Weapons Spoiler

weap-331.html Update version 1 for NetHack 3.3.1
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.3.1 by Dylan O'Donnell <psmith@spod-central.org>.
HTML Conversion by Kate Nepveu <knepveu@steelypips.org>.

Contents

WEAPON (Table 1)
Dagger COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
orcish dagger $4 10 12 IRON crude dagger
dagger 4 10 30 IRON --
silver dagger 40 12 3 SILV --
athame 4 10 0 IRON --
elven dagger 4 10 10 WOOD runed dagger
Knife COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
worm tooth 2 20 0 NONE --
knife (shito) 4 5 20 IRON --
stiletto 4 5 5 IRON --
scalpel 4 5 0 IRON --
crysknife 100 20 0 MINL --
Axe COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
axe 8 60 40 IRON --
battle-axe 40 120 10 IRON double-headed axe
Pick-axe COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
pick-axe 50 100 tool IRON --
dwarvish mattock 50 120 13 IRON broad pick
Short sword COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
orcish short sword 10 30 3 IRON crude short sword
short sword (wakizashi) 10 30 8 IRON --
dwarvish short sword 10 30 2 IRON broad short sword
elven short sword 10 30 2 WOOD runed short sword
Broadsword COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
broadsword (ninja-to) 10 70 8 IRON --
runesword 300 40 0 IRON runed broadsword
elven broadsword 10 70 4 WOOD runed broadsword
Long sword COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
long sword 15 40 50 IRON --
katana 80 40 4 IRON samurai sword
Two-handed sword COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
two-handed sword 50 150 22 IRON --
tsurugi 500 60 0 METL long samurai sword
Scimitar COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
scimitar 15 40 15 IRON curved sword
Saber COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
silver saber 75 40 6 SILV --
Club COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
club 3 30 12 WOOD --
aklys 4 15 8 IRON thonged club
Mace COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
mace 5 30 40 IRON --
Morning star COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
morning star 10 120 12 IRON --
Flail COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
flail (nunchaku) 4 15 40 IRON --
grappling hook 50 30 tool IRON iron hook
Hammer COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
war hammer 5 50 15 IRON --
Quarterstaff COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
quarterstaff 5 40 11 WOOD staff
Polearm COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
partisan 10 80 5 IRON vulgar polearm
fauchard 5 60 6 IRON pole sickle
glaive (naginata) 6 75 8 IRON single-edged polearm
bec-de-corbin 8 100 4 IRON beaked polearm
spetum 5 50 5 IRON forked polearm
lucern hammer 7 150 5 IRON pronged polearm
guisarme 5 80 6 IRON pruning hook
ranseur 6 50 5 IRON hilted polearm
voulge 5 125 4 IRON pole cleaver
bill-guisarme 7 120 4 IRON hooked polearm
bardiche 7 120 4 IRON long poleaxe
halberd 10 150 8 IRON angled poleaxe
Spear COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
orcish spear 3 30 13 IRON crude spear
spear 3 30 50 IRON --
silver spear 40 36 2 SILV --
elven spear 3 30 10 WOOD runed spear
dwarvish spear 3 35 12 IRON stout spear
Javelin COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
javelin 3 20 10 IRON throwing spear
Trident COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
trident 5 25 8 IRON --
Lance COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
lance 10 180 4 IRON --
Bow COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
orcish bow 60 30 12 WOOD crude bow
bow 60 30 24 WOOD --
elven bow 60 30 12 WOOD runed bow
yumi 60 30 0 WOOD long bow
orcish arrow 2 1 20 IRON crude arrow
arrow 2 1 55 IRON --
silver arrow 5 1 12 SILV --
elven arrow 2 1 20 WOOD runed arrow
ya 4 1 15 METL bamboo arrow
Sling COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
sling 20 3 40 WOOD --
flintstone 1 10 gems MINL --
other rocks/gems/glass vary vary gems vary --
Crossbow COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
crossbow 40 50 45 WOOD --
crossbow bolt 2 1 55 IRON --
Dart COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
dart 2 1 60 IRON --
Shuriken COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
shuriken 5 1 35 IRON throwing star
Boomerang COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
boomerang 20 5 15 WOOD --
Whip COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
bullwhip 4 20 2 LEAT --
rubber hose 3 20 0 PLAS --
Unicorn horn COST WGT PROB MATL APPEARANCE
unicorn horn 100 20 tool BONE --
 
