Custom Weapons for Flavor


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I've been playing in several campaigns lately, as well as running my own, and i've noticed that many people tend to treat weapons as a minor item or something that they change out regularly. In particular I have a paladin in one of my games that routinely changes out weapons whenever he finds something remotely better, and that's only because i said he shouldn't walk around with 15+ weapons at once.
I personally tend to play characters that form a bond with a specific weapon, typically one that I built or had made for me. Something akin to Jedi and their "Your lightsaber is your ally" philosophy, i'll craft a single sword that i'll use for most of the game if possible.
Does anyone else do this, or is it just something that I should expect not to see?


Magus Bladebound archetype should fit your description nicely. =)


I play very much as you do. I have also noticed that most do not.


Depends on the character for me. My swordwielding tiefling does my dhampir assassin does not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group had a bad tendance to do this. Then I started naming swords and items. Even minor ones. It's spreading, and now there are some intresting weapons floating around. I keep a list of ones that are "sold back" and if I see another of the same type pop up the named item returns.

Maljor = +4 Great Axe
Batfang = Adamantine Longsword
Centaur's Ruse = +3 Mithril Breastplate
Witch's Lament = Ring of Minor Cold Resistance
Eastril's Watch = +2 Ring of Protection
Goblin Luck = +4 Cloak of Resistance
Striker = +2 longsword
Crown of the Fellknight = +2 Diadem (Headband) of Alluring Charisma
Warskin = +3 Chain shirt
Prayer = +2 light steel shield
Faith's Fire = +2 Cloak of Resistance
Ogre's Heart = +2 Amulet of Health
Anvil Heart = +2 Breastplate
Demon Scratcher = +2 Bastard Sword
Inferno = +1 Flaming Glaive
Sin-Slayer = +3 Greatsword
Spirt's Breath = +1 Frost Battle Axe
Cairn = +1 Longsword

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I like Broken's method. You can certainly add a lot of flavor to your world just by giving magic weapons names.

It amazing how much more attached a player gets to "Splinter, the +1 rapier" as opposed to just a generic +1 rapier.


The game encourages weapon swapping/upgrading by default. This can be overcome with a little effort from the GM or from a PC with Craft Magic Arms and Armor.


I love making my weapon super special and important!

Unfortunately if only using core this is a game that wants you to trade in your family heirloom bastard sword for the +3 Nodachi. Houserules really help. Weapons are important! Much like pants, you don't leave home without them. Other systems do it better.

Silver Crusade

My paladin has a scimitar that she's named Thunderfire. She wouldn't use any other weapon. My Gunslinger is also very unlikely to swap out her weapon any time soon.


I usually custom name and often design my PC weapons as well, giving them unique physical and occasionally emotional characteristics. My bladebound magus' sword moans when I choose to use a weapon other than her. My ulfen sword and board fighter has a longsword named Heart-ripper and named Thorak's Storm. My Inquisitor's repeating crossbow is known as The 8th Act.

I also don't limit customizing/naming to weapons either. Anything unique, that adds flavor to my PC's is a good thing or spend extra time invisioning.

The Exchange

Morganstern - You're dealing with something that's built pretty heavily into the mechanics of the game. But here's a house-rule possibility: add this paragraph to the 'Craft Magic Arms and Armor' feat.

Transfer Power: The feat may also be used to perform a ritual that drains all magical power from one weapon, shield, or set of armor in order to increase the powers of another. You may increase the enhancement bonus of the item being empowered up to the level of the item being drained. For special abilities such as keen or spell resistance to be transferable, the item being drained must have an enhancement bonus at least as high as the item to which you are transferring the power (for instance, a frost scimitar +1 cannot be used to add the frost quality to a longsword +2.) Special abilities transferred this way must be appropriate to the item they are being transferred into. The sum of the item's enhancement bonus and special ability modifiers may not exceed +10 and may not exceed half your character level. Investing power is cheaper and faster than enchanting an item from scratch; it requires one day of work per 5000 gp of the finished item, and costs one-tenth of the market price of the finished product.

Adjust those figures to suit yourself. Believe me, players with Improved Critical and other weapon-dependent feats will be more than willing to pay. ;)


blahpers wrote:
The game encourages weapon swapping/upgrading by default. This can be overcome with a little effort from the GM or from a PC with Craft Magic Arms and Armor.

I like to use a method I picked up playing Arcanis back in the day. Like Broken's campaign weapons are named, however, I also make some weapons "upgradeable". As a character gains levels new powers are unlocked. +1 levels 1-3, flaming levels 4-7, that sort of thing.

That reduces the weapons swapping that goes on.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Morganstern - You're dealing with something that's built pretty heavily into the mechanics of the game. But here's a house-rule possibility: add this paragraph to the 'Craft Magic Arms and Armor' feat.

Alternatively, don't attach it to crafting. Make enchantments things anyone can move from one item to another, like a particular wrap or bangle or even magical aura. You can also use evolving weapons. Lots of options. I really like giving weapons the chance to change and grow. Turns your sword into a hunk of twisted metal for your evil days, something fiery for thematic effect, or grows over time. Makes things feel like they're progressing rather than replacing.

The Exchange

I do like that idea that the item mutates whenever it's empowered. No real mechanical effect, but very picturesque.


The the guy in our last AP created a character after the Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". Thus amongst his other weapons, he carried a Silver Hammer and he would 'double tap' the enemy as in the song (bang bang) He would hit them twice to make sure they were dead. Maxwell was quite the character.

Dark Archive

Funny, I used to name all the weapons I used in Living Grayhawk. I have not done the same for any of my characters in PFS.

Though, when I plaYed a scenario.with a special crowbar with engraving that said trusty buddy, and another player at the table decided to buy it, I could have also brought an identicle one but instead choose to commission a new one engraved as "The Lever" because the character uses a code name while he is in the field, The Lever Man.

Scarab Sages

Two things:

1st off, if you have an item crafter in your group, you can do this. The rules, IIRC, state that you can 'upgrade' a magic item by paying the difference between the old cost and the new cost. So at level five, you can make that +1 elven curved blade, then when you have the cash, you can upgrade it to +2, then add elemental bane, etc.

2nd as a gm, give the party unique items (in both stats and story). There are item creation rules in the back of the core book, use them. What's better? A +1 undeadbane greatclub, or "Lord Gronthak's club of near-disruption!" A greatclub made for a northern barbarian king, but the maker couldn't quite manage a greatclub of disruption. This +1 undeadbane greatclub gives its user a +5 competence bonus to knowledge(religion) checks, and lets you make such checks untrained, but only for identifying undead.

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I likewise prefer to have my characters use the same weapons for the entire campaign. This works best if you can swap the enchantments on it with a weapon you've found though, or if you just get raw gold to buy upgrades with.


I do it when playing my favorites were/are
Warpriest of Pharasma had a dagger named 'Whisper'
Swashbuckler had a wounding rapier named 'Thirst'
Cleric with earthbreaker named 'Crusher'

As a DM in my WotR campaign, I ran a "give your weapon a story/name" contest and after becoming mythic all but the paladin who had 'Radiance' & the wizard (4 of 6) took the legendary item path ability. Also saw an increase of role playing combat.

To sum up, I am a fan and will look for ways to work things like this in any future games.

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