X is for Xiphos of Exasperation.
The xiphos is an ancient blade that perfectly fits the bill for "short sword," being under 60cm in length and having a one-handed grip. For B/X purposes, it is treated as a short sword in all ways.
The xiphos of exasperation was crafted for a gladiator that was renowned for both his prowess and his cruelty when it came to toying with his opponents. No damage dice need be rolled for the weapon; it is enchanted such that it never inflicts more than minimum damage (2 points, including its +1 value), though any damage bonus for high strength is also added on a successful hit, accounting other punching, gouging, head-butts, etc. that might occur in the thick of melee. The original owner wanted to ensure (magically) that he would always exercise maximum restraint in his fights, drawing combats as long as possible to better entertain his admirers.
In addition, in any round where its current wielder inflicts damage (i.e. makes a successful attack roll), the xiphos of exasperation confers a limited immunity to its owner: the opponent damaged by the blade automatically misses any attacks aimed at the sword's wielder. This special protection only lasts until the end of the round in which the xiphos struck...in other words, it is only effective if the wielder of the xiphos of exasperation both gains initiative (gets first attack) and lands a blow (makes a successful to hit roll). If the xiphos strikes at the end of the round, it does not confer immunity in the following round.
|Similar to a Roman gladius, at least in form.|