Two weapon combat -- -- none NONE --
Riding -- -- none NONE --
Bare-handed combat -- -- hand NONE --
Martial arts -- -- hand NONE --
WEAPON (Table 2) A B C H K M P Ra Ro S T V W =+HIT SDAM SAVG LDAM LAVG
Dagger b b b s b - - E E b E E E          
orcish dagger                           2 d3 2 d3 2
dagger                           2 d4 2.5 d3 2
silver dagger                           2 d4 2.5 d3 2
athame                           2 d4 2.5 d3 2
elven dagger                           2 d5 3 d3 2
Knife b - s E b - - s E s s - s          
worm tooth                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
knife (shito)                             d3 2 d2 1.5
stiletto                             d3 2 d2 1.5
scalpel                           2 d3 2 d3 2
crysknife                           3 d10 5.5 d10 5.5
Axe - E s - s - - s - - b E s          
axe                             d6 3.5 d4 2.5
battle-axe                             d8+d4 7.0 d6+2d4 8.5
Pick-axe E E b - b - - b - - b s -          
pick-axe                             d6 3.5 d3 2
dwarvish mattock                           -1 d12 6.5 d8+2d6 11.5
WEAPON A B C H K M P Ra Ro S T V W =+HIT SDAM SAVG LDAM LAVG
Short sword b b - s s - - b E E E s b          
orcish short sword                             d5 3 d8 4.5
short sword (wakizashi)                             d6 3.5 d8 4.5
dwarvish short sword                             d7 4 d8 4.5
elven short sword                             d8 4.5 d8 4.5
Broadsword - s - - s - - - s s b s -          
broadsword (ninja-to)                             2d4 5 d6+1 4.5
runesword                             2d4 5 d6+1 4.5
elven broadsword                             d6+d 4 6.0 d6+1 4.5
Long sword - s - - E - - - s E b E -          
long sword                             d8 4.5 d12 6.5
katana                           1 d10 5.5 d12 6.5
Two-handed sword - E - - s - - - b E b E -          
two-handed sword                             d12 6.5 3d6 10.5
tsurugi                           2 d16 8.5 d8+2d6 11.5
Scimitar s s - b b - - - s b s b -          
scimitar                             d8 4.5 d8 4.5
Saber E b - b s - - - s b s b -          
silver saber                             d8 4.5 d8 4.5
WEAPON A B C H K M P Ra Ro S T V W =+HIT SDAM SAVG LDAM LAVG
Club s s E s b - E - s - - - s          
club                             d6 3.5 d3 2
aklys                             d6 3.5 d3 2
Mace - s E b s - E - s - b - b          
mace                             d6+1 4.5 d6 3.5
Morning star - s b - s - E b b - b - -          
morning star                             2d4 5 d6+1 4.5
Flail - b s - b - E s b s b - -          
flail (nunchaku)                             d6+1 4.5 2d4 5
grappling hook                             d2 1.5 d6 3.5
Hammer - E s - b - E b b - b E -          
war hammer                             d4+1 3.5 d4 2.5
Quarterstaff s b E E - b E b - b b b E          
quarterstaff                             d6 3.5 d6 3.5
Polearm - - s b s - s s b s b s s          
partisan                             d6 3.5 d6+1 4.5
fauchard                             d6 3.5 d8 4.5
glaive (naginata)                             d6 3.5 d10 5.5
bec-de-corbin                             d8 4.5 d6 3.5
spetum                             d6+1 4.5 2d6 7
lucern hammer                             2d4 5 d6 3.5
guisarme                             2d4 5 d8 4.5
ranseur                             2d4 5 2d4 5
voulge                             2d4 5 2d4 5
bill-guisarme                             2d4 5 d10 5.5
bardiche                             2d4 5 3d4 7.5
halberd                             d10 5.5 2d6 7
WEAPON A B C H K M P Ra Ro S T V W =+HIT SDAM SAVG LDAM LAVG
Spear - s E b s b s s b b b s b          
orcish spear                             d5 3 d8 4.5
spear                             d6 3.5 d8 4.5
silver spear                             d6 3.5 d8 4.5
elven spear                             d7 4 d8 4.5
dwarvish spear                             d8 4.5 d8 4.5
Javelin - - s b s b s E - b b b b          
javelin                             d6 3.5 d6 3.5
Trident - s s b b - s b - - b b b          
trident                             d6+1 4.5 3d4 7.5
Lance - - - - E - b - - s b s -          
lance                             d6 3.5 d8 4.5
Bow - b s - b - b E - E b - -          
orcish bow                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
bow                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
elven bow                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
yumi                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
orcish arrow                             d5 3 d6 3.5
arrow                             d6 3.5 d6 3.5
silver arrow                             d6 3.5 d6 3.5
elven arrow                             d7 4 d6 3.5
ya                           1 d7 4 d7 4
WEAPON A B C H K M P Ra Ro S T V W =+HIT SDAM SAVG LDAM LAVG
Sling s - E s - - b E - - b b s          
sling                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
flintstone                             d6 3.5 d6 3.5
other rocks/ gems/ glass                             d3 2 d3 2
Crossbow - - - - s b b E E - b - -          
crossbow                             d2 1.5 d2 1.5
crossbow bolt                             d4+1 3.5 d6+1 4.5
Dart b - - E - - b E E - E - E          
dart                             d3 2 d2 1.5
Shuriken - - - s - b b s s E b - b          
shuriken                           2 d8 4.5 d6 3.5
Boomerang E - E - - - b E - - b - -          
boomerang                             d9 5 d9 5
Whip E - - - - - - b - - b - -          
bullwhip                             d2 1.5 1 1
rubber hose                             d4 2.5 d3 2
Unicorn horn s - b E - - s - - - s - -          
unicorn horn                           1 d12 6.5 d12 6.5
Two weapon combat b b - - s - - - E E s s -          
Riding b b - - E - - b b s b s b          
Bare-handed combat E G G b E - b b E - s E b   d2 1.5 d2 1.5
Martial arts - - - - - G - - - G - - -   d4 2.5 d4 2.5

Weapons are listed above first by skill class, then by increasing damage. Alternative Japanese names are listed in parenthesis (). The COST field denotes the base price of each weapon. WGT specifies the weight (100 zorkmids weighs 1).

Weapons comprise 10% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 0% in containers, 12% on the Rogue level, and 20% in hell. PROB is the relative probability of each subtype. If an object is mergable, then 6d6 (6 to 36) quantity is generated. Weapons have a roughly 10% chance of being blessed, roughly 10% of being cursed, and roughly 10% chance of a non-zero enchantment (exponentially distributed). Pick axes, unicorn horns, grappling hooks, gems, glass, rocks, two-weapon combat, riding, bare-handed combat, and martial arts are also listed here for their weapon skills and damage, even though they are not technically weapons.

The MATL column describes the material of the weapon. This affects whether the weapon can be damaged (eroded); see the section below to find out how to repair and prevent damage.

MATL DESCRIPTION ERODES?
BONE Horn or bone No
IRON Iron Rusts/Corrodes
LEAT Leather Burns/Rots
METL Other metal No
MINL Mineral No
NONE Not an item or unusual material No
PLAS Plastic or rubber No
SILV Silver No
WOOD Wood Burns/Rots

Some character classes know the true identity of some or all weapons at the start of the game. Weapons whose identity has not yet been established will have the APPEARANCE listed.

