Possible Weapons




Possible weapons are artifacts left behind by a long-dead empire. Its inhabitants made a plaything of probability, able to select among many possible outcomes of an action  and allowing only the most favorable to happen. A skilled warrior wielding a possible blade is a terrifying sight. A haze of phantom might-be arms surround his body as the sword projects every possible strike, which collapse into singular, deadly reality as the one "right" attack is found, and the blade finds purchase in the enemy.

I recently read China Mieville's The Scar. A character in it wields a Possible Blade (also called a Might Blade, as in might or might not).  It checks every Numenera box. It's a reality distorting weapon left behind by a long-dead alien empire that used unimaginably advanced technology. Its wielder is an extremely gifted soldier that becomes unstoppable when he turns it on, but is reluctant to use it except in the most dire circumstances as he doesn't know when its power supply will run out. So yeah, it's a Numenera artifact.


Level: 1d3 + 1

Appearance: A white ceramic sword. An open patch in its leather-wrapped handle exposes a patch of bright metal which presses against the wielder's palm. A series of flexible cables connects the hilt it to its power source, a fat cylinder worn low on the wielder's back.

Depletion: (Special) 1 up to 1-4 in 1d10

When not activated, a possible blade acts as a normal weapon. Usually a medium or heavy sword. It takes an action to activate. When it is activated, the user chooses how much power to charge it with, and selects a charge level between one and the level of the device (Max 4). The depletion roll is made on a d10, and depletion occurs on a roll between 1 and the chosen charge level.

For the next minute, when attacking with the possible blade the user makes a number of attack rolls equal to the selected charge level, and selects the highest. Effort and other effects apply to this roll normally. All other rolls are ignored, with one caveat: if one or more of the dice come up as a 1, the GM may use a GM Intrusion, even though the attack may still hit. Probability acts in odd ways near a possible blade.

Feedback encouraged! I think maybe the rules regarding depletion feel a little clunky, but I like the idea of adding a little gamble to it. I'm also thinking about making depletion less likely, but only having the effect last for a round, instead of a minute (essentially a whole encounter).



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