Not Another Long Sword

Not Another Long Sword

Hello again dear reader, one thing that has always bothered me about AD&D is the overwhelming choice of long sword for most characters as their primary weapon.  Now part of this is of course because of the excellent damage it does as a one handed weapon, but that can be somewhat overcome if you use the Weapon versus AC chart (I do not use specialization in my campaign so I am not including it as part of the thought process). 

The primary push for players to choose the long sword however is because of the likelihood that any magic sword found will most likely be a long sword, at least if the item is rolled randomly as directed in the DMG.  I decided long ago that there should be more randomness in the allocation of magic weapons across the board.  As a result I have created the following process and charts to use when rolling for magic items. I hope you find this useful in your campaign if you have a desire to present a larger variety of magical weapons.

To start, when using table III in the DMG to determine random magical items I have adjusted it as follows

 III. Magic Items

Dice (1d100) Result
01-20 Potions (A.)
21-35 Scrolls (B.)
36-40 Rings (C.)
41-45 Rods, Staves &Wands (D.)
46-48 Miscellaneous Magic (E.1.)
49-51 Miscellaneous Magic (E.2.)
52-54 Miscellaneous Magic (E.3.)
55-57 Miscellaneous Magic (E.4.)
58-60 Miscellaneous Magic (E.5.)
61-75 Armor & Shields (F.)
76-98 Weapons (G.1.)
99-100 Special Weapons (H.)

As you can see I have combined the swords and miscellaneous weapons catagories, this is going to allow a much more aggressive spread of weapons.  Once a roll has determined a weapon should be the magic item rolled for, I use the following process starting with table G.1., be sure to regard the notes on determining specific weapon type.  Originally table G.1. was built to reflect my campaign setting where the spear, axe, and dagger are the most common weapons.  So, I have listed two sets of number ranges in table G.1. the first set is what I use for my campaign, the second set in (parentheses) is a more even distribution among weapons.  

 I would encourage each individual DM to assign the G.1. table to best fit his/her campaign.  Perhaps if your campaign is along a coastal region there is a greater chance for tridents and spears.  If it is a barbarian campaign perhaps a greater chance for axes and clubs, whatever makes the most sense for your world.

After the weapon has been determined I then roll for the weapons magical properties.  I have separated the weapons into 5 different categories. 

  • Propelled (arrows and bullets)
  • Distance (weapons used to propel an object and darts)
  • Piercing
  • Crushing
  • Slashing

Each category has a magical properties table, roll to determine the properties associated with the selected weapon.

 There are some magic properties that I feel belong with a certain weapon types (such as a holy avenger) and have included those in table H. Special Weapons

G.1. Weapons

Dice (1d100) Result (Magic Table to Use)
01-05   (01-05) Arrows/Bolts (Propelled)
06-12   (06-10) Axe (Slashing)
13-20   (11-15) Bow (Distance)
21        (16-17) Bullets, sling (Propelled)
22        (18-21) Club (Crushing)
23-26   (22-25) Crossbow (Distance)
27-39   (26-29) Dagger (Piercing)
40        (27-29) Dart (Distance)
41-45   (30-33) Flail (Crushing)
46-50   (34-38) Hammer (Crushing)
51-56   (38-42) Mace  (Crushing)
57-61   (43-47) Morning Star (Crushing)
62-70   (48-51) Pole arm (Slashing)
71-73   (51-55) Pick (Piercing)
74-76   (56-60) Scimitar (Slashing)
77        (61-62) Sling (Distance)
78-82   (63-67) Spear (Piercing)
83        (68-70) Staff (Crushing)
84-86   (71-75) Sword, Bastard (Slashing)
87-89   (76-80) Sword, Broad (Slashing)
90-93   (81-85) Sword, Long (Slashing)
94-96   (86-90) Sword, Short (Piercing)
97-98   (91-95) Sword, Two-handed (Slashing)
99-100 (96-100) Trident (Piercing)

Arrows: Arrows/Bolts will come in batches of 2-16 and 75% of the time they will be arrows, with the rest of the time being bolts.
Axe: 60% of all axes will be battle axes, with the rest hand axes.
Bows: 65% of bows will be short bows, with the rest being long bows.  Furthermore 5% of all bows are composite.
Crossbows: 80% of all crossbows are light, with the rest being heavy.
Flail, Mace & Pick: 70% of these weapons will be of the footman variety, with the rest horsemen.
Pole arms: Roll on table G.2. to determine type of pole arm.
Spears: 10% of all spears are pikes.
Tridents: 20% of all tridents are military forks.