Each character class has a limit to the amount of skill that can be obtained in each weapon class. The maximum skill level is noted under the ABCH KMPRaRoSTVW columns: - for restricted (cannot advance beyond unskilled), b for basic skill, s for skilled, E for expert, M for master, and G for grand master. Weapon skills are explained further below.

Finally, information about each weapon's ability to hit and cause damage is listed. A few weapons have an additional bonus to hit, listed in the +HIT column. The base amount of damage to small and large monsters is given in the SDAM and LDAM fields, and is expressed in terms of die rolls. For example, 2d6 means 2 dice which can each range from 1 to 6, for a total from 2 to 12. The average amount of damage (useful for comparing weapons) against small and large monsters is given under SAVG and LAVG.

Weapon skills

The table of weapons above is organized by "skill classes". Continued use of a weapon gives you practice in its skill class. With enough practice in a skill class and experience levels, you may have the opportunity to advance your skill level in that skill class. This will in turn lead to an improvement in your chance to hit and the damage produced by weapons in that class.

  NEEDED WEAPON 2-WEAP
SKILL LEVEL HITS EXP =+HIT =+DAM =+HIT =+DAM
Unskilled 0 0 -4 -2 -9 -3
Basic 20 1 0 0 -7 -1
Skilled 80 2 2 1 -5 0
Expert 180 3 3 2 -3 1
  NEEDED RIDING BARE-HAND MARTIAL
SKILL LEVEL HITS EXP =+HIT =+DAM =+HIT =+DAM =+HIT =+DAM
Unskilled 0 0 -2 0 1 0 2 1
Basic 20 1 -1 0 1 1 3 3
Skilled 80 1 0 1 2 1 4 4
Expert 180 2 0 2 2 2 5 6
Master 320 2 -- -- 3 2 6 7
Grand master 500 3 -- -- 3 3 7 9

There are specifically two requirements needed to advance a skill class: a number of successful hits by any weapon in the skill class and a number of experience levels. A hit is considered successful if it causes more than one point of damage to a monster, regardless if the weapon is wielded or thrown. The particular damage value used for this determination is described in "Calculating damage" below.

The number of HITS needed to advance to a particular SKILL LEVEL is shown in the tables above; this is cumulative from the beginning of the game (although if you start at basic level in a skill you will be pre-credited with the 20 hits needed to achieve it). For advancing riding skill, 100 turns spent moving is equivalent to one hit.

The other criterion used to advance skill levels is experience levels. Each time you gain an experience level, you earn a "skill slot" that is used up when you an advance a skill. Thus you can earn a maximum of 29 skill slots, by advancing from level 1 to level 30. If you lose an experience level, you lose the associated skill slot; if that skill slot was used to enhance a skill, you will lose the most recently earned skill and are refunded the remaining skill slots from that skill level.

The tables above also lists the number of additional EXPerience levels (skill slots) needed to advance to that skill level (note the difference between the two tables). Unlike the number of hits, this number is not cumulative. Thus, it takes 2 skill slots to advance a weapon from basic to skilled, no matter if you started with it as basic or unskilled. Note that these slots are shared with spell skills.

When you start the game, you will have basic skill for the weapons and weapon-tools in your initial inventory, have basic skill in bare-handed combat if you can advance it beyond expert, basic skill in riding if a Knight, and will be unskilled in all other weapon categories. When you reach the point when you can advance a skill category, you will see the message, "You feel more confident in your (weapon/fighting) skills." You can then advance the skill using the #enhance command (alt-e on some systems). You may choose to not advance a skill level if you want to reserve the skill slots for a different skill. After advancing a skill, if you are ready to advance another skill (possibly the same one), you will get the message "You feel you could be more dangerous!" The #enhance command can also be used at any time to check your current skill levels.

