Phase dagger ( ( )
Item Type Melee weapon
Artifact? No
Weight 5s
Danger Level 10
Material Iron

Phase daggers are a special type of dagger in ADOM. Whilst they have the same base stats and general vulnerabilities (to rusting, burning etc.) as regular iron daggers, phase daggers effectively bypass the defending monster's PV. This means that the damage that would be dealt by an attacking PC wielding the dagger (which also depends on PC's strength, tactics, skill in Daggers and Knives, and other damage modifiers such as critical hits) will be directly subtracted from the opponent's HP — regardless of how well-armored he/she/it is.

With all the possible damage multipliers (critical hits, etc.), the actual formula for damage calculation is not quite that simple though. Instead of simply ignoring enemy PV, phase daggers actually add the PV to the damage inflicted before critical hit and blessed/cursed weapon modifiers (but not before backstab modifier gets applied). This means that phase daggers can do much more damage than expected against monsters with very high PV. This can also lead to a counterintuitive situation where a cursed phase dagger does no damage if the enemy is either a demon or undead with high enough PV. Exact damage formula seems to be following:

  1. Start with base damage (i.e. damage shown with "shift-W")
  2. (if backstabbing) Multiply damage by backstab multiplier; usually 2x, see backstabbing for more info
  3. Add enemy's PV to damage
  4. Multiply damage by 1.5 or 0.5 if using blessed/cursed weapon against demon or undead; round down
  5. (if critical hit) Multiply damage by 2
  6. Subtract enemy's PV from damage

Presumably formula is changed for r71 and enemy's PV damage part won't be multiplied.[1]

The base stats of a phase dagger are (+1, 1d4), though they can be generated with slightly higher or lower to-hit/damage modifiers. Phase daggers appear as gray daggers in their unidentified form.


Phase daggers can be very useful or useless, depending on the situation. They really shine against monsters with huge PV such as greater molochs, eternium golems and the Ancient Stone Beast, bearing in mind that PCs berserking with high strength (for example) will yield a lot more damage against them than just 1d4. On the other hand, they are as petty in melee combat as regular daggers when facing many early game enemies or even against considerably powerful enemies that always have little or no PV anyway (such as berserker emperors or the master necromancer).

Another point of consideration is that many, much more powerful weapons can be generated with the 'of penetration' suffix — which perform a *lot* better than phase daggers (for example, it is possible to find an brutal eternium two-handed sword of penetration). However, phase daggers can be wished for; weapons with generic suffixes cannot be wished for, and high-end weapons of penetration in particular seem to be very rare to find.

However, because of how phase dagger damage is calculated differently from "of penetration" suffix, phase daggers can do significantly more damage against monsters with high PV if the weapon is blessed (and the enemy is undead or demon) and/or with a critical hit.

Guaranteed/Common sourcesEdit

Phase daggers can be randomly generated as all other generic loot, though they appear to be very rare. Like swords of sharpness or maces of destruction, it is at least possible to wish for some.

Greater Identify informationEdit

----------------------------- gray dagger----------------------------

The gray dagger is actually an uncursed phase dagger (+1, 1d4).

When used in melee combat it grants a +1 bonus to hit and causes 1d4 points
of damage. When used as a missile it grants a +0 bonus to hit and causes 1d4
points of damage.

It ignores all the protection of your opponents.

Some item DLs and/or stat modifier distribution taken from Anilatx's research.