|Base price||25 zm|
|Monster use||Will not be used by monsters.|
Applying a leather drum (or a depleted drum of earthquake) will "beat a deafening row!"; this will awaken and scare nearby monsters - including pets - and abuse your wisdom. You will also become deaf for 30-49 (more) turns. Monsters are awakened if their distance to you is at most , and are scared (if not resisted) if their distance to you is at most , where is your experience level, with the usual check against monster magic resistance against the scare effect.
The leather drum is not especially useful for most players, who will probably discard it or stash it for later polypiling, hoping for a more valuable tool. In addition, even fleeing monsters are reluctant to retrace their steps; in a corridor, they will often get stuck between you and the square they came and continue attacking you. This is a bug that is fixed in Nitrohack.
A drum can become useful on the Plane of Air to scare away air elementals. If applied every few steps or when an elemental begins to approach, it is possible to avoid being engulfed most of the time. If engulfed, beating the drum will cause them to expel you and flee, although it may take several applications.
One role that may find it worthwhile to carry is the Knight, as it can be used to awaken sleeping monsters and avoid an alignment penalty (it's still not the best tool for this job, as lighter and/or tonal instruments are also available). Since using it abuses wisdom, you might want to either restore stats lost to abuse with a unicorn horn, or engrave a few Elbereth to compensate the wisdom abuse (effective only if your stats are very low). Rogues may also find it useful, as they get bonus damage against fleeing monsters and it is easier to scare a large number of monsters with a drum than to engrave Elbereth against each one.
Illiterate heroes can use a drum or horn as an Elbereth replacement, at least in open rooms. The drum has a somewhat larger range (and a bit more weight) than a tooled horn and is applied directly without having to answer the "Improvise? (y/n)" query for a tonal instrument.
The drum is a valuable item for pacifist players, as it can cause monsters that have engulfed you to spit you out. It will also scare monsters that do not respect Elbereth and unfreeze pets that have attacked a floating eye.
Many travelers have seen the drums of the great apes, and
some have heard the sounds of their beating and the noise of
the wild, weird revelry of these first lords of the jungle,
but Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, is, doubtless, the only human
being who ever joined in the fierce, mad, intoxicating revel
of the Dum-Dum.