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)   Snickersnee   Katana.png
Base item katana
Damage vs. small 1d10 +1d8 (2–18)
Damage vs. large 1d12 +1d8 (2–20)
To-hit bonus +1
Bonus versus (any)
Weapon skill long sword
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded


When invoked


Base price 1200 zm
Weight 40
Material iron

Snickersnee is an artifact weapon that appears in NetHack. It is lawful-aligned, and its base item is a katana.

Snickersnee deals an extra +1d8 damage to all monsters.


In addition to random generation, Snickersnee may be given as a sacrifice gift to lawful characters, and is the first guaranteed sacrifice gift for Samurai.


Snickersnee is a serviceable artifact weapon, if generally unremarkable - it has marginally lower damage on average compared to Excalibur, with lower to-hit bonuses and no additional properties. While outclassed by Excalibur and many other artifact weapons, it is still decent as a first artifact weapon for Samurai and other lawful characters, and can at least tide them over until you are prepped to dip for Excalibur or transition to another artifact weapon.

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 Small monster Large monster
+0 Snickersnee \frac{1+10}{2}+\frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{10} \frac{1+12}{2}+\frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{11}
+7 Snickersnee \frac{1+10}{2}+\frac{1+8}{2}+7=\bold{17} \frac{1+12}{2}+\frac{1+8}{2}+7=\bold{18}


Snickersnee first appears in NetHack 2.2a - in this versions and NetHack 2.3e, any katana can be named Snickersnee, and it has a +d5 damage bonus against all monsters.[1] In NetHack 3.0.0, artifacts are made unique, and Snickersnee is given its modern traits.


Snickersnee is derived from The Mikado, a popular 19th century comic opera set in Japan. Its name is actually an archaic English word for "large knife", deriving from a Dutch phrase meaning to stab or cut. The word originally described a style of knife-fighting (analogous to cut and thrust in English), and later came to refer to the knives used in such fights.



In SLASH'EM, due to artifact weapon changes Snickersnee now has a flat +8 damage bonus, making it significantly more powerful than in vanilla. Additionally, since artifacts can be #twoweaponed, a Samurai who finds a long sword can get easy access to both Excalibur and Snickersnee, which makes for a formidable combination well into the late game.

Damage calculations

Weapon Small monster Large monster
+0 Snickersnee \frac{1+10}{2}+8=\bold{13.5} \frac{1+12}{2}+8=\bold{14.5}
+7 Snickersnee \frac{1+10}{2}+8+7=\bold{20.5} \frac{1+12}{2}+8+7=\bold{21.5}


In SporkHack, Snickersnee gains +1d5 to hit (in addition to the +1 for being a katana), but is otherwise unchanged. This is more significant than it might initially seem because of the to-hit calculation changes in SporkHack.


In dNetHack, Snickersnee is much different from vanilla. It is an intelligent Samurai-favoring artifact knife with doubled base dice (i.e. 2d5 versus small monsters and 2d3 versus large monsters), +1d3 to-hit, and deals +1d10 damage versus all monsters. Snickersnee cannot be gifted at all, but is nameable by Tourists who have either finished their quest or reached experience level 19; Kiku-ichimonji replaces Snickersnee as the Samurai's first gift. Both Tourists and Samurai can twoweapon Snickersnee in the off-hand, but will suffer a -20 to-hit penalty unless they are Skilled in twoweapon.

Snickersnee has a chance of beheading its target similar to Vorpal Blade, and also shares Vorpal Blade's exploding dice: If any of its base weapon damage dice roll their maximum damage value, a bonus roll is made with the same-size die (i.e. 1d5 or 1d3) with a flat +1 bonus applied, and the result is added to its damage - if that die then rolls its maximum value, another such roll is made, and so on until the die rolls stop "exploding". There is also a +1 damage bonus per base dice (+2 damage in total), even if neither die explodes. This can result in absurdly high-damage strikes with Snickersnee (at least in theory), independent of the high-damage "vorpal blows" that the artifact is already capable of.


In addition to SLASH'EM details, SlashTHEM adds Kiku-ichimonji from dNetHack, which replaces Snickersnee as the first sacrifice gift for Samurai.

Snickersnee is one of the many artifacts that can be requested from Duri at The Forge if it has not generated during a game.

Encyclopedia entry

Ah, never shall I forget the cry,
or the shriek that shrieked he,
As I gnashed my teeth, and from my sheath
I drew my Snickersnee!
--Koko, Lord high executioner of Titipu

[ The Mikado, by Sir W.S. Gilbert ]