In Defense of the +1 Sword

Grumpy Wizard

There is a line of thought that referees should avoid the plain old +1 sword. The argument is that a+1 sword is not a very engaging treasure item. On the extreme end, some would say that every magic weapon that appears in your campaign should have some characteristic that makes it more than a mere modifier to the to hit and damage mechanisms. It should have a name, an unusual characteristic not tied to game mechanisms, a history, a curse, something; anything but sword, +1.

There is some truth to that. A plain +1 sword feels a little lazy. There’s no embedded narrative for the players to interact with and you may be passing up an opportunity to provide some micro-exposition about your setting.

“Bob the Fighter wielder of the sword,+1,” Just doesn’t have the same appeal as, “Elric of Melnibone bearer of the black sword Stormbringer!”

I have…

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