|The Shifty Mongoose|
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I bought both Seven Swords of Sin as well as Artifacts & Legends, but I feel iffy about sending everyone through an intentionally deadly module and dumping the whole set of Blades of Conviction into their collective lap. So I've been thinking of a way to introduce the Alara'hai, with one sword showing up in each module (repurposing enough of SSoS to count as "Seven Chapters"). As I'm using Unchained Automatic Bonus Progression, the weapons will start out sleepy and unaware but will reawaken with practice and eventually demand that their wielders bring them to the place where they were built, in order to give them that final bit of polish that was lost to history.
1) Nualia, rewritten Antipaladin of Lamashtu, got some friends to help stage a break-in when a certain historical weapons collector was out; she wields Garvok, greatsword of Wrath, and hopes dipping it in the Wrath Runewell will make it help her plans go faster.
2) In thanks for saving his life, Lord-Mayor Gorboras will ignore Shiela's warnings and allow someone to borrow Tannaris, bastard sword of Envy. They'll also learn about the whole set, that some of them were stolen, that talking swords can boss you around, and about virtues - the PCs could lie to the swords and claim to be new champions dedicated to serving their Runelords, or they could tell them about virtue and offer to reforge them according to principles as Emperor Xin first envisioned.
3) As thanks for helping Myriana in the Shimmerglens (or to help kill her, if they don't save her), some of the fey will show them where Ungarato, falchion of Gluttony, was hidden.
4) Shiela & Canavyn will let them know that Asheia, Longsword of Lust, was stolen by a lust enchantress by the name of Tirana. Last known location: Kaer Maga. They could either barge their way through her hideout, or lure her out with the temptations of their swords and fight her for them. She may offer to seduce them instead and steal their swords while they're all exhausted, but they'll most likely turn her down.
5)Enga "Baraket" Embermaw, rewritten kobold swashbuckler, found the Rapier of Pride in a hidden underground temple to the Peacock Spirit, and decided to accept this one giant's offer of alliance. Her plan is to help her boss enslave everyone, then kill him at his moment of triumph and destroy his entire empire, as Dahak would've wanted. As two PCs are kobolds from the same tribe as her, it's going to be emotional.
6) Arkrhyst, aka "Freezemaw", has Shin-tari, short sword of Sloth, which explains why he's been hibernating for so long. Then they go into Runeforge, and instead of doing what the AP originally says, they have to explore every wing of the place (with the possible exception of Greed), and bring back enough of a concentration of each sin to bring each sword into top form - whether sinful or virtuous. The latter case will cause an alignment shift in each blade that gets reforged in that way.
7) Chellan, scimitar of Greed, is being held by Viorian, and will only allow itself to be held by the Runelord's Champion. Either they'll scoop it into a bag of holding or leave it on the floor, only to return later and say, "I'm your new Runelord now!"
As our squad has two kobolds of high-DEX, low-STR, I hope they'll identify enough with the sins of the two Finessable blades; we also have a Polearm Fighter. If he doesn't want to swap out archetypes, Asheia would be down for all-natural blade enlargement, getting a longer hilt and counting as a polearm. In any case, the talking artifact weapons would all eventually be able to teach their wielders how to use them, granting them proficiency in their use. Also, they'll all agree to gang up on Chellan first.
|The Shifty Mongoose|
Because I'm including the swords of sin using Automatic Bonus Progression, I decided to write down a scaling progression of abilities as the swords wake up. Each sword gets them, so GMs can include them in any order (or for low-level foreshadowing encounters with Viorian, in the case of Chellan). The progression coincides with Weapon Attunement progression, with the fifth and final one coming when the swords are fully re-powered in Runeforge.
1) Becomes Flaming
2) Wielder gains +4 on saves vs. enchantments. If your save succeeds, the enchanter doesn't notice this. Asheia can cast Endure Elements 1/day.
3) With every confirmed crit, Ashiea casts Charm Monster on the target, Will save DC 20 (not including the -4 for charming during violence?). Only one person can be so charmed at a time; the previous charm ends in this case. Endure Elements 3/day, Unnatural Lust 1/day.
4) The +4 to saves vs. enchantments becomes immunity to them. Unnatural Lust 3/day.
5) Sword of Lust: Ashiea can cast Charm Monster with every hit, and Dominate Monster with every crit, Will save DC 25. Only the latest target can be Dominated, with a different target Charmed. Reckless Infatuation 3/day.
Sword of Love: Unnatural Lust becomes Calm Emotions; Reckless Infatuation becomes Heroism. Instead of Dominate Monster, confirmed crits let Ashiea cast Euphoric Tranquility, which ends if Ashiea attacks the target again.
1) Baraket's invisible blade gives its wielder +5 on Bluff checks to feint targets that cannot see through invisibility.
2) Baraket gets +2 on attack and damage rolls with sneak attacks, akin to a Sword of Subtlety, and can cast Blurred Movement on its wielder 1/day.
3) Baraket becomes Cunning. Blurred Movement 3/day, Endure Elements 1/day.
4) With every confirmed crit, the target must make a DC 20 Will save or become sickened by Baraket's self-congratulatory illusions. Endure Elements 3/day.
