Last Updated on November 11, 2023
Sword of Answering
Weapon (longsword), legendary (requires attunement by a creature with the same alignment as the sword)
In the world of Greyhawk, only nine of these blades are known to exist. Each is patterned after the legendary sword Fragarach, which is variously translated as “Final Word.”
Each of the nine swords has its own name and alignment, and each bears a different gem in its pommel.
You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this sword.
In addition, while you hold the sword, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack with it against any creature in your reach that deals damage to you.
You have advantage on the attack roll, and any damage dealt with this special attack ignores any damage immunity or resistance the target has.
Proficiency with a longsword allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with it.
Dungeon Master’s Guide, pg. 206
Cost: The Sword of Answering is worth roughly 36,000 -40,000 gold pieces. This is an estimate and the final decision is up to your Dungeon Master.
History in Greyhawk
The nine Swords of Answering are called so because they grant the wielder the ability to make an attack as a reaction, thus answering an offensive maneuver with more offense.
However, they were created as imitations of an original blade called Fragarach, which means “Answerer” in Oeridian, a language native to Greyhawk.
This blade was originally brought to Greyhawk by Kelanan, a deity of swords and swordsmanship. Legend has it he won the sword in battle against an unknown god.
Kelanen then gave Fragarach to his followers and was eventually lost in The Temple of Elemental Evil with Prince Thommel IV, never to be seen again (until the PC’s brave the temple, of course).
Fragarach was a sentient, Chaotic Good sword that would violently refuse any creature of a different alignment who tried to wield it.
After Fragarach was lost, nine other swords were made with the same abilities as Fragarach but corresponding to the nine alignment types.
These swords were then dispersed into the world and either lost or safely kept under guard in various treasuries and temples throughout the world.
These nine swords are what we now call The Swords of Answering, and though their mechanics have changed throughout the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons, their signature ability to respond to an attack with another attack has remained the same.
Using the Sword of Answering in Your Campaign
The great thing about Dungeons and Dragons is that you can play whatever you like, not just Greyhawk.
So here are a few guidelines on dropping the sword onto your table.
Whenever you decide to drop an artifact into your world, you’ll have to answer these basic questions:
- Who made it?
- Where does it show up in the history of the world?
- How did it end up where the PCs find it?
- Who wants it? Why?
- Is this a macguffin? A primary quest objective? Or a side quest bonus?
- What effect does this weapon have on the world as far as the PCs are concerned?
When dealing with the Sword of Answering in particular, you will want to consider the relationship the blades have with each other and with Fragarach. Is there only one sword, or are their nine? Ten?
The Sword(s) of Answering are a long-standing feature of Dungeons and Dragons, and even though its mechanics are simple, its lore is long.
Have fun wielding this blade in your adventure!
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].