Switch Axe (3.5e Equipment)
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A powerful melee weapon, capable of such momentum that the wielder using it is dragged around by the momentum of each swing. Described as a marvel of technology capable of phantasmagoric might.
A Switch Axe is two weapons for the price of one- a greataxe and a greatsword. One advantage is has over either is that while in Sword Mode, it taps into a magic vial that instantly coats the blade in a special fluid. This vial, once forged into the core of the weapon, cannot be permanently drained or be removed without destroying the weapon. The different vials, their costs, and their effects are listed below.
Element Vial- Increases the damage dice for energy damage, such as from the flaming or frost magic abilities, by one. Cost: 2000 gp
Poison Vial- instantly coats the blade in an injury poison. Cost: DC of poison's save x10 gp
Power Vial- Increases the mundane damage die by one. Cost: 4000 gp
A vial can hold a maximum of 6 charges. At the beginning of an encounter, the vial holds 3 charges, and gains one charge for every round it is not in Sword Mode. Changing a Switch Axe from its Axe Form to its Sword form, or vice versa, is a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity. When a Switch Axe in Sword Mode is swung, it uses up a charge from the vial whether the attack lands or not. When a Switch Axe in Sword Mode runs out of charges, it will immediately change back into Axe Mode. If it runs out of charges during a full attack, it will interrupt the full attack, but will not incur an attack of opportunity. Also note that it will be unable to change from Axe Mode to Sword Mode if the vial contains fewer that 3 charges.
When a Switch Axe is in Sword Mode, it can use a special attack called "Vial Overload". For every charge you expend (maximum 3) you can make an attack against an enemy's touch AC rather than their regular AC. If the maximum amount of charges is expended, you can make an additional fourth attack at your highest base attack bonus. This fourth attack does not use a charge, but will cause the weapon to change back into Axe Mode. Note that if a Vial Overload attack uses up all remaining charges in the Switch Axe's vial, it will automatically revert to Axe Mode. This action is considered a full attack that provokes an attack of opportunity.
A Switch Axe's vial can be 'recharged' by exposing it to air. This is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, and restores 3 charges to the Switch Axe's vial.
Because of the precision required to make a Switch Axe, these weapons are always of masterwork quality. This is reflected in its base price.
Note that while a Switch Axe can be used in its Axe or Sword Modes by anyone with martial weapon proficiencies with the greataxe and greatsword, the user cannot use the Vial Overload attack or manually recharge the vial without Exotic Weapon Profiency (Switch Axe).