Drunk one night in his study, master wizard Archibald, much like Cher in the way he has only one name thanks to his notoriety, mused about his compatriots, those who slice and stab with their sharp bits of metal and wallow in tier envy whenever they gaze upon himself being totally awesome and stuff. The next morning, he woke up with a terrible hangover, Constitution having never been a strong point. To his surprise, his body was covered in sheaves of paper musing about how he could help his allies stay alive by harnessing one of the few things they actually do do correctly: hit things with sharp bits of metal. In typical Archibald form, his musings were backed up by highly technical documents detailing exactly how to make those musings a reality. With a shrug, Archibald collected his drunken ravings. This bears some investigation, he thought, right after I prepare and cast that hangover spell...
Let's consider the way the wealth by level curve works. Players pick up masterwork weapons early on and have fun with them. Some invest in the +1 weapon, whilst others begin to pick up all sorts of fun toys. Much later, those who got toys finally get a +2 weapon, while the fellow who focuses on weapons may have a +3 weapon and nothing else. Frankly, weapons simply don't do interesting things in the early game, and the more interesting something is, the more fun the player has. The person focusing on the weapon is essentially playing for the future the entire time. Let's bring that individual to the NOW, shall we?
The simple solution to this is to have the ability to add a weak free ability to any weapon that has a +1 enhancement bonus or greater. It allows players to have more options, while also allowing the DM to slap fun and interesting powers onto randomly generated +1 weapons (and we know every campaign has far too many of those). That being said, beware, for each ability also carries a hefty penalty with it. Perhaps you don't get critical damage. Perhaps your enhancement bonus to damage is a bonus to something else instead. Maybe you need to spend multiple full round actions charging some moderately powerful effect. ...Maybe the weapon just slowly tears itself apart.
This product contains 20 +0 weapon modifiers / special abilities as well as rules on how to integrate them into your game.
Acidic: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, this weapon launches gouts of alchemical acid.
Dazing: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, this weapon dazes foes of 4 HD and under.
Debilitating: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, this weapon imposes a saving throw penalty to wielder and victim.
Dense: +1 sunder, -2 CMD
Flaring: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, this weapon dazzles the victim.
Hooked: +1 disarm, -2 CMD
Jittery: The weapon's enhancement bonus to damage is now to initiative
Least Spell Storing: As Spell Storing, but only 1st level spells and under. Further, use of the spell storing ability causes the weapon to gain the broken condition.
Lesser Bladethirst: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, the wielder restores hit points equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus.
Lesser Erupting: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, the victim takes one point each of acid, cold, electric, and fire damage.
Lighthurling: Raher than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, the wielder can slowly focus on creating a number of lights that can be thrown at range.
Plated: +1 shield bonus to AC, -2 to hit
Raging: +1 mnorale bonus to damage, -1 to AC and Reflex
Resisting: Rather than dealing additional damage on a critical hit, the wielder gets a resistance bonus to saves on a critical hit.
Smoking: The wielder and everything he threatens takes a penalty to hit.
Sparking: This weapon slowly destroys itself, but deals additional fire damage to unarmored targets and can start fires.
Terrifying: This weapon deals additional negative energy damage, but punishes the wielder on a critical hit.
Vengeful: Immediately after being critically hit, you may declare a smite. If this smite hits, both you and the target take 2d6 points of damage.
Weighted: +1 to trip, -2 to CMD