From: "Nathanael. D. Wentz"
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Vecna, Kas, and the powers of his Sword
As for the question of why Vecna didn't have -stoneskin-.... He did, it just didn't help him. This segues into my explanation of what I feel the powers of the Sword to be.
Wounding short sword +6 of sharpness
Sword Primary Abilities: detects magic, good, and invisible creatures in a 10' radius
Sword Extraordinary Abilities: All hits roll on the "critical" chart; sever targeted limb on rolls of 15-20; ignores opponent's armor; heal 1/day
Minor Benign Powers: detect magic, good, and invisible creatures within 60' when held and commanded;
Major Benign Powers: spell turning at will; regenerate x hp/rd (x equals an average of the wielder's constitution and level, divided by 10); haste (self only) at will;
Minor Malevolent Effects: possessor cannot own any other magical weapons;
Major Malevolent Effects: voluntarily touching the blade, scabbard, or hilt of the Sword results in permanent madness; any creature of less than 11 levels or hit dice who attempts to hold the Sword is blasted out of existence; creatures of less than 15 levels or hit dice who attempt to hold the Sword are stricken dead (no saving throw) and, if raised, are permanently insane; simply grasping the Sword requires mental combat with the Sword, failure equals complete submission; creatures of insufficient power (must have more than 100 hit points, STR, CON, and DEX must total more than 50) cannot use any of the extraordinary or major powers, attempting to do so results in immediate death; creatures of sufficient power to wield it must feed the Sword at least one human sacrifice per day or risk the Sword's wrath; If the wielder is killed while holding the Sword, he immediately withers and is reanimated as an undead guardian and slave of the Sword
Prime Powers: Instant death to one creature/month, no saving throw (this is effective against all but the most fantastically powerful creatures, DM's discretion);
Side Effects: The Sword cannot be more than 1" distant from its possessor; all creatures except for the owner that view the Sword must save vs spell or be stricken with fear; creatures killed by the Sword turn to dust;
As is quite obvious, I make artifacts very powerful indeed. It doesn't worry me, because no PC that will ever play in a campaign of mine can even pick up an artifact (especially Greater Artifacts, which list the Sword of Kas among their number) and survive. As such, I don't even know why I have them, except to explain things like the downfall of Vecna.
As for the "rebound" effect that killed Vecna.... I'm not especially fond of it, myself, but Vecna is simply too powerful to be killed in many other ways. I think that Vecna's last spell (as portrayed by me) was powerful enough to destroy himself, even if he had been at full strength and had all of his magical defenses in place. Venca just seemed to be the kind of guy that would focus on killing others before they killed him, instead of utilizing as many protective spells as he could have. Of course, it still wouldn't have saved him. The Sword of Kas would go through -stoneskin- in the same way a white-hot ingot of steel travelling at twice the speed of sound would go through the chest of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man.
-- Nathanael D. Wentz, whose 29th level ninja/wizard has the hand and eye of Vecna, and wields the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords in his left and the Sword of Kas in his right
"Et quacunque viam dederit fortuna sequamur."