Of course, there are limits to how much you can advance a particular skill category. Each character class has different maximum levels for each skill category, as can be seen in weapons table 2 above. These differences help to distinguish the various character classes late in the game. For example, note that many of the fighter classes have skill with swords, whereas priests are restricted from edged weapons but are good with bludgeons and missiles. Note that you can usually advance your starting weapons and your Quest Artifact (if it is a weapon) to expert skill.

The term "restricted" is used to describe skill categories that are permanently unskilled. They do not appear in the #enhance menu, although you will see skills that are unskilled and can be advanced. If you receive an artifact weapon from crowning or sacrificing, and the artifact's skill category is restricted, then the restriction will be removed and you will be able to advance that skill to basic level; only hits made after the unrestriction count towards this advancement.

Weapon skills affect your game by adding a bonus to your chance to hit and your damage. The WEAPON +HIT and +DAM columns in the table above shows the amount of this bonus for each skill level.

If you attack a monster while not wielding any weapon, you will cause either bare-handed damage (d2) or martial arts (d4) damage. You only cause one or the other, depending on your character class. These skills can be enhanced just like weapon skills -- even to levels beyond those of weapons (master and grand master) and have their own bonuses to-hit (+HIT) and +DAMage. The martial arts bonus also applies when attacking a monster by kicking it.

Calculating the chance to hit

(Adapted from the spoiler "weapons", by Robert DeLoura <deloura@noaapmel.gov> and Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@win.tue.nl>.)

There are four ways to attack a monster with a weapon. You can hit the monster directly by wielding the weapon and stepping into that monster's square. If no weapon is wielded, you use your bare-handed or martial arts skill. Second, you can use the throw command to throw a weapon or any other object (just type the object's inventory letter), or the fire command to throw the object currently in your quiver. Missiles (such as arrows) are fired from launchers (such as bows) by wielding the launcher and throwing the missile. Third, you can kick an object at a monster, or just kick a monster in an adjacent square. Finally, you can apply a wielded polearm (lances are, for combat purposes, considered polearms) at a monster at a distance: if your skill in that weapon is basic or worse, the monster must be exactly two squares away orthogonally; if skilled, it may also be a knight's-move away; if expert (can only apply to lances), anywhere at two moves' distance.

It is possible that you may hit with more than one weapon in a turn. If you are using two-weapon combat, then if your main weapon hits, your secondary weapon also automatically hits. When firing any arrows from any bow, bolts from a crossbow, or throwing daggers, darts or shuriken, there may be a chance that several get shot in one turn. The maximum number starts at 1, and receives the following additions:

The number actually fired on any given turn is d(maximum). This can be capped by giving a numerical prefix to the fire or throw command; doing so will only decrease, never increase the number you fire.

Your chance to hit is based on the sum of the following items. The larger the number, the better your chance to hit.

The following are added only when attacking a monster directly (i.e., not throwing, kicking or applying a polearm):

The following are added only when attacking by throwing or kicking a weapon or applying a polearm (i.e., not wielding):

If the target monster is hit by a weapon or weapon-tool -- your (primary) wielded one when attacking directly or with a polearm, or the missile if thrown or kicked -- there are additional bonuses based on that object:

A die from 1 to 20 is rolled and compared to the to-hit total. If the die roll is less than the to-hit total (or equal when throwing or kicking), you hit the monster and inflict damage as described below; otherwise, you miss the monster. The die roll is also used in determining if certain "chance" artifact effects occur (e.g., beheading or Magicbane's special attacks).

There are also some special cases. If you are swallowed or engulfed by a monster, then direct or thrown attacks always succeed, although you will be unable to kick or apply polearms. Unicorns will always catch gems and glass that is thrown or kicked at them, causing no damage. Your Quest Leader will always catch your Quest Artifact, and return it to you if peaceful.

