Bjorn Svenson had a very lackluster career as an adventurer. He moved from adventuring group to adventuring group much like a tick passing through a herd of deer. It was after five years of this haphazard life that he remembered something one of his mentors had said to him, “those who can’t do, teach.”
On that day he decided to devote his remaining years to teaching adventurers rather than running with them. He based his teachings on the countless personalities he had encountered over the years and the aid of a master craftsmen he had once assisted in a quest for.
While no great adventurers speak highly of his teachings those who did learn under his tutealege often speak of the unusual bladed weapons he used to teach bladecraft. It was a plain and nondescript sword to the casual viewer but it held a very specific property that was extremely useful for training. These weapons can change their form to become any swordlike bladed weapon that the wielder is proficient with.
Bjorn had many of these weapons made with them falling into two varieties. The sword of the trainer has the major power while the sword of the trainee has both the major and minor powers. There is no clear way to tell which is which. For while these swords were a great idea on Bjorn’s part he wasn’t exactly the sharpest spear in the barrel and thus neglected to include a way to tell them apart.
This nondescript sword is most often encountered in its longsword form. It emits a slight aura of alteration magic if a detect magic spell is used. While the main power of this sword is its mutability it may also posses an enchantment specific to its function as a training sword, a power that is mostly unknown to the wielder. 90% of these weapons are trainee swords and have the minor and major powers. The other 10% are trainer swords and only have the major power.
Major power: This weapon can instantly change its form to that of any other sword like bladed weapon that the weilder is proficient with. This alteration is instantanous and uses a free action. When activated the weapon will ‘brace itself’ in the hand of the weilder and grow or shrink accordingly. This bracing effect will absord all kinetic energy that would normally effect the holder of the weapon.
If this power is used while the blade is in contact with an unrestrained enemy the enemy is allowed a dexterity save to avoid being impaled (if the weapon is being elongated). If the blade is lodged or otherwise held shrinking the blade will cancel the effect and allow the weilder free movement with the weapon.
This power can be used at will when outside of combat but requires a WIS check when in combat with a cumulative negative one modifier per round of combat elapsed. Thus it can easily be used before combat begins but becomes progressively harder to trigger while engaged in combat.
Minor power: As an aid to training the sword has a variable combat enhancement that both rewards good technique and punishes bad.
At the beginning of combat the weapon has a +0 modifier on to hit and damage. Whenever the player rolls a natural 20 it gains a cumulative +1 bonus for the entirety of the combat. Likewise, rolling a natural one imparts a cumulative -1 penalty. The wielder of the weapon is largely unaware of this effect and the GM should keep this information secret.
In subsequent rounds the activation window increases by the absolute value of the current modifier. For example once the weapon reaches a +/-3 modifier a natural 1-4 will impart a cumulative -1 and a natural 17-20 will add a cumulative +1. The modifier maxes out at +/-5 and any subsequent activation will reset the weapon to +0 and start the whole process over again. It is due to this exaggerated combat enhancement that many trainers value these swords still today.