 G.2. Pole arms

Dice (1d100) Result
01-20 Bardiche
21-26 Bec de Corbin
27-29 Bill-Guisarme
30-40 Glaive
41-43 Glaive-Guisarme
44-49 Guisarme
50-52 Guisarme-Voulge
53-63 Halberd
64-72 Hammer, Lucern
73-77 Partisan
88-91 Ranseur
92-95 Spetum
95-100 Voulge

Once weapon type has been determined, roll on the appropriate magic modifier table as indicated in table G.1. above (Propelled, Distance, Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing)

Magic Propelled

Dice (1d100) Result
01-55 +1
56-89 +2
90-98 +3
99-100 Slaying


Magic Distance

Dice (1d100) Result
01-70 +1
71-89 +2
90-95 of Distance
96-100 of Accuracy


Magic Piercing

Dice (1d100) Result
01-50 +1
51-60 +1/+2 v Smaller than man sized
61-69 +1/+2 v Larger than man sized
70-75 +1/+2 v magic using or enchanted creatures
76-80 +1/+3 v regenerating creatures
81-85 +1/+4 v reptiles
86-88 +2
89-90 +2 giant slayer
91-92 +2 dragon slayer
93 of Venom
94 +3
95 Frost Brand
96 +4
97 of Wounding
98 Of Life Stealing
99-100 Cursed -2


Magic Crushing

Dice (1d100) Result
01-55 +1
56-64 +1/+3 v Lycanthropes & shape changers
65-79 +1/+3 v Undead
80-89 +2
90 +2 giant slayer
91-93 +3
94-95 +4
96 +4 Defender
97 Of Disruption
98-100 Cursed -2


Magic Slashing

Dice (1d100) Result
01-25 +1
26-30 +1/+2 v magic using & enchanted creatures
31-35 +1/+2 v larger than man sized creatures
36-40 +1/+2 v smaller than man sized creatures
41-45 +1/+3 v lycanthropes & shape changers
46-50 +1/+3 v regenerating creatures
51-55 +1/+4 v reptiles
56-60 +2
61-65 +2 giant slayer
66-69 +2 dragon slayer
70 +2 nine lives stealer
71-73 +3
74-76 Frost Brand
77-78 +4
79 +4 defender
80 +5
81 +5 defender
82 of Wounding
83 of Life Stealing
84 of Sharpness
85 Vorpal Weapon
86-90 +1 cursed
91-95 Cursed -2
96-100 Cursed Berserking

H. Special Weapons

Dice Roll (1d100) Result
01-50 Sword – Flame Tongue
51-70 Axe of Throwing
61-84 Crossbow of Speed
85-92 Hammer Dwarven Thrower
93-95 Hammer of Thunderbolts
96-98 Sword – Holy Avenger
99-100 Sword of Dancing

 For swords on the above table I determine sword type as per the DMG.

 If you have a desire to see a wider array of magical weapon types then I hope this has been helpful, even if you do not use the charts as presented perhaps they can be modified to fit your campaign.

 The Looking Glass

This week I am presenting a item in one of my upcoming modules.  The idea was to cerate a wand that simulates an apprentice wizard.

Wand of the Apprentice                     XP: 2,000              GP Value: 12,000
This multi-function wand is highly prized by beginning magic-users as it duplicates 4 different spell like functions.  The wand is only usable by magic-users and is rechargeable.
 1. Burning Hands: The wand emits a plane of fire 3’ in length in a horizontal arc of 120 degrees in the direction the wand is pointed.  It does 6 points of damage and requires 1 segment and 1 charge to activate.
 2.  Spider Climb: This effect functions the same as the spell of the same name.  The effect lasts for 7 rounds and requires 2 segments and 2 charges to activate.
 3.  Unseen Servant: This effect functions that same as the spell of the same name.  The effect lasts for 7 turns or until dispelled or destroyed in the same manner as the magic-user spell.  It requires 1 segment and 2 charges to activate
 4. Read Magic: This effect functions as the spell of the same name.  It lasts for 1 turn and requires1 segment and 1 charge to activate.

One thought on “Not Another Long Sword

  1. Really kewl charts! I might have to give them a try sometime. The new magic item is kewl too! Definately will have to give that one a go.

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