Silver dagger

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) Silver dagger.png
Name silver dagger
Appearance silver dagger
Damage vs. small 1d4+(1d20)
Damage vs. large 1d3+(1d20)
To-hit bonus +2
Weapon skill dagger
Size one-handed
Base price 40 zm
Weight 12
Material silver

A silver dagger is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is nearly identical to a regular dagger, but is made of silver that renders it erosion-proof and capable of dealing +d20 damage to silver-hating monsters.


Silver daggers constitute 0.3% of randomly-generated weapons in the dungeon. In addition to random generation, weapon shops and general stores can stock elven daggers.

Player monsters, including those on the Astral Plane, have a ~0.26% chance of generating with a silver dagger as their initial weapon before role-based replacements.[1]

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 Healer quest leader Hippocrates generates with a +5 silver dagger, and The Master of Thieves generates with a +4 silver dagger when serving as the Rogue quest leader.


The silver dagger is incredibly rare, and its material makes each one slightly heavier than a standard dagger, which can add up if you are fortunate enough with weapon generation to assemble a stack of them - characters that aim to use daggers as their primary ranged attack throughout the game might consider using a spare wish for an enchanted stack after the necessities are taken care of. A stack of highly enchanted silver daggers is among the deadliest weapons to use throughout Gehennom.

Average damage calculation of thrown silver daggers

The following average damage calculation shows the average amount of damage dealt per turn by throwing as many silver daggers as possible. We assume the player has expert skill in dagger, which gives a +2 damage bonus, and a multishot rate of 1d3 daggers. A blessed weapon deals 1d4 extra damage against major demons and undead. The worst case scenario is against a non-silver-hating, non-undead, non-demon large monster. The best case scenario is against a silver-hating undead/demon small monster.

Uncursed silver dagger + 0 Blessed silver dagger +7
Against regular small monsters \left(\frac{1+4}{2}+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{9} \left(\frac{1+4}{2}+7+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{23}
Against regular large monsters \left(\frac{1+3}{2}+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{8} \left(\frac{1+3}{2}+7+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{22}
Worst case scenario \left(\frac{1+3}{2}+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{8} \left(\frac{1+3}{2}+7+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{22}
Best case scenario \left(\frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+20}{2}+2\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{30} \left(\frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+20}{2}+7+2+\frac{1+4}{2}\right)\times{\frac{1+3}{2}}=\bold{49}


The silver dagger first appears in NetHack Plus, a variant of NetHack 3.1.3, and makes its vanilla debut in NetHack 3.3.0.


In variants with object material systems, the silver dagger is no longer a separate item, and standard daggers can generate as made of silver - some of these variants may specify silver when generating daggers in specific instances.


In SLASH'EM, Undead Slayers have a 12 chance for their starting equipment to contain a stack of +0 silver daggers.


In dNetHack, the Drow Noble starts each game with a silver dagger.

Maids have a 1100 chance of generating with a silver dagger.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, Bards start each game with a +1 silver dagger. Lycanthrope Undead Slayers will be given normal daggers in place of silver ones.

Player monster doppelgangers and hackers are generated with a silver dagger.

Silvershard is an unaligned artifact weapon silver dagger that has +2 to-hit.


  1. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 155: 12 to get a random weapon - the designated range of objects covers weapons from the spear to the bullwhip inclusively in objects.c, and uses normal generation odds