Mjollnir

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)   Mjollnir   War hammer.png
Base item war hammer
Damage vs. small 1d4+1 +1d24
Damage vs. large 1d4 +1d24
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus not shock resistant
Weapon skill hammer
Size one-handed
Affiliation
When carried

(none)

When wielded
  • throwable
When invoked

(none)

Base price 4000 zm
Weight 50
Material iron

Mjollnir (colloquially Mojo) is an artifact weapon that appears in NetHack. It is neutral for wishing purposes, and its base item is a war hammer. It is the first guaranteed sacrifice gift for Valkyries.

One possible message for a T-shirt mentions Mjollnir.

Generation

Mjollnir is eligible for random generation: a war hammer has a 140 chance of being Mjollnir, or 120 if Ogresmasher has already been generated. In addition to Valkyries, any neutral character may receive Mjollnir as a random sacrifice gift.

Effects

Mjollnir has +d5 to hit, and deals d24 extra shock damage against monsters without shock resistance; regardless of resistance, it also has a 15 chance each to destroy wands and rings in the target's inventory.[1] Mjollnir's lightning strikes will also wake nearby monsters.[2]

If you are wielding Mjollnir, it is not cursed and you have 25 strength (e.g. from gauntlets of power), you can throw Mjollnir;[3][4] it can travel up to six squares, roughly half the distance of a normal thrown hammer.[5][6] If you are a Valkyrie, Mjollnir will return to you 99% of the time, and if you are not confused, stunned, blind, hallucinating, or fumbling when it returns, you will catch it 99% of the time.[7][8][9] If you fail to catch a returning Mjollnir, it has an equal chance of falling at your feet or else striking you and possibly destroying wands and rings.[10]

Strategy

Main article: Monster resistances

Very few monsters in the game resist lightning damage, and Mjollnir does a lot of it, making it an excellent weapon for a majority of the game. However, though the odds of throwing Mjollnir backfiring are miniscule, the fact that a chance exists at all is enough to put many players off the notion of throwing it; the chance of destroying rings and wands deters players who seek to preserve loot for similar reasons. As lawful Valkyries have access to Excalibur, they are much more likely to make it their main weapon for the drain resistance, the stealth aid provided by its lack of noise and the damage bonus against all monsters. Despite these drawbacks, Mjollnir is still a very worthwhile artifact weapon for many neutral roles that seek one, especially Tourists and Priests.

There are few shock-resistant monsters usually encountered before the Castle: blue dragons are quite rare, storm giants are often not seen until Gehennom, and electric eels can be evaded and killed with other ranged attacks; puddings and gelatinous cubes are not especially dangerous in comparison to these, even with Mjollnir's low base item damage. Energy vortices are the primary danger if you are relying on Mjolnir as your main weapon and lack shock resistance (which Mjollnir does not provide).

From the Castle itself to the depths of Gehennom, arch-liches are also one of the biggest obstacles for a player using Mjolnir (and a huge obstacle in general). Various other monsters such as angelic beings, green slimes, the Riders and hostile aligned priests (including the high priest of Moloch) also resist shock damage - green slimes and angelic beings can occur as summoned nasties, the Sanctum is full of hostile priests, and most of the listed monsters are encountered on the Astral Plane.

Beware throwing Mjollnir at a disenchanter: Mjollnir still has a 110 chance of being disenchanted, and does not produce a message if this happens like hitting a disenchanter in melee combat would.

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.

As of this commit, wearing non-metallic gloves (all but gauntlets of power) will protect worn rings from electrical damage; this may provide further incentive to avoid throwing Mjolnir as a Valkyrie.

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 Shock resistant Not shock resistant
Small monster Large monster Small monster Large monster
+0 Mjollnir \frac{1+4}{2}+1=\bold{3.5} \frac{1+4}{2}=\bold{2.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+1+\frac{1+24}{2}=\bold{16} \frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+24}{2}=\bold{15}
+7 Mjollnir \frac{1+4}{2}+1+7=\bold{10.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+7=\bold{9.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+1+\frac{1+24}{2}+7=\bold{23} \frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+24}{2}+7=\bold{22}

History

Before Mjollnir was introduced, an artifact lucern hammer named Thunderfist was present in NetHack 3.0.0; in 3.0.3, Mjollnir was introduced as a replacement, evidently due to the fact that the lucern hammer was a polearm mistaken for a "standard" hammer weapon.

