Splint mail

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[   splint mail   Splint mail.png
Appearance splint mail
Slot body armor
AC 6
Base price 80 zm
Weight 400
Material iron

Splint mail is a type of body armor that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron.


All Samurai start the game with +0 non-cursed splint mail[1] - their starting splint mail will be rustproof, along with any splint mail generated on the same floor due to the method employed in the code, and all splint mail generated on the Samurai quest will also be rustproof.[2]

In addition to random generation, general stores, used armor dealerships and antique weapon outlets can sell splint mail.

Mercenaries with a target AC of 2 or better (e.g., Yendorian Army sergeants) that do not receive plate mail or crystal plate mail have an effective 815 chance of generating with splint mail.[3]

Player monster barbarians, knights, priests, and valkyries have an effective 110 chance of forcing splint mail in place of their initial body armor.[4][5][6][7]

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 20cbadcf - which strengthens quest leaders and makes it so that killing them no longer makes the game unwinnable - the Samurai quest leader Lord Sato always generates with +5 splint mail.


While worn, splint mail confers 6 base AC and MC1.


Splint mail provides a significant AC bonus, but is the second-heaviest type of armor at 400 aum after the various forms of plate mail, which weighs 50 units more. Samurai will be able to wear their starting splint mail for some time with their high strength and constitution, but should look for upgrades such as banded mail, or an elven or dwarvish mithril-coat, as soon as possible.


Splint mail first appears in Hack 1.21 and Hack for PDP-11, which are based on Jay Fenlason's Hack, and is included in the initial list of armor for Hack 1.0.


Splint armour (also splinted armour, splint armor, or splinted armor) is a form of historic armor composed of strips of metal "splints" attached to a cloth or leather backing or 'foundation'. It was most commonly used in armor such as greaves or vambraces that covers the limbs: the splints are arranged length-wise and pierced for riveting or sewing to the foundation. While a few complete suits of armour have been found made from splints of wood, leather, or bone, the Victorian neologism of "splinted mail" usually refers to the limb armor of crusader knights from the era: depictions of this type pair it with mail, scale armour, a coat of plates, or other plate harness.

The "splinted mail" of 14th century Europe was one of many forms of transitional armour that improved on simple mail shirts, in this case by adding limb protection via methods such as the aforementioned greaves alongside more thorough coverage for the thigh and upper arm. Knights in effigy are depicted with further leg protection that fully covers the feet as well and may also represent the presence of rivets on brigandines or padded armour underneath splints. Splint mail usually appears in media that draws from the era, including "standard" fantasy such as Dungeons & Dragons.

The feudal era of Japan likewise featured various forms of tatami gusoku, a type of lightweight portable folding Japanese armour worn by the samurai class and their foot soldiers, and includes a jacket along with a helmet, hood or similar type of head protection alongside the usual components of a full suit of armor. Tatami armour was designed to be convenient for transportation, and were manufactured inexpensively for light infantry; lower-class samurai wore simpler tatami, where higher-class samurai wore more elaborate tatami. The rustproof splint mail used for Samurai in NetHack most likely represents tatami made of karuta, small lacquered square or rectangular plates of iron (or sometimes leather) usually connected together by chainmail and sewn to a cloth backing - a comment in the source code supports this, indicating that it represents the historical use of lacquer to protect Japanese armor in a wet climate.[2]



In SLASH'EM, gnoll warriors have an effective 1960 chance of generating with splint mail.[8]


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, splint mail confers 3 AC, 3 DR and MC1 while worn, and its weight is reduced to 200 aum.

Incantifier Samurai have their starting splint mail replaced with a robe.

Lord Sato always generates with blessed +4 splint mail.


In EvilHack, the weight of splint mail is reduced to 300 aum.

Giant Samurai start the game with large splint mail in place of the standard splint, and tortle Samurai receive their race's standard toque in lieu of splint mail.

Lord Sato always generates with +4 splint mail.

Splint mail can be created at a forge by combining chain mail and scale mail. Splint mail can also be combined with chain mail to forget plate mail.

All of the above information also applies to Hack'EM.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, incantifier Samurai start with a robe in place of splint mail as in dNetHack.


  1. src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 138
  2. 2.0 2.1 src/mkobj.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 1008
  3. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 625
  4. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 174: 12 for barbarians and other mentioned roles to get random body armor within the range of objects from plate mail to chain mail in objects.c, using normal generation odds
  5. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 201: body armor for knights
  6. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 215: body armor for priests
  7. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 242: body armor for valkyries
  8. makemon.c in SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2, line 699