Orcish arrow

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) Orcish arrow.png
Name orcish arrow
Appearance crude arrow
Damage vs. small 1d5
Damage vs. large 1d6
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill bow
Size one-handed
Base price 2 zm
Weight 1
Material iron

An orcish arrow is a type of projectile that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron, and appears as a crude arrow when unidentified.

Orcish arrows are made for use with a bow, and gain +1 multishot when fired by an orc (including an orcish character) from an orcish bow.[1]


Orcish Rangers start each game with +0 and +2 stacks of orcish arrows in place of the role's standard arrows.[2]

Uruk-hai have a 13 chance of being generated with an orcish bow and 3–14 poisoned orcish arrows;[3][4] orc-captains have a 12 chance of being generated with Uruk-hai weapons, giving them an effective 16 chance of generating with an orcish bow and arrows.[5]


Orcish arrows are one of many poisonous threats in the early stages of the game, and one of the primary reasons that groups of Uruk-hai (and groups of orcs in general) are best dealt with via crowd control strategies such as funneling them into hallways: a character that has not yet obtained poison resistance may have their game unceremoniously ended by a distantly shot poisoned arrow. This also makes Orcish Town especially perilous to break into, since the level and others within the Gnomish Mines will be full of Uruk-hai amd orc captains.

In theory, characters may want a supply of poisoned projectiles to use against monsters, which can offset their otherwise-lower damage compared to other arrows - in practice, only orcish Rangers and other orcish bow-users will be able to get the most out of them: a character will want poison resistance to best deal with the projectiles in the first place, and many roles with early poison resistance are not particularly bow-proficient.

Non-orcish bow users may still consider them as a substitute for their primary arrow stack, at least until they can find enchant weapon scrolls and a luckstone or other luck item to minimize projectile mulching. Other characters can still pick up any orcish arrows left behind to prevent other monsters from becoming a threat with them until they gain poison resistance.


The orcish arrow is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0.



In SLASH'EM, upgrading orcish arrows will produce standard arrows.


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, orcish arrows deal 1d5 damage to small monsters and 1d8 damage to large monsters, with a -1 to-hit penalty.


In EvilHack, goblin outriders have the same chance of generating with an orcish bow and arrows as Uruk-hai. Watchmen and soldiers that are orcish have a 13 chance of generating with orcish bows and arrows, and orcish sergeants generated in stronghold areas may also generate with orcish arrows. Medusa is generated with an orcish bow and highly-enchanted orcish arrows that may be erodeproof.

The ice trolls stationed in each of the watch towers on the last level of the Ice Queen's Realm are each generated with an orcish bow and 100 orcish arrows, both uncursed. The structure containing the portal to the Wizard's Tower and the first floor of the branch are both guarded by a quartet of mariliths that each generate with an orcish bow and 100 orcish arrows, both uncursed.

Orcish Rangers that invoke The Longbow of Diana will generate orcish arrows instead of standard ones.

Orcish arrows can be used at a forge to create a couple of items:

  • 2 orcish arrows can be combined with a knife to create an orcish dagger.
  • 2 orcish arrows can be combined with an orcish dagger to create an orcish spear.


In Hack'EM, upgrading orcish arrows will produce standard arrows, and upgrading elven arrows will produce orcish arrows.

In addition to EvilHack forge recipes, 2 darts can be combined with 2 orcish arrows to create a knife.