5) Sword of Pride: Instead of sickness, Baraket can cast Phantasmal Killer on the target of its crit or an ally of the target within 30'. Fort & Will saves DC 22. Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
Sword of Humility: Instead of Subtlety, Baraket becomes Menacing. Endure Elements becomes Communal.
1) Super-dense. Chellan's base damage is 1d8, as if Large-sized, but the wielder needs at least an 18 STR to wield it in one hand.
2) Chellan becomes Keen, and can cast Endure Elements 1/day.
3) Chellan counts as adamantine for the purposes of overcoming DR or hardness. Endure Elements 3/day, Create Food & Water 1/day.
4) With every confirmed crit, Chellan can cast Slow on its target, Fort save DC 20. Create Food & Water 3/day.
5) Sword of Greed: Chellan casts Slow with every hit, and Flesh to Stone (Fort DC 25) with every crit, turning targets to coloured quarz. Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
Sword of Generosity: Endure Elements becomes Communal. With every confirmed crit, allies of Chellan within line of sight gain the effects of Expeditious Retreat and +4 to any one ability score that doesn't currently have an Enhancement bonus for the next 16 minutes. Additionally, Chellan can transform into a Traveller's Anytool that gives +5 on Craft or Artistry checks made to make something intended as a gift for someone else. Don't cheat Generous Chellan.
1) Garvok gains Throwing and Returning simultaneously, as a single enhancement. Instead of returning swiftly to the wielder's hand, Garvok instead bounces and ricochets off the surrounding scenery.
2) Garvok's range increment becomes 25'. Garvok can cast Thunderstomp using its' wielder's statistics, 1/day.
3) Upon every successful crit, the target takes an additional 2d6 heat damage, Reflex save DC 20 for half. Thunderstomp 3/day, Blistering Invective 1/day.
4) Garvok now deals 2d6 heat with every successful hit, and releases a 5d6 Fireball, Reflex DC 25 for half, centered on its target, with every confirmed crit. Its wielder and its allies are not protected from this. Blistering Invective 3/day.
5) Sword of Wrath: Extra heat damage on-hit becomes 5d6; the on-crit Fireball becomes 10d6. Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
Sword of Kindness: Instead of the extra heat damage and Fireball, Garvok becomes Merciful and Limning. Blistering Invective becomes Defensive Shock. Targets who are immune to nonlethal damage take lethal damage from Garvok instead.
1)After every successful hit, Shin-Tari gains a Lazy Lesser Bane (+2 on attack and damage rolls) against creatures of the same type & subtype as the target you just stabbed with it for 24 hours, or until it stabs a creature of a different type, whichever comes first.
2) Shin-Tari gains full Lazy Bane with the same restrictions, and can cast Unseen Servant 1/day.
3) With every crit, Shin-Tari or its wielder can cast Dimension Door (Will save DC 20) on its target, sending them to a place within range and line of sight that can support it. Unseen Servant 3/day, Create Food & Water 1/day.
4)Shin-Tari can now D-Door targets with every hit. Create Food & Water 3/day.
5)Sword of Sloth: On-crit, the target must make a Will save, DC 25, or get Teleported to a place very familiar to it or its wielder. Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
Sword of Zeal: Its Lazy Bane becomes Speed; Unseen Servant becomes Phantom Chariot.
1) Tannaris becomes Spell-Storing.
2) Tannaris becomes Mimetic, and can cast Endure Elements 1/day.
3) On-crit, the target must make a DC 20 Will save or have the highest-level spell affecting it Dispelled with no Dispel Check needed. Endure Elements 3/day, Surmount Affliction 1/day.
4) Tannaris now dispels on every hit. Surmount Affliction 3/day, True Form on its wielder only 1/day.
5) Sword of Envy: On-crit, the target must make a DC 25 Will save or every active spell upon it gets Greater Dispelled with no Dispel Check needed. True Form 3/day.
Sword of Compassion: Surmount Affliction and True Form now work on willing allies with a range of touch.
1) Ghost Touch, glows in 50' proximity to undead.
2) On-crit, target must make a DC 20 Fort save or take 1d6 untyped damage, which the wielder gains as temporary HP. Ray of Sickening 1/day.
3) Viscious. Backlash the wielder takes is also a bonus on their next attack roll made within a minute. Ray of Sickening 3/day, Create Food & Water 1/day.
4) On-crit effect now happens with every hit. On-crit, if this kills you, you become a non-swimming draugr 1d4 rounds later, beholden to Ungarato. Ungarato can command 16 HD of draugr this way. Create Food & Water 3/day, Cure Serious Wounds 1/day.
5) Sword of Gluttony: Victims become draugr regardless of how Ungarato kills them; Ungarato can command up to 32 HD of draugr. On-crit, targets must make DC 25 Fort saves or lose half their current HP before taking damage from the crit itself. Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
Sword of Temperance: Viscious becomes Deafening, with a DC 25 Fort save to avoid deafness. Anyone slain by Ungarato cannot rise as undead, and its wielder is immune to poison and drugs. Ray of Sickening becomes Halt Undead.