The precise tag is a defining characteristic of a classic "roguish" weapon, technically it means you can use DEX when Hack and Slash with it.

Default weapons list is very short in Dungeon World, and only two weapons from it has the "precise" tag. By contrast with D&D, a DW dagger is not precise. This oddity was noticed on the PbtA forums:

It appears to me that the intent is to make "precise" a rare tag, via cost. It costs 25 coin for a rapier (the cheapest precise weapon), and 8 coins for a short sword/axe/mace/etc. The only difference is the precise tag.

I wonder was in intentional, or is it just an oversight. There was no official answer tho. Since designers' reasons questions are off-topic here, I'd ask it another way. In terms of game balance, does adding 'precise' tag to daggers break anything? (by "balance" I mean that game should feel fair, and nobody steals the spotlight from any PC) Should the DM tweak other tags, consequences or price accordingly? How exactly?

Bonus points for those who tried this in their games.

Double bonus points if you actually know what the developer's intent was.

Related: Does adding the 'piercing' tag to warhammers require further tweaks from the GM?


3 Answers 3


The game self corrects for overpowered characters because XP gains are largely driven through failed rolls.

The whole point of using DEX for STR is I assume the sheet the player is running is optimized around DEX (or thats their player preference for the character). In a large DW game (I was a player) the GM explicitly had another player run their Character with 18 in all of their attributes to see the effect this had on gameplay. While that character certainly succeeded at basic moves and their starting moves more frequently then the rest of the characters did, they also found it really difficult to level up as most of the XP the rest of the party received for failed rolls was inaccessible to them.

The game is largely driven through tags; if players want to add a tag to an item that doesn't exist make them pay for/earn it in some way.

You can of course just add the tag as you see fit as GM, but generally tags are driven by the narrative so if a character wanted to find a particularly well-balanced dagger for street fighting per se they should seek one out in the world beyond the standard fare at weapon shops - or they should commission one from a blacksmith.


Depending on how "rich" players in your game are it might make DEX based characters slightly stronger

Since damage PCs deal is based on playbooks not weapons, the main difference in giving daggers the precise tag will make is changing its availability.

It seems that precise weapons are rare intentionally so that the ability to roll with DEX is an investment on the part of the player rather than a standard, however, if your players are earning coin they would get access to it early on anyway.

I have not found an instance where it makes the game break


One of the choices for fighter signature weapon is the precise tag. In a specific instance, you had a fighter wanting to go precise with their weapon, the change to daggers might feel like cheapening the choice/stealing the spotlight.


You could introduce a homebrew version of a dagger with a precise tag and slightly higher price to compensate. Something like:

Stiletto (hand, precise, 10 coins, 1 weight)


Why there is no "precise" tag on the Dagger

I would say, there is a reason the dagger doesn't have the precise tag, even tough it seems a little odd. I suspect that it is for the use of the dagger in normal situations. If you use the dagger to do something dexterous like slitting ones throat or deflecting attacks to not get damage, those cases are handled, at least for the thief who is the standard user of daggers, by either defy danger (which I would do with DEX) or by back-stab which is +DEX, too. All other instances of fighting with a dagger is less dexterity based, or at least I would say so, as it is mostly stabbing with it, which needs strenght to do.

Adding "precise"

If the players want to have a weapon besides the rapier, which uses a fighting style that is based on quick moves, they might get a special ballanced version, but I disagree with the price @Deeps used, as it seems to be way to cheap in comparison to the rapier. Maybe 20 coin for a really well ballanced dagger

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Aug 21, 2019 at 10:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .