Talk:Artifact weapon

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How about making separate columns for intelligence status, and when-wielded, when-carried, and when-invoked effects? --Tjr 02:10, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I recall from a source dive a while back that no artifact weapon will give "when carried" bonuses. IIRC, artifacts have "bonuses", e.g. warning, magic resistance, etc, and the effect only works when wielded if it is a weapon (probably the same for worn SLASH'EM artifact armor) and always ("When carried") if the artifact is not a weapon. Thus the "When carried" and "When wielded" columns should always be mutually exclusive. Splitting the when-x bonuses apart from damage bonuses and adding the other columns is probably a good idea, but I don't see any point in having both when-carried and when-wielded columns. -- Qazmlpok 02:33, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. --Tjr
This is not right. There are separate fields in the artifact structure: see Source:artifact.h#line39. For example, The Longbow of Diana gives telepathy when carried and reflection when wielded. --Gordon schumway 04:44, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Done, although sorting is broken now. --Gordon schumway 17:59, 5 June 2011 (UTC)


"(cur | prev) 01:07, 10 March 2011 Gordon schumway (Talk | contribs) m (8,024 bytes) (Staff of Aesculapius: level drain itself *is* the d8 damage) (undo)"

Could someone explain this one too me a bit more? According to the Drain_life_(monster_attack) page "If a monster's level was zero, it dies. Otherwise, the monster's level is reduced by 1. Its maximum and current hit points are reduced by 2d6. If its hit points are reduced below 1, it dies." The The_Staff_of_Aesculapius page lists both the double damage and +d8 as bonuses against non-level drain resistant monsters. iirc from my source diving, weapons either get a damage bonus, +dx, or double damage; but both of those are stored in the same variable (0 bonus + bonus applied -> double damage), so the staff _can't_ have both. (See: [[1]]).

At the same time, +d8 doesn't seem to correspond to the 2d6 for monster hp ...

What is the staff's real bonus?

Also, thank you to Gordon Schumway for pointing this out.

Regarding splitting the columns, the quest artifact page is split, but since only the longbow would really benefit from a split on this page, while the entire table would be inflated, it doesn't seem like it would be worth it to me. In my mind the point of this page is to compare damage, not artifact bonuses.

Blackcustard 18:31, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm not positive since I don't have much experience diving into artifact/item definitions, but it looks like the staff has no inherent damage bonus (+0 damage, +0 to hit), just does drain life. The drain life code (artifact, not monster attack: see artifact.c, line 1122) does 1d8 damage to both the monster max and current HP, adds this 1d8 (the same roll) to the amount of damage done, and heals you for half of the drain damage. So the result is 2 * 1d8 damage to HP (This is not the same as 2d8; slightly different distribution IIRC), -1 level, and 1d8 reduction to max HP. -- Qazmlpok 22:06, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm not too comfortable with my conclusions either. But I think:

spell of drain life, as in from the spellbook, cast on a monster -> 2d8 damage to current hp, 1d8 to maxhp, modified for resisting and for being a knight with the mirror (almost what's said on the [[2]] page, expect that that page doesn't note the maxhp drain, ,

life draining from stormy and staff -> 1d8 like you and Gordon said (

player, polymorphed into a monster with an innate level draining attack (e.g. a wraith) -> 2d6 (At least, as far as I can tell, damageum is called by hmonas, which is for polymorphed players attacking.) (Top of hmonas:, calls to damageum from hmonas: and, relevant part of damageum:

Then the double damage comes from the +0 you found in the artifact's definition (never read those definitions myself, glad to know it really is 0).

(Also: your right, 2 * 1d8 will give you only even numbers, 2d8 will give you everything between 1 and 16 as far as I know.)

Regarding the page, I sort of think the d8 should be added back in, with a note explaining its origin (assuming its correct). It's an integral part of the staff's damage, and relegating that detail to the staff's own page, and to the life draining page (which as far as I can tell doesn't correctly identify the +1d8 for life draining from the staff and stormy) seems to obscure decisions about what weapon to use. Then maybe the whole set of pages concerning drain life, life draining, and drain resistance could be reworked to be a tad more sensible/correct?

