Last Updated on January 31, 2023
Welcome to our gear guide to the Sword of the Paruns in Dungeons & Dragons 5e including stat block, the best ways to use this magic item, and which classes benefit most from its use.
What Is a Sword of the Paruns in DnD 5e?
In the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica setting book, the Sword of the Paruns is a +1 magical longsword that allows its wielder to empower their nearby allies, letting them attack, dodge, or dash as a reaction when they do the same.
Sword of the Paruns
Source: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
Weapon (longsword), very rare (requires attunement)
Once attuned, the wielder gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. Additionally, once on each of the wielder’s turns, they can activate one of the sword’s three properties:
- Immediately after taking the Attack action with the sword, the wielder enables one creature within 60 feet to make one weapon attack using its reaction.
- Immediately after taking the Dash action, the sword’s wielder allows one creature within 60 feet to use its reaction to move up to its speed.
- Immediately after taking the Dodge action, the sword’s wielder allows one creature within 60 feet to use its reaction to gain the benefits of the Dodge action.
Who Are the Paruns? A Quick Lore Dive
In Magic: The Gathering’s Ravnica setting, the Paruns were the ancient founders of the city of Ravnica’s 10 original guilds (a huge focal point of the setting).
It’s not made clear whether the Sword of the Paruns is a single weapon, but its rarity (vary rare rather than artifact or legendary item) suggests there are multiple Swords of the Paruns. It’s also unclear if these are their personal swords (unlikely, as I understand that each Parun had a very distinct vibe, for lack of a better word) or the weapons of an order of warriors who served them, etc.
Is the Sword of the Paruns Good?
I’m a long-time proponent of the good old “no boring +1 swords” rule. I’ve gone so far in my home games to make magic swords that turn the creatures they kill to solid blocks of exploding jade or cause tesselating multidimensional snakes to slither out of the wounds caused by the blade. My players treat magical weapons with the proper trepidation and respect these days, as they should.
I think it’s infinitely more interesting and rewarding to give players magic items that do more than give an incremental bump to some number on their character sheet. Such sins against game design rarely, if ever, set a player’s world on fire. Temperamental void-snake-spawning kukri knives? Now that’s something my players bring up on a semi-regular basis — usually while trying desperately to convince a new member of the group that, yes, I really am that much of a bastard.
To get back on topic, I think that the Sword of the Paruns is one of my favorite pieces of magic weapon design in all of 5e.
First of all, it’s just a +1 weapon, so a character might feasibly expect to get their hands on one before reaching level 3 bajillion and six. That’s good stuff. Lower-level play is where the real action is.
Mostly, however, it almost introduces enough flavor and tactical depth to be its own character subclass. Seriously, I think this one weapon might be more interesting to play than the whole Mastermind Rogue.
You not only get to provide powerful buffs to your allies in the form of extra attacks (for fighting), the dash action (for closing the distance to your enemies or escaping), and dodging (perfect if there’s an incoming AoE spell you’d rather not take full damage from), but you also get to do this every. Single. Turn. I love it.
The weapon is very evocative of the old Warlord class from 4e, which was all about being a battlefield tactician, strategically overwhelming enemies and empowering their allies.
Which Classes Use a Sword of the Paruns the Best?
Thematically, I think this sword belongs in the hands of a Battle Master Fighter. My only complaint about this 5e recreation of the old 4e Warlord (and it’s a small complaint; the Battle Master might be my favorite class in all of 5e) is that the Maneuvers that are designed to assist the Battle Master’s companions aren’t anywhere near as good as the ones that just let this subclass beat ass itself.
By giving a Battle Master a Sword of the Paruns, you can alleviate this problem by having a new way to augment your allies’ abilities without sacrificing your own effectiveness.
Other great contenders for a Sword of the Paruns wielder include:
- College of Valor Bard who empowers allies to attack with their reactions and boosts the damage with their Bardic Inspiration.
- Beast Master Ranger who gives their animal companion additional attacks, dash actions, and dodges to even further improve their cohesion.
- Mastermind Rogue who can use the Help action as a bonus action with their 3rd-level Master of Tactics feature, which gives them advantage on their next attack. Then, attack with the sword, immediately allowing your ally to follow up with their own attack (with advantage) as a reaction.
That’s everything we’ve got for you today on the Sword of the Paruns — easily a contender for my favorite 5e magic weapon. Do you like it as a weapon? At what level would you give one to your players? Is it massively overpowered? Let me know in the comments below, and until next time, Happy Adventuring!
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I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.