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weap-343.txt  Last edited 2007-05-03 for NetHack 3.4.3
Weapons, weapon skills, and combat modifiers in NetHack 3.4
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.3 by Dylan O'Donnell <psmith@spod-central.org>.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ : ~~~~  ~~~  ~~~~ : ~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~
Dagger                    :                 :
  orcish dagger           : $ 4    10   12  : IRON  crude dagger
  dagger                  :   4    10   30  : IRON  --
  silver dagger           :  40    12    3  : SILV  --
  athame                  :   4    10    0  : IRON  --
  elven dagger            :   4    10   10  : WOOD  runed dagger
Knife                     :                 :
  worm tooth              :   2    20    0  : NONE  --
  knife           (shito) :   4     5   20  : IRON  --
  stiletto                :   4     5    5  : IRON  --
  scalpel                 :   6     5    0  : METL  --
  crysknife               : 100    20    0  : MINL  --
Axe                       :                 :
  axe                     :   8    60   40  : IRON  --
  battle-axe              :  40   120*  10  : IRON  double-headed axe
Pick-axe                  :                 :
  pick-axe                :  50   100  tool : IRON  --
  dwarvish mattock        :  50   120*  13  : IRON  broad pick
Short sword               :                 :
  orcish short sword      :  10    30    3  : IRON  crude short sword
  short sword (wakizashi) :  10    30    8  : IRON  --
  dwarvish short sword    :  10    30    2  : IRON  broad short sword
  elven short sword       :  10    30    2  : WOOD  runed short sword
Broadsword                :                 :
  broadsword   (ninja-to) :  10    70    8  : IRON  --
  runesword               : 300    40    0  : IRON  runed broadsword
  elven broadsword        :  10    70    4  : WOOD  runed broadsword
Long sword                :                 :
  long sword              :  15    40   50  : IRON  --
  katana                  :  80    40    4  : IRON  samurai sword
Two-handed sword          :                 :
  two-handed sword        :  50   150*  22  : IRON  --
  tsurugi                 : 500    60*   0  : METL  long samurai sword
Scimitar                  :                 :
  scimitar                :  15    40   15  : IRON  curved sword
Saber                     :                 :
  silver saber            :  75    40    6  : SILV  --
Club                      :                 :
  club                    :   3    30   12  : WOOD  --
  aklys                   :   4    15    8  : IRON  thonged club
Mace                      :                 :
  mace                    :   5    30   40  : IRON  --
Morning star              :                 :
  morning star            :  10   120   12  : IRON  --
Flail                     :                 :
  flail        (nunchaku) :   4    15   40  : IRON  --
  grappling hook          :  50    30  tool : IRON  iron hook
Hammer                    :                 :
  war hammer              :   5    50   15  : IRON  --
Quarterstaff              :                 :
  quarterstaff            :   5    40*  11  : WOOD  staff
Polearm                   :                 :
  partisan                :  10    80*   5  : IRON  vulgar polearm
  fauchard                :   5    60*   6  : IRON  pole sickle
  glaive       (naginata) :   6    75*   8  : IRON  single-edged polearm
  bec-de-corbin           :   8   100*   4  : IRON  beaked polearm
  spetum                  :   5    50*   5  : IRON  forked polearm
  lucern hammer           :   7   150*   5  : IRON  pronged polearm
  guisarme                :   5    80*   6  : IRON  pruning hook
  ranseur                 :   6    50*   5  : IRON  hilted polearm
  voulge                  :   5   125*   4  : IRON  pole cleaver
  bill-guisarme           :   7   120*   4  : IRON  hooked polearm
  bardiche                :   7   120*   4  : IRON  long poleaxe
  halberd                 :  10   150*   8  : IRON  angled poleaxe
Spear                     :                 :
  orcish spear            :   3    30   13  : IRON  crude spear
  spear                   :   3    30   50  : IRON  --
  silver spear            :  40    36    2  : SILV  --
  elven spear             :   3    30   10  : WOOD  runed spear
  dwarvish spear          :   3    35   12  : IRON  stout spear
Javelin                   :                 :
  javelin                 :   3    20   10  : IRON  throwing spear
Trident                   :                 :
  trident                 :   5    25    8  : IRON  --
Lance                     :                 :
  lance                   :  10   180    4  : IRON  --
Bow                       :                 :
  orcish bow              :  60    30   12  : WOOD  crude bow
  bow                     :  60    30   24  : WOOD  --
  elven bow               :  60    30   12  : WOOD  runed bow
  yumi                    :  60    30    0  : WOOD  long bow
  orcish arrow            :   2     1   20  : IRON  crude arrow
  arrow                   :   2     1   55  : IRON  --
  silver arrow            :   5     1   12  : SILV  --
  elven arrow             :   2     1   20  : WOOD  runed arrow
  ya                      :   4     1   15  : METL  bamboo arrow
Sling                     :                 :
  sling                   :  20     3   40  : LEAT  --
  flintstone              :   1    10  gems : MINL  --
  other rocks/gems/glass  : vary  vary gems : vary  --
Crossbow                  :                 :
  crossbow                :  40    50   45  : WOOD  --
  crossbow bolt           :   2     1   55  : IRON  --
Dart                      :                 :
  dart                    :   2     1   60  : IRON  --
Shuriken                  :                 :
  shuriken                :   5     1   35  : IRON  throwing star
