On last week Raging Swan Press published So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway ?, a new Pathfinder RPG supplement. As a part of their GM resources, this short expansion deals with an often forgotten part of the Game Master’s work.
Looting the corpses of the defeated opponents is a well established tradition in most of the role-playing games, and it’s no different for Pathfinder – which even has a “suggested loot value” depending in the level of opposition. But while the game often features detailed description about magic items, weapons often nothing more than another generic masterwork longsword. That’s bland, and – as the publisher points out – very anticlimatic, if we are speaking about the weapons of a major opponent. But not any more !
So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway? includes about 200 different weapons, with an unique look and feel. For now it’s entirely possible that your new sword features some strange insignia, artistic production value, rare materials, some strange magical phenomena or anything else you may imagine.
So, how does it work in practice ?
The supplement has two major parts : one including several random tables to get on of the different looking weapons from a specific category (for example One-Handed Martial Melee Weapons), or to add an unique feature, hook or complication. The book contains base prices for masterwork quality weapons, with extra cost for expensive materials (like gold or gems) already added. Of course, you may easily use this base to make magical weapons.
By using this tables you may end with a darkwood quarterstaff carved with images of ravenous wolves, which killed the Last Lord of Star Elves, or something less unique, like a longsword with serrated blade and a skull shaped pommel. This in itself makes this supplement useful, and I didn’t mentioned that he weapon itself could have multiple adventure hooks. Maybe it’s old owner is looking for it, or it’s rumored to be cursed (which is maybe true) or anything else.
In the second part of the book we also receive some more defined completely unique weapons, like the legendary holy bow Sivumastra, or Blood Marya’s own cutlass. Off course, a resourceful Game Master may build a whole campaign around such items.
All in all, I think it’s a fine little supplement for lazy Game Masters (as I am), but has the gut feeling that we could have even more. But I guess, based on the book it’s not hard to expand even further yourself. In the end I give it 4,5/5 points.
If you would like to check out So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway ? yourself, you may take a look at this DriveThruRPG link.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros
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