The Legacy

Often a fighter looks not for the friendship of a familiar, but for the dependable companionship of a strong weapon in his hand.

A hero’s weapon is a magical, intelligent companion that serves a warrior true. It is, in truth, an extension of the fighter’s very body and soul. For some fighters, this mystical bond between hero and weapon comes in the form of a legacy-a weapon that has performed such great deeds throughout history that it houses the very essence of those who wielded it before. The blade gains a degree of sentience and the ability to communicate with the warrior; the exact details of its personality are for the player and GM to determine. It could be a single persona, the soul of a single great warrior who held the blade in the past, or it could be a unique persona comprised of elements of all those who held the weapon in days past.

The weapon could be a family heirloom, handed down from generation to generation, or it could be a blade that chooses a wielder once in a generation, someone it knows is destined for greatness. The exact details are up to the player and GM to detail, but at third level when the player chooses the Legacy archetype, her character comes into her inheritance.

Hero’s Weapon Properties

At third level, the character comes into possession of a hero’s weapon-or at least, discovers their legacy as the hero destined to wield the powerful artifact. This manifests in one of two ways: the character comes into possession of a new weapon, either by finding it in a treasure trove or having it gifted to them by a mentor or benefactor, or they learn that a weapon they already possessed is awakened and has been awaiting its owner to be ready to receive its gifts.

A hero’s weapon is an intelligent, magical weapon which may be gifted with extraordinary powers. It can be a melee or missile weapon. Its alignment always matches the player’s, and it never actively challenges or resists the hero’s methods or choices, though it will sometimes advise, cajole and otherwise discuss or debate options. It does not speak aloud, but communicates telepathically with the hero in the voices of ages past.

A hero may never have more than one legacy weapon. This weapon is nearly indestructible and cannot be permanently lost. If the character does somehow manage to break or lose their legacy weapon, they suffer the same injuries as a character who loses any familiar, save that they can never again gain a Legacy weapon; the character’s Archetype becomes Champion thereafter.

Ability Scores: A hero’s weapon is an intelligent magic item. Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures as they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Table 6-10 shows what the hero’s weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores are, which is dependent upon the character level of its master.

Alignment: The alignment of a hero’s weapon always matches the alignment of its master. Anyone of a non-complimentary alignment who attempts to wield the weapon suffers 1d6 points of damage every round that they hold the weapon (no save allowed).

Evoke Power: The master of a hero’s weapon can call upon its power to aid him in times of need. When he does so, the hero’s weapon manifests any and all powers the character has chosen for it (see Hero’s Weapon Power below). The summoned powers last for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. A master may prematurely end the hero’s weapon’s manifested powers. A master can only summon the hero’s weapon’s powers once per encounter. At 3rd level he can use a bonus action to summon the hero’s weapon’s powers once between long rests. At 7th, level, he can summon a power after a short rest. At 15th level, he may spend an Action Surge to summon an additional power between short rests. At eighteenth level, he may evoke weapon powers as a reaction. Activating powers in this way still counts against his maximum usage between rests.

Hero’s Weapon Power: A hero’s weapon has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). At 1st level, and every four levels thereafter, the master chooses one power from Table 6-11 below. These powers stack with one another and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Magic Weapon: A hero’s weapon becomes a +1 magical weapon when he enters this pact at 3rd level. This bonus increases by an additional +1 at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th levels.

This magical bonus only functions in the hands of the weapon’s owner; in the hands of anyone else it is simply a normal weapon in all respects, though of exceptional quality.

In addition, when held by the hero it will radiate alteration and enchantment magic to those who can detect such energies, but when not being wielded will not possess a magical aura of any kind.

Telepathic Link: The master has a telepathic link with the hero’s weapon out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master and the hero’s weapon can communicate telepathically. Note that the hero’s weapon sees the world differently from humans, as it tends to view the world both through its purpose as a weapon and from untold ages of experience and history, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this telepathic link between hero’s weapon and master, the master has the same connection to an item or place that the hero’s weapon does. For instance, if his hero’s weapon has been in a room or other location, the master who somehow gains the ability to do so, could teleport to that locale as if he has seen it too.

Special Abilities: In addition to any powers a hero’s weapon possesses, a hero’s weapon also has access to a number of inherent special abilities as listed on Table 6-11. Hero’s weapons may also possess both standard abilities and greater abilities.

These abilities are listed on Tables 6-12 and 6-13 below.

Hero’s Weapon Powers & Abilities

A hero’s weapon starts with one power, which can be summoned for use a limited number of times between rests. For every four levels beyond 1st that the hero’s weapon’s master has, it has an additional power. A manifested power lasts for two minutes at a time.

The master may choose one power from the following table each time the hero’s weapon is granted a new power. Unless otherwise indicated, a power cannot be chosen more than once.

