May 16, 2018

Specialist Daggers

Variant Rules
Notes from the Nails: who likes lots of new, flavourful options to make your D&D experience a bit more interesting? I hope you just answered "me," because that's kind of the whole point of this blog...

Specialist Daggers

The dagger is one of the oldest and most versatile weapons used by humanoids. This article aims to increase the diversity of daggers and knives in D&D by adding some new 'specialist daggers' to the weapons table. All of these are simple melee weapons, and anyone who is proficient with daggers is proficient with these as well. They all count as monk weapons.

Simple Melee WeaponsCostDamageWeight Properties
Bowie Knife10 gp1d4 piercing or slashing2 lb.Finesse, light, thrown (20/60)
Kukri25 gp1d4 slashing1 lbFinesse, light, vicious
Main Gauche20 gp1 piercing1 lb.Finesse, light, parry
Misericorde4 gp1d4 piercing2 lb.Coup de grâce, finesse,
thrown (20/60)
Shiv1 cp1d4 piercing1/2 lb.Finesse, light, special
Switchblade5 gp1d4 piercing1 lb.Collapsible, finesse, light
Throwing Knife5 gp1d4 piercing1 lb.Finesse, light, thrown (40/120)












Weapon Descriptions
     Bowie Knife. This large, broad knife is popular among explorers and frontiersmen. It is equally good at stabbing and hacking.
     Kukri. The unusual forward curve of a kukri's blade enables it to slash much deeper and more effectively than other types of knife. Unarmored targets are particularly vulnerable to this weapon.
     Main Gauche. Also known as sword-breakers, a main gauche is intended to be wielded in the off hand to parry incoming blows.
     Misericorde. This long, thin dagger is designed to be rammed through small gaps in the armor of targets that can't defend themselves.
     Shiv. Shivs can be improvised from all sorts of materials. They are not weapons of war, but are commonly used by street thugs and prisoners.
     Switchblade. A switchblade can be retracted into its handle for easy storage and concealment. They are therefore more expensive to make and not effective when thrown.
     Throwing Knife. Conversely, a throwing knife is optimized for ballistic performance. Aerodynamically shaped and carefully weighted, they can be thrown a considerable distance without compromising on accuracy.

Weapon Properties
Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the Weapons table.
     Collapsible. This weapon has hollowed out portions, usually in the handle, allowing you to collapse it in on itself for ease of storage and concealment. While stowed, you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to conceal this weapon.
     Coup de Grâce. This weapon is designed for finishing off wounded targets. If you hit an incapacitated target with a melee attack using this weapon, it is a critical hit.
     Parry. While wielding this weapon and not wielding a shield, you gain a +1 to your AC against melee attacks. You can only gain the benefit of one weapon with this property at a time.
     Shiv. Shivs are improvised daggers, made from whatever is at hand. If you have a sharp object in your possession, you can turn it into a shiv as an action. However, shivs are fragile and will not withstand the rigours of combat for long. If you make an attack roll with a shiv but miss the target's AC by 5 or more, the shiv breaks and cannot be used again.
     Vicious. Creatures who are not wearing manufactured armor or have a natural AC of less than 18 take an additional 2 points of piercing damage from this weapon.

16 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. for Coup de Grâce on the Misericorde melee attack on incapacitated creatures already auto crit maybe make it deal an extra failed death saving throw allowing it to force all three fails

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    1. No, melee attacks on paralyzed creatures auto-crit. Not on incapacitated.

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    2. You can be incapacitated without being on 0 hp.

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    3. Indeed. Check the incapacitated condition again, wolfbladejk. There are lots of things that can inflict it that don't give auto-crit.

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    4. I get what's being said, though. The Coup de Grâce feature was described as 'designed for finishing off wounded targets.' I mean, the idea of an Arcane Trickster casting Hideous Laughter and then leaping out and ambushing with a misericorde is cool and all, but the way it's described makes it sound like it was more meant for being used against creatures that had been knocked unconscious and this weapon was intended to be a quicker means for a finishing blow. It's still good stuff, I'm just pointing out why there might be a bit of confusion there.

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  3. Looks like someone's been watching a lot of Forged in Fire (and if you haven't, I recommend it). This seems really awesome, my only issue is that I don't think a bowie should have the thrown property.

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    1. I've never heard of Forged in Fire, as it goes.

      And yeah, I wasn't totally happy about making the Bowie knife throwable. It's the only satisfactory way to balance it though, because if I pushed it up to d6 damage, it would be clearly superior to the scimitar.

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    2. Well, a bowie knife is arguably as 'regular' as knives go (although not in a medieval setting, but whatever), so maybe giving both slashing and piercing is enough, since it hardly stands out from among other knives. It also fits the bowie being an all-purpose knife.

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  4. Slight alteration I'd propose: maybe make the throwing knife worse than the dagger at melee somehow, knowing how it was optimized for ranged combat. Other than that, great job as always!

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    1. Honestly, I think the extra throwing range is so modest, the increased gp cost (150% more, and you have to buy lots of them since you're throwing them away) is sufficient for balance. It's not like an extra 20 feet will break the game, here.

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  5. Could you add in the Katar (Indian Punching Dagger)?
    Please and thank you.

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    1. I was gonna, but it's already in complete craftsman and the exotic weapons list. I'm not here to re-do work that the Palm's already done! And one of my core principles here is that all of these daggers remain simple weapons, available to everyone.

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  6. So how come the Main Guache only does 1 piercing damage, while to other daggers do 1d4? Just curious.

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    1. Balance, in a word.

      Also, I'm specifically modelling this on the sword-breaker style, which looks like it'd be less effective as an actual stabbing weapon.

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  7. Is there going to be a post today?

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