Player would like to play as an intelligent weapon


Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Hello, I'm going to be running a pathfinder game (3.5 Compatible) and one of my players has asked me if they could play a sentient magic weapon. I would really like to make this work and was wondering if anyone had any advice on making it happen or if any supplements already tackled this (3rd party is Fine).

I am open to the idea of customizing some kind of class based around this or the race being the magic item and just having them play an appropriate class on top of the race.

What does the player want to do? Do they want their character to float about and fight like a dancing weapon, or do they want to give bonuses to the person wielding them, or do they want mind-affecting spells like Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker? That would have some effect on the best way to handle this I think.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
avr wrote:
What does the player want to do? Do they want their character to float about and fight like a dancing weapon, or do they want to give bonuses to the person wielding them, or do they want mind-affecting spells like Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker? That would have some effect on the best way to handle this I think.

From our discussion i believe they would like to follow along the path of the giving buffs to the person wielding them

How do they want to interact with the world? Do they plan on speech, telekinesis, or something entirely different?

Without specific information, I'd say a vine leshy stuck in tree shape is a good base model, and make sure they take a class that can cast spells while immobile, any sort of psychic spell caster wold work. A mesmerist would be ideal as they could use their implant trick ability to buff their wielder, and their only other ability has to do with vision which is unimpeded while in tree shape. Being unable to access their base form is a pretty stiff downgrade, so giving them some additional benefits wouldn't be out of line. Like a little hardness, being a special material, or better item than a stick.

You could also use the Astomoi as your base race and give them an effect similar to the permanent tree shape. They have all the senses they'd need to be a top notch intelligent item.

Sovereign Court

Maybe something like an Occultist Polymorphed into a sword from Polymorph Any Object? Psychic casting, so no verbal/somatic components. Can buff and put focus into items for others to wear, eventually can overland flight on themselves. Probably just need to figure out the telepathy vs being able to speak part.
Edit: apparently its the 3.5 version that has the second save to keep your mind... or maybe I am confusing the rules with Baleful.

I would be wary about this. What happens when another player tries to wield the weapon?

I think to make it work, the player should control a commoner who has been dominated by the weapon.

The major remaining risk is that the character/weapon combo is overpowered at low level and becomes progressively under powered. This could be mitigated to a degree by creating a new wielder every few levels as the weapon changes hands.

You could also treat it like the Egoist familiar archetype.

Or, maybe follow the rules for Intelligent Items, except the player is the voice of said item while the wielder is the NPC.

Hrm. honestly. I would have them play a Blade Bound Magus. THey're the blade instead.
Then either have the body they're using "controlled" by the sword. It could techicnally bea corpse or it could be a realistic construct.

If they were starting up high enough level. craft construct and actually have a construct body in part fluff part mechanics.

Or look into a small race of some sort, and make them a "poppet" with craft poppet and they could run around using puppet boddie. The blade is the actual player, but it possesses poppets.

WOuld need to figure out how you want to work with other players. If they pick it up does that sword player still get their turn? Only they can only do what they can from that range. But could provide benefits.

I gues the easiest way is still blade bound (magu or arcanist). and if another player picks them up, they get the benefit of the magical blade. and are within touch range for buff spells. Turns are done as normal. but the sword guy won't be able to move on their own when wielded.

then figure out if you want them to be able to move themselves or not. And then decide if they can only move via Mage Hand (if light enough) and later TK. Or if you're intending to give a pseudo TK for general movement purposes. I'd honestly go with the Craft Poppet puppet body, mage hand/TK, and wieldable by allies option. This would let them operate fairly simliarly to a standard assumption for a player character. While still allowing combos as the concept of being a sword. but it also means they can potentially be stolen and "kidnapped" because they can't immediately run and have to cast or command their poppet to retrieve them. It would also encourage them to pick up something like the psychic duels (I do't know much about these) or some sort of Will v Will progression of saves to see if they are controlled by the enemy or if they can domiate the enemy for a round. Or roll that like confusion. 25% enemy 25% player 25% both roll will saves vs each other 25% both lose their turn.

I'd also have a standard HP pool for them as normal. but instead of "Dying" below 0. They break, they can not bleed out etc. can only be brought back from 0 via repair actions (at which point standard HP healing is fine) and can then be broken as per normal, which would result in proper death. If they target of sunder attempt, they use their own, or the wielder if another player. Which can break and then destroy them as per normal weapons. Its a risk and more importantly in fluff and mechanics of the weapon concept.

