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) Runesword.png
Name runesword
Appearance runed broadsword
Damage vs. small 2d4
Damage vs. large 1d6+1
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill broadsword
Size one-handed
Base price 300 zm
Weight 40
Material iron

A runesword is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is a one-handed melee weapon that uses the broadsword skill, and appears as a runed broadsword when unidentified, an appearance it shares with the elven broadsword. It is made of iron.

The runesword is the base item Stormbringer is an artifact weapon that uses the runesword as its base item.


Runeswords are not randomly generated, though they can be wished for or found in bones.

If a bones level containing Stormbringer is loaded in a game where you have already generated the artifact, it will be replaced with an ordinary runesword.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As part of commit 20cbadc - which strengthens quest leaders and makes it so that killing them no longer makes the game unwinnable - the Barbarian quest leader Pelias is generated with a +5 runesword.


A runesword is nearly identical to a regular broadsword, with the only differences being its rarity and significantly lighter weight.


The runesword first appears in NetHack 3.1.0, which changes Stormbringer's base item from a broadsword to a runesword.


Some variants will generate a runesword on specific levels, with the standard 15 chance of it being made into an artifact (i.e., typically Stormbringer).


In SLASH'EM, a runesword is always generated in a hidden room within the Boulder Path of the Lawful Quest.


In dNetHack, runeswords deal 1d10+1d4 damage versus small monsters and 1d10+1 versus large monsters.

A cursed +3 runesword is generated in one of the Ruined Temple chests within the Chaos Temple Quest at level creation.


In EvilHack, Pelias is always generated with a +5 runesword, and Saint Michael is always generated with a runesword.

A runesword can be created at a forge by combining a broadsword and a dagger. Dichotomy is an artifact runesword that can only be created by combining Fire and Frost Brand at a forge.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, there is a 320 chance of a cursed -9 runesword named Excalipoor generating in a chest within the thieves' stronghold in the village of the Town branch. Excalipoor is a recurring weapon in the Final Fantasy series of games, where it is a very weak knockoff of Excalibur known to fool treasure hunters.