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) Crysknife.png
Name crysknife
Appearance crysknife
Damage vs. small 1d10
Damage vs. large 1d10
To-hit bonus +3
Weapon skill knife
Size one-handed
Base price 100 zm
Weight 20
Material mineral

The crysknife is a weapon that appears in NetHack. It is made of mineral and uses the knife skill.

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.

The crysknife is now made of bone.


Crysknives are never randomly generated, though they can appear in bones files. The weapon can only be generated using the process described below.


A crysknife can only be created normally by reading a noncursed scroll of enchant weapon while wielding a worm tooth, though it is also possible to wish for one. Reading a scroll will uncurse the worm tooth if applicable, but does not increase the enchantment - thus, it is safe to re-sharpen a tooth regardless of its enchantment. A stack of worm teeth will merge into a single crysknife, so to create multiple crysknives you must split up the stack and enchant each one individually.

If a crysknife leaves your possession, it reverts to a worm tooth - placing it in a container in your inventory will not revert it unless that container subsequently leaves your possession. If stolen by a monster, the crysknife will not revert unless it leaves their inventory, either through their death or being disarmed. A reverted worm tooth will retain the enchantment it had as a crysknife..

Erodeproofing a crysknife will "fix" it: a fixed crysknife will only revert to a tooth 10% of the time. Dropping a stack of crysknives will make a single reversion roll for the entire stack, but throwing multiple knives will roll for each of them. A crysknife that reverts also loses its fixing.


The crysknife's +3 to-hit bonus and consistent d10 damage against both small and large monsters makes it a nice choice for #twoweaponing. As the most powerful knife, roles such as Healers and Rogues may even consider it for a primary weapon choice.

Though crysknives count as throwing weapons and get a to-hit bonus when thrown that makes them more powerful than even the rare shuriken and cumbersome boomerang, their reversion property typically makes throwing them a bad idea. The material cost of creation and maintenance is generally prohibitive in this regard, as it takes several scrolls of enchant weapon to sharpen each worm tooth into a crysknife, plus one more scroll to 'fix' the entire stack. On average, each crysknife will last 10 throws before they must be sharpened and fixed again - most roles that can advance in knife skill have better ranged combat options. While Healers for example can only reach multishot 3 with knives, magic missile is generally more practical and powerful for them.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons.

Weapon Average damage
+0 crysknife \frac{1+10}{2}=\bold{5.5}
+7 crysknife \frac{1+10}{2}+7=\bold{12.5}
+9 crysknife \frac{1+10}{2}+9=\bold{14.5}


The crysknife and its means of production have been present in NetHack ever since the first versions of Hack.


In Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune, the crysknife is the formal and sacred weapon of the desert-dwelling Fremen. A crysknife is a personally-tuned knife with a double-edged curved blade, ground from the crystal tooth of a sandworm. The crysknife comes in two forms, fixed and unfixed: Unfixed knives need to be stored in proximity to an electrical field produced by the human body, or they will disintegrate after a period of time - which is why NetHack crysknives revert to worm teeth when they leave the user's inventory. Fixed crysknives are put through chemical processes to keep them permanently intact, which is represented by fixed crysknives in NetHack only reverting 10% of the time.



SLASH'EM changes the damage for crysknives to 1d20 against small and 1d30 against large - crysknives and worm teeth do not stack, so it is not possible to multishot them. Crysknives can also be created by enchanting a worm tooth through shopkeeper services.

For Healers, the crysknife is unambiguously their best choice of weapon. Yeomen, Ice Mages, Flame Mages, and Necromancers may also consider a crysknife for their main weapon.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons.

Weapon Small monsters Large monsters
+0 crysknife \frac{1+20}{2}=\bold{10.5} \frac{1+30}{2}=\bold{15.5}
+7 crysknife \frac{1+20}{2}+7=\bold{17.5} \frac{1+30}{2}+7=\bold{22.5}

NetHack: The Next Generation

NetHack: The Next Generation introduces the artifact crysknife Wormbiter, which is neutral-aligned and does additional physical damage to worms.


SlashTHEM adapts Wormbiter from NetHack: The Next Generation - it remains neutral, and has a +5 to-hit bonus against worms.


In dNetHack, the crysknife and worm tooth are made of stone. A crysknife can be poisoned and does not incur a to-hit penalty when thrown.

Encyclopedia entry

[The crysknife] is manufactured in two forms from teeth taken
from dead sandworms. The two forms are "fixed" and "unfixed".
An unfixed knife requires proximity to a human body's
electrical field to prevent disintegration. Fixed knives
are treated for storage. All are about 20 centimeters long.

[ Dune, by Frank Herbert ]