The Sceptre of Might

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)   The Sceptre of Might   Mace.png
Base item mace
Damage vs. small 1d6+1 ×2
Damage vs. large 1d6 ×2
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus cross-aligned
Weapon skill mace
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked
Base price 2500 zm
Weight 30
Material iron

The Sceptre of Might is the Caveman quest artifact. It is the prize for completing the Caveman quest, and is lawful for wishing purposes. Its base item type is a mace.


When wielded, the Sceptre confers magic resistance, and you get +d5 to hit and deal double damage against monsters with alignment different than the Sceptre. Invoking the Sceptre toggles conflict on or off. Conflict caused by the Sceptre does not cause the usual hunger. If the Sceptre leaves your main inventory, it will stop causing conflict without needing to be invoked.


See also: Invoke § Optimum invocation schedule

Thanks to its alignment-based double damage, the Sceptre is one of the best weapons in the game versus cross-aligned monsters, and your quest artifact is always co-aligned. Since most monsters in the game are either neutral or chaotic, for lawful characters the Sceptre is a great weapon, comparable even with a similarly enchanted Grayswandir against most non-silver hating monsters. However, the Sceptre is a somewhat weaker artifact for neutral Cavepeople; this becomes particularly noticeable in Gehennom. Erosion-proofing is recommended in either case, as quest artifacts are not generated damage-proof like sacrifice gifts.

The magic resistance, damage bonuses, and toggleable conflict also make the Sceptre of Might a viable artifact for Knights and Priests that have an early wish to spare.


You feel like a rabble-rouser.
You invoked the Sceptre of Might and are now causing conflict.
You feel the tension decrease around you.
You invoked the Sceptre of Might (or it left your main inventory), and you are no longer causing conflict.
You feel a surge of power, but nothing happens.
You invoked the Sceptre, but you were already causing conflict by other means.

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 Coaligned to the Sceptre Cross-aligned to the Sceptre
Small monster Large monster Small monster Large monster
+0 Sceptre of Might \frac{1+6}{2}+1=\bold{4.5} \frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{3.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+1 \right )\times{2}=\bold{9} \left (\frac{1+6}{2} \right )\times{2}=\bold{7}
+7 Sceptre of Might \frac{1+6}{2}+1+7=\bold{11.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{10.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+1+7 \right )\times{2}=\bold{23} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7 \right )\times{2}=\bold{21}


Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, the Sceptre of Might conferred magic resistance when carried in addition to when wielded.



The Sceptre of Might does significantly less damage in SLASH'EM. Its to-hit bonus has been reduced to a set +3, and it does an additional 5 points of damage versus cross-aligned creatures instead of double damage.[1]


In xNetHack, the Sceptre of Might is now the Priest quest artifact; Cavemen have a new quest artifact called Big Stick, and the old Priest quest artifact, the Mitre of Holiness, is removed. The Sceptre confers drain resistance when wielded instead of magic resistance, and invoking it provides an energy boost instead of toggling conflict.

Encyclopedia entry

This mace was created aeons ago in some unknown cave, and has been passed down from generation to generation of cave dwellers. It is a very mighty mace indeed, and in addition will protect anyone who wields it from magic missile attacks. When invoked, it causes conflict in the area around it.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-360}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.