Short sword

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A short sword is a type of melee weapon.

Short swords seem to be popular weapons in the Dungeons of Doom, for all non-human starting races except gnomes have their own racial versions: there are elven, orcish, and dwarvish short swords. All weigh 30 units and have a base price of 10 zorkmids.

Short sword skill

Short sword
Max Role
Basic
Skilled
Expert

The following weapons use the short sword skill:

There are no artifact short swords.

Types of short sword

Short sword

) Short sword.png
Name short sword
Appearance short sword
Damage vs. small 1d6
Damage vs. large 1d8
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill short sword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 30
Material iron

The ordinary short sword (wakizashi for Samurai) makes up about 0.8% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops). It does 1d6 damage to small monsters, and 1d8 to large monsters.

Short swords of this kind are made of iron and susceptible to corrosion from acidic monsters and rusting from rust monsters and water.

Dwarvish short sword

) Dwarvish short sword.png
Name dwarvish short sword
Appearance broad short sword
Damage vs. small 1d7
Damage vs. large 1d8
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill short sword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 30
Material iron

The dwarvish short sword, which appears as a broad short sword when unidentified, can do a little more damage against small monsters than the ordinary short sword, though not as much as the elven short sword. Dwarves are sometimes generated with one.[1] In addition, dwarvish short swords make up about 0.2% of randomly generated weapons.

Roles that normally start with a short sword would receive a dwarvish short sword when playing as a dwarf. However, dwarves cannot be Barbarians, Rogues, or Samurai, the three roles that can start with short swords, so this substitution never occurs in vanilla NetHack.

Elven short sword

) Elven short sword.png
Name elven short sword
Appearance runed short sword
Damage vs. small 1d8
Damage vs. large 1d8
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill short sword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 30
Material wood

The elven short sword, which appears as a runed short sword, does the most damage of all short swords to both small and large targets (1d8/1d8, as much as a scimitar or a silver saber not dealing silver damage). Elven short swords are also made of wood, and therefore naturally immune to corrosion and rusting. Elves are often generated with one.[2] In addition, elven short swords make up about 0.2% of randomly generated weapons.

Roles that normally start with a short sword would receive an elven short sword when playing as an elf. However, elves cannot be Barbarians, Rogues, or Samurai, the three roles that can start with short swords, so this substitution never occurs in vanilla NetHack.

Orcish short sword

) Orcish short sword.png
Name orcish short sword
Appearance crude short sword
Damage vs. small 1d5
Damage vs. large 1d8
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill short sword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 30
Material iron

The orcish short sword, which appears as a crude short sword when unidentified, does the least damage versus small monsters of any of the short swords, one point less than even the ordinary short sword. It can be generated on Uruk-hai[3] and orc-captains[4]. In addition, orcish short swords make up about 0.3% of randomly generated weapons.

Orcish Rogues and some orcish Barbarians start with a +0 orcish short sword.

Generation

Short swords of all kinds make up 1.5% of randomly generated weapons in the dungeon. As noted above, racial short swords are commonly found on their respective racial monsters.

In addition, the following monsters may get short swords:

Rogues[9] and Samurai[10] start with a +0 short sword (wakizashi for the latter). A +0 short sword is also part of one of two starting packages for Barbarians.[11]

Strategy

The weakest of the swords, the short sword lacks the damage potential of larger weapons, as well as an artifact version.

Variants

Silver short swords can be found in SLASH'EM and SporkHack.

SLASH'EM also adds[12] a few artifact short swords:

References