Here is the table of attribute adjustments:

  STRENGTH DEXT     STRENGTH DEXT
ATTRIBUTE =+HIT =+DAM =+HIT   ATTRIBUTE =+HIT =+DAM =+HIT
3 -2 -1 -3   18/76 - 18/89 2 4 --
4 to 5 -2 -1 -2   18/90 - 18/99 2 5 --
6 to 7 -1 0 -1   18/** 3 6 --
8 to 14 0 0 0   19 3 6 5
15 0 0 1   20 3 6 6
16 0 0 2   21 3 6 7
17 1 1 3   22 3 6 8
18 1 2 4   23 3 6 9
18/01 - 18/50 1 3 --   24 3 6 10
18/51 - 18/75 2 3 --   25 3 6 11

Calculating damage

(Adapted from the spoiler "weapons", by Robert DeLoura <deloura@noaapmel.gov> and Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@win.tue.nl>.)

If you hit directly without wielding anything, you inflict either bare- handed base damage (d2) or martial arts base damage (d4). No base damage occurs against shades. If the base damage is more than one point, you exercise that weapon skill. Added to this is a d4 bonus if wearing blessed gloves while fighting undead or demons, or d20 if wearing a silver ring(s) and no gloves while fighting a silver-hating monster. There is also a small chance of stunning your opponent.

Damage from weapons, weapon-tools, gems, stones, ball, or chain is the total of the following:

+ Wielded object's base damage (SDAM or LDAM above, accordingly)
+ Wielded object's enchantment (weapon and weapon-tool only)

= Subtotal A
# Subtotal A is set to zero if attacking thick-skinned creature with item made of venom, wax, food, paper, cloth, or leather (namely, a bullwhip). Thick-skinned creatures include: gargoyle, winged gargoyle, all mimics, mumak, titanothere, baluchitherium, mastodon, all baby and adult dragons (D), earth elemental, all baby and adult nagas (N), xorn, skeleton, gold golem, wood golem, clay golem, stone golem, glass golem, iron golem, horned devil, barbed devil, crocodile, salamander, Chromatic Dragon, and Ixoth.
# Subtotal A is set to zero if attacking a shade without silver.
# Heavy iron ball sets subtotal A to 1-25, depending on weight.
+ 2d10 if using a lance while riding. This bonus can't be doubled.
+ d4 if using a blessed item against undead or demon. Undead include all liches (L), all mummies (M), all vampires (V) and vampire bats, all wraiths/wights (W), all zombies (Z), ghosts, and shades. Demons are all & except Death, Pestilence, Famine, the mail daemon, djinn, and sandestins. This bonus can't be doubled.
+ d4 if using an axe or battle axe against a wooden creature (namely, wood golems). This bonus can't be doubled.
+ d20 if silver weapon against silver-hating creature. These include all were-creatures (in both human and creature form); all vampires (V); all demons (&) except Death, Pestilence, Famine, the mail daemon, djinn, and sandestins; shades; and all imps (i) except tengu. This bonus can't be doubled.
+ erosion penalty from whichever of rust/fire damage or rot/corrosion damage is greater (-1 = damaged, -2 = very damaged, -3 = thoroughly damaged). This won't reduce subtotal B beyond 1.

= Subtotal B. This is the value that must be greater than one for the hit to be counted toward a weapon skill.
+ If you are a Rogue in natural form hitting a fleeing monster, aren't stuck or using two weapons, and subtotal B is more than one point, you strike from behind with an additional random damage from 1 to your experience level.
+ If you attack directly with a boomerang, there's approximately 1/3 chance (depending on luck) that the boomerang breaks, causing another 1 point of damage (no damage to shades).
+ 1 if you're a Samurai using ya with a yumi, or are an elf using elven arrows with an elven bow. Polymorph doesn't count.
+ Artifact damage bonus, doubling, and/or special attacks. This may apply only against certain creatures. See arti-331.html.

