Binds to a Single Weapon

Published September 8, 2015 by

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Through constant use and companionship (if it can be called that – and, to you, it can be), you have become one with a single specific weapon. The weapon serves as an extension of yourself, lending you great control and power when wielding it, and you have spent much time tweaking it and tinkering with it so that it looks and feels as familiar to you as your own reflection. Your connection to it might have to do with an occurrence within the Numenera, or perhaps simply because you have trained so diligently for so long. Either way, it is your most prized (and perhaps your most valuable) possession.

The development of your weapon and your connection to it can have many explanations – perhaps you continue to tinker with it, using parts you find from the Numenera. Perhaps you’re not even sure of how it occurs. The connection, its nature, and your awareness of it is up to you.

For your abilities as one who Binds to a Single Weapon, you must choose to focus on either might or intellect. Might could suggest that your character is bound to their weapon by some force that has a more biological origin, with the weapon drawing from the character’s blood or DNA. Intellect might suggest that some force of will or some influence of nanotechnology that your character can manipulate is what facilitates the bound weapon’s connection to its master. Either way, whatever you pick must stay the same throughout your character’s use of their abilities – choose the nature of the connection and stick with it.



Pick one other PC – perhaps that character was the original maker of your weapon or they gave it to you long ago. You have since modified the weapon a great deal to make it what it has become today, but you feel greatly appreciative towards them for giving you your primary “companion” in life.

Additional Equipment:

You get no weapons (you lose any from your chosen type or descriptor) and instead get one high-quality weapon of special design of your choosing. It can be a light, medium, or heavy weapon. You also get a bag of light tools intended for weapon maintenance.

Esotery Effects:

Any esoteries you cast are cast through your chosen weapon and likely resemble that weapon or a part of it – this means if you selected a weapon that would normally be wielded in two hands, you can still cast any esoteries (despite not having a “free” hand).

Minor Effect Suggestions:
Immediately make a free movement-based check (running, jumping, etc.) as you easily incorporate the attack into your movements as if it were a wave of your hand.
Major Effect Suggestions:
Apply the attack (with separate rolls) to any other immediate enemies as you effortlessly swing your weapon in a wide, elaborate arc to strike them.
Tier 1:

Bound Offence: You gain +1 to damage with your bound weapon. This affects direct attacks with the weapon as well as any special abilities or attacks used through the weapon -excluding area of effect attacks.

Bound Weapon: Your weapon has a special connection to you (whether or not it is explicable) and can therefore only be easily interacted with by you – all others who try to wield it must treat it as an unidentified artifact with a level equal to your tier (their difficulty to identify and use it, then, would be your tier +2). You are considered trained in tasks involving repairing or maintaining your bound weapon.

Tier 2:

Bound Defence: You gain a +1 to armor when holding your bound weapon.

Bound Weapon II: Your weapon will now react when someone attempts to hold or use it when it is not you – upon first touching it, any other person suffers 1 damage to their intellect and proceeds to suffer a -1 to all damage with the weapon, even if they succeeded in identifying its properties as an artifact.

Tier 3:

Bound Powers: Your weapon is truly becoming an artifact of note, though only when being controlled by you. Choose one of the following abilities that you can use whenever you are holding your bound weapon.

