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) Glaive.png
Name Glaive
Appearance single-edged polearm
Damage vs. small d6
Damage vs. large d10
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill polearm
Size two-handed
Base price 6 zm
Weight 75
Material iron

A glaive is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is a two-handed polearm that is made of iron, and appears as a single-edged polearm when unidentified.

For Samurai, the glaive appears as a naginata.


In addition to random generation, general shops and antique weapons outlets can sell glaives.

Watchmen and soldiers may be generated with a glaive.[1] Trolls have an effective 18 chance of being generated with a glaive.[2]


The glaive is among the more common polearms that can be found, and is the third-lightest at 75 aum, but is weaker in terms of average damage compared to other lighter polearms. It has the lowest average damage against small monsters, though its average damage against large monsters is more than decent.


The glaive is introduced with all other polearms in NetHack 1.3d.



A glaive, sometimes spelled as glave, is a type of pole weapon with historical origins in Europe, and is known for its distinctive design and versatile combat applications. It is compared to other polearms such as the war scythe and the Japanese naginata. A glaive typically consists of a single-edged blade approximately 45 centimeters long, affixed to a pole measuring about 2 meters in a socket-shaft configuration akin to an axe head - some glaive blades were even forged with a small hook on the reverse side to better engage mounted opponents, earning them the name "glaive-guisarmes."

Historical records suggest that the glaive may have originated in Wales, where it was a national weapon until the late 15th century: there is a mention of a warrant from the first year of Richard III's reign, dated 1483, for the production of "two hundred Welsh glaives". Glaives were used by infantry and could be particularly effective against mounted opponents; they are popular among enthusiasts of historical reenactment, martial arts, and collectors of historical weaponry.

The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally-made Japanese blades, originally serving as a polearm used by feudal samurai, foot soldiers, warrior monks, and the onna-musha (women warriors belonging to Japanese nobility). Commonly misunderstood to be a type of sword rather than a polearm, the naginata consists of a wooden or metal oval-shaped pole that has a curved single-edged blade on the end, with a round handguard often situated between the blade and shaft; the blade is inserted into the shaft and secured by a wooden peg that passes through a hole in both. The blade's length ranges from 30 cm to 60 cm (11.8 inches to 23.6 inches), while the shaft ranges from 120 cm to 240 cm (47.2 inches to 94.5 inches).

Naginata can be used for battering, stabbing or hooking opponents, but their relatively balanced center of mass allows a used to spin and turn them as needed to attain a large radius of reach, and the curved blade provides a long cutting surface that can keep opponents at bay; despite the perceived disadvantages, the weapon's weight provides power to strikes and cuts, and both the shaft and the weight at the end can be used offensively and defensively. Most modernized naginata practice uses two different types with an oak shaft and "blade" or an oak shaft and a bamboo "blade".



In dNetHack and notdNetHack, the glaive can be poisoned, and the naginata is made into a separate weapon from the standard glaive. An iron golem may be generated with a glaive.

There are two artifact glaives:

NetHack Fourk

In NetHack Fourk, the glaive is one of the few polearms that is not removed.


In xNetHack, the glaive is one of the few polearms that is not removed.


In SpliceHack, Imhullu is a neutral artifact glaive that has +d4 to-hit and deals +d5 wind damage. While wielded, it grants resistance against clobbering/hurtling attacks, and deals +3d4 bonus damage against small monsters 13 of the time. Invoking Imhullu has the same effect as a scroll of air.


In EvilHack, a glaive can be created at a forge by combining a short sword and a spear; a glaive can be combined with a javelin at a forge to create a lance. This also applies to Hack'EM.


In SlashTHEM, troll characters that are not Convicts have a 14 chance of generating with a glaive as their starting polearm.


Hack'EM retains forging recipes from EvilHack, and adds Imhullu from SpliceHack.

Encyclopedia entry


See the encyclopedia entry for polearm.


A Japanese pole-arm, fitted with a curved single-edged blade.
The blades ranged in length from two to four feet, mounted on
shafts about four to five feet long. The naginata were cut
with a series of short grooves near to the tang, above which
the back edge was thinned, but not sharpened, so that the
greater part of the blade was a flattened diamond shape in
section. Seen in profile, the curve is slight or non-
existent near the tang, becoming more pronounced towards the

"With his naginata he killed five, but with the sixth it
snapped asunder in the midst and, flinging it away, he drew
his sword, wielding it in the zigzag style, the interlacing,
cross, reversed dragonfly, waterwheel, and eight-sides-at-
once styles of fencing and cutting down eight men; but as he
brought down the ninth with a mighty blow on the helmet, the
blade snapped at the hilt."

[ Story of Tsutsui no Jomio Meishu from Tales of Heike ]