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Puddingbane was a nickname for a -3 small iron weapon (normally a dagger, orcish dagger, or knife) that was used for pudding farming before NetHack 3.6.0. Its damage is always just 1.

Today, the primary use of a weapon like this is to help maintain pacifist conduct. Another possible use is to split a pudding pet before polymorphing it.


Historically, a poor iron weapon was used to split black and brown puddings in pudding farming (hence its name) while doing minimum damage: it might eventually kill a pudding, but it would split a lot of them first.

Prior to version 3.6.1, a Puddingbane could probably have been used to kill Vlad the Impaler (as a makeshift Vladbane).


A puddingbane can be created by engraving with an iron weapon to reduce its enchantment to -3. An enchantment of less than -3 is not needed for a dagger or knife, but a stronger or blunt weapon would require some cursed scrolls of enchant weapon.


Strength is not added to a damage roll of 1 after enchantment, so with a -3 (or less) dagger or knife, the damage will still always be 1 regardless of strength. Corroding is optional.

Any non-weapon iron item, such as a key, will do d2 damage (or at least 1 if corroded), plus any bonus from strength of 16 or more or from rings of increase damage. Note that for pacifism, this is not as good as a -3 dagger or knife, which will always do 1 point of damage no matter what your damage bonus. Wielding a non-weapon item will preserve weaponless conduct, however.


In slashem, a Puddingbane can still be used for some very limited pudding farming.

See also