The Sceptre of Might

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)   The Sceptre of Might   Mace.png
Base item mace
Damage vs. small 1d6+1 ×2
Damage vs. large 1d6 ×2
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus cross-aligned
Weapon skill mace
Size one-handed
Affiliation
When carried

(none)

When wielded
When invoked
Base price 2500 zm
Weight 30
Material iron

The Sceptre of Might is the Caveman quest artifact. It is the prize for completing the Caveman quest, and is lawful for wishing purposes. Its base item type is a mace.

Effects

When wielded, the Sceptre confers magic resistance, and you get +d5 to hit and deal double damage against monsters with alignment different than the Sceptre. Invoking the Sceptre toggles conflict on or off. Conflict caused by the Sceptre does not cause the usual hunger. If the Sceptre leaves your main inventory, it will stop causing conflict without needing to be invoked.

Strategy

See also: Invoke § Optimum invocation schedule

Thanks to its alignment-based double damage, the Sceptre is one of the best weapons in the game versus cross-aligned monsters. Since most monsters in the game are either neutral or chaotic, for lawful characters the Sceptre is a great weapon, comparable even with a similarly enchanted Grayswandir against most non-silver hating monsters. As your quest artifact is always co-aligned, however, the Sceptre is a much weaker artifact for neutral Cavepeople. The magic resistance, damage bonuses, and toggleable conflict also make the Sceptre of Might a good wish for lawful non-Cavemen, especially in the early game.

As the Sceptre of Might is a quest artifact and not a gift, it may be advisable to corrodeproof it.

Messages

You feel like a rabble-rouser.
You invoked the Sceptre of Might and are now causing conflict.
You feel the tension decrease around you.
You invoked the Sceptre of Might (or it left your main inventory), and you are no longer causing conflict.
You feel a surge of power, but nothing happens.
You invoked the Sceptre, but you were already causing conflict by other means.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons.

Weapon Coaligned to the Sceptre Cross-aligned to the Sceptre
Small monster Large monster Small monster Large monster
+0 Sceptre of Might \frac{1+6}{2}+1=\bold{4.5} \frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{3.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+1 \right )\times{2}=\bold{9} \left (\frac{1+6}{2} \right )\times{2}=\bold{7}
+7 Sceptre of Might \frac{1+6}{2}+1+7=\bold{11.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{10.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+1+7 \right )\times{2}=\bold{23} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7 \right )\times{2}=\bold{21}

History

Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, the Sceptre of Might conferred magic resistance when carried in addition to when wielded.

Variants

SLASH'EM

The Sceptre of Might does significantly less damage in SLASH'EM. Its to-hit bonus has been reduced to a set +3, and it does an additional 5 points of damage versus cross-aligned creatures instead of double damage.[1]

xNetHack

In xNetHack, the Sceptre of Might is the Priest quest artifact. (Cavemen have a new quest artifact called Big Stick, and the Mitre of Holiness is removed.) The Sceptre confers drain resistance when wielded instead of magic resistance, and invoking it provides an energy boost instead of toggling conflict.

Encyclopedia entry

This mace was created aeons ago in some unknown cave,
and has been passed down from generation to generation of
cave dwellers. It is a very mighty mace indeed, and in
addition will protect anyone who wields it from magic
missile attacks. When invoked, it causes conflict in the
area around it.