Orcish shield

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[   orcish shield   Orcish shield.png
Appearance red-eyed shield
Slot shield
AC 1
Special (none)
Base price 7 zm
Weight 50
Material iron

An orcish shield is a type of shield that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron and appears as a red-eyed shield when unidentified.

The Uruk-hai shield is a near-identical shield with a different appearance.


Orcish characters start the game with knowledge of the orcish shield.[1] A line of code is present that gives orcish characters in roles that start with small shields an orcish shield instead, and while this line is the only racial substitution for shields that is not commented out, there are currently no applicable roles.[2]

Mordor orcs have a 13 chance of being generated with an orcish shield, and orc-captains have a 12 chance of being generated with Mordor orc armor, giving them an effective 16 chance of generating with orcish shields.[3][4]


While worn, an orcish shield grants 1 base AC.


Main article: Shield#Strategy

Orcish shields are heavier than small shields while providing the same amount of AC, and significantly inhibits spellcasting more than the small shield does. An orcish shield may suffice to fill out the shield slot momentarily, but should ideally be replaced with a lighter or better shield as soon as possible.

The orcish shield is particularly useful as racial equipment for racial conducts involving orcs.


The orcish shield first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


The red eye is the symbol of Sauron, the title character and main antagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Sauron's forces included armies upon armies of orcs, whose shields all bear the red-eye symbol as a mark of their servitude to him - the Uruks of Mordor that serve the wizard Saruman are a notable exception, as their shields bear the White Hand of Saruman, which was a deliberate imitation of Sauron's red eye.


Some variants may further distinguish the orcish and Uruk-hai shields, and others give orcs (including orcish characters) an AC bonus for wearing orcish shields.


In SLASH'EM, orcish shields can be upgraded into elven shields, and upgrading an elven shield produces either an orcish shield or an Uruk-hai shield, with an equal chance of each item.


In UnNetHack, orcish shields grant +1 AC to orcish monsters that wear them, including orcish characters.


In dNetHack, an orcish shield grants 1 AC and 0 DR when worn. Like all shields, orcish shields add their full enchantment to AC while giving no bonus to DR.

The Shield of the All-Seeing is an unaligned artifact orcish shield that favors orcs and can be enchanted to +7. While worn, it grants fire resistance along with searching, adds its enchantment as a bonus to search attempts, and warns of elves and minions. Invoking the artifact cures blindness and hallucination, and grants blindness and hallucination resistance, protection from shape changers, and x-ray vision for 30 turns (or 40 if your base race is an orc).


In xNetHack, orcish shields do not count as bulky for purposes of spellcasting penalties, while Uruk-hai shields do.


In EvilHack, orcish shields grant +1 AC to orcish monsters that wear them, including orcish characters. Orcish Knights start each game with an orcish shield.

Goblin outriders and goblin-captains have a 13 chance of generating with an orcish shield, and various orcish mercenaries may generate with an orcish shield.

An orcish shield can be created at a forge by combining orcish boots and an orcish helm. Orcish shields can be used to forge a few items:

  • An orcish shield can be combined with ring mail to create orcish chain mail.
  • An orcish shield can be combined with an orcish helm to create orcish ring mail.
  • Two orcish shields can be combined to create an Uruk-hai shield.


In Hack'EM, orcish shields grant +1 AC to orcish monsters that wear them, including player orcs.

Upgrading an orcish shield will produce a dwarvish roundshield, and vice versa.