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)
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.
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.