The throwing requirements and special behavior for Valkyries first appeared in NetHack 3.1.0.

Origin

Mjölnir (from Old Norse Mjǫllnir) is the hammer of the thunder god Thor in Norse mythology, used both as a devastating weapon and as a divine instrument to provide blessings. Thor and his hammer appear depicted on a variety of objects from archaeological record, including the runic Kvinneby amulet from the 11th century, and in numerous sources including the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda of the the 13th century. One book of the Prose Edda, Gylfaginning describes the god Thor and his "three special possessions", including Mjölnir and a pair of iron gloves called "Járngreipr that he must wear with his hammer; this is likely the basis for the strength requirement to throw the artifact weapon in NetHack, which can only be typically achieved via gauntlets of power.

Variants

SLASH'EM

Mjollnir's weak base damage is somewhat ameliorated in SLASH'EM, where it is instead a heavy hammer with base damage of 1d6 against both small and large foes; the new base item is also made of metal, making it inherently rustproof. In addition, changes to artifact weapon bonuses mean that Mjollnir is far more formidable, with +5 to-hit and +24 damage bonuses; artifact weapons can also be twoweaponed in the off-hand, making Mjollnir a very powerful artifact overall and an especially enticing off-hand candidate.

Gauntlets of power also behave differently, however, setting strength to 18/** when worn and augmenting it further based on enchantment - while obtaining 25 strength to throw Mjollnir using these gloves is generally more difficult, Valkyries can safely enchant gauntlets of power to +7.

Average damage calculation

The damage calculation below assumes a player with Expert skill in hammer, which gives a +2 damage bonus. A blessed weapon deals 1d4 extra damage against demons and undead. The worst case scenario is against a shock resistant, non-undead, non-demon monster. The best case scenario is against a non-shock resistant, undead/demon monster.

Weapon Against regular non-shock resistant monsters Worst case scenario Best case scenario
Uncursed Mjollnir + 0 \frac{1+6}{2}+24+2=\bold{29.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+2=\bold{5.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+24+2=\bold{29.5}
Blessed Mjollnir +7 \frac{1+6}{2}+7+24+2=\bold{36.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7+2=\bold{12.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7+24+2+\frac{1+4}{2}=\bold{39}

EvilHack

In EvilHack, Mjollnir's base item is instead the heavy war hammer, which deals d8 to small monsters and d10 to large monsters. Priests of all alignmnets that are crowned will receive Mjollnir as their crowning gift, which is done in a manner akin to Excalibur: if you are a Priest wielding a heavy war hammer and Mjollnir was not yet generated at the time of crowning, the hammer will be transformed into Mjollnir.

SlashTHEM

In SlashTHEM, all heavy war hammers including Mjollnir are two-handed, so it can no longer be twoweaponed or wielded with a shield. This decreases its utility for some neutral playstyles that rely on twoweapon or access to the shield slot (e.g. for a shield of reflection), but the artifact remains a powerful source of damage.

SpliceHack

In SpliceHack and SpliceHack-Rewrite, Mjollnir can be invoked to fire a thunderbolt similar to the wand of lightning.

Encyclopedia entry

Forged by the dwarves Eitri and Brokk, in response to Loki's
challenge, Mjollnir is an indestructible war hammer. It has
two magical properties: when thrown it always returned to
Thor's hand; and it could be made to shrink in size until it
could fit inside Thor's shirt. Its only flaw is that it has
a short handle. The other gods judged Mjollnir the winner of
the contest because, of all the treasures created, it alone had
the power to protect them from the giants. As the legends
surrounding Mjollnir grew, it began to take on the quality of
"vigja", or consecration. Thor used it to consecrate births,
weddings, and even to raise his goats from the dead. In the
Norse mythologies Mjollnir is considered to represent Thor's
governance over the entire cycle of life - fertility, birth,
destruction, and resurrection.

References