I have created a magical dagger that can paralyse people, that I plan to give to the party when they reach roughly 10th level. Is it balanced?

Dagger of Paralysis

Weapon (dagger), rare

This is a +2 magical weapon. When you attack a target and hit with that attack, you can expend one charge of this dagger to cause the target to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 18). On a failure, the target is paralysed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of it's turn, ending the effect on a success.

This dagger has 3 charges, which reset at dawn. If you use the last charge, you must firstly make a Constitution save (DC 18) or be paralysed for 1 minute. You cannot repeat this save. Secondly, you must roll a d20. On a 1, the dagger is magically transported to a random spot on the material plane.

  • @HeyICanChan it does a little, but I see your point! – Jamie Brace Oct 19 '16 at 11:06
up vote 13 down vote accepted

It is too powerful

Same rarity as a vanilla +2 weapon, but can be used twice a day quite reliably to paralyse someone. (You should be very desperate to use the third charge)
Only a dagger can have this enchantment, and this limits the DPR, but I still think it does not offset the huge control potential.

I would either decrease the save DC to around 15, or give it only +1 for attack and damage.

  • 1
    DPR isn't that big a deal for many characters who can duel wield this. Bonus action to paralyze? Yes, please! The bulk of their DPR is coming from their main-hand attack, and the dagger is used for the paralysis…or a rogue is using a dagger anyway. – Christopher Oct 19 '16 at 13:59
  • 2
    I'll take the +2 down to +1 and change the DC to 17, I'd rather have the bonus to hit come down than the DC as this will be used as a plot device against one of the PC's before they get hold of it! – Jamie Brace Oct 19 '16 at 14:05
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    @Christopher if a rogue is interested in DPR, he will be using two shortswords. The best use for this is to have it in a sheath, and pull it out for those attacks when you want to paralyze someone. Other times use something with better DPR, like 2 +3 rapiers :) – András Oct 19 '16 at 14:05
  • Right, but switching out to this dagger isn't going to be too difficult. And if it's one of the few rare items you have, it's going to be better than a mundane shortsword—and close enough to a +1 shortsword to not worry about it. – Christopher Oct 19 '16 at 14:08

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