21 September 2016

Sword Breaker Rule (Beta Version)

Sword Breaker: this weapon might more accurately be described as a sword catcher since the chance of actually breaking a well-made blade is remote. The sword breaker is typically used as an off-hand weapon and requires a Dexterity 15 or greater. In lieu of a +1 "to hit" the player may use the sword breaker as a shield, effective only against 1 melee opponent, ineffective versus missile fire. During melee, if the player is engaged with a blade-armed opponent and rolls the exact number "to hit" versus his opponent's DAC [AAC], that causes the opponent to lose his next attack. 

Rules Variant:  have the opponent be disarmed with a precise hit, rather than merely lose an attack. Suggested by reader Scott Anderson.  Thank you for the input Scott!

Note: this is basically the same rule I posted to the S&W G+ group. I only slightly changed the wording to make it sound more like an official rule.



  1. What era D&D is this rule for? It sounds very 3.x (don't take that as an insult)

    Also: I'm totally not a robot

  2. I wrote it for OD&D and no offense taken. Once upon a time in Dragon Gary made a comment he'd left a fairly prominent medieval weapon out of the rules. He even stated "what slipshod research on my part!" It was in reference to Unearthed Arcana which many of us (in the types of heated discussions about such only nerds can have) figured was the sword breaker. When asked about it years later, he stated he had no idea which weapon he referencing in that statement. At any rate, it seemed a neat idea to me but I didn't play AD&D so I wrote it for OD&D, or at least I wrote what eventually evolved into this rule. HtH.

  3. It's not a strong enough item to justify giving up most of your shield bonus. I think that on a precise hit, it should disarm the opponent. Even then it might not be great but it would be enticing and some folks would give it a try.

  4. I considered that option, but it seemed a bit too strong for the way I felt the game should run. The way I wrote the rule, likely only characters with high DEX would use a sword breaker (in actual practice, I think I only saw it used once or twice in about three decades of play). This would mean they would still gain the +1 shield bonus, and also have the possible advantage of costing their opponent an attack against them. A little bit of flavor, a little bit of fun, but not a huge advantage.

  5. OK, I thought your idea I had merit. So, I added it to the post and credited you for it. I appreciate the suggestion, thank you.