So…magic weapons are a thing in D&D. They have been since the early days of the game. Certainly the most often remembered ones are magic swords. A sword is a good weapon. It is versatile, with chopping, slashing, and stabbing elements throughout its various iterations. It was the go-to weapon for professional soldiers through a lot of history.
However…. There are other contenders. Let me tell you about spears. The spear is also a weapon with a long history. Spears are useful for a number of reasons. First, they are cheap to make. You find a straight piece of wood. Forge about a daggers worth of metal to add to the point, or don’t. You can stab people from long sword distance with a lot less cost. Spears, like swords, can be more involved affairs in the hands of a true craftsman. Materials can be rare and exotic as mithril or adamantine. It is often the weapon of a stalwart footman, or a barbarian on the fringes who can’t afford much more, or even the martial arts master. There are a number of magic spears in real world myths around the world. It is especially prevalent in Irish Legends.
Sadly, there are not many famous magical spears in D&D, though. My friend Brandes did his part to add some to the pool. It is the least I could do to continue that trend. I also borrowed some of his formatting. I hope they are useful additions to your magical arsenal.
You can get your own magic helmet.
Heart Wood Spear
Spear, rare (requires attunement)
“The blood of an elf is sacred and not for the likes of you damned creature.”
The spear is +1 to damage and attack and is made entirely of wood with no metal point. When used against a Vampire, the spear has a threat range of 15-20.
Story: Ardantha of the White Wood was a lovely young man. He was innocent and kind to all he met. His folk were often cold to strangers, but he had a boundless curiosity. He was beloved by the Elves of his clan, and the fairy Summer Queen herself. He was exploring the wood one day and spotted an old keep which had long since been thought abandoned. As he watched he saw a beautiful pale maiden enter the haunted place. Struck by the maiden’s beauty and the oddity of her being in an old abandoned place, he entered the keep.
Three days later, what came back to his home was no longer Ardantha but a vampiric spawn bent on blood. He killed three before he was struck down.
The Queen of Summer was heartbroken by his death and his transformation. In her grief and rage she wept over his body. An odd White Oak tree quickly grew where she wept. Its branches were strong and straight. She commanded that one branch be cut and a spear fashioned. The Heart Wood Spear would forever be the bane of vampires and was given for their extermination. Every hundred years a new branch is clipped and fashioned into a new spear.
Gáe Buidhe (The Yellow Spear) and Gáe Dearg (The Red Spear)
Spear, legendary (requires attunement)
“Raise ye fairy shouts without gainsaying,
Let Diarmuid of the bright weapons be lifted by you;
To the smooth Brug of the everlasting rocks—
Surely it is we that feel great pity.”
These are a pair of magical spears. Each is +2 to damage and attack and ignores resistance to piercing damage. On a critical hit, the target has a curse put on them which renders them unable to be healed. This can be relieved by a Remove Curse or similar effect.
Story: These are the legendary spears of the Irish hero Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. If you have never heard of him, you are not alone, and you should go look him up. He is kind of awesome.
The Haft of the Vales
Spear, very rare (requires attunement and the class Druid or Ranger)
“Do we sacrifice to the trees? Not in the fashion you are imagining.”
The spear is +2 to damage and attack. It can be activated once ever for only one fight. Once it is activated and the target is named, each hit to that chosen target has a chance to imprison them. They must make a Wisdom save for every successful strike to avoid the imprisonment. If they fail the save, they, AND the one wielding spear, are imprisoned mystically in a new living Black Oak Tree. The imprisonment lasts so long as the tree lives.
Story: Druids are protectors of the world, though that is often misunderstood by those outside the wood. Druids pass tales of the most terrible things, of things beyond death that can’t killed by mortal weapons. The druids speak of the Vale Heart Trees, sacred to the druids. Killing one might kill the vale it is found in, a true and terrible price. Sometimes the price is worth it. The Arch Druid knows of this and the prisons such trees can form.
When used the Black Oak that grows is also sacred, but for different reasons. The prison of 6000 years still stands and grows under the watch of druid eyes.
The Spear of Long Reach
Spear, rare (requires attunement)
“I can and will reach you.”
The spear is +1 to damage and attack. On command, once per round, it can extend up to 30ft to strike a target. Once the strike is attempted the spear shrinks back to its normal size. This does not benefit from bonuses to ranged attacks.
Story: The Spear of the Long Reach is a rare find but about 30 still exist. The spear was created by a court wizard, Marcus Vant the Magnificent. Marcus was a father as well as a wizard. His daughter, Arianna, took after her mother became remarkably adept as a warrior. Marcus always worried about her. He would often supply her with all sorts of tools to help her as she took a career as an adventurer.
Arianna was somewhat successful as an adventurer and came to the attention of the King. The King named her the captain of the royal guard. Marcus, concerned for his daughter’s safety again set about crafting tools for her to be safe in the role. Arianna insisted that if he was going to craft something for her, then her father must also craft something of equal value for her fellow guards. Marcus toiled long and hard and made a number of spears, The Spears of the Long Reach, so the guard could keep the threats at a distance.
These were passed down through the years. Long after the Marcus and Arianna had passed on, due to old age, the kingdom ended as kingdoms often do. The remaining spears are often passed down as family heirlooms and are well prized by those who have them.
The Captain’s Mark
Spear, Rare (requires attunement)
“ON ME! CHARGE!”
This spear has +1 to attack and damage. On a hit, the spear flashes briefly with a radiant light. If an ally is adjacent to the wielder at the time of the attack, they have advantage on the next attack against the same target.
Story: A powerful city state ruled by mages had a small but frighteningly effective army and police force called the Samonian Guard. These men and women were trained to fight in a tight unit using magical equipment. One such weapon was the Captain’s Mark. This was given to Captains after each successful battle. The Captains would in turn give it to their subordinates as a reward. The result was a powerful unit made more powerful with every victory.
Note: The Samonian Guard are lifted from an ancient culture in the larp Dust to Dust which I had some hand in helping to write.