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) Crossbow.png
Name crossbow
Appearance crossbow
Damage vs. small 1d2
Damage vs. large 1d2
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill crossbow
Size one-handed
Base price 40 zm
Weight 50
Material wood

A crossbow is a launcher for crossbow bolts. You should not bash monsters with it, or throw it—instead, wield it in your hands, then throw bolts (or fire them from your quiver).

Unlike bows, there is only one kind of crossbow. A Gnomish Ranger will begin the game equipped with one, and Gnomes may receive a +1 multishot racial bonus when firing bolts out of it.

Crossbows always fire at their maximum range of 8, rather than basing their range on strength as other missile weapons do. However, crossbows apply a multishot penalty if their user is below a strength threshold. Gnomes need 16 strength for full multishot, while other races need 18 strength.

Crossbow skill

Max Role

The crossbow is the only launcher to use crossbow skill, and crossbow bolts are the only ammo to use it. There are no artifact crossbows in nethack.


SLASH'EM adds an artifact crossbow, Hellfire. It is a chaotic crossbow which causes explosions with its bolts.

Encyclopaedia entry

"God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?" - With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.

[ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor
           Coleridge ]
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