Cultural Weapons – Dwarven Fighting Dagger

Cultural Weapons – Dwarven Fighting Daggers

This is the first of an on-going series I am writing for the blog on cultural weapons. These will feature a twist on regular weapons in D&D or brand new ones. 

Mountain Dwarves usually fight in their often cramped tunnels and chambers that make up the mountain dwarven empire under the Dragonspine Mountain. 

Due to these cramped conditions, mountain dwarves often use spears, shortswords, daggers, and crossbows (as opposed to giant axes and warhammers their surface cousins tend to use). 

One of these weapons is the Dwarven Fighting Dagger. 

Dwarven Fighting Dagger

No ordinary dagger, these large daggers have an 18-inch blade and a reinforced knuckle guard with small pointed blades or studs on the guard, which are used not only to cause wounds but to also catch enemy weapons and either snap bladed weapons or disarm an opponent. 

Skill: Small martial weapon
Damage: D4+1
Critical: 19-20/x3*
Type: P/S
Special: Break, Disarm, Cannot be thrown
* Crits on a roll of 19 or 20 and does x3 damage. If playing in a game without critical rules, simply ignore. 

When an opponent attacks you and misses, use an attack to make an opposed roll Vs. your opponent’s attack and if yours is greater, the dagger catches your opponent’s weapon. Make a Strength check at -4 to break the weapon if it is bladed. 

When an opponent attacks you and misses, use an attack to make an opposed roll Vs. your opponent’s attack and if yours is greater, the dagger catches your opponent’s weapon. Make a Dexterity check at -4 to disarm your opponent. The weapon falls to the floor at your feet. 

Fighting Style
Many mountain dwarves use this weapon in pairs, fighting with two-weapons. As per usual, they receive the -2 penalty to hit on each attack (off-set by any Dexterity adjustments) but receive two attacks per round. 


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4 Replies to “Cultural Weapons – Dwarven Fighting Dagger”

  1. I would have the weapon inflict 1d5 instead of 1d4+1. Makes it in between a dagger and short sword plus the slight damage reduction offsets a little the other advantages. I’ve done something similar in my campaign for other weapons. Damage can be confusing for some players initially but they get used to it very quickly.

    I’ve also done weapons with 1-7 damage (2d4-1 or 1d14/2) and 1-9 damage (2d5-1 or 1d18/2) as well as 1-11 (2d6-1). That way we have steady damage progression from 1 up to 1-12. In 2nd edition, with cost, weight, weapon speed, weapon length (which can affect how many people in combat), which weapons can be used off-handed, to-hit modifiers versus armor types, parrying modifiers, crit modifier and of course damage (also damage versus large opponents), there can be a greater variety of weapons if you take into account better progression of damage.

    1. Hey Delta

      Not sure I’m a big fan of the D5 or D7 damage to be honest as it’s not really intuitive. Having said that, I like where you are coming from with this. As for other types of traits, this is why I included the disarm and break weapon traits. Also, being both piercing and slashing is a large advantage as this matters when facing various armour types in my campaign.

      Cheers for reaching out and your ideas.


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