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)   Grimtooth   Orcish dagger.png
Base item orcish dagger
Damage vs. small 1d3 +1d6
Damage vs. large 1d3 +1d6
To-hit bonus +1d2
Bonus versus (any)
Weapon skill dagger
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked


Base price 300 zm
Weight 10
Material iron

Grimtooth is an artifact weapon that appears in NetHack. It is chaotic-aligned, and its base item is an orcish dagger.


Any randomly generated orcish dagger has a base 120 chance of being made into Grimtooth, as it is the only artifact orcish dagger. Grimtooth may also be given as a sacrifice gift to chaotic, non-elven characters.

Player monster rogues on the Astral Plane have a 25% chance of starting with an orcish dagger in place of their initial primary weapon—like all player monsters on the Plane, there is a 50% chance it will be made into an artifact weapon of the same base item.[1] Grimtooth is the only artifact orcish dagger, resulting in a 12.5% chance that a Rogue will be carrying it on the Planes.


Grimtooth has +d2 to hit and a +d6 damage against all monsters, and while wielded it confers warning against elves, glowing red when any elves are present on the level.[2] Characters that are elven, including those polymorphed into elven monsters, cannot wield Grimtooth and will be blasted if they attempt to.


Grimtooth's weak base item means that even with its damage bonuses to all monsters, it is effectively on par with a normal long sword - most chaotic non-elven players will only consider Grimtooth as an obstacle to receiving Stormbringer through sacrifice. However, it averages the same damage as a crysknife, without the crysknife's danger of reverting to a worm tooth or the requirement of a scroll of enchant weapon to create.

Despite its relatively low damage in comparison to other artifacts, orcish Rangers and Rogues that obtain it early are likely to make good use of it until they acquire Stormbringer or one of the Brands.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons.

Weapon Damage
+0 Grimtooth \frac{1+3}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{5.5}
+7 Grimtooth \frac{1+3}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{12.5}



In SLASH'EM, Grimtooth gives a flat +6 damage bonus as opposed to 1d6, but is still outshined by the many better artifacts present, particularly for chaotic players. It might be a decent choice for twoweaponing, which is allowed for artifacts in SLASH'EM.


In UnNetHack, Grimtooth is permanently poisoned and deals +d6 damage against non-poison resistant monsters, with a 10% chance of killing them instantly - this makes it markedly more useful. Grimtooth is also the first sacrifice gift for Rogues.


In dNetHack, Grimtooth has +d5 to-hit, doubled damage, and warning against elves, humans and minions. It can be created by naming an orcish dagger, and can be twoweaponed as a secondary weapon.


In xNetHack, Grimtooth is permanently poisoned as in UnNetHack, though the removal of poison instadeath makes it somewhat less powerful. Its base price is raised from 300 to 1000.


In EvilHack, Grimtooth has a disease-incuding attack with a 16 chance of inflicting terminal sickness on the target. Grimtooth also deals extra damage to elves in addition to bonus damage from iron, and has a chance of instakilling any elf it hits (including an elven or drow player).

The sickness inflicted by the disease attack can be used to dispose of targets with massive defenses, such as high level low-AC player monsters, that do not have an immunity or a means of curing it. You are credited (or blamed) for monsters that die of terminal illness this way and gain experience as normal.


  1. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 270
  2. src/artilist.h in NetHack 3.6.7, line 709: damage bonus against all monsters is special cased in spec_dbon()