The Staff of Aesculapius

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)   The Staff of Aesculapius   Quarterstaff.png
Base item quarterstaff
Damage vs. small 1d6 x2 +1d8
Damage vs. large 1d6 x2 +1d8
To-hit bonus +0
Bonus versus not drain resistant
Weapon skill quarterstaff
Size two-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked
Base price 5000 zm
Weight 40
Material wood

The Staff of Aesculapius is the healer quest artifact. It is the prize for completing the healer quest. It is neutral for wishing purposes. Its base item type is a quarterstaff.

It deals double damage to all monsters without level-drain resistance, drains levels from them, and also gives hungerless regeneration and protection from level drain. The life draining itself applies a further +1d8 damage to the target's current and maximum hp, and restores half that to the wielder's current hp. This bonus damage is not doubled, and does not apply against monsters with drain resistance.

If #invoked, it heals half the HP you would need to return to full health, and cures sickness, blindness, and sliming. It does not cure blindness caused by a cream pie.[1]

Like all staves, it is two-handed. It is an unpopular weapon in Gehennom because of the associated danger, and also the fact that many enemies in Gehennom are drain-resistant. But it should be noted that as an intelligent artifact, The Staff resists 80% of all curses. And if coupled with either of the half spell damage neutral artifacts, The Eye of the Aethiopica or The Orb of Fate, curse resistance for The Staff approaches that of Magicbane. Additionally, the introduction of the extended #tip command since 3.6.0 has made wielding all two-handed weapons potentially less dangerous.

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 Drain resistant Not drain resistant
+0 Staff of Aesculapius \frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{3.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 2+\frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{11.5}
+7 Staff of Aesculapius \frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{10.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 2+\frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{25.5}


Aesculapius (Ἀσκληπιός) was the god of medicine in ancient Greece, and his staff (with a single snake wrapped around it) is still widely used as a symbol of medicine today.


The Staff of Aesculapius does not protect against life drain in SLASH'EM any longer.[2] Erroneously, slashem retains the same encyclopedia entry, that mentions that "it protects its user from all life draining attacks".

Encyclopedia entry

This staff is considered sacred to all healers, as it truly
holds the powers of life and death. When wielded, it
protects its user from all life draining attacks, and
additionally gives the wielder the power of regeneration.
When invoked it performs healing magic.


  1. artifact.c#line1219 (code for HEALING effect)
  2. artilist.h in SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2, line 350

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