Elven broadsword

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) Elven broadsword.png
Name elven broadsword
Appearance runed broadsword
Damage vs. small 1d6+1d4
Damage vs. large 1d6+1
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill broadsword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
Weight 70
Material wood

An elven broadsword is a kind of melee weapon. It is more effective than the regular broadsword against small monsters, and because of this an effective choice for #twoweapon; it deals an average of 6 damage versus small monsters, one of the most damaging single-handed weapons in the game, compared to a long sword's 4.5. Against large creatures, however, only 4.5, compared to longsword's 6.5.

Elven broadswords, like other elven weapons, are made of wood, which makes them naturally immune to rust and corrosion. There is no need to rustproof them.

Average damage calculation

We assume the player is skilled in broadsword (no class can actually attain expert skill in that weapon category), which gives a +1 damage bonus. A blessed weapon deals 1d4 extra damage against demons and undead. The worst case scenario is against a non-undead, non-demon, large monster. The best case scenario is against a undead, demon, small monster.

Weapon Against regular small monsters Against regular large monsters Worst case scenario Best case scenario
Blessed Elven broadsword +0 \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1=\bold{7} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1=\bold{5.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1=\bold{5.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1=\bold{9.5}
Blessed Elven broadsword +7 \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1+7=\bold{14} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1+7=\bold{12.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1+7=\bold{12.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1+7=\bold{16.5}
Blessed Elven broadsword +9 \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1+9=\bold{16} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1+9=\bold{14.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+1+1+9=\bold{14.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+4}{2}+1+9=\bold{18.5}

Because elven broadswords deal a respectable amount of base damage and are relatively plentiful (see below), players who are unrestricted in the broadsword skill and two-weapon combat may find enchanting one to +8 or +9 worth the effort. A +9 elven broadsword compares well with certain lesser artifacts for raw damage, making it a good non-artifact choice for the off-hand.


The simplest, easiest, and most effective way to get an elven broadsword is to kill an elf. Any living elf creature—Woodland-elf, Gray-elf, elf-lord, etc—has a 1 in 3 chance of being spawned with an elven broadsword in their starting inventory.[1] Note that undead elves (elf mummies and zombies) will not be generated with elven weapons of any kind.

By the time the player considers switching to a broadsword (preparing for Stormbringer, or far less likely Orcrist), or to use it for #twoweapon, they'll no doubt have killed at least a dozen—this compounded by the fact that most elves spawn in groups.

Elven broadswords may also be found randomly generated on the floor of new dungeon levels, in shops, or as death drops. They are half as common as regular broadswords.


  1. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 244