= Total damage

Hitting directly with a launcher, hitting directly with a missile, using the wrong missile with a launcher, or using a polearm at close range (unless mounted) causes only d2 damage (zero against shades) and does not exercise your weapon skill.

Damage from other objects are as follows. No weapon skills are exercised.

OBJECT DAMAGE
corpses 2 to 8, depending on size. Cockatrice/chickatrice corpses (nicknamed "rubber chickens") turn monsters to stone, or do no damage if monster is stoning- resistant.
eggs 1, penalize luck if you laid it, and no increase damage bonus.
Cockatrice/chickatrice eggs (nicknamed "stoning grenades") turn monsters to stone, or do no damage if monster is stoning-resistant.
clove of garlic 1, makes undead (but NOT demons) flee for 2d4 (more) turns.
cream pie, blinding venom 0, blinds target; no increase damage bonus.
acid venom 2d6 to monsters not acid resistant; no increase damage bonus.
potions See pot1-331.html.
expensive camera 0, breaks camera.
mirror 1, with a -2 penalty to your luck.
boulder d20.
heavy iron ball 1 to 25, depending on weight and subject to rusting.
iron chain d4+1, subject to rusting.
other objects 0 to 6, depending on weight.

Additional damage can occur to all of the above attacks (even against shades):

Your total damage is limited from being negative. If you are allowed an increase damage bonus, you will score at least 1 point of damage.

When you attack a monster and are polymorphed into a creature, you usually use the attacks of your polymorphed form. However, if you are in a form that can use a weapon, are wielding something, and attempt a weapon, claw, kick, bite, sting, touch, butt, or tentacle attack, then you will attack with the wielded object instead.

You may sometimes shatter your opponent's weapon if you are wielding a two-handed weapon, or are a Samurai wielding a katana with nothing in your off-hand. Your skill with your weapon must be skilled or better. The chance depends upon your weapon's erosion and the ability of your opponent's weapon to resist; it is about 2.5% under the best circumstances. This attack also causes the monster to flee for 2d3 (more) turns.

Some monsters fight back passively when attacked. Also, when black or brown puddings are hit directly with an iron weapon, it will be cloned after taking damage.

Choosing an early weapon

Most players know that the best weapons in NetHack are artifacts (see arti-331.html). However, you usually won't find a good artifact weapon until you are well into a game. Which weapons should you use until then?

The best general advice is to use the same weapon preferences that monsters use. Their choices of wielded weapons for hand-to-hand combat, from most to least preferred, are as follows:

cockatrice/chickatrice corpse, tsurugi, runesword, dwarvish mattock, two-handed sword, battle-axe, katana, unicorn horn, crysknife, trident, long sword, elven broadsword, broadsword, scimitar, silver saber, morning star, elven short sword, dwarvish short sword, short sword, orcish short sword, mace, axe, dwarvish spear, silver spear, elven spear, spear, orcish spear, flail, bullwhip, quarterstaff, javelin, aklys, club, pick-axe, rubber hose, war hammer, silver dagger, elven dagger, dagger, orcish dagger, athame, scalpel, knife, worm tooth.

If monsters can attack you from a distance with a ranged weapon or polearm, they will use them in the following order:

halberd, bardiche, spetum, bill-guisarme, voulge, ranseur, guisarme, glaive, lucern hammer, bec-de-corbin, fauchard, partisan, lance, dwarvish spear, silver spear, elven spear, spear, orcish spear, javelin, shuriken, ya, silver arrow, elven arrow, arrow, orcish arrow, crossbow bolt, silver dagger, elven dagger, dagger, orcish dagger, knife, flint stone, rock, loadstone, luckstone, dart, boomerang (not yet implemented), cream pie.

