[Yet another entry for the open call for minor artifacts and relics on Jeff’s Gameblog.]
My young friend, I’ll bet you a shiny electrum piece that you don’t even know what that weapon’s called. That’s called a glaive, son, a glaive, and it’s a damn fine polearm. Yes, I’m sure you want a sword so you can caper about with it and look pretty for the ladies, but a polearm is a man’s weapon. Take a glaive into the Caverns and if you have any balls at all you’ll bag three dead kobolds before this little elf pal of yours has dropped his dick and grabbed his sword (no offence, my fey friend). That particular glaive has a story. Want to hear it? Oh it won’t take but a moment, come on back now.
You see, this glaive is a senstive instrument. It once belonged to the famous adventurer Knuckles the Impulsive. You have heard of Knuckles? Then you might know how Knuckles spent several mortal lifetimes wandering the Outer Planes with no companion save his trusty wepon? His trusty…glaive? That’s right, son. That there weapon is Priscilla, Knuckles’ only friend. To keep sane—well, to keep from going more insane, I guess—Knuckles used to talk to Priscilla, sing to Priscilla, even…well, I’m sure that part’s just a myth.
Anyway, the point is, this is a fine weapon on its own, but with all the talking that Knuckles did over all those years, she got used to being treated like a lady. If you *talk* to her—and I mean really talk to her, not just say “come on Priscilla” now and then—she’ll treat you right in a tight spot. In combat you might want to compliment her a little bit, tell how fine she looks or how you owe your success to her. Other times, if you tell her a story, she has been known to repay your kindness with kindnesses of her own.
Now if you just step over here to the cashbox, I’ll be happy to put that electrum piece you owe me toward Priscilla’s purchase price. Oh, Knuckles? Well, he must be dead, right? I mean, if he weren’t dead, how would I have his beloved weapon, the most prized partner of the greatest warrior of our generation? If he were around and knew I had it, I’d be dead as something very dead, indeed! So yeah, I’m sure he must be dead. Right? You need some iron spikes to go with that glaive?
In game terms, when a player character uses Priscilla in battle, the player must speak aloud as if he or she were addressing the weapon while rolling the attack dice. Compliments or enthusiastic exhortations work wonderfully for Priscilla: “You look so lovely as you mow down my enemies like wheat,” would be appreciated, as would be “Priscilla, I owe my life and my fame to thee, fierce maiden of bloodshed!” But “OK, Priscilla, let’s hit this guy this time” isn’t adequate to gain a bonus. The benefits should be typical bonuses to hit and/or damage. Perhaps after the player has made a series of particularly fine addresses to her, Priscilla would be able to pull off an added battle effect (but only once per encounter at most).
Outside of battle, the player/character could tell Priscilla a short story or sing her a little song to activate other powers.
3 X I (three minor benign powers)
1 X II (one major benign power)
2 X III (two minor malevolent effects)