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Look at the rules for creating a intelligent item.
Discuss with the player what type of weapon they want to be.
Now instead of buying stats I’d let them roll the mental stats. Choose how they interact (speech, telepathy, etc)
Ask them the powers they would like within reason. Spread them out over 20 levels as “class abilities” (look at wealth by player level to determine if they can “afford” it) Story wise the abilities were “always there” but needed to be unlocked. Break down the wealth by level if they can afford the ability they can gain it at a level up.
For stat progression Obviously no Fort or Reflex save instead of a bab increase treat it as a magic weapon modifier example break down the bab to be the +10 an item could get. The unique property of then weapon allows it to self improve (treat it like the gloom blade ability) so at Level 10 it could be a +5 weapon or any break down of properties such at flameing, bane, holy, etc but keep the cap at +10 at level 20. Also look at intell item cohorts:

Intelligent Item Cohorts: Most adventurers generally consider intelligent items as just another form of treasure, albeit rare and memorable.

However, intelligent items can also make interesting cohorts, using the following rules in place of the normal rules for cohort levels and advancement. A character with the Leadership feat can select an intelligent item as a cohort after receiving the item in the normal process of gaining treasure. Alternatively, a GM may choose to grant a character with Leadership and no cohort a bonus intelligent magic item to act as a cohort (rather than as an NPC), though such items should not be worth more than 25% of the character’s normal wealth by level.

Creating an Intelligent Item Cohort: A PC with Leadership can bond with an intelligent item that has an alignment within one step of the PC’s and treat the item as a cohort. This requires a 24- hour ritual with the item and a successful Will save (DC = the item’s Ego).

If the character’s alignment is different from the item’s, the character takes a –2 penalty on the save. If the save fails, the character can attempt the ritual again, but the save DC increases by 2 for each attempt after the first. Once the save is successful, the item agrees to serve as the character’s cohort.

As long as a character’s Leadership score exceeds an item cohort’s Ego, the item never attempts to take control of the character it serves. A character with an intelligent item cohort can enhance and improve the item’s magical abilities as if possessing the appropriate item creation feat for creating an item of its type. For additional information on improving existing magic items.

Cohort Item Advancements: Over time, a cohort item becomes more tightly bound to the character it serves. Each time the character gains a level, her item cohort gains an item advancement. When a character first completes her bond, if her character level is greater than 7th, her item cohort instantly gains an item advancement for every level above 7th. The character can select each item advancement up to 5 times, and their effects increase as outlined for each ability.

If an item cohort is separated from the character it serves for a number of days exceeding the character’s Leadership score, it loses these item advancements until the character spends 24 hours re-bonding with the item.

Called: The item gains the called magical weapon special ability. This functions identically for an item of any kind, not just weapons. Each time the character selects this advancement after the first, the range of the ability increases by 1 step on the following progression: 1 mile, 100 miles, anywhere on the same plane, anywhere on any plane.

Empathic: The item establishes a permanent empathic link with its owner as the familiar ability of the same name. If the character selects this advancement a second time, the bond strengthens to provide the benefits of a permanent status spell between item and master. If selected a third time, the advancement provides the character and item the benefit of a permanent telepathic bond. It selected four times, this advancement grants the character the ability to scry on his companion, as per the scry on familiar ability. If the character selects this advancement a fifth time, both the character and item gain the ability to cast discern location as a spell-like ability once per day, only to find each other.
Indestructible: The item’s hardness increases by 1, its hit points increase by 3, and it gains a permanent +1 bonus on its saving throws. If the character selects this advancement multiple times, these effects stack.

Perfection: The item gains a +1 inherent bonus to one ability score. If the character selects this advancement multiple times and selects the same ability score, the inherent bonuses from this advancement stack

There is The Four Horsemen's Guide to Living Items.

Well why don't he plays an animated full plate armor like alfon of full metal alchemist and the weapons can control that armor

I see this going badly and the sentence "I throw him off a cliff" being uttered.

I dont put all my eggs into another players basket without foreseeing my destruction. Which... well play Wraith. That's what Wraith was about.

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