Classes that are good fighters usually start with good weapons (for example, BKRaSV), but other classes may want to switch to a different type of weapon as soon as possible. During the first few levels of the game, you can #untrap dart and arrow traps to get some ranged weapons to throw. Daggers (especially elven) are often left by monsters in the first few levels and in the mines, and have a +2 to-hit bonus. Pick-axes (good to practice skill for dwarvish mattock), unicorn horns, and quarterstaffs (from wood golems) appear somewhat later in the game and are good choices for certain classes.

Note that you will start out unskilled in weapon categories other than your starting weapons, which makes fighting with other weapons difficult until you can advance them to basic. Using petrifying corpses requires gloves and has other risks. Naturally, there are other ways to fight and defend yourself as well.

Weapon enchantment and erosion

(Adapted from the spoiler "enchant.lim" by Peter Snelling <snelling@bnr.ca> and Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@win.tue.nl>.)

Your weapon's enchantment (e.g., -1, +0, +2) affects both your chance to hit monsters and the amount of damage produced. However, damage is reduced if your weapon has been eroded by rust/fire or corrosion/rotting.

Some weapons are made of materials that do not erode (see weapons table 1), but others must be specially protected to prevent erosion. This section explains how to enchant your weapon and protect it from erosion.

All of the weapons and tools listed above can only be enchanted by reading scrolls of enchant weapon. You must wield the weapon first. The effect is dependent upon the blessed status of the scroll and the weapon's enchantment before reading the scroll. A blessed scroll adds 1 or more enchantments, based on the current enchantment (see table below). An uncursed scroll adds only one enchantment. Cursed scrolls remove one enchantment; however, artifacts other than Sting or Orcrist are not affected by cursed scrolls of enchant weapon.

Current enchantment -3 to -1 +0 to +2 +3 to +5 +6 to +8 +9 or more
Additional possible 1 to 4 1 to 3 1 to 2 1 0 to 1

A blessed or uncursed scroll will further make a cursed weapon uncursed, and will convert a worm tooth into a crysknife. Cursed scrolls will convert a crysknife into a worm tooth. There is also a 2/3 chance of your weapon being destroyed if it was more than +5 (less than -5) before reading a non-cursed (cursed) scroll.

Thus, the maximum safe enchantment for a weapon is +7. This is obtained by reading uncursed or blessed scrolls until +5 is reached, and then reading a blessed scroll. If by chance this results in +6, you should bring the enchantment back down to +5 -- by engraving one letter with the weapon or by reading a cursed scroll of enchant weapon -- before trying again. Note: Engraving works only for weapons with edges, and for athames only when they are cursed. Weapons may also lose enchantments when zapped with a spell of drain life or used to hit a disenchanter, but may resists; artifacts will resist more than ordinary weapons.

The artifact Magicbane has special attack effects that decrease in frequency as the enchantment is increased. See arti-331.html for a discussion on why it works best when enchanted at +2.

A special case occurs if you are confused while reading a scroll of enchant weapon. Blessed or uncursed scrolls of enchant weapon while confused will remove any rust, fire, corrosion or rot damage and erodeproof your weapon. The weapon's current enchantment does not matter. In the special case of crysknives, they become "fixed"; unfixed crysknives have a 100% chance of reverting to a worm tooth when they leave your main inventory, fixed only 10%.

Reading a cursed scroll of enchant weapon while confused removes any erodeproofing but will not otherwise damage your weapon. You can also choose a weapon that doesn't damage (such as one made of silver), temporarily protect your weapon by applying a layer of grease from a can of grease, or #dip a damaged metallic weapon into a non-cursed potion of oil to remove one level of each type of damage.

Acknowledgements

David Richerby <davidr@chiark.greenend.org.uk>, and David Grabiner <grabiner@math.la.asu.edu> provided many corrections.
Starting weapon skills corrected by Pat Rankin <rankin@eql.caltech.edu>.
Spelling corrections by Aaron Bell <abell@uk.ibm.com> and Ivan <pi@sol.wohnheim.uni-ulm.de>.
Kieron Dunbar <noreik@dimetrodon.demon.co.uk> corrected weapon disenchantment.


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