Table 6-10: Hero’s Weapon Powers
+1 Enhancement Increase the weapon’s magical enhancement by +1.
Bane The weapon grants advantage against one specific type of foe, and deals an extra 2d6 damage against that type of foe. This power can be chosen multiple times, each time applying to a different kind of foe.
Defending Transfer the weapon’s enhancement bonus to AC instead of to hit and damage.
Distance Double the weapon’s range increment (can only be chosen for ranged weapons).
Flaming The weapon is wreathed in fire and deals an extra 1d6 fire damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons confer this aura and damage to their ammunition.
Frost The weapon glows a pale blue or white, and deals an extra 1d6 cold damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons confer this aura and damage to their ammunition.
Ghost Touch The weapon glows a faint green or shimmers and appears translucent. It deals damage normally to incorporeal creatures.
Keen The weapon deals a critical hit on a natural 19-20.
Merciful The weapon deals an extra 1d6 damage, but all damage dealt is non-lethal-opponents reduced to zero hit points are rendered unconscious and stable.
Mighty Cleaving If the wielder fells an opponent, he may take an additional bonus action to attack a second foe within reach. This bonus action is in addition to any other bonus actions or reactions he may have.
Returning After making a ranged attack, whether successful or not, the weapon immediately returns to the wielder’s hand. Can only be placed on weapons that can be thrown.
Seeking The weapon homes in on its target, granting advantage on all attacks, even in situations where disadvantage would normally be imposed. This ability can only be applied to ranged weapons.
Shock The weapon is wreathed in crackling electricity. It deals an extra 1d6 lightning damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons with this ability transfer this aura to their ammunition.
Throwing The weapon can be thrown and gains a range increment of 10 ft./50 ft. Weapons that are already capable of being thrown double their range increment. This ability cannot be applied to bows, crossbows, slings, or other “fired” ranged weapons.
Thundering The weapon begins to visibly vibrate in its wielder’s hands. Upon successfully striking a foe it emits a loud thunderclap, dealing an extra 1d6 sonic damage to the victim. Ranged weapons impart this aura to their ammunition.
Vicious This weapon imparts advantage on all hits and deals an extra 2d6 points of necrotic damage to a foe on a successful hit. However, the wielder also suffers 1d6 points of damage from necrotic backlash. No save, immunity or resistance is allowed against this backlash damage. This ability can only be added to melee weapons.

A hero’s weapon gains special abilities as indicated on Table 6-10. These abilities must be chosen from the tables below as appropriate. Unlike the powers listed above, these abilities do not require the master to evoke them.

For details on what these abilities do, see the ‘Familiar Special Abilities’ section. The hero may evoke an ability once, after which he must engage in a long rest before evoking a second. At tenth level, the hero requires only a short rest between evoking abilities.

Table 6-11: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities
Detect Chaos
Detect Evil
Detect Good
Detect Law
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Familiar’s Eye
Familiar’s Flame
Know Direction
Table 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Greater Abilities
Enhance ability (bull’s strength) (affects the master)
Enhance ability (cat’s grace) (affects the master)
Dazing Touch
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Find Traps
Freedom of Movement (affects the master)
Guided Strike (requires no action on hero’s weapon’s part)
Haste (affects the master)
Resist Energy (affects the master)

Mystical Bond

At third level, the character undergoes a ritual to mystically bond with their Hero’s Weapon. This ritual could be a variation on those listed above, or something entirely unique. This ritual requires one hour to perform in complete solitude. It can be completed during a short rest. The character to be in constant contact with the weapon during this time. Once the ritual is complete, the character gains two benefits: First, she can never be disarmed as long as she is conscious. Second, no matter where in the world the Weapon may be, she can, as a bonus action, instantly teleport it to her hand.

Legacy Strike

At 7th level, the hero can use an Action Surge to gain advantage on her next attack with the weapon. At 10th level, she may reroll any result of “1” on damage dice with her weapon. At 15th level, she may reroll any results of “1” or “2” on damage dice with her weapon. At 18th level she may spend an Action Surge to perform a critical hit with her weapon, automatically dealing maximum possible damage.

Table 6-13: Hero’s Weapon
Master Class Level Hardness Adj. Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd +1 9 Evoke power, hero’s weapon power, telepathic link, mystical bond
5th +2 9 Hero’s weapon standard ability
7th +3 10 Hero’s weapon power, legacy strike
9th +4 10 Hero’s weapon standard ability
11th +5 11 Hero’s weapon ability
13th 6th 11 Hero’s weapon greater ability
15th +7 13 Hero’s weapon power
17th +8 13
19th +9 15 Hero’s weapon power
20th +10 15 Hero’s weapon greater ability

Hardness Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the hero’s weapon’s existing hardness rating. It represents a preternatural resilience of the hero’s weapon.

Int/Wis/Cha: The hero’s weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Hero’s Weapon Standard Ability: Select any one hero’s weapon standard ability (see Table 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Hero’s Weapon Greater Ability: Select any one hero’s weapon standard or greater ability (see Tables 6-11: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities and 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Greater Abilities for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christofferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.