Magic dagger ideas?

Magic dagger ideas?

Magic dagger ideas?

I just had my first session in my first campaign, and we’re all really psyched. But man, coming up with fresh ideas can be hard. One of my players is playing a bard (alternative version) who’s collecting stories and legends. In the first session he chased off some ship wreckers and acquired a dagger. We’ve established that it once belonged to the infamous privateer Jongeir Korp, who sold his soul to dark forces to escape a storm. Obviously a weapon like this isn’t just a dagger! But I’m struggling to come up with some cool powers for this dagger. Any ideas?

20 thoughts on “Magic dagger ideas?”

  1. Sounds like you’ve got some pretty good material to work with – demons and storms. Maybe the dagger can effect the weather i.e. stop a storm. Maybe it can call down lightening (chain lightening once a day)? Maybe Jongiers spirit still resides in the blade and can be asked questions? Sounds fun – good luck with your future sessions! 🙂

  2. Both cool ideas. We don’t have a fighter so maybe it could use the Heirloom-move to communicate with the dead captain.

    Another idea I had was that he used it to find opportunities for plunder. It could point the way to the captains hidden treasure or towards the most valuable ship nearby. Could be combined with the captains spirit.

  3. Dagger copies a memory with every stab

    Other idea: if the blade is stuck in a dead body (through, say, applying a death blow) that body will be animated as a zombie. It remains animate after the dagger is removed – but you can only control a zombie if the dagger is still in place AND you have your hand on the handle.

  4. Asbjørn H Flø I like your idea about it containing the captains spirit and now you can speak with it as with Heirloom, and it isn’t stepping on anyone’s toes since you have no fighter. Since the character is a bard collecting stories and legends, maybe combine it with Alfred Rudzki’s diving rod idea and instead of just pointing like a compass you consult the spirits of the dagger they tell you a story about how a legendary figure found safe harbour in the same situation.

  5. The Heirloom move is a nice idea, and if it’s the pirate captain’s soul in there, you don’t need any powers for “pointing to safe harbor…” they can just ask the pirate captain where to find one.

    Though… if the pirate captain sold his soul, how would his soul/spirit be in the dagger? Dark powers usually come collecting…

    I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying that it’s a question to resolve. Maybe the dark powers crammed his soul into the dagger and thus it has an agenda (to sow chaos, to further some plot, to corrupt others, etc.). How much can you trust this dagger, huh?

    Or maybe the captain knew his time was coming due and parlayed with a sea-witch to bind his soul to the dagger, making it so that the dark powers couldn’t claim. (This is probably what I’d go with.)

    And then… why haven’t the dark powers found the dagger, then? Is there some enchantment of non-detection on it? How will that enchantment fair when the PCs start waving it around and calling on the pirate’s spirit for advice? Sounds like an impending doom with some grim portents to me, perfect things to tic off on a failed Heirloom roll.

  6. These are some solid ideas! Another theme for the campaign is fairytales and norwegian folklore, and tricking the devil is a big part of that. So the captain hiding his soul in a dagger fits perfectly. Maybe both the sea witch and these dark powers are searching for it.

    Now I just need to find an opportune moment to reveal these powers.

  7. The infamous privateer’s motivations and corresponding behavior would be different than a ‘pirate’ (as some have mentioned). A privateer is basically a contractor and is legally attacking and otherwise harassing the targets designated by a letter of marque. The privateer takes a percentage of the spoils with the rest going to whomever contracted him/her.

    I only bring this up because it can help determine what the dagger might be and/or do (based off of what kind of person the privateer captain was). Also, a dagger is a secondary weapon that would also be used for trivial tasks (cutting food, rope, whatever.. poking, prodding, scratching.. shaving?). I also like seemingly trivial magic items that can grow into story arcs (lord of the rings..though an invisibility ring is not so trivial).

