[RPG] Which of these two magic daggers is better for the rogue


My rogue with 34hp just found a new dagger for the first time. Being new to D&D, I was filled with excitement for my first new weapon. Then I really read the card and now I'm thinking my old store-bought 1d4 + 1d6 fire dagger (needs Attunement) is still better.

Image of Scarlet: a single-edged dagger with a dark red blade on a heavily curved, carved ivory or bone hilt


Dagger, rare (attunement by rogue)

As a bonus action you can imbue the red raded blade with your blood dealing 1d10 necrotic damage to yourself, which cannot be healed. When the blade is imbued with your blood you gain the Aura of Scarlet the Bloodraven. The Aura lasts for 1 minute and can be cast 2 times a day recharged at a long rest.

When affected by the aura, your sneak attack damage can be come necrotic damage, or poison damage.
You gain plus 1 to your AC
You gain resistance to necrotic damage
When you are attacked by a hostile creature you can target that creature with the Bloodravens curse. You deal an extra 1d4 necrotic damage to that creature, and can impose disadvantage on that creatures perception checks on you.

Scarlet is a +1 weapon, but with a 1 min time limit and the fact I have to be targeted and the chance to lose 1/3 of my health permanently for a day.

Am I missing something or is this weapon kinda lacking and more of a cursed item I need to get rid of? Am I better off with my old flame dagger or the new Scarlet dagger? I still don't know a lot about D&D and magic items — I'm hoping to get advice from more experienced players. Use Scarlet? Try sell it? Etc.

Best Answer

Short answer: Probably not worth it.

In general, while the aura has some interesting effects, it costs too much to activate, probably.

Necrotic resistance and +1 AC are pretty decent, and the curse is ... well, it's okay. But since your existing blade does better damage already (is your existing blade +1?), all that leaves is being able to stop attackers from finding you when you hide.

The ability to change the damage type of sneak damage is pretty nearly irrelevant. The weapon is magical, so it already overcomes most sources of resistance or immunity to stabby damage. So unless the target is vulnerable to poison/necrotic (very rare), or resists magical stabby damage but not poison/necrotic (also very rare), I don't see much point to that.

Here's what I'd suggest:

Rogues benefit from dual-wield. Use your existing fire dagger as your main-hand weapon. If you hit with it and deal sneak damage, great. If you miss, you can spend your bonus action to attack with Scarlet and try to get your sneak damage anyway. Just use it as a +1 dagger.

Once in a blue moon, maybe you get into a bad spot and do the blood aura thing to try to improve your chances of escape, but most likely you never use the dagger's full potential.


The imbue vs cast thing isn't very clear (I assume the DM meant them to be synonymous), and it doesn't say when the damage can be healed. Does the DM mean it can't be healed while the aura lasts? Because that's not so bad, you can get cured after the fight is over. If it really is for the rest of the day or something, then no, I'd never use the dagger's blood power.

Talk to your DM about your concerns.

If he gave you a 'cool artifact' weapon, he obviously expects you to use it, and if you feel it's too much of a risk to ever use, he may be willing to work with you on it. See if he'd be willing to cut down the aura's cost a bit, like make it a d6 damage so it's a little less risky to a squishy rogue. Or have the aura give you resistance to all damage instead of just necrotic, so you're taking damage now in hopes of taking less damage later.

Just some ideas.

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