Artifact

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An artifact is a rare and unique object. Most players sacrifice to their god because gods sometimes provide artifacts as gifts. Some NetHack players like to wish for artifacts, although it has been argued that a Barbarian pretending to know the correct spelling of the Eye of the Aethiopica is somewhat out-of-style.

The, the English definite article, is placed before the name of any artifact. For example, the blessed +2 Magicbane or the Orb of Fate. True to grammar, there can only be one of each artifact; if one that has already been generated (or your own quest artifact) is loaded in a bones level, it is converted into its base item type.

Shopkeepers like to rip off adventurers who buy or sell artifacts. They charge four times normal price for them[1], but only pay a fourth of the normal selling price for them.[2] Thus, one should use a pet to steal any artifacts generated in shops, and never sell them unless desperate for cash.

List of artifacts[edit]

See Source:artilist.h or the article for each artifact for more details.
Artifact name Base item type Alignment[3] Intelligent Special properties Obtaining
Carried Used (Worn, Wielded, Applied, or Read) Invoked
Cleaver battle-axe (two-headed axe) neutral No +d3 to-hit & +d6 damage. First sacrifice gift for Barbarians.
Demonbane long sword lawful No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to major demons. May be given to a new angelic being.
Dragonbane broadsword unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to dragons.
Excalibur long sword lawful Yes +d5 to-hit & +d10 damage. Drain resistance. Searching. Hostile demon princes. Monsters track player. May be produced for lawful adventurers at fountains. Lawful crowning gift.
The Eye of the Aethiopica amulet of ESP (random amulet) neutral Yes Magic resistance. Energy regeneration. Half spell damage. Branchport. Quest artifact of Wizards.
The Eyes of the Overworld pair of lenses neutral Yes Magic resistance. Astral vision. Protection against blindness & gazes. Enlightenment. Quest artifact of Monks.
Fire Brand long sword unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to non-fire-resistant monsters. Fire resistance.
Frost Brand long sword unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to non-cold-resistant monsters. Cold resistance.
Giantslayer long sword neutral No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to giants.
Grayswandir silver saber lawful No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage. Protection against hallucination.
Grimtooth orcish dagger (crude dagger) chaotic No +d2 to-hit & +d6 damage.
The Heart of Ahriman luckstone (random gray stone) neutral Yes Stealth. As projectile, +d5 to-hit & x2 damage. Levitation. Quest artifact of Barbarians.
The Longbow of Diana bow chaotic Yes Telepathy. +d5 to-hit. Reflection. Create arrows. Quest artifact of Rangers.
The Magic Mirror of Merlin mirror (looking glass) lawful Yes Magic resistance. Telepathy. x2 to some spell damage. Rumors. Quest artifact of Knights.
Magicbane athame neutral No +d3 to-hit. Special damage. Magic resistance. Protects against cursing. First sacrifice gift for Wizards.
The Master Key of Thievery skeleton key (key) chaotic Yes Warning. Half physical damage. Teleport control. Rumors. Untraps. Quest artifact of Rogues.
The Mitre of Holiness helm of brilliance (random helmet) lawful Yes Fire resistance. Half damage from undead & demons. Energy boost. Quest artifact of Priests.
Mjollnir war hammer neutral No +d5 to-hit & +d24 damage to non-shock-resistant monsters. Can return when thrown. First sacrifice gift for Valkyries.
Ogresmasher war hammer unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to ogres.
The Orb of Detection crystal ball (glass orb) lawful Yes Magic resistance. Half spell damage. Telepathy. Invisibility. Quest artifact of Archeologists.
The Orb of Fate crystal ball (glass orb) neutral Yes Half physical damage. Half spell damage. Warning. Luck. Level teleport. Quest artifact of Valkyries.
Orcrist elven broadsword (runed broadsword) chaotic No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to orcs. May be produced by naming an ordinary elven broadsword Orcrist.
The Platinum Yendorian Express Card credit card neutral Yes Magic resistance. Half spell damage. Telepathy. Charging. Quest artifact of Tourists.
The Sceptre of Might mace lawful Yes Magic resistance. +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to cross-aligned monsters. Conflict. Quest artifact of Cavepeople.
Snickersnee katana (samurai sword) lawful No +d8 damage. First sacrifice gift for Samurai.
The Staff of Aesculapius quarterstaff (staff) neutral Yes x2 damage & level drain to non-drain-resistant monsters. Hungerless regeneration. Drain resistance. Healing, cures sickness, blindness, & sliming. Quest artifact of Healers.
Sting elven dagger (runed dagger) chaotic No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to orcs. Warning of orcs. Cuts through webs. May be produced by naming an ordinary elven dagger Sting.
Stormbringer runesword chaotic Yes +d5 to-hit, +d2 damage & level drain to non-drain-resistant monsters. Drain resistance. Bloodthirsty. Chaotic crowning gift.
Sunsword long sword lawful No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to undead. Light. Protection from light-based blinding. May be given to a new angelic being.
Trollsbane morning star unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to trolls.
The Tsurugi of Muramasa tsurugi (long samurai sword) lawful Yes Luck. +d8 damage. 5% chance of bisection. Quest artifact for Samurai.
Vorpal Blade long sword neutral No +d5 to-hit & +1 damage. 5% chance of beheading (100% for jabberwocks). Neutral crowning gift.
Werebane silver saber unaligned No +d5 to-hit & x2 damage to werecreatures.

Invocation items[edit]

These are unique and indestructible, but not artifacts. They can be named ("The Amulet of Yendor named REAL"), and their creation does not decrease the odds of getting a wished-for artifact.

Artifact name Base item type Alignment[3] Intelligent Special properties Obtaining
Carried Used (Worn, Wielded, Applied, or Read) Invoked
Bell of Opening bell (silver bell) unaligned No Invocation ritual. Detect secret doors & traps. Opening. Obtained from your quest nemesis.
Book of the Dead spellbook (papyrus spellbook) unaligned No Invocation ritual. Tame undead. Raise the dead. Obtained from the Wizard of Yendor.
Candelabrum of Invocation candelabrum unaligned No Invocation ritual. Radius 4 light. Obtained from Vlad the Impaler.


References[edit]

  1. shk.c, line 1917
  2. shk.c, line 2853
  3. 3.0 3.1 The hero's quest artifact and any guaranteed sacrifice gifts are adjusted to the hero's starting alignment. For example, for a wizard who starts chaotic, Magicbane and The Eye of the Aethiopica are generated chaotic. See Source:artifact.c#line54.

See also[edit]