Boomerang

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) Boomerang.png
Name boomerang
Appearance boomerang
Damage vs. small 1d9
Damage vs. large 1d9
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill boomerang
Size one-handed
Base price 20 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 5
Material wood

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

"Boomerangs in 3.6 seem to fly counterclockwise and stop whenever they hit or miss a monster."

A boomerang is a ranged weapon, designed for throwing.

When thrown, it will travel in a circular path clockwise from the direction thrown, hitting anything in its path: in most versions it will alternate with ( as it flies to show spinning. If it makes its way back to you there is a (dexterity in 20) chance of catching the boomerang; otherwise it hits you. Well-enchanted gauntlets of dexterity might be necessary to ensure safe operation. A boomerang that is cursed or thrown while fumbling will always hit you. Boomerangs will not return if their path is blocked by a wall, or if they move over a sink. [1]

Boomerangs cannot be multishot.

When used as a melee weapon rather than thrown, a boomerang has a luck-dependent chance of breaking into splinters.[2]

Flight Patterns

The exact path of the thrown boomerang is shown below in order 1-9 for each direction, with the player's position represented by @.

Fire NW Fire N. Fire NE
..45... ..34... ...23..
.3..6.. .2..5.. ..1..4.
.2...7. .1..6.. .@...5.
..1..8. .@..7.. .9..6.. 
...@9.. ..98... ..87...
....... ....... .......
Fire W.         Fire E. 
..567..         ..@12.. 
.4...8.         .9...3. 
.3...9.         .8...4. 
..21@..         ..765..  
.......         ....... 
Fire SW Fire S. Fire SE 
...78.. ..89... ..9@... 
..6..9. .7..@.. .8..1.. 
.5...@. .6..1.. .7...2. 
.4..1.. .5..2.. ..6..3.  
..32... ..43... ...54.. 
....... ....... ....... 

Strategy

Despite some redeeming features the unusual throwing mechanics make this a rarely used weapon.

However, if you are more interested in doing damage than having the weapon return, a boomerang can be effectively used over a range up to four spaces. Assume a monster is approaching you from a cardinal direction (N,S,E,W). If it approaches from the N, it can be hit at a distance of four spaces by throwing to the NW (45 degrees counter-clockwise) if there are at least two open tiles to the W. A monster at a distance of three spaces to the N can be hit by throwing to the W (90 degrees counter-clockwise) if there are three open tiles in that direction. Any monster can be hit at two spaces by throwing directly at it (the only available option in hallways). Monsters approaching from an ordinal direction (NE,NW,SE,SW) can also only be hit at two spaces.

Boomerangs can be effective against unicorns who will always attempt to avoid any direct line of ranged attack.

Boomerangs can be especially effective in large open spaces with crowds of monsters like the Big Room.

Since boomerangs are thrown weapons you will probably not want to be levitating when you use one, especially if you are over an Elbereth or a scroll of scare monster.

Boomerang skill

Boomerang
Max Role
Basic
Expert

Boomerangs are the only weapons to use boomerang skill, and there are no artifact boomerangs.

References

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.