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For the remains of a dead player, see bones.

Bone is a material that occurs in NetHack.


Bone is a rigid, non-organic material that is inherently fireproofed. Gelatinous cubes cannot eat objects made of bone and will only engulf them, though you can eat bone objects while polyselfed into a gelatinous cube.

Ivory rings and the various horns - the tooled horn, frost horn, fire horn, horn of plenty, and unicorn horn - are made of bone. Worm teeth are not made of bone as might be expected, but are instead made of an undefined material.[1] Polypiling enough items made of bone on a square may generate a skeleton.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Worm teeth and crysknives are now made of bone.


In variants that implement object materials system, bone items are typically more common and made vulnerable to burning and rotting. Bone objects can be attractive to several builds: they are typically lighter in comparison to their base material; bone armor does not block spellcasting for magic-focused characters; bone shields are often treated like small shields for spellcasting purposes; and bone weapons can often be used to hit insubstantial monsters such as shades, though they do not get any bonus damage in those cases.


In SporkHack, skulls are made of bone.


In dNetHack, bone armor and most bone shields are exempted from spellcasting penalties. Dragonbone is not a type of bone material, but is instead the "hard" material counterpart to dragonhide.

Various dNetHack items are made of bone:


In xNetHack, bone armor offers 1 less point of AC compared to its iron counterparts, but does not incur spellcasting penalties with the exception of shields; positively-enchanted bone armor will intercept a level drain that hits you, instead draining a point of enchantment from the armor. Bone weapons can hit ghosts and shades, though they do not gain damage bonuses unlike silver weapons. Since bone is a rigid material, bone helms offer protection against falling objects.

Skeletons may drop skeleton keys made of bone.


In SpliceHack and SpliceHack-Rewrite, objects with wood, iron and metal base materials can be made of bone. Bone armor also offers 1 less AC compared to its iron counterparts. Bone weapons can hit ghosts and shades, though there is no damage bonus.

The End is an artifact weapon scythe made of bone.


In EvilHack, 14 of most wooden, iron and steel objects - particularly non-cloth objects of orcish make - can generate as made of bone.

The staff of healing and triple-headed flail are items with a base material of bone; skeleton keys and worm teeth have their base material changed to bone.

The Goblin King will always generate with a bone quarterstaff.

Bone armor is rigid and offers AC equal to that of its iron counterparts, and orcs wearing bone body armor are granted MC3. Bone helms will offer protection from falling objects, while bone armor will negate positive AC bonuses from high dexterity, and bone weapons can hit monsters such as ghosts and shades. Bone objects can be made fireproof by wielding the object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon (or a scroll of enchant armor for worn armor) while confused.


In SlashTHEM, lithivores can eat objects made of bone.


In Hack'EM, bone as a material behaves as it does in EvilHack.

The footbow is a new object made of bone.