A Master Crafted Weapon is a unique version of one of the standard weapons used by all of the human factions in the Milky Way Galaxy, including the Imperial Guard, the Space Marines, the Chaos Space Marines, the Lost and the Damned of Chaos, and the Daemonhunters and the Witch Hunters of the Imperial Inquisition. It is a blanket term for any weapon somehow enhanced technologically or through the use of psychic power that stands out from the other, standard weapons used by other units.
In the late 41st Millenium, the technological level of the Imperium is stagnant at best, and is actually regressing in many areas. Technological knowledge is hoarded by the Adeptus Mechanicus, who believe that anything that should be known has already been discovered in Mankind's past, and that it should simply be reclaimed through the recovery of lost Standard Template Construct databases. As a consequence of this belief, new research and development is strongly discouraged amongst the Mechanicus' Tech-priests, and those few that dare attempt it are under the constant risk of being branded Hereteks and swiftly terminated. As a result, the weaponry of the Imperium is mass-produced using standard templates, and most items are virtually identical to one another.
A master crafted weapon comes into existence only when a senior Tech-priest or Techmarine decides to put his multiple centuries of experience to the hand-crafting of a particular pattern of weapon. This is a rare undertaking, for it flirts with tech heresy, and is a lengthy and painstakingly slow process: each component of the weapon has to be crafted, tested, anointed, calibrated and blessed by the Omnissiah. Once all the components have been individually realised, the weapon must be assembled, again with a lengthy battery of litanies, blessing, tests and deft calibrations, to ensure the weapon's Machine Spirit will be both placated and roused into delivering satisfying destruction upon Mankind's enemies. Once completed, the weapon is then solemnly bequeathed to the intended user.
A master crafted weapon is in essence a superior version of an existing pattern of Imperial weapon. The exact nature of the enhancement depends on both the crafter and the type of weapon: close combat weapons often have superior balance or an improved capacity for damage; while ranged weapons are often more precise, have better range and/or more ammunition. Whatever its final form, each master crafted weapon is as much a holy artefact of the Machine God as a weapon, and is thus covered in inscribed liturgies and ornamentations that praise the glory of the Omnissiah and the weapon's many accomplishments at the hands of its bearer(s).
Effects and Distribution
A Master Crafted Weapon is usually incredibly ornate and highly decorated compared to standard weapons of the same type, while also possessing augmented functionality. Any standard Imperial weapon can be Master Crafted. Due to the improved design of a Master Crafted Weapon, it is more likely that a target will be hit by attacks from this weapon. A grenade cannot normally be master-crafted, yet the grenades used by the Blood Ravens Space Marines in the PC game Dawn of War II could be enhanced to become Master Crafted Weapons.
Examples of Master Crafted Weapons
- Lord Commander Solar Macharius's Master Crafted Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon
- Commissar Sebastian Yarrick's Master Crafted Storm Bolter
- Commissar Ibram Gaunt's Master Crafted Power Sword, the Sword of Heironymo
- Blood Ravens Captain Davian Thule Master Crafted Power Sword, Alexian's Blade
- Blood Ravens Captain Indrick Boreale Master Crafted Power Mace, Rogal's Fist
- Imperial Fists First Captain Darnath Lysander's Master Crafted Thunder Hammer, the Fist of Dorn
- Raven Guard Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike's Master Crafted Lightning Claws, the Raven's Talons
- Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar's Master Crafted Power Fists, the Gauntlets of Ultramar
- Ultramarines Chief Librarian Tigurius' Master Crafted Force Weapon, the Rod of Tigurius
Forces of Chaos
- Warmaster Abaddon's Master Crafted Lightning Claw, the Talon of Horus
- Cypher's Master Crafted Bolt Pistol and Plasma Pistol
- Codex: Dark Angels (5th Edition)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC Game)