This is getting pretty confusing at this point, and I might be misreading everything. :(

Blackcustard 01:11, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

The player-monster attack is definitely doing 2d6 damage (to both HP and max HP); it looks like this also negates the normal damage of the attack.
If the xd8 damage is added back to the article, it should be 1d8*2, not just 1d8. The target's current HP is reduced by 1d8*2, and weapon attacks normally deal with how much the current HP is reduced. The article itself should clarify that a 1d8 is rolled and is applied twice to the current HP and once to the maximum HP. It's also possibly worth clarifying that the 1d8 is distinct from a normal artifact damage bonus - this is relevant in SLASH'EM, as all +1dx artifact damage bonuses have become +x, while the drain life is unchanged.
Regardless, the staff and stormbringer should definitely be made consistent whatever changes are made. -- Qazmlpok 02:25, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

It sounds fine to me, but if it's not too much trouble, could you point to the two places the 1d8 is applied to current hp? I could only ever find 1, right next to the maxHP reduction :( (this one Blackcustard 21:58, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Huh. Nope, I can't. Looking at it again it only does the damage once. I'm not sure why I thought it was also subtracting the victim's current HP. Nevermind all that, then. -- Qazmlpok 22:29, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

In that case, I purpose the following for the new staff row:

The Staff of Aesculapius quarterstaff (staff) neutral x2 damage & level drain to non-drain-resistant monsters (the draining itself causes an addition 1d8 damage to both current and max hp, and restores half that to your current hp, but this damage is NOT doubled.) Hungerless regeneration. Drain resistance. Healing, curses sickness, blindness, & sliming. Intelligent. 25.5 (10.5) 25.5 (10.5) Quest artifact of Healers.

And similarly, for the stormbringer row:

Stormbringer runesword chaotic +d5 to-hit, +d2 damage & level drain to non-drain-resistant monsters (the draining itself causes an addition 1d8 damage to both current and max hp, and restores half that to your current hp.) Drain resistance. Bloodthirsty. Intelligent. 18 (12) 17.5 (11.5) Chaotic crowning gift.

Those averages were apparently already accounting for the +1d8.

The stormbringer and staff pages should also be changed to reflect this.

The following is a separate change, and is probably out of scope for the artifact_weapon talk page, but I'll throw it out anyway.

I don't think the figures given for the damage on are correct (conflating 2d8 vs 2 * 1d8, not mentioning the 1d8 (NOT 2 * 1d8) max hp drain). And the drain life attack for stormy and the staff doesn't even have its own page. Those two and are pretty similar, maybe they could be combined in someway? The spellbook still needs its own page for sure, but the description of damage and effects of all 3 sources could maybe fit in a nice table, with columns for vs. enemy and vs. player. Also, all the citations we've dug up on this talk page should probably be sprinkled into those other pages.

Blackcustard 00:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

So I did finally make some changes to the block of level drain related pages. I still feel like its all kind of a scattered mess, but at this point I'm not sure that's poor wiki organization so much as a direct reflection of the fact that level draining is a scattered mess in Nethack itself. Blackcustard 01:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

silver damage

Should we include silver damage in the table? To me, it's an important part of the damage that Grayswandir and Werebane can deal out. and Werebane can never inflict double damage without also causing silver damage. The only drawback I see is that right now, the number in paranetheses is for monsters that are "resistant", and one isn't so much "resistant" to silver as not vulnerable to silver. I added it in, because I think it's important to show how powerful Grayswandir can be, and how Werebane isn't the pathetic weapon that it otherwise appears to be. Thoughts? Derekt75 01:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Semantics aside, the damage range of silver is certainly broader than junk like Ogresmasher or Trollsbane, so including it probably isn't a bad idea. Still though, I'd recommend including as +10.5 for the non-resistant number, and not at all in the resistant one. As it is now, it only makes sense because both the silver artifact weapons also happen to do double damage against silver-haters (Grayswandir against everyone, Werebane against lycanthropes). This isn't true in SLASH'EM, for example: you have the Sword of Balance, which is anti-lawful and anti-chaotic; it's best against silver-hating chaotics, but still good against shades (silver-hating neutral), in fact better than it would be against most chaotics/lawfuls. Putting the number in italics nicely indicates that there is a second dimension to the damage. -Ion frigate 03:33, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You do make a good point about werebane at least. I'd leave the silver damage in the non-resistant calculation because there is no situation where you will get double damage but not silver damage. For grayswandir though I agree it should be separate; I don't use grayswandir because I plan on hitting some vampires, I use it for the double damage and the extra silver damage is just a nice touch. -- Qazmlpok 04:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I went ahead and put the silver damage in italics for both weapons; I think this is best, to just consider them separately. In the event that the table is expanded for SLASH'EM weapons, or by some miracle another version comes out, this is more robust: it concisely indicates the up to four possible cases. It happens that both current silver artifacts have only two cases, but that's only because nothing resists Grayswandir's double damage, and all of Werebane's double-damage targets are silver haters. -Ion frigate 04:36, 17 December 2011 (UTC)