Nighthorn

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)   Nighthorn   Unicorn horn.png
Base item Unicorn horn
Damage vs. small 1d12
Damage vs. large 1d12
To-hit bonus +1
Bonus versus (none)
Weapon skill Unicorn horn
Size two-handed
Affiliation
When carried

(none)

When wielded
When invoked

(none)

Base price 10000 zm
Weight 20
Material bone

Nighthorn is an artifact unicorn horn that appears in SLASH'EM and dNetHack. It is associated with Nightmare in both games.

Generation

Nighthorn cannot be randomly generated or wished for, and can only be obtained upon killing Nightmare; Nightmare does not normally leave a corpse, but will instead drop Nighthorn if killed in a way that would otherwise leave a corpse (i.e. without disintegrating or digesting her). The dropped Nighthorn will always be generated cursed and at +0.

SLASH'EM

In SLASH'EM, Nighthorn is lawful and obtained at the end of the Lawful Quest, where Nightmare resides. It is functionally no different than a normal unicorn horn, except that it provides reflection when wielded.

Strategy

Most characters will find little reason to apply Nighthorn over a regular blessed and enchanted unicorn horn for curing status afflictions. As a weapon, it is a viable option for the mid-game, though non-lawful characters may be dissuaded due to the chance of taking 8d6 blasting damage; it is still worth considering if they are not restricted in the unicorn horn skill and other sources of reflection prove scarce.

However, it does no more damage than a regular unicorn horn, making it a weaker weapon in the late game; it will also not resist curses, which is one of the biggest set-backs for any two-handed weapon, much less a healing item. A shield of reflection will often be preferable for most characters at that stage.

dNetHack

)   Nighthorn   Unicorn horn.png
Base item Unicorn horn
Damage vs. small 1d12 +1d24 (fire)
Damage vs. large 1d12 +1d24 (fire)
To-hit bonus +1d12
Bonus versus (any)
Weapon skill Unicorn horn
Size one-handed
Affiliation
When carried
When wielded
When invoked
Base price 10000 zm
Weight 20
Material bone

In dNetHack, Nighthorn is a chaotic and intelligent unicorn horn, and is obtained the same way. However, Nightmare is a chaotic unicorn in dNetHack, and will thus be peaceful towards chaotic characters; a chaotic who wants the horn may need to take the −5 penalty to Luck and alignment for killing a coaligned unicorn, unless they can get a pet to manage it.

Nighthorn will now always blast its user when picked up, and will additionally always evade the grasp of lawfuls. It grants +1d12 to-hit and does an additional 1d24 of fire damage; while wielded, it grants fire resistance, and hitting a monster causes a fiery explosion centered on that target. When carried, it acts as a luckstone; additionally, if you are chaotic, it acts very similarly to an "aligned" scroll of scare monster, causing non-chaotic monsters to flee if you stand on its square while it is on the ground. Nighthorn can be #invoked for levitation.

Strategy

As unicorn horns are now one-handed in dNetHack, Nighthorn is a much more viable and valuable weapon, though it does poorly against demons and other monsters with fire resistance.

Encyclopedia entry

Nighthorn has no encyclopedia entry; however, the parser recognizes the "horn" in "nighthorn", and will return the encyclopedia entry for that item.

See also