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) Mace.png
Name mace
Appearance mace
Damage vs. small 1d6+1
Damage vs. large 1d6
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill mace
Size one-handed
Base price 5 zm
Weight 30
Material iron

A mace is a type of one-handed weapon that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron. The Sceptre of Might is an artifact mace.


Maces make up about 4% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops).

The Priest role always starts with a blessed +1 mace.[1] Aligned priests and high priests are always generated with maces,[2] while sergeants in the Yendorian army have a 12 chance to generate with a mace.[3]

Player monsters generated on the Astral Plane have a 129 chance of generating with a mace as a random weapon - effectively a ~3.45% chance.[4] Player monsters priests have a 12 chance of their starting weapon being overridden with a mace (effectively ~50.86% total chance)[5] - player monster cavepeople have a 75% chance of 'forcing' a mace as well (effectively ~75.43% total chance).[6]

The fake bones pile generated on the Rogue level has a 12 chance of containing a mace, which is the starting weapon for the player character in Rogue.[7]

Mace skill

Max Role

The mace is the only weapon to use the mace skill.


The mace is generally an unimpressive weapon - while the starting mace for Priests is passable, it is typically worth exchanging for a more versatile weapon, such as a long sword or aklys.


The mace has been present in the game since the first variants of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


A mace is type of blunt club or rod that uses a heavy head on the end of a strong and heavy shaft to deliver powerful strikes; it also comes in a two-handed variety and is typically made of stone, bone, copper, bronze, iron, steel, or even metal-reinforced wood. Military maces can be shaped with flanges or knobs to allow greater penetration of plate armour, with their length depending on the soldier's rank.

Maces primarily saw use from prehistory to post-classical history, and are rarely used today for actual combat; ceremonial maces are still kept by many universities, government bodies such as the British House of Commons and the U.S. Congress, and other institutions to display as symbols of authority.

The mace's use as a standard weapon for priesthood is derived from Dungeons & Dragons, where clerical classes are typically forbidden by their god from shedding blood with edged weapons.



SLASH'EM adds the silver mace as a weapon, and also introduces another artifact mace in Disrupter.


SporkHack also adds silver maces, with Demonbane using a silver mace as its base item.

Encyclopedia entry

Originally a club armed with iron, and used in war; now a staff
of office pertaining to certain dignitaries, as the Speaker of
the House of Commons, Lord Mayors, Mayors etc. Both sword and
mace are symbols of dignity, suited to the times when men went
about in armour, and sovereigns needed champions to vindicate
their rights.

[ Brewer's Concise Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ]