Large shield

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[   large shield   Large shield.png
Appearance large shield
Slot shield
AC 2
Special (none)
Base price 10 zm
Weight 100
Material iron

A large shield is a type of shield that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron.


In addition to random generation, Angels and Aleaxes have a 34 chance of generating with erodeproof large shields. [1] Mercenaries have a 12 chance of generating with a large shield, if they do not receive a small shield (effectively a 16 chance).[2]


When worn, a large shield grants 2 base AC.


Large shields are rarely used by most characters, since characters that do not start with shields and seek one out early on are more likely to find a virtually-identical dwarvish roundshield in the Gnomish Mines; magic-focused characters will prefer a small shield instead, which is both much lighter and much more conducive to casting. Players using shields long-term will eventually replace a large shield with either an elven shield or a shield of reflection, both of which are are lighter and provide the same AC - even a small shield will provide a trade-off of 1 AC for 70 aum that they may find preferable.


The large shield first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.



In SLASH'EM, Knights start the game with a large shield rather than a small one.

Upgrading a large shield will produce a dwarvish roundshield and vice versa.


In dNetHack, the large shield is renamed to the kite shield, due to object sizing allowing for the creation of large-sized shields.


In SpliceHack, a large shield can be combined with an amulet of reflection at a furnace to create a shield of reflection.

SpliceHack adds Pridwen, a lawful artifact large shield that confers half physical damage while worn.


In EvilHack, Knights also start the game with a large shield; drow Knights receive a set of dark elven bracers instead.

A large shield can be created at a forge by combining two helmets. Large shields can be used to forge a couple of other items:

  • A large shield can be combined with a dwarvish helm to create a dwarvish roundshield.
  • A large shield can be combined with a helmet to create ring mail.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, player monster knights, lunatic and warriors generate with large shields. The militant cleric of the rebel party that serves as the default Noble quest nemesis generates with a large shield.


In Hack'EM, upgrading a large shield will produce a tower shield and vice versa. In addition to forging recipes from EvilHack, a large shield can be combined with a small shield to create a tower shield.

Hack'EM also adds Pridwen from SpliceHack, which confers knockback resistance and prevents its wearer from becoming afraid in addition to half physical damage.


  1. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 340
  2. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 640: default mercenary armor; 13 not to receive small shield first