Heroic War Art without Craziness?

I was making a Dwarf with a Heroic War Art skill, when I realised that even an incidental hit with a sword made by such a smith would kill almost any mortal. I want him to have an amazing and extraordinary skill with blades, but perhaps not that extraordinary before the game’s even begun! Is there any way to show that this dwarf really has the capacity to create legendary weapons, that can fight dragons and giants, without giving him the power to kill with a glancing blow? It would take a lot of time working up to an Epiphany, which is more work that I want him to have to do, but having him with Gray-Shade weapons at the very start seems like he’s done too little work.

In the Enchanting rules in Magic Burner, creating gray-shade gear requires a gray-shade antecedent. You could do the same with War Art: War Art is inherently magical, so it should be able to create crazy awesome stuff, but you can easily make forging gray weapons require fancy ingredients — orichalchum, meteoric starmetal, the special deep iron from where the demons dwell, &c.

Take a nice exponent 5 or 6 and then save your artha for an aristeia.

Thanks! Yeah, an Aristeria when re-forging the blade of my ancestors seems the way to go. But I also quite like the idea that you need special materials for Gray-shade.

As an alternative, you can let him have the skill at that shade, but have him be selective about making such blades. Masters in weapon craft from many tales are remarkably selective about who they craft for. Usually they only do it for “those worthy.”

Build a belief on it perhaps. Don’t give in to your adventuring companions just because they want a badass weapon…make them prove their worthiness to your dwarf.