Heirloom Weapon

Heirloom Weapon

 

A classic of the genre, many heroes have gone to seek their fortune using the weapon of their ancestor(s), and for it to be superior to other weapons, or possess unknown magical abilities. In 5th edition, starting weapons are often traded in as soon as a magical weapon is acquired for the character, especially more challenging opponents are resistant to non-magical weapons, and at the upper end of the challenge rating system, may be totally immune to non-magical attacks.  By taking the following background trait, a player character can emulate this.

 

Descendant of a Hero

One of your ancestors was a mighty hero, perhaps they slew a mighty dragon, or fought on the frontlines of an epic battle.  All that remains of this individual is an old, possibly rusty weapon hanging over the fireplace in the family home.

Work with your DM to figure out the hero’s name and deeds, and the event that killed them.  Perhaps you even bear that heroes’ name, or a slightly modified form of it, which you aspire to, or that you hate for the burden it places on you.

Skill Proficiencies: History, choice of either Deception or Persuasion

Language: One of your choice, but linked to your ancestor’s mightiest foe or greatest ally

Equipment: One weapon, that is the weapon wielded by your ancestor, which you also gain proficiency with if not already proficient from your choice of class.  This weapon replaces all weapon choices allowed by the class for the given type (melee or ranged)

Suggested Characteristics

D8

Personality Trait

1

My family history leaves me in awe

2

I am clearly a mighty warrior, despite my appearance

3

While I wear cheap and common things, my ancestral weapon is always well cared for

4

I seek to earn trust from everyone

5

I am always polite, and respectful

6

Worship me, for I am my ancestor reborn

7

People often see me as a potential leader, and I don’t like that

8

People want me to be the person my ancestor was, and I wish I’d never been born into their lineage

 

 

D6

Ideal

1

I will live up to my ancestor’s name (Lawful)

2

I will always do what’s right, regardless of what my family thinks (Good)

3

I don’t care what my ancestor would do, this weapon is mine to do what I want (Chaotic)

4

I will erase my ancestors good name (Evil)

5

I will prove my ancestor did the right thing, when all others say he failed (Good)

6

I will prove that the weapon is irrelevant, it’s the man that matters (Any)

 

D6

Bond

1

My family, I will not disappoint them

2

My weapon, it’s precious to me

3

My friends, they keep me grounded

4

My tutors, who gave me the history of the weapon and its wielder

5

My honour is my life, my duty absolute

6

I will restore my families name

 

D6

Flaw

1

I don’t trust anyone with my identity

2

My stubbornness knows no limit

3

I am easily manipulated due to my vanity

4

Everyone knows who I am, and most are my enemies

5

My destiny comes first, regardless of the risks I encounter

6

I believe that I am better than everyone, and I hide it badly

 

Feature: Ancestral Weapon

You choose a weapon, usually a sword or axe, that was once wielded by a famous ancestor.  This weapon improves as you do and showing it can often gain you access to people you wouldn’t normally be able to reach, or make people distrust you, depending on your ancestor’s legend.

This weapon, though not magical when you start your journey, requires attunement for you to wield.  As you gain proficiency, your weapon gains various powers and abilities.

Proficiency Bonus

Weapon Abilities

+2

None, weapon requires attunement to use

+3

Weapon partially awakens, counting as magical, and gaining a +1 bonus to attack and damage

+4

Roll once on the minor power table

+5

Roll once on the minor power table

+6

Roll once on the major power table

Whenever a character would be called on to roll on the table, the DM and the player can choose a power from the list to manifest instead of rolling, to reflect the likely power the weapon would have had when wielded by the ancestor.

Minor Powers

Roll

Power

1

Increase bonus to attack and damage by +1, to a max of +3

2

Weapon deals an extra 1d6 elemental damage (table below)

3

Weapon deals an extra 1d6 non-elemental damage (table below)

4

Weapon becomes mighty, dealing an extra die of its normal damage

5

Weapon becomes swift, allowing an additional attack to be made as a bonus action

6

Weapon gains limited warding, glowing when foes are near

7

Weapon gains the ability to sense magic items, able to cast detect magic 1/day

8

The Weapon glows when drawn, lighting an area like a torch.

 

Major Powers

Roll

Power

1

Increase bonus to attack and damage to by 1, to a max of +3

2

Weapon gains the ability to be thrown, with a range of 20ft, and a maximum range of 60ft

3

If this weapon scores a critical hit, roll D%.  On 01-50, the target is paralysed for one round

4

If this weapon scores a critical hit, roll D%.  On 01-50, the critical deals three times damage instead of twice the damage

5

Weapon seeks out a specific foe, dealing an additional 2d6 damage to that creature type

6

Weapon disarms target if it fails a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw when struck.  If the target isn’t capable of being disarmed, the targets next attack is at Disadvantage instead

7

The Weapon gains a vampiric ability, when it strikes a target the wielder regains 1d4 hit points.

8

The Weapon gains the ability to move itself in a limited fashion, you add its bonus to attack and damage rolls to your armour class

 

D10

Elemental Type

1-2

Acid

3-4

Cold

5-6

Fire

7-8

Lightning

9-10

Thunder

D10

Non-Elemental Type

1-2

Force

3-4

Necrotic

5-6

Poison

7-8

Psychic

9-10

Radiant

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