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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 monsters.


Snickersnee is the first guaranteed sacrifice gift for a Samurai.


Snickersnee is a serviceable, if generally unremarkable, artifact weapon - 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 2.2a and NetHack 2.3e, any katana could be named Snickersnee, and it had a +d5 damage bonus against all monsters.[1] Artifacts were made unique in NetHack 3.0.0, the version where Snickersnee was given its current traits.


Snickersnee is derived from The Mikado, a popular 19th century comic opera set in Japan. Its name is actually an old English word for "large knife".



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 dNetHack, Snickersnee is an intelligent artifact knife with +1d3 to-hit, +1d10 to damage, and a chance of beheading similar to Vorpal Blade. It cannot be gifted, but is nameable by mid-game Tourists; Kiku-ichimonji also replaces Snickersnee as the Samurai's first gift. Both Tourists and Samurai can wield it in the off-hand.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to keeping SLASH'EM changes, Snickersnee can be be made at The Forge. Kiku-ichimonji replaces Snickersnee as the first sacrifice gift for Samurai, as with dNetHack.


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.

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 ]