Dead Man's Tale

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Dead Man's Tale
Production overview


Tex Mechanica

Rarity class:


Weapon type:

Scout Rifle

Intrinsic frame:

Aggressive Frame

Is craftable:


Patterns needed:


Min-max impact:


Min-max stability:


Min-max handling:


Min-max magazine:



Feed system:

Single Rounds

Ammunition type:


Fire mode:

Lever Action

Rate of fire:



KineticS.png Kinetic

Effective range:


Reload speed:


Hidden stats

Aim assistance:


Inventory size:






Bounce intensity:


Bounce direction:

Tends Left

Service history

In service:

Katabasis (formerly)


Shadows of Calus (formerly)


"Long, short, they all end the same way."

Dead Man's Tale is a Exotic Kinetic Scout Rifle that was first acquired from the completion of the The Voice on the Other Side quest, and repeatedly afterwards with random rolls from completing the Presage activity weekly. With the release of The Witch Queen expansion, and the subsequent vaulting of the Presage mission, players could obtain one roll of the gun each week from Xûr by exchanging an Exotic Cipher with him. Beginning in Season of the Witch, this weapon became craftable with new perks; given the reintroduction of its corresponding exotic mission on a weekly rotating schedule.


  • Intrinsic Perk: Cranial Spike, II, III, IV
    • PvE: Chaining precision hits grants bonus damage per stack.
    • PvP: Chaining precision hits grants increased reload speed, target acquisition, and range per stack.
    • Upon reaching maximum stacks of Cranial Spike, the catalyst increases hip-fire RPM by 50, but deals reduced damage per bullet (20% decrease).

Barrel Bowstring Blade Haft Magazine Arrow Guard Perk 1 Perk 2 Stock Grip Origin

Chambered Compensator Flared Magwell Transformative (unavailable) Composite Stock
Corkscrew Rifling High-Caliber Rounds Subsistence(unavailable) Fitted Stock
Fluted Barrel Ricochet Rounds Snapshot Sights(unavailable) Hand-Laid Stock
Polygonal Rifling Light Mag Vorpal Weapon Short-Action Stock
Smallbore Armor-Piercing Rounds Fourth Time's the Charm
Hammer-Forged Rifling Accurized Rounds Killing Wind
Arrowhead Brake Steady Rounds Outlaw
Extended Barrel Moving Target
Full Bore Compulsive Reloader
Rapid Hit


The quest to obtain the catalyst for Dead Man's Tale was originally awarded upon completion of the Presage activity on Legend difficulty. Once this content was no longer in the game, the catalyst had a chance to drop from playlist activity completions (Strikes, Crucible and Gambit) once the weapon had been acquired. The Exotic quest to obtain the catalyst has been brought back to the game in Season of the Witch, allowing the catalyst to drop on legend difficulty once again.

The catalyst, once completed, will grant an additional perk:

  • Dark Forged Trigger: Removes hipfire accuracy penalties and increases rate of fire from hip. Stacks of Cranial Spike increase hip rate of fire further.



Gaelin-4's war beast leads us through balmy Venusian jungle. Our rifles low, our Ghosts high in the canopy like sentry drones.

"My vehicle is old. Needs maintenance. Been running too long without cutting the engine," I say.

Gaelin sends me a sideways look. "That shipwright still around? She used to make cider in the autumn. I swear, she kept us like a pack of strays."

I sigh. "No, I mean this thing." I run my hand over my body. "Besides, you know I can't go back there." I straighten the leather wrap around my Tex-foundry rifle.

"You know I literally tune myself, right?" asks the Exo Hunter.

"Why? You're immortal."

"And you're not?"

"I know, but I'm… slower. I feel slower."

"Uh huh."

"Just not like what I used to feel like. Not… spry. Not up here either." I tap my helmet.

"Tragedy. I feel for you. Have Gilgamesh tune you then."

I chuckle. "Yeah… he'd love that."

"You two having issues again?"

I shake my head in a stiff, narrow lie. "You think we come back the same every time?"

"I do. Straight from the manufacturer ," Gaelin-4 says.

"Sometimes I get the feeling… something's different."

Gaelin stops and squints at me.

I dip my head and let my hood fall forward. "Nothing I can put my finger on, just little things. Adjustments."

"You think he's changing you?" Gaelin's voice sounds more serious than surprised.

I wait too long to answer. It's not because I don't know my answer, but because I want to feel like I still doubt it. I raise my head. Gaelin meets my eyes and looks up to the canopy.

He leans his shoulder into me and drops his voice to a whisper. "My Clip's a good one, but you need to realize Ghosts don't know anything. Nobody does. They're just like us. They get curious. They question. If you think something's coming unwound, you need to sit down and talk it out."

"Wait… did Clip change yo—"

"Please," Gaelin scoffs. "You're paranoid." He turns to keep walking and calls back, "Life changes you. Same with them. I'm the only one that stays the same."

Gaelin raises a fist and we stop. His war beast sniffs the air and turns us east. We continue walking.

"What'd you name the beast?"


"You've been reading too many of the Spider's books ."

"Some of 'em are good."

I laugh. "Aren't you the man that said anything you got tying you down can be made into a noose?"

"Yeah, some time ago."

"You've been taking a lot of jobs with him ? Those Fallen?"

"You're one to talk, Emperor's lackey . Some of those Eliksni aren't so bad."


  • Dead Man's Tale Intrinsic Perk was changed in Season of Plunder, due to some unintended effects and consequently, undesired prominence in the Crucible.[1]
  • Dead Man's Tale is one of only two Transformative Exotic weapons, meaning it has multiple, random rolls; the other being Hawkmoon.
  • The Dead Man's Revenge ornament for Dead Man's Tale is a reference to the DMR from Halo.


List of appearances[edit]