaming about that sword ever since… and that bad guy who’s plotting your destruction MAY be that kid trying to get the sword.

    Even after a character decides the attention is too great and gets rid of the sword, the people who were trying to get it need not know that he no longer has it.

    Just my thoughts on how I’ve been trying to use “curses” in Dungeon World.

  3. Brian Holland yeah, but I bet you could come up something more fictionally interesting and still keep the curse. Like, even giving it a conditional +1 in a specific circumstance is more interesting than a straight-up +1 to do a move. It actually shapes behavior in a way that standard +1 ongoing does. And it wouldn’t detract from the interestingness of the curse.

    Besides, imagine you’ve got your +3 STR fighter swinging that thing around. Yeah, everyone’s gonna covet it, but he’s going to be rolling +4 to Hack and Slash and will almost never miss. And never missing equals more boring.

    And if you cap your bonuses at +3… then why would the warrior even wield that sword.

    (see what I did there?)

  4. This is why I made the +1 Sword make all modifiers +1, so the unfortunate adventurer who wields it gets their +3 turned into a +1. Sure, their -1 Cha turns into a +1 as well, but it makes everything the character does more likely to get an interesting result instead of a success. Also, I just wanted to make a parody weapon of the magic weapons from D&D lol

  5. Yeah. I understood this that way, You flattened all of the wielder’s stats to +1, which, if you’re using the standard array, is actually a significant bonus. Also – how do you make it work fictionally? If I am wielding a sword suddenly I know less lore and perceive less of the world. What stops me from only wielding it while I need a bonus and handing it over to someone when I don’t want the penalty? Why not argue when the bonus actually applies. Arguments over rules are always so fun while playing a narrative game.

    To me this is the other boring part of having a purely mechanical bonus in the game. Not really what you need in Dungeon World.

  6. Jeremy Strandberg because until the player realizes all the baggage the sword brings with it, it is fun (for some people) to get a few “automatic” hits in. My son found a glitch in Skyrim that let him craft weapons that did + 9,000,000 (rounded) damage. It was fun the first 5 or 6 times he killed a Legendary Dragon with one stab from his dagger, but then he got rid of his mega-stat dagger and played normally.

    My (admittedly unrefined) example makes if fun the first few times you swing, but once you realize that the King you just saved wants it and will do whatever King bullcrap he can to get it, his Court Caster who doesn’t even use a sword wants it and can cause all kinds of trouble to get it, that buxom bar babe wants it and is probably getting you drunk just so she can sneak in and steal it, and that merchant across the street who wants it just yelled “Stop, thief! He stole my sword!” so that the watch will come arrest you, not to mention what the Captain of the Watch will do to get it, possibly even killing one of his own men who ALSO wants it (all the things the good GM should be doing to to showcase the shit-storm you’ve unleashed), you might get rid of it (unless you like people who wants the sword jumping out at you everywhere you go). The party may even convince you to get rid of it because they’re sick of it too.

    You are giving + 1 to a specific situation: Melee Combat. Hack and Slash is not the only roll he’s going to be making, especially since my (again – unrefined) example forces compulsory

    WIS rolls to watch your back to discern who’s going to be coming for the sword.

    Again, just my thoughts. Everyone plays the game differently LOL

  7. Andrzej Zielinski well it’s cursed, and I may have worded it the wrong way, but in my games a person can never get rid of a cursed item unless a remove curse or some other powerful effect takes place. Also the stat change lasts until you are no longer cursed, so not using it or putting it down wouldn’t make your stats the same as they were. So in your example, the sword would keep you from handing it to anyone else. Also, for examples of ways the curse affects all the stats fictionally:


    Reduced: “You feel weaker than usual, the goblin slams your hand down on the table, defeating you in the arm wrestling match!”

    Boosted: “Your normally feeble attack finds its mark! Have you been practicing?”


    Reduced: “You begin to confidently leap to the narrow ledge like you have in the past, but you trip on your own foot. That’s not like you at all!

    Boosted: “You duck out of the way of the spring loaded trap with surprising ease, instead of taking it in the face as usual.”


    Reduced : “You look sickly and you feel as though you haven’t gotten enough sleep.”

    Boosted: “You win a drinking contest for once in your life!”


    Reduced: “You could have sworn you knew something about this subject, but you can’t seem to recall what it was.”

    Boosted: “When did the barbarian learn about arithmetic?”


    Reduced: “You’re pretty sure the river is to the east, so you lead the party there only to find the desert. You could have sworn it was this way…”

    Boosted: “Krarg, while you usually miss the fine details, you manage to catch a slight glimmer between the stonework. Something is on the other side.”


    Reduced: “Bard, for some reason you keep fumbling over your words. When you attempt to greet the guards in elven, apparently you insulted them instead!”

    Boosted: “Gorn, your bard friend is eyeballing the attractive bar maid, but as she speaks with him her gaze falls on you. You instinctively cover your scarred, one-eyed face, but against all odds she comes over and begins to tell you how much she digs a guy with scars. The bard is dumbfounded…”

  8. I never was a fan of the ‘unable to unequip a cursed weapon’ rule in DnD. Is the sword glued to your hand by invisible unbreakable glue? Or do you hold it and find out you are compelled not to let go of it? Can you be disarmed or not, or are you forced to forever hold your weapon drawn or keep your hand clenched on the hilt even if it’s in the scabbard? Can you fix your grip or are you stuck to holding it in an uncomfortable way until the curse is broken?

  9. Andrzej Zielinski I’ve always imagined it as something more subtle. Like, you sheath the sword and put it away, but the next time you go to draw a weapon and enter a fray, there it is again! How the hell did that happen?

    It just keeps asserting itself on you. No matter what you do to rid yourself of it, it keeps showing up. Maybe it’s twisting your mind and you’re actually unconsciously strapping it back on. Or maybe it’s actually twisting reality around. Who knows? It’s cursed!

    (For magic swords and the like. For something like a cursed ring, I’d be like “yeah, the bastard just won’t come off… I guess you could cut your finger off…”)

  10. Jeremy Strandberg yeah, that’s my outlook as well. Whatever magic cursed it makes it impossible to wield anything else or discard it. Obviously you can sheath a weapon, but you always find yourself fiddling with the hilt or resting your hand on it absent mindedly. And you can never bring yourself to unsheath another weapon before you at least have the cursed weapon drawn as well (so you could have a cursed longsword and still use a dagger in your offhand, but never only wield the dagger while cursed). It’s like a bad drug. You have to have it. If something knocks it from your grasp then your top priority, even at your own risk, is chasing after it. That, or it teleports back to your hand. I think that could be left up to your group to discuss.

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