Two-handed sword

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) Two-handed sword.png
Name two-handed sword
Appearance two-handed sword
Damage vs. small 1d12 (1-12)
Damage vs. large 3d6 (3-18)
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill two-handed sword
Size two-handed
Base price 50 zm
(+10/positive
enchant)
Weight 150
Material iron

A two-handed sword is a kind of melee weapon that appears in NetHack. It is one of the most damaging non-artifact weapons in the game, and one of the most damaging among two-handed weapons.

Generation

A +0 two-handed sword is one of the possible starting swords for Barbarians.[1] Two-handed swords make up about 2.2% of randomly generated weapons (on the ground, as death drops, and in shops).

A strong humanoid monster with a weapon attack, the ability to wield weapons and no other ruleset governing its monster starting inventory has a chance of generating with a two-handed sword, unless they are being generated on the Rogue level: the base odds are 114 for normal monsters, 112 for a monster that is a lord or nasty, 110 for a monster that is an overlord or both a lord and nasty, and 18 for a monster that is both nasty and an overlord.[2]

Croesus is always generated with a two-handed sword if Fort Ludios appears in a game.[3] One of the weapons guarded by the ghost on the Rogue level has a 50% chance of being a two-handed sword, with an enchantment ranging from -1 to +3 and a 34 chance of generating as cursed.[4]

Player monsters, including those on the Astral Plane, have an approximate 1.9% chance of generating with a two-handed sword before role replacements - barbarians have a 14 chance of receiving a two-handed sword in place of their initial primary weapon, bringing their odds to roughly 27%.[5]

Two-handed sword skill

Two-handed sword
Max Role
Basic
Skilled
Expert

The two-handed sword skill covers the use of two-handed swords and tsurugi. The Tsurugi of Muramasa is an artifact tsurugi that uses the skill.

Strategy

Main article: Two-handed

Two-handed swords are solid early game weapons for their high damage rolls, particularly for weaker roles like Tourists - but they can become a nuisance when cursed, making it an unpopular choice to use past the mid-game. The #tip command can be used to get curse removal items out of a carried bag, but most players will still prefer a one-handed and/or curse-resistant weapon to avoid this issue entirely.

History

The two-handed sword 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 weapon list for Hack 1.0.

From Hack 1.0 to NetHack 3.0.10, a two-handed sword can be named Orcrist, giving it a bonus d10 damage against orcs - prior to Hack 1.0.2, naming Orcrist was not restricted to this weapon alone. Until NetHack 3.0.0, it is possible to have multiple "Orcrists" by naming two-handed swords this way - NetHack 3.0.0 makes artifacts unique, and Orcrist uses the two-handed sword as its base item until NetHack 3.1.0, which makes it an elven broadsword.

Variants

SLASH'EM

SLASH'EM adds Deathsword, an artifact two-handed sword.

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, Thiefbane is an artifact two-handed sword carried by the black market proprietor One-eyed Sam.

dNetHack

In dNetHack, Aurumach Rilmani will generate with a gold two-handed sword enchanted to at least +4, and wandering githyanki pirates are generated with a two-handed sword.

EvilHack

In EvilHack, Lifestealer and The Sword of Kas are artifact two-handed swords.

References