A scimitar is more than just a simple weapon in DND.
It’s a symbol of speed, finesse, and deadly precision. From its core attributes to its usage by different characters, we’ll provide an exhaustive look at the DND scimitar.
DND Scimitar Stat Block
What Is a DND Scimitar?
The DND scimitar is a light melee weapon that falls under the category of swords.
Drawing inspiration from the real-world Middle Eastern and South Asian weapon of the same name, the scimitar in DND boasts a distinctive curved blade that tapers to a sharp point.
It’s often depicted with an ornate hilt and sometimes includes a protective knuckle guard.
This reinforces its Eastern origins.
In the vast array of weapons available within the game, the scimitar holds a unique position.
It is one of a select few that combines light weight, one-handed wielding, and the finesse property.
This combination makes it an appealing choice for a variety of characters and combat styles, particularly for those who rely on speed and agility over brute force.
But the scimitar is more than just its technical specifications.
It carries with it a rich flavor and historical connotation that can add depth to a character.
Whether it’s a trophy from a defeated enemy, a treasured family heirloom, or a symbol of a character’s culture or religious devotion, a scimitar can bring a touch of flair to your DND game.
Types of Scimitars in DND
There are many variations on the basic scimitar, ranging from weapons imbued with elemental magic to scimitars tied to specific deities or planes of existence.
Here are a few examples of unique scimitars you might encounter in a DND game:
- Flame Tongue Scimitar: A variant of the Flame Tongue weapon, this scimitar is set alight with magical fire that deals extra fire damage on a hit. The light emitted by this weapon can also be used to illuminate dark areas.
- Frost Brand Scimitar: The Frost Brand scimitar is the polar opposite of the Flame Tongue. This magical weapon deals extra cold damage, extinguishes nearby fire on command, and provides resistance to fire damage.
- Scimitar of Speed: This magical scimitar grants the wielder the ability to make an additional attack with it as a bonus action on each of their turns.
- Nine Lives Stealer Scimitar: A particularly potent and dangerous weapon, this scimitar has the power to steal the life force of its victims. On a critical hit against a creature with fewer than 100 hit points, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be slain instantly.
- Sword of Sharpness Scimitar: This magic weapon maximizes its cutting potential. It has a chance to deal extra damage and can potentially sever an opponent’s limb on a critical hit.
- Scimitar of the Planes: This magical scimitar can be used to cast the plane shift spell, allowing the wielder and companions to travel to different planes of existence.
- Holy Avenger Scimitar: Usually reserved for Paladin characters, this divine weapon grants a bonus to attack and damage rolls, provides an aura of protection, and deals extra damage to fiends and undead.
- Luck Blade Scimitar: While this scimitar doesn’t have any additional bonuses to attack or damage rolls, it does contain up to three wishes (as per the wish spell). It can also add a bonus to its wielder’s saving throws and ability checks.
Then there is also the double-bladed scimitar.
Here is a deep-dive video about this variation of a DND scimitar:
How Does a DND Scimitar Work?
At its core, the DND scimitar operates like any other weapon in the game – you wield it in combat to deal damage to foes.
But the devil, as they say, is in the details, and that’s where the scimitar truly shines.
It’s important to note that the scimitar is classified as a finesse weapon.
This means when you make an attack roll with it, you can choose to use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier.
This means the scimitar is a viable weapon choice for characters built around Dexterity.
The scimitar’s damage is defined as 1d6 slashing.
When you successfully hit a target, you’ll roll a six-sided die (1d6) to determine the amount of damage dealt.
Slashing damage is particularly effective against unarmored or lightly armored foes.
It bypasses the protective benefits of certain types of armor.
Additionally, the scimitar is a one-handed weapon.
This leaves your other hand free to hold a shield, another weapon, or an item, providing tactical flexibility in combat.
The scimitar is also designated as a light weapon.
Basically, this means it can be used for two-weapon fighting, allowing you to attack with a second light weapon as a bonus action.
Pros and Cons of the DND Scimitar
Every weapon in DND carries a set of advantages and disadvantages.
The scimitar is no different, presenting a mixture of benefits and potential drawbacks.
- Finesse Property: Perhaps the most substantial benefit of the scimitar is its finesse property. This allows characters to use their Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls instead of Strength. For Dexterity-based characters like Rogues, Bards, or certain subclasses of Fighters and Monks, this is a tremendous advantage. The finesse property enables these characters to engage effectively in melee combat without straying from their primary attribute focus.
- Versatility: The scimitar is a one-handed weapon, which means it leaves your other hand free. This can be incredibly beneficial, as it allows you to hold a shield for increased Armor Class, another weapon for dual-wielding, or even an item like a spellcasting focus or torch. This flexibility can often mean the difference between success and failure in combat.
- Lightweight: Being categorized as a light weapon, the scimitar opens up the potential for two-weapon fighting. If you’re not holding anything in your other hand, you can carry another light weapon (like a dagger or another scimitar), effectively doubling your attack potential in certain scenarios.
- Swift Attack: Designed for quick, slashing attacks, the scimitar is exceptionally effective in delivering rapid strikes. This makes it a particularly potent weapon against unarmored or lightly armored enemies, who may struggle to defend against the scimitar’s swift assault.
