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What is a magic weapon?
Most magical weapons carry an enchantment of one or more of the eight schools of magic; Conjuration, Necromancy, Evocation, Abjuration, Transmutation, Divination, Enchantment, or Illusion. These weapons can appear in all shapes and sizes, limited only by the game master's imagination. Although, an adventurer can also have their vision turned into tabletop reality with enough gold and a proper mage.
Conjuration weapons deal with creating objects and creatures or causing them to disappear. Weapons like these could include a dagger that sprays poison, a demonic sword that summons an elemental from another plane, or a druid's wooden buckler that calls forth a fey-touched familiar. These weapons can help bolster your team, assemble additional resources, or provide a lonely traveler with a much-needed companion.
Weapons enchanted with necromancy often deal in the manipulation of life energy. It's important to understand that necromancy isn't always evil, for any creature must live before it can pass on to the next life. Weapons of this type may raise the dead, steal the vitality from another creature, or resurrect a fallen ally.
Evocation weapons are powerful items that unleash raw magical energy upon their foes. These can be weapons of elemental fury or pure arcane force, but nearly all of them will decimate your enemies. Adventurers lucky enough to find these items will shoot fireballs, bring down meteors, freeze enemies in their tracks, or even bend lightning to their will.
Those looking for protection may want to seek out weapons enchanted with abjuration. Though some abjuration magic can pack a punch, most of its utility is in the ability to shield and protect. Within these items, you may find the ability to dispel magic, cast Greater Restoration, or even become invulnerable for a time.
Transmutation magic manipulates the physical properties of matter. Magical weapons of this type may turn iron to gold, slow the pull of gravity on a falling ally, or morph the physical form of one creature into something entirely different. Transmutation can turn the tide of battle—in most cases, quite literally.
Divination weapons center around revealing and granting knowledge to the wielder. Items of this nature can help translate ancient scripts, identify magic items, and locate invisible enemies. A rogue may want a dagger that can identify traps, a ranger might desire a bow that can find rare creatures, and a nosey mage may wish to find a staff with the ability to scry on others.
Weapons that use magic from the school of enchantment can manipulate the mental state of their target. These items generally force individuals to act in ways that are foreign to their true nature or intent. A wand may restrict a creature's movement, a dart could cause an animal to fall asleep, or a rapier might pierce through and alter someone's memory.
Adventurers interested in more charismatic endeavors may seek out weapons with illusion magic. Items enchanted with this school of magic play tricks on the senses, like vision, hearing, or touch. Weapons like these may allow the wielder to change their appearance, create an illusory image in the distance, or turn completely invisible.
Are they all full of magic?
Not all magical weapons are harbingers of death or righteous instruments of the gods. Instead of causing massive damage, some may provide tactical advantages or simplify everyday tasks. Others may only offer menial or rudimentary effects, like light or mild elemental protection.
Simpler still, some may carry a magical aura simply due to the blacksmith's skill or the materials used. Metals like platinum, mithral, adamantine, or even rare and coveted irons may be enough to craft a reliable weapon. Though alluring, powerful magic items can be enormously expensive. Inexperienced adventures shouldn't doubt the effectiveness of a fine sword or brilliantly crafted halberd—even if it doesn't shoot fireballs from its tip.
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