The Dagger of Venom is a magic item with the following special property :

You can use an action to cause thick, black poison to coat the blade. The poison remains for 1 minute or until an attack using this weapon hits a creature. That creature must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 2d10 poison damage and become poisoned for 1 minute. The dagger can't be used this way again until the next dawn.

The Poisoner feat (from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything) has the following feature :

You can apply poison to a weapon or piece of ammunition as a bonus action, instead of an action.

Would someone with the Poisoner feat be able to activate the special property of a Dagger of Venom as a Bonus Action rather than as an Action ?


2 Answers 2


Technically, probably not, but once per day isn't going to be a problem.

It seems pretty clear that the poisoner feat is referring to poisons like those created with the poisoner's kit. And technically, when you use the dagger of venom, you are activating a magic item, which applies the poison to itself, not applying a poison to the weapon yourself.

But, the dagger of venom effect is a once per day effect, and while this does make the dagger better, once per day makes it so that it shouldn't be an issue balance wise. I'll call it "up to the DM".

This would fix a problem I had with the dagger.

I've used a dagger of venom while playing a rogue. It got some mileage during assassination attempts, but was mostly useless in combats where preemptive strikes didn't happen. To me, the cost of an action was far too great for the reward, and so the dagger of venom turned out to be a very specialized tool that I was only able to use a few times. It would have been nice to have a guaranteed once-per-day use by allowing it to function with a bonus action instead of an action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Notably, even activating it, it isn't guaranteed to actually have any effect. You can hit a creature, but if they succeed on their saving throw, the poison is effectively wasted \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19, 2021 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2021 at 10:54

RAW: Absolutely not

The Poisoner feat talks about applying poisons, aka items that you have, to weapons. The Dagger of Venom is poisoned by activating a magic item, which is NOT applying a poison to the dagger, because you do not have a poison to apply. You merely activate the magic item and the end result is the same as if you HAD a poison and applied it. How you get there is different though.

That out of the way: yeah, RAW here is just clunky, talk to your DM about overwriting it, the dagger is already limited heavily by it's "1x per day" restriction so it would in not be overpowered. It would definitely strengthen the item massively, but it would still be okay, dependent of course on the rest of the partys items. Because RAW, you can only use it for assasinations or when you know a fight is coming (with a risk of wasting its one use). With this "fix" you can use it in any combat, without any pre-planning, which is a good buff. However: that buff comes from you having chosen an IMHO rather weak feat, so I'd rule it as more than fair.


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