- Damage Limitation: On the flip side, the scimitar’s damage output is relatively modest. With a damage die of 1d6, it can’t compete with heavier, more formidable weapons like the greatsword or battleaxe when it comes to raw damage potential. While it makes up for this with its speed and finesse, for characters or situations where maximum damage is the primary concern, the scimitar might not be the optimal choice.
- Limited Range: The scimitar is a melee weapon, meaning it lacks the range of bows, crossbows, or thrown weapons. While it excels in close-quarters combat, it provides no options for attacking enemies at a distance. If your character often engages in ranged combat, you might want to consider a different weapon, or at least have a backup option ready.
- No Versatile Property: Unlike some one-handed weapons, the scimitar doesn’t have the versatile property, which would allow it to be used with two hands for extra damage. This means the scimitar’s damage potential remains fixed regardless of how it’s wielded, which could be seen as a disadvantage when compared to versatile weapons.
Who Can Use a DND Scimitar?
There are several classes that commonly have proficiency with the scimitar as per the standard rules.
Here’s a look at which characters best wield this swift and agile weapon:
- Rogues: Known for their sneak attacks and reliance on Dexterity, Rogues find the scimitar’s finesse property highly beneficial. Since it’s a melee weapon, it qualifies for their Sneak Attack feature, making it an excellent choice for Rogues looking for a solid melee weapon option.
- Bards: Bards are proficient with all simple weapons, which include the scimitar. Due to their high Dexterity and penchant for flair and drama, a scimitar can be an excellent thematic and practical choice for Bards.
- Monks: While Monks are traditionally associated with unarmed strikes, they can also make effective use of certain weapons, including the scimitar. A Monk wielding a scimitar can take advantage of their Dexterity modifier and make multiple attacks using their Flurry of Blows ability.
- Fighters (Certain Subclasses): While all Fighters are proficient with martial weapons, certain subclasses like the Swashbuckler particularly favor the scimitar. Swashbucklers, with their focus on flamboyant, agile combat, can make excellent use of the scimitar’s finesse and light properties.
- Rangers: Rangers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, including the scimitar. Given that many Rangers focus on Dexterity for their ranged attacks, a scimitar can be a strong choice for close-quarters combat, allowing them to utilize their Dexterity for both ranged and melee attacks.
How Players Can Use a DND Scimitar
Once you’ve decided to wield a scimitar in your DND game, it’s important to understand how to make the most of its properties.
Here are some strategies and considerations for effectively using a scimitar.
- Utilize Your Dexterity: The scimitar’s finesse property allows you to use your Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls, instead of Strength. If you’re a Dexterity-based character, be sure to make the most of this by prioritizing Dexterity in your character build and development.
- Consider Two-Weapon Fighting: If you’re not holding anything in your other hand, you can wield another light weapon (such as a dagger or another scimitar) and engage in two-weapon fighting. This allows you to make a bonus attack with your second weapon, potentially increasing your damage output.
- Pair with a Shield: Alternatively, if your character values defense, consider wielding a shield in your other hand. This will increase your Armor Class, making you harder to hit in combat.
- Use for Sneak Attacks: If you’re a Rogue, you can use a scimitar to deliver sneak attacks, which can result in significant damage. The finesse property means these attacks can benefit from your likely high Dexterity score.
- Consider the Dueling Fighting Style: If you’re a Fighter or Paladin, consider choosing the Dueling fighting style if you’re primarily using a scimitar. This style gives you a +2 bonus to damage rolls when you’re wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, making your scimitar strikes more potent.
- Leverage in Roleplay: The scimitar’s unique, curved design and cultural connotations can add a touch of exotic flavor to your roleplay scenarios. Whether it’s part of your character’s cultural heritage, a trophy from a past battle, or a symbol of your character’s agility and finesse, the scimitar can be a great storytelling prop.
- Customize Your Scimitar: Talk to your Dungeon Master about the possibility of customizing your scimitar. Perhaps it’s made of a unique material, or it’s enchanted with a particular spell. Customizing your weapon can provide mechanical benefits and further contribute to your character’s story and personality.
Comparing the Scimitar to Other Weapons in DND
Scimitars, like all weapons in DND, have their unique place in the weapon spectrum.
Let’s take a look at how they compare to other popular choices.
- Scimitar vs. Rapier: The rapier is a one-handed weapon, like the scimitar, but it deals more damage with a d8 rather than a d6. However, the rapier lacks the light property, meaning it’s not ideal for dual wielding unless you have the Dual Wielder feat. Also, the rapier is typically used for piercing rather than slashing damage, which can make a difference in some combat scenarios.
- Scimitar vs. Longsword: The longsword deals more damage than a scimitar, using a d8 instead of a d6, or a d10 when wielded with two hands. However, the longsword does not have the light property, limiting its use in dual wielding. The longsword offers versatility with its ability to deal either slashing or piercing damage, unlike the scimitar’s strict slashing damage.
