Morning star

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) Morning star.png
Name morning star
Appearance morning star
Damage vs. small 2d4
Damage vs. large 1d6+1
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill morning star
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
Weight 120
Material iron

A morning star is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is a one-handed melee weapon that is made of iron.

The morning star is the base item for the artifact Trollsbane.


Morning stars make up about 1.2% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops).

In addition to random generation, general shops and antique weapon outlets can sell morning stars.

Player monsters, including those on the Astral Plane, have a 3290 chance (roughly 1.03%) of generating with a morning star before role replacements - the morning star has a 12 chance to be made into an artifact, which will always be Trollsbane if it has not yet been generated.

Morning star skill

Morning star
Max Role

The morning star is the only weapon to use the morning star skill.


Morning stars deal passable damage to the small monsters encountered early on, but have somewhat lackluster damage against larger monsters - they are also quite heavy at 120 aum, and are generally too rare for most characters to consider investing skill points in. Roles capable of advancing the skill usually have better long-term options readily available, such as the battle-axe for Barbarians, the Knight's long sword and the Rogue's stack of daggers; the aklys is weaker, but has very convenient ranged applications and is also available to most roles capable of using morning stars.


The morning star first appears in NetHack 1.3d.


A morning star is any of several medieval club-like weapons consisting of a wooden shaft and an attached iron ball adorned with one or more spikes, designed for use as a bludgeon to wound or kill enemies. The morning star first came into widespread use around the beginning of the 14th century, particularly in Germany where it was known as Morgenstern. Morning stars were used by both infantry and cavalry, with the ones used by horsemen the horseman's weapon had a shorter shaft. Many surviving morning stars were two-handed and typically six feet in length if not longer.

Morning stars are often conflated with maces, which use flanges or knobs as opposed to spiked balls and were entirely metallic, as well as military flails, which typically consist of an iron-shod wooden bar joined to a shift by chain (with ball-and-chain flails seemingly quite uncommon). Three different types of morning star have been found: the well-crafted military type, made by expert weapon-smiths and used by professional soldiers; a second, much simpler type, hand-cut from wood by peasant militia men and fitted with spikes by a local blacksmith; and a third, decorative metallic type with a shorter shaft. The "simple" morning star usually had a combined shaft and head, sometimes reinforced at the top with an iron band.


Variants with object material systems may make morning stars somewhat more appealing if discovered early on with a lighter material. Some variants add more weapons that use the morning star skill.


In dNetHack, the morning star deals 2d6 damage to small monsters and 1d8+1 to large monsters, and its weight is reduced to 80 aum.

Iris is a spirit that grants skill in morning stars while bound.

There are two artifact new morning stars, in addition to Trollsbane:


In notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Iris generates with a +7 morning star that has the psionic object property when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.


EvilHack merges the morning star skill into the mace skill and adds the orcish morning star, an orcish variant of the weapon.

Dwarven sergeants have a 12 chance of generating with a morning star, and gnolls, gnoll hunters and flinds have a 23 chance of generating with one. The Paladin is always generated with a morning star of an enchantment between +3 and +5; Lucifer is always generated with a morning star that has the fire object property.

A morning star can be created at a forge by combining a dagger and a mace. Morning stars can be used to create a couple of items:

  • A morning star can be combined with a mace to create a flail.
  • A morning star can be combined with barding to make spiked barding.

Encyclopedia entry

The morning star was a medieval weapon resembling a mace, but
with a large spike on the end and smaller spikes around the
circumference. It was also known as the goedendag (from the
Dutch word for "good day") and the holy water sprinkler (from
its resemblance to the aspergillum sometimes used in the
Catholic Mass). It was used by both cavalry and infantry;
the horseman's weapon typically had a shorter haft than the
footman's, which might be up to six feet long. It came into
use in the beginning of the 14th century.
The name "morning star" is often erroneously applied to the
military flail (also known as the therscol), a similar weapon,
but with the head attached by a short chain.

[ Dictionary of Medieval Knighthood and Chivalry,
 by Bradford Broughton ]