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I'm currently playing a ranger in a 5e module, and have gained a magic dagger that

doesn’t make noise when it hits or cuts something.

The dagger is

Reszur from Princes of the Apocalypse (p. 157). It is found by the dwarf statue (area T7) in the Tomb of Moving Stones.

The Gloom Stalker ranger's Umbral Sight feature (XGtE, p. 42) says:

You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on darkvision. While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.

I'll be getting Umbral Sight next level, so I want to know how they will both work together.

The Unseen Attackers and Targets rule says (emphasis mine):

When a creature can't see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it. If you are hidden–both unseen and unheard–when you make an attack, you give away your location when the attack hits or misses.

With this dagger, is it possible to not give away your location when you miss? If so, does it still work if you hit? Or is this really a DM-to-DM thing?

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You remain invisible - but not because of the dagger

Let's look at the situation you are describing. We'll assume you are in an environment that qualifies as non-magical darkness and are fighting a creature with darkvision.

In this scenario, umbral sight is what matters.

You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on darkvision. While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.

It does not state that you lose the invisibility after the attack. This is an always-on ability that happens in this type of environment.

Whether or not you hit, miss, or do anything else doesn't matter. You will always be invisible and unseen in this environment (unless something changes.)

In other environments, it may matter

The text of the dagger dictates that it only makes no sound when you hit or cut. If you miss, the dagger 'sounds' normal. How this plays out will likely be up to a DM.

Interaction with being Hidden

Since you quoted the rules around being hidden, let's address that case.

Your ranger is in darkness and has taken the action to Hide. Your roll is sufficiently high to beat the passive perception of your enemy. You are now Hidden and invisible. Very cool!

Now, you take out your dagger and attack (with advantage)!

You roll and miss - hidden has ended

As the dagger makes a normal noise, you lose your hidden status but remain invisible. As you've quoted, the dagger's special soundless property doesn't engage when you miss, only if you hit or cut.

At this point, the enemy knows your location and can attack it with disadvantage because you are no longer hidden (but still invisible.)

You roll and hit - up to a DM

Here is what it gets a bit trickier. The rules talk about being hidden as unseen and unheard. However, they also follow up with:

...you give away your location when the attack hits or misses

Normally, you'd give yourself away at this point and lose your hidden status (but still remain invisible.) What's tricky is you are still invisible (unseen) and because you hit, the weapon didn't make a sound.

I hate to say it, but in this case it's going to be a up to a DM as to whether you lose your hidden status. A DM can rule that while the blade makes no noise, you do (because you can still make noise even if the blade doesn't.)

That ruling does seem to take away from the weapon's properties though. A DM could instead rule that because the weapon is soundless and you are invisible, the attack doesn't give away your location and you remain hidden.

Because you are still hidden, the creature has to guess your location and still make an attack at disadvantage. If you've moved away (with no Opportunity Attack because you aren't seen), then they are very likely to not hit you unless they luckily guess your location.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this may also be worth noting: If you are Invisible and Hidden, then an enemy has to guess at where you are if they want to try to attack you. Even if they are aware that they are under attack, they don't know where the attacker is and can't see their attacker, so the best they can do is attack a 'space' and hope they picked the right spot. If you are invisible, but not hidden...then they know basically where you are, but can't see you--this allows them to try to attack you (at Disadvantage) without having to guess at your location. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jul 18 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty Good point! Added- thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 18 at 13:44
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The rules don’t say that you give away your position “because of the sight and sound” of the attack, the just that you give away your position. So eliminating the sight and sound of the attack doesn’t do anything, under the rules.

Could a DM rule that someone completely unable to perceive the attack in any way cannot glean your position from a missed attack? Certainly. They might even allow it if the attack hits for a ranged attack. But that’s purely up to the DM; the rules don’t suggest it.

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