    Maybe, since the bargain was made to escape a storm, the dagger provides some useful function as far as storms are concerned. Hold it flat across the palms of your hands and invoke the captain’s name and get some kind of response.. magic eight ball style, or a general foreboding or sense of relief depending on your facing.. similar to what Alfred Rudzki said.

    or.. Maybe using the blade (to shave, cutting with it, or just holding it) will cause you to slowly begin to look like or take on the mannerisms of the soul-trapped captain. This could spiral into a full-blown conflict with some angry trapped entity which is always scheming to switch places with you. How subtle this is could vary greatly from vague feelings to full-blown out-loud arguing. The players may witness the dagger driving the bard mad and try to separate him from his new ‘prized’ possession..

    Just some thoughts.

  8. To Jeremy Strandberg’s point, give it an agenda. It will help them, but to what end? On a 6- involving an attack with the dagger, i would have the captains spirit leave the dagger and posses the person stabbed, free now to pursue his own agenda. Better if it’s in conflict with the characters’.

  9. Russell Borogove haha yes. I’m getting a One Ring vibe. Every time the Captain is caught he takes his life with the dagger putting his spirit back into it. The dagger is fancy looking and people want to use it when found. Thus beginning the cycle again. Obviously he needs it with him then. 🙂

  10. Possession by the captain seems like a really good way to go. Might explain why the wrecker/bandit leader was so quick to part with it – the captain’s spirit saw more potential in the bard. (the real reason being it was late and I wanted to end the scene and give them a win)

    I have a name for it! Sýnritungur which means visiondagger in pseudonorse/-Icelandic.

  11. I’m also thinking that the will of the captain could be reinforced more subtly than outright possesion as well.

    I’m thinking something like: “When you have spent some time with the dagger and conversed with the spirit within for several nights, you begin to see the world as he did. If during the session you have seized plunder from the enemies of king and country, mark XP.

  12. Asbjørn H Flø I think you’re on the right track, however, I would just attach some sort of “GM Hold” mechanic to either the roll (if you go the Heirloom move route) or with each use of the dagger.

    I really like the way Jason Cordova handles possession and manipulation in his youtube actual plays. He doesn’t take away player agency by defining if the subject is fully possessed or just subtlety. He spends his hold to present them with an opportunity to act in favor of the “possessing” entity’s agenda and if they do they get an XP. The player gets to decide what that looks like fictionally; fully possessed to do his bidding, trying to “resist” it fictionally but still doing it, or resisting the pull fully missing out on the XP and perhaps earning the captains ire. Does that make sense?

    Hope it helps!

  13. That makes perfect sense Andrew Alwood​​, I’ve seen all the Gauntlet’s DW APs. Love it.

    I’ll be using that and possibly Jeremy Strandberg​​s version from Stonetop, which if I remember correctly is a little harder. Depends on how far and how hard the possession angle plays out.

    The drive/alignment move is meant to nudge that along of course. Moahaha! 😈

  14. I think this is a great discussion and I love the ideas that are being thrown around.

    I don’ think it has come up, but have you discussed this with the player in question? Player buy-in would be huge and the player may have some suggestions about how this struggle manifests. They may even take ownership of the role and create their own fiction. Ideally, this would lessen the need to try and compel the player to do the dagger’s bidding. Still, though, when in a situation where the spirit is trying to enforce its will and the host is ‘weakened’ – wounded, asleep, drunk, whatever – I feel like a move to retain control would need to be made.

    Fighting the dagger spirit’s will and eventually freeing the player of its influence should make for some good adventure.

  15. Solid point Joseph Holland​! We’ve only played one session so far, and I think I’ll play this a little slow in the start, so there’s time to develop this with the player.

  16. Plus, if the player kind of ‘owns’ it then they can really give life to Jongeir Korp and it could be a cool story arc with a final showdown with his spirit/consciousness/soul. And who knows, maybe Jongeiur wins and the player takes over a role he’s already been developing..

    Taking it slow sounds good. I’m sure whatever you and your friends come up with is gonna be a lot of fun.

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