  • Call Weapon (3+ Might or Intellect points): You pull your bound weapon to you from a short distance at great speed, pulling it from the hands of another, from off the ground, from out of an enemy, etc. You make attack rolls against the enemy it is pulled from (if it is pulled from an enemy) and up to 3 enemies it hits along the way as if you were attacking them with the weapon, with each additional enemy hit beyond the first (any enemy it is pulled from counts as the first enemy) increasing the ability cost by 2 points of the correct stat pool.
  • Retractable: The weapon can fold and condense itself into a very small form (perhaps a box or cylinder) and lose any semblance of a weapon, only able to be recognized and re-formed by its master or by one who has succeeded a check to identify it as an artifact. Enabler.
  • Glowing: When in the master’s hands, the weapon (if the master chooses) will glow, effectively illuminating everything up to a short distance away. Enabler.
  • Superheat (2 Might or Intellect points): The blade (or point) of the weapon glows with intense heat when wielded by its master, allowing it to ignore 1 point of armor in its next strike. Enabler.
  • Extending (2 Might or Intellect points): If melee, when in its master’s hands, the bound weapon can disjoint itself and stretch (or fragment), extending its reach. This allows the master to move to and attack enemies at a short distance in one action, resulting in him/her being within immediate distance of the target. Enabler.
  • Seeking (2 Might or Intellect points): If ranged, when in its master’s hands, ammunition fired from the bound weapon will curve towards targets willed to it by the master, decreasing the difficulty of attacks made with the weapon by 1 step.
  • Fragment Burst (3 Might or Intellect Points): Perform an attack with the bound weapon that deals 3 damage to everyone within immediate range of the target (excluding the wielder). Separate attacks are made for each target, using a might or intellect check (depending on your focus choice).. The original target takes damage as if it were a normal attack and does not take the 3 damage from the burst of fragments. Action.
  • Jolt Strike (4 Might or Intellect Points): Perform an attack with the bound weapon that deals half damage to the target but attempts to stun – do a might or intellect check with difficulty equal to the target’s level. If successful, the target cannot act on its next turn. Action.

Other abilities can be chosen, perhaps by coming up with your own and asking the GM or by getting inspiration from the abilities of various artifacts.

Bound Weapon III: The intellect damage to those who attempt to wield the bound weapon increases to 3. You now have a connection to your weapon that allows you to sense its presence – when it is within a short range of you, you can tell that it is there, and if it is within immediate range, you can pinpoint its exact location. You are considered specialized in tasks involving repairing or maintaining your bound weapon.

Tier 4:

Refined Weapon: You’ve developed and balanced the weapon so well to the point where it becomes easier to use in a way that is unexpected for its type.

  • Light Weapon: Despite the weapon’s small size, you’ve tweaked it so that it can effectively and surprisingly disarm an opponent. When attempting to disarm, reduce the difficulty by one step.
  • Medium Weapon: The weapon has been equipped with a small firing mechanism that can fire bolts effectively at long range, though it takes an action to reload. Any attack made this way against a target who has not seen the weapon used this way before has its difficulty reduced by 1 step.
  • Heavy Weapon: Despite the weapon’s large size, you’ve effectively distributed the balance and weight of it so that it can be thrown for a short range attack.
  • Ranged Weapon: The weapon has an added method of attack, allowing it to be fired while sheathed or while pointing a different direction. Any attack made this way against a target who has not seen the weapon used this way before has its difficulty reduced by 1 step.

Bound Powers II: Choose a second power for use with your bound weapon.

Bound Weapon IV: The intellect damage to those who attempt to wield the bound weapon increases to 5. You can now sense the weapon’s presence within a long distance and can pinpoint it within short range. Your grip on your weapon is now so perfect and familiar that you can never be disarmed nor will you ever drop the weapon accidentally. You may ignore GM intrusions that are given on a roll of 1 with attacks made by this weapon.

Tier 5:

Bound Offence Mastery (5 Might or Intellect points): When wielding your bound weapon, you may reroll  any attack roll and take the higher of the two rolls.

Bound Defence Mastery (5 Might or Intellect points): When wielding your bound weapon, you may reroll any defence roll and take the higher of the two rolls.

Bound Weapon V: Your bound weapon cannot be easily used directly against you. Any time someone who is not you attempts to use your bound weapon to strike you they take the initial intellect damage again and must increase the attack’s difficulty by one step.

Tier 6:

Bound Edge: You gain one edge in any task involving your bound weapon. If you are using your bound weapon for something, be it to attack, channel and ability or esotery, defend, pole-vault, etc. – you get 1 edge in the corresponding task. This only works for tasks where you use the weapon itself – it does not apply if the weapon is not involved. The weapon’s use in a task must be reasonably important for the task’s success – simply adding the weapon to a task does not warrant an edge bonus.

Bound Powers III: Choose a third power for use with your bound weapon.

Bound Weapon VI: Your weapon of choice is now completely bound to you. If you die, it will disintegrate and die as well. You can always sense the direction it is relative to you no matter how far away it is, and you can pinpoint its exact location at a long range.

One thought on “Binds to a Single Weapon

  1. Nicholas Johnson says:

    There are way too many abilities granted by this focus. After tier three you basically have to print out this page to know what you can do with just the focus.

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