Wand of striking

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Name striking
Appearance random
Abundance 7.5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges 8
Spell force bolt
Monster use May be used offensively by monsters.

A wand of striking works exactly like a spell of force bolt; it causes 2d12 damage to any monsters in its path as well as destroying boulders, doors, statues, drawbridges, and other similar items. In addition, it will break fragile items including potions. Therefore, it is to be used with caution.

A wand of striking will normally have no effect on items carried by monsters. However, if the zap kills a monster, it will also strike the items that the monster drops. This makes zapping nymphs dangerous, because they are weak enough to be killed by a single zap, and tend to carry mirrors that give a -2 luck penalty when broken.

Engraving with a wand of striking will give the message that the wand "unsuccessfully fights your attempt to write". (The wand of striking is on strike.) You have to know that this message corresponds to the wand of striking, because the game does not auto-identify the wand.

Wands of striking have a fixed chance of hitting; if the roll of a d20 is lower than (10 + monster's AC), the strike hits.[1] This makes them somewhat unsuitable for use in the late game, when many monsters have negative AC.

History

A wand of striking first appeared in Rogue version four[2], where it never missed and would deal 1d8+3 damage, with a one in twenty chance of instead dealing 3d8+9 (overall, an average damage of 8.95 damage).

In Hack, at least as far as version 1.0.2, it always appeared as a zinc wand[3]. It appeared in a rumor as "Eventually all wands of striking do strike."[4] Indeed, the sure-strike ability had been removed, and it followed an AC roll. Even as early as this version the damage was changed to 2d12[5]—which it remains to this day.

Strategy

  • If an intelligent monster gets their hands on a wand of striking, it cannot be reflected, however, magic resistance makes it harmless. ("Boing!")
  • Despite the fact that the spell of magic missile is better in almost all ways, for most levels, the wand of striking is clearly superior to the wand of magic missile. It does not reflect, meaning it cannot be used to try and strike twice with one zap, and it may destroy objects, but for most offensive purposes, a wand of striking is just better.
  • If possible, at least one charge of some form of striking or force bolt should be available as one descends to the Castle level. The safest and most convenient way to enter is to just blast the drawbridge to bits. (Note that you may wish to use the drawbridge to destroy enemy monsters before destroying it to pass the square. It is incredibly risky, though, to attempt to cross the drawbridge while it's still intact.) For classes restricted in the attack spell, lacking the spellbook, or those simply avoiding spells with a class not adept with them, this is the way to get striking.

Generation

Wands comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 7.5% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of striking.

Polymorph

The given confidence of getting a Wand of striking from polymorphing a wand object.

Confidence 7.5/95 25% 50% 60% 75% 85% 90% 95% 99%
Polymorphs =1 3.5 8.43 11.14 16.86 23.07 28 36.43 56

Table does not include the chance of a wand shuddering, and so, the number of wands required to reach this level of confidence will almost surely be higher; the effective number of polymorphs is as per the table, however.

References

  1. zap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 128
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. [4]

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.