- +1 to hit, bolts fired from it inflict magical damage
- Cumulative damage bonus of +1 per hit, max +6, resets after combat
This arbalest is said to have once been a standard light crossbow, of wood and steel, before it was taken into the Vaults of Pahvelorn during the time of the Order of Gavin. It was wielded by the adventurer Fitzwalter, warder of Eraria the Sorceress. Fitzwalter fell defending his mistress, but the energy released by his heroism in that cursed place bound something forever into the weapon, perhaps the soul of the fallen warrior or maybe the shades haunting that place. The crossbow’s wood was warped to dark ebony, the steel of the bow twisted into an amalgam of bone, and the tip became a grinning skull. The weapon is chill to the touch. When loaded, shadow seems to bleed from the aperture, which appears like dark, wispy drool from the skull’s mouth.
The Echo of Fitzwalter is a light crossbow +1 to hit that charges bolts with dark energy (counts as magical damage). Each time it inflicts damage during combat, it gains a cumulative damage bonus of +1. So, the first shot that hits does 1d6 damage, the second 1d6 +1, the third 1d6 +2, and so forth, up to +6. This damage bonus resets following combat.
Light crossbows may be loaded and fired in the same round, but don’t have a bonus against armor. (That is, they follow my crossbow rules from before the weapon properties post.)
I have so far avoided “plus” style magic weapons in my ongoing Vaults of Pahvelorn campaign, mostly out of a desire to rein in numerical inflation. However, Green Devil Face 5 (also available from RPGNow) has d30 critical hit and fumble tables that we have been using. Last session, this result was rolled:
18. If this attack is the killing blow, your weapon acquires a permanent +1 bonus to hit.
Further, it was indeed the killing blow. This just seemed like a golden opportunity to break my rule. So this is the first +1 Pahvelorn weapon: a bound spirit fused to a crossbow and sealed with the death of a retainer.
A report about the session that spawned the Echo can be found at Dungeon of Signs.