10 Remarkable Daggers

One-dimensional, unremarkable treasure is boring. Adding interesting descriptions to treasure adds depth, detail and verisimilitude to the GM’s campaign.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Of course, a GM doesn’t have time to slavishly detail every piece of treasure in his campaign. That’s where the list below comes in handy.

The GM can use these descriptions to bring to life the weapon wrenched from the corpse of a defeated foe, as the basis for a magic weapon or even to depict a PC’s treasured heirloom possession. However they are used, the descriptions below are inherently more interesting that, “It’s a dagger.”

Use the table below, to determine the dagger’s appearance:

  1. The dagger’s pommel is remarkably smooth and highly polished. The blade itself is wickedly sharp—sharp enough to be used for shaving.
  2. This long-bladed, serrated dagger has a similarly long haft—it could be wielded two-handed if desired!
  3. Strange patterns and shapes—perhaps reminiscent of flames or serpents—seem to writhe in this dagger’s blade when exposed to direct, flickering light (such as from a torch or campfire).
  4. This dagger is clearly very old. Its blade is slender and shows signs of much sharpening over its lifetime. The haft is also worn, although its leather grip has obviously been replaced recently.
  5. The tip of this dagger has snapped off and all that remains is a wickedly jagged stump. The dagger’s hilt and haft are wrapped in blood-stained worn leather.
  6. A long, serrated and slightly curved blade gives this dagger a fell, foreign look. A black stone—that seems to almost suck in the surrounding light—decorates the weapon’s pommel and makes the whole slightly heavier than normal.
  7. This dagger comes complete with a sheath made of tremendously rigid hide flayed from some unknown beast. The dagger itself is heavy and wide-bladed. Grooves in the blade channel any blood spilt away from the haft.
  8. Originally commissioned for an assassin, the steel of this dagger was mixed with ash when forged; thus it is duller and less reflective than a normal blade. A cunning catch in the pommel opens a small compartment just the right size for a vial of poison.
  9. A leather loop runs through a small hole bored through this dagger’s pommel. Designed to be slipped over the wielder’s hand, the loop makes it harder to disarm anyone wielding the dagger.
  10. Stamped with esoteric runes all along the blade, this highly polished and razor sharp dagger looks particularly lethal. The runes speak of death and otherworldly pain. Chips of translucent blue stones decorate the weapon’s hilt, although by the looks of things several of the chips are missing.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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