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A Bane is a semi-informal name used to refer to a group of artifact weapons in NetHack that each deal double damage to a specific group of monsters.

List of Banes

Other 'Banes'

The following uses of "bane" are either unrelated to the above weapons, or else simply a turn of phrase based on them.

These terms were additionally coined by the community as a reference to or parody of the Banes:


The Banes are generally considered to be unnecessary for most purposes or else excessively niche, though this is not always the case; for example, Sunsword is useful as a light source and gremlin/undead deterrent, and Dragonbane may see more use than others, due to providing reflection when wielded and aiding in obtaining dragon scales to convert into dragon scale mail.


Because the Banes are often considered underpowered, it is very common for them to be buffed in variants.

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Include more information about the buffs to Banes where possible, particularly in the SLASH'EM section."


In SLASH'EM, Giantslayer is replaced by Giantkiller.

Both the replacement and vanilla Banes now have a 15% chance of cancelling the monsters they target; the +1d5 to-hit of most Banes is also increased to a flat +5.

SLASH'EM also adds new weapons specific to particular monster types, none of which deal double damage:


In UnNetHack, all vanilla Banes except Sunsword also give you warning of targeted monster types; UnNetHack also adds Thiefbane, which is still generated on One-Eyed Sam and does not deal double damage.


In dNetHack, all vanilla Banes are buffed, and also give you warning of targeted monster types with the exception of Sunsword.

In addition, dNetHack adds more Banes, ranging from moderately useful to highly useless.

dNetHack also replaces Dragonbane with Dragonlance.


In FIQHack, all the vanilla Banes other than Sting and Orcrist no longer deal double damage to monsters they target, but instead deal +1d20 damage, making them more useful at +0 than they would be in vanilla NetHack.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.