Stumped, need ideas

Hello Folks.

I'm designined a magical weapon for a particular character and could do with some inspiration.

The character is priest of a very bloodthirsty cult that believes in the glory of combat, in risking ones life and in shedding blood (theirs, other peoples, doesn't matter). While not evil as such, they are very violent. Their priests engage in arena combat against captured slaves and enemies and while it isn't what you'd call a fair fight, the priests don't really cheat, they just have better kit and training.

The weapon I'm designing is a shortsword owned by the high priest that is passed down to the next high priest on death. Its used as a weapon in religious gladiator style bouts and during war (when the priests act as a kind of beserker vanguard).

I've already got it as a weapon of excellence and a weapon of quality making it really quite ridiculously deadly, but I want it to be enchanted too (the high priest is a very important person and certainly has the resources to get it enchanted). But i'm totally drawing a blank on what effects would be good and/or appropriate to the weapons role. I want to avoid anything i've used in my other enchanted weapons (posted recently).

This is all terribly non-canon of course so don't expend too much thought on hermetic involvement, etc.

Sounds like an interesting setting.

Well, the obviuos idea would be an effect that causes wounds that keep bleeding, but the damage system of Ars isnĀ“t very good at handling that mechanically...

Something like the Wound that weeps but with a duration, causing additional minor wounds for Diameter? A bit cheesy but...
Or a variation on WtW with a duration that causes Fatigue every 1-3 rounds or something, due to continuous bleeding.

If you want something really gross, use a higher end PeCo effect that causes the part of the target that is hit to explode. Gory... :mrgreen:

Increase damage severity by a level due to extra tearing ijn the wound? bigger wound, more blood, more geyser style pyriothecnics = more fun for the priest and onlookers.

Give the actual virtue berserker to the wielder

Give the flaw fury to the opponent when first tapped in the shield (more violence!)

Inspirational virtue

Endurance of the berserkers, to the priest AND the victim.

Rego Mentem to trap the ghost of the slain in the pommel and power other effects?

From the top of my head. What kind of effect do you want for it? Deadlier? leadership skills? more gore?....


How about a ReCo(Aq?) effect that grabs hold of any blood it touches pulling a significant amount out of any wound it causes as the blade draws back.

Mechanically The effect might be like the wound that weeps or instead it might cause a level of long term fatigue instead. In-Game it would have the effect of causing huge sprays of blood to spew with every blow. A popular effect with the crowds at the fight.

Add some Bling! You don't need to make the weapon more deadly, it's probably ending fights too quickly for the cults taste anyway. Use Illusions. Make the sword drip blood whenever it's out of it's sheath. This is a weapon for the High Priest? Have it "Lay the Mantle" of their God over him when used to shed blood. Have some real fun, have the sword whisper to the holder (and only him) the dark, unholy beliefs of the cult, and his need to shed blood, lest the God drink his. Very easy enchantments, which will make the weapon more then "I kill him"........

Some suggestions:
PeCo effect to cause additional wounds/death at contact.
PeVi effect to cause Might damage to a supernatural target at contact.
ReCo effect to drain fatigue from target and into the priest (like The Gift of Vigour).
ReTe effect to prevent the priest from dropping the weapon (game mechanic effect might be to reduce the effect of a botch, or reduce botch dice).
InCo effect to learn the name of whomever is killed by the sword (the sword can thus keep a handy tally of kills).
ReCo effect that hurls the target away a few paces at contact (so that they lose their footing, fall off a cliff or into a pit, or whatever).
ReHe effect to block incoming missile fire.
ReTe effect to block incoming melee weapon blows.
ReTe effect to throw the weapon at a target (and then return to the priest's hand).

Maybe add some theatrical effects to the weapon?

  • it "drinks" blood, by absorbing it into the blade, and smokes and steams when blood touches the blade.
  • whispers and speaks softly when it has not drunk enough recently (CrIm10).
  • strikes more viciously against targets that are already Lightly wounded, perhaps +1 ATT, +2 DAM (MuReTe20).
  • mentally coerces the wielder so they are unlikely to leave battle, perhaps adding a temporary Bloodthirsty +3 personality trait (ReMe25 as a guess at effect level).
  • And it should have a great name, so that the blade itself becomes infamous.


Or a classic one. Let the Blade explode into several smaller blades that swirl around the wielder keeping the opponents at bay and causing light wounds every round if the come to close.


Have it cast an Endurance of the Berserker effect on the wielder so long as they are in combat. Being able to ignore wound penalties is a big advantage in the Ars system, and being able to risk being injured without risking the mission would be useful.

best one so far, especially in view of the relevant beliefs

Have it cast a Sun duration The Chiurgeon's Healing Touch to make the battle last longer. If it cuts and slices a light wound, there's no net effect, although blood was drawn. Or make it heal Medium Wounds and lower, instead of just the lighter wounds alone. This will prolong the combat for a good long while.

You see, this is why I post here, some awesome ideas.

I particularly like the energy sapping idea

Endurance of the beserker would be a great effect but cast on the enemy instead of the wielder so that they don't get weaker even as their wounds accumulate, it would make the fight go on longer and be more dramatic rather than the very rapid affair that combat usually is.

Some theatrical effects would be good, I rather like the one that lets the wielder know the name of the slain target, so that they can integrate that into their ritual of praise to their god ("Great lord! Know that Thog the Ork shed his blood in glorious combat with your champion. May Thogs life be our gift to you, etc.."). Constant dripping blood is good too.

Lots of good stuff, many thanks sodalis.

You could enchant the sword in such a way that it is impossible to sheathe it until it has tasted blood. No, you cannot just let it fall. It will refuse to leave your hands until there's some blood on the blade...

It may as well come back to its owner whenever they get separated (ReMe to influence people finding the sword...)

Reference: Lawrence Watt-Evans, the misenchanted sword

An InCo-effect to track an escaped opponent that was wounded by the sword may also be of use.

Well, I don't think I can beat some of those but... my favorite curse was from Palladium RPG. It was called "Rags" and it deteriorated the wielder's armor (enchanted or not) over the course of several weeks. It was designed as a curse.

But I always thought it would be a cool thing for an item created by a Viking or Berserker god. Something that challenged their chosen hero at the same time making them bad-ass. It's a perfect example of one of those god-given relics that comes with a catch. The Berserker god thinks armor is for wussies, therefore to use his magical gift you can't wear armor. And, if you do, you'll be charging in the nude soon enough...