Switch-Axe (3.5e Equipment)
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The Switch-Axe is a mechanical weapon that resembles a Greataxe in function, albeit somewhat less effective. The weapon was engineered by the Arcane Engineers of Godsreach in order to maximize their military force's effectiveness against many foes, without the need to carry multiple weapons or to result to complex double weapons, such as the two-bladed sword. In effect, they sought to create a weapon which could mechanically change shape and function in order to deal damage of different types to different enemies, as well as to augment the weapon's general capabilities. Eventually, this weapon soon became known to the great artisans around the world, and many worked to reproduce it and its expendable ammunition-like charges, shards.
By expending a Move Action, the wielder of the Switch-Axe can transform the weapon into Sword Mode. Each attack while in this form expends one Shard from the cartridge housed near the hilt of the Switch-Axe. While in this state, the Switch-Axe becomes a weapon with the following statistics, but with the same material bonuses or modifiers, if it has any, while all unnoted values remain the same:
In Sword Mode, the Switch-Axe's blade begins to vibrate powerfully from the expending energies of the shard used to power the mechanism. Intense heat and force can be felt coming from the weapon when studied in this mode, but not enough to damage another individual simply by touching it. When attacking, however, the vibrations make the edge act as a sort of Vibroblade, doing more damage and having more chance to strike a mortal wound on a target.
A Switch-Axe always contains a single cartridge in its hilt, which can contain up to four shards; The transformation of the weapon requires the powerful effects of the shards in order to make full use of the transformation, or switch, and therefore, if no shards are left in the cartridge, the Switch-Axe cannot transform into the so-called Sword Mode. Furthermore, once the cartridge has fully expended all four shards, the Switch-Axe immediately switches back to the normal Axe Mode, and the cartridge must be exchanged with a new one. Any fully spent cartridge that is pulled from a Switch-Axe will be too brittle to be used again, and is therefore useless.
Enhancements and Enchantments
As a Switch-Axe is intricately mechanical in nature and already uses magical engineering to far enhance it beyond its natural abilities, no Switch-Axe can ever be found, bought, or created with an Magical Enchantment or Enhancement of any kind, as the weapon would not be able to contain such energies without contaminating the processes necessary to ensure its function. The only exception to this is artifacts created through supernatural means.