- Scimitar vs. Shortsword: The scimitar and shortsword have the same damage die (d6), but the shortsword has a crucial advantage for Strength-based characters because it has the finesse property, allowing you to use either your Strength or Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls. The scimitar also has the finesse property, but the shortsword can cater to more character builds. The key difference is the damage type – the scimitar deals slashing damage while the shortsword deals piercing damage.
- Scimitar vs. Dagger: A dagger deals less damage with only a d4 for its damage die, but it is also a light, finesse weapon and has the added advantage of the thrown property, making it a more versatile choice in certain situations.
50 DM Ideas for Scimitars
As a Dungeon Master, you can infuse your campaign with rich lore and exciting plot hooks surrounding scimitars.
Here are 50 ideas to inspire you:
- A scimitar causes the user to swap places with whoever they strike, leading to interesting combat strategies.
- A wandering merchant sells a scimitar that always returns to the hand of its owner when thrown.
- A scimitar contains the power of the sea, capable of summoning a torrent of water with each swing.
- An ancestral scimitar gains power with each generation, collecting the wisdom and strength of its past wielders.
- A scimitar that can speak and has a very sarcastic and humorous personality, providing comic relief.
- A shape-shifting scimitar can change into any other melee weapon at the command of its wielder.
- A fabled scimitar is said to show the path to a forgotten realm when struck against a particular stone.
- A powerful scimitar absorbs the energy of defeated enemies, growing stronger with each battle.
- An enchanted scimitar can light up dark areas when commanded, serving as a radiant beacon.
- A scimitar that causes anyone wounded by it to tell nothing but lies until healed.
- A unique scimitar allows the wielder to communicate with animals.
- A once-glorious scimitar now rusted and neglected holds the secret to restoring a fallen kingdom.
- A wicked warlord seeks a mythical scimitar said to grant invulnerability in battle.
- A hidden sect of monks protects a scimitar that can turn its wielder invisible.
- A scimitar forged from shadow is hidden in a realm of eternal night.
- An intricate scimitar acts as a key to an ancient artifact of unimaginable power.
- A scimitar blessed by a sun god glows brilliantly and is extremely effective against undead.
- A fallen star shaped into a scimitar provides celestial visions to its holder.
- A scimitar’s blade only appears when it’s in the hands of someone truly courageous.
- A scimitar rumored to hold the power to free or control a powerful genie.
- A scimitar allows the wielder to control plants, encouraging rapid growth and manipulation.
- A sentient scimitar thirsts for the blood of dragons, guiding its wielder to their location.
- A scimitar that can summon a small sandstorm, obscuring vision and disorienting enemies.
- A gilded scimitar of a lost empire reveals the true nature of those it cuts.
- A shattered scimitar needs to be reforged using the heart of a volcano.
- An unassuming scimitar turns into a monstrous serpent when thrown with the right command word.
- A scimitar decorated with feathers gives the wielder the ability to speak with birds.
- A spectral scimitar can only be seen and touched by its rightful owner.
- A treacherous vizier seeks a scimitar of illusion to deceive his sultan and seize the throne.
- A crude scimitar made from sea glass is the only weapon that can harm a sea witch.
- A scimitar crafted from the horn of a unicorn grants the wielder the power of healing.
- A scimitar reveals its engraved secrets only to those who have proven their worth.
- A scimitar reflects the past of anything it touches, revealing a series of flashbacks.
- A deceptively simple wooden scimitar is the key to awakening an ancient tree spirit.
- A precious scimitar has been split and sold as separate gemstones, which must be found and reforged.
- A blood-thirsty scimitar tempts its wielder to indulge in violent actions.
- A scimitar holds the essence of wind, allowing the wielder to move with exceptional speed.
- A sentient scimitar chooses its wielder, denying anyone it deems unworthy.
- A ceremonial scimitar must be used in a ritual to prevent a catastrophic event.
- A scimitar made from a kraken’s tooth allows communication with sea creatures.
- A highly sought-after scimitar rumored to hold the power to control dragons is the center of a grand conflict.
- A magical scimitar is the prize of a tournament held in the honor of a deity.
- A radiant scimitar, when raised, can part the clouds and bring forth sunlight.
- A secret guild of thieves uses scimitars made of a special alloy that can cut through magical barriers.
- A mystical scimitar can transform into a swift falcon at the wielder’s command.
- A sacred scimitar was stolen from a temple and the gods have inflicted a plague upon the land until it’s returned.
- A mystical scimitar allows the wielder to walk on air as if it were solid ground.
- A broken scimitar, when mended, awakens a sleeping titan from its eternal slumber.
- A charlatan sells a counterfeit of a famous scimitar, causing chaos when the deception is revealed.
- A blacksmith promises to craft a masterwork scimitar in exchange for an extremely rare material.
- A magical scimitar must be plunged into a sacred spring to replenish its lost powers.
Final Thoughts: DND Scimitar
While scimitars are awesome weapons in DND, they are not the only ones.
Learn the ins and outs of other weapons and items by checking out the articles below.
- Shortbow DND: Stats, Tips, and Ultimate Guide
- DND and Cloaks: 11 Things You Need To Know
- D&D Half Plate: Ultimate Guide w/ Stats + 31 Answers
- DND Deep Speech: Ultimate Guide for Beginners