Game Fodder: Introduction to the Journey of the Magic Sword

Welcome to the next edition of “Game Fodder” here on Game Knight Reviews. Breaking the mold a bit I’m going to introduce a new concept for a series of articles that will start next week.

Ancient artifacts of immense power. Weapons of legend. Magic items. Whatever you call them, they appear in many different story contexts.

  • Luke Skywalker has his lightsaber, passed down from his father.
  • Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir, came to the mighty hero through time but has a story all its own in the Prose Edda – constructed by dwarves when taunted by Loki.
  • Sigurd‘s sword Gram wasn’t always his before he used it to kill Fafnir the dragon. It was forged by Wayland the Smith and embedded in the tree Barnstokkr by Odin, then later retrieved by Sigurd’s father Sigmund.
  • Even Arthur’s Excalibur was
    either stuck in a stone or in the care of the Lady of the Lake depending on where you look… How did it get there?

Each of these items has a provenance or story before the story in which our heroes use them. Why don’t magic items in D&D and other games have that same rich history behind significant items from history, myth, or magic?

In “The Journey of the Magic Sword,” I will be dealing with some of the many steps that we never really see when an item comes into the picture:

  1. Mining
  2. Melting
  3. Forging
  4. Magicking
  5. Pre-adventuring
  6. Adventuring

Each step of the way we can explore some the different ways these various aspects of provenance might work their way into your campaigns. There’s more to this “magic item” stuff than simply picking it out of a book. Don’t be surprised if we get side-tracked along the way, but we will get back to the road eventually, I promise.

Next weekend we’ll start with some mining mishaps, ore origins, and ancient history!

One last note – if you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see in this series, please let me know. Drop me a note at the Contact page and I’d love to chat with you!

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2 comments to Game Fodder: Introduction to the Journey of the Magic Sword

  • I spent a summer interning at the British national coal mining museum a couple of summers ago for my history degree, and used a whole load of stuff I found out there in my games. Including something that I will be showcasing on Stuffer Shack, hopefully by the end of next week.

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