|) Serpent's Tongue|
|Damage vs. small||1d4 x2 + (special)|
|Damage vs. large||1d3 x2 + (special)|
|Base price||400 zm|
It does double damage to all monsters, and even more to non-poison-resistant enemies:
- 40% chance of 2 + d6 damage
- 30% chance of 4 + 2d6 damage
- 20% chance of 6 + 3d6 damage
- 10% chance of poison instadeath
Comparison with other artifacts
Despite its being a weak base item type and comparing unfavorably with many other artifacts at +0, a fully-enchanted Serpent's Tongue is among the best weapons in SLASH'EM from an average expected damage perspective. A +7 Serpent's Tongue will, in the best case scenario, do an average of:
- 5 base damage vs. small and 4 base damage vs. large foes
- plus 2 x 7 = 14 from the doubled enchantment
- plus 90% chance of an additional ~10 average damage and 10% chance of instakill vs. non-poison resistant foes
- plus any applicable strength and skill bonuses (Rogue, Ranger, Tourist, Valkyrie, Wizard can all reach expert in dagger)
This gives it a total damage of 29 vs. small and 28 vs. large non-poison resistant foes with a 10% chance of instakill, plus any applicable strength, skill, and blessed damage bonuses.
Compare this with an average of 31.5 / 30.5 for the Bat from Hell (club skill), 32.5 / 34.5 for Reaper (polearm skill), and 34.5 / 34.5 for Mjollnir (hammer skill), none of which can instakill, and of which Reaper is two-handed and Mjollnir's damage bonus doesn't apply to to shock-resistant foes. For these reasons, Serpent's Tongue is an excellent end-game choice for non-lawfuls either as a primary weapon, or as a secondary weapon for #twoweaponing. Note that lawfuls should avoid Serpent's Tongue as they will receive an alignment penalty for using poison.
If you try to upgrade it, nothing happens. Nice try though.
Note that this artifact does not provide poison-resistance!