Boomerang                 :                 :
  boomerang               :  20     5   15  : WOOD  --
Whip                      :                 :
  bullwhip                :   4    20    2  : LEAT  --
  rubber hose             :   3    20    0  : PLAS  --
Unicorn horn              :                 :
  unicorn horn            : 100    20* tool : BONE  --
Two weapon combat         :  --    --  none : NONE  --
Riding                    :  --    --  none : NONE  --
Bare-handed combat        :  --    --  hand : NONE  --
Martial arts              :  --    --  hand : NONE  --

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ : ~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~ ~~~~  ~~~~~~ ~~~~
Dagger                    : bbbs b--E E  bEEE   
  orcish dagger           :                     +2   d3    2.0  d3      2.0
  dagger                  :                     +2   d4    2.5  d3      2.0
  silver dagger           :                     +2   d4    2.5  d3      2.0
  athame                  :                     +2   d4    2.5  d3      2.0
  elven dagger            :                     +2   d5    3.0  d3      2.0
Knife                     : b-sE b--s E  ss-s   
  worm tooth              :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  knife           (shito) :                          d3    2.0  d2      1.5
  stiletto                :                          d3    2.0  d2      1.5
  scalpel                 :                     +2   d3    2.0  d3      2.0
  crysknife               :                     +3   d10   5.5  d10     5.5
Axe                       : -Es- s--s -  -bEs   
  axe                     :                          d6    3.5  d4      2.5
  battle-axe              :                          d8+d4 7.0  d6+2d4  8.5
Pick-axe                  : Esb- b--b -  -bs-   
  pick-axe                :                          d6    3.5  d3      2.0
  dwarvish mattock        :                     -1   d12   6.5  d8+2d6 11.5
Short sword               : bE-s s--b E  EEsb   
  orcish short sword      :                          d5    3.0  d8      4.5
  short sword (wakizashi) :                          d6    3.5  d8      4.5
  dwarvish short sword    :                          d7    4.0  d8      4.5
  elven short sword       :                          d8    4.5  d8      4.5
Broadsword                : -s-- s--- s  sbs-   
  broadsword   (ninja-to) :                          2d4   5.0  d6+1    4.5
  runesword               :                          2d4   5.0  d6+1    4.5
  elven broadsword        :                          d6+d4 6.0  d6+1    4.5
Long sword                : -s-- E--- s  EbE-   
  long sword              :                          d8    4.5  d12     6.5
  katana                  :                     +1   d10   5.5  d12     6.5
Two-handed sword          : -E-- s--- b  EbE-   
  two-handed sword        :                          d12   6.5  3d6    10.5
  tsurugi                 :                     +2   d16   8.5  d8+2d6 11.5
Scimitar                  : ss-b b--- s  bsb-   
  scimitar                :                          d8    4.5  d8      4.5
Saber                     : Eb-b s--- s  bsb-   
  silver saber            :                          d8    4.5  d8      4.5
Club                      : ssEs b-E- s  ---s   
  club                    :                          d6    3.5  d3      2.0
  aklys                   :                          d6    3.5  d3      2.0
Mace                      : -sEb s-E- s  -b-b   
  mace                    :                          d6+1  4.5  d6      3.5
Morning star              : -sb- s-Eb b  -b--   
  morning star            :                          2d4   5.0  d6+1    4.5
Flail                     : -bs- b-Es b  sb--   
  flail        (nunchaku) :                          d6+1  4.5  2d4     5.0
  grappling hook          :                          d2    1.5  d6      3.5
Hammer                    : -Es- b-Eb b  -bE-   
  war hammer              :                          d4+1  3.5  d4      2.5
Quarterstaff              : sbEE -bEb -  bbbE   
  quarterstaff            :                          d6    3.5  d6      3.5
Polearm                   : --sb s-ss b  sbss   
  partisan                :                          d6    3.5  d6+1    4.5
  fauchard                :                          d6    3.5  d8      4.5
  glaive       (naginata) :                          d6    3.5  d10     5.5
  bec-de-corbin           :                          d8    4.5  d6      3.5
  spetum                  :                          d6+1  4.5  2d6     7.0
  lucern hammer           :                          2d4   5.0  d6      3.5
  guisarme                :                          2d4   5.0  d8      4.5
  ranseur                 :                          2d4   5.0  2d4     5.0
  voulge                  :                          2d4   5.0  2d4     5.0
  bill-guisarme           :                          2d4   5.0  d10     5.5
  bardiche                :                          2d4   5.0  3d4     7.5
  halberd                 :                          d10   5.5  2d6     7.0
Spear                     : -sEb sbss b  bbsb   
  orcish spear            :                          d5    3.0  d8      4.5
  spear                   :                          d6    3.5  d8      4.5
  silver spear            :                          d6    3.5  d8      4.5
  elven spear             :                          d7    4.0  d8      4.5
  dwarvish spear          :                          d8    4.5  d8      4.5
Javelin                   : --sb sbsE -  bbbb
  javelin                 :                          d6    3.5  d6      3.5
Trident                   : -ssb b-sb -  -bbb   
  trident                 :                          d6+1  4.5  3d4     7.5
Lance                     : ---- E-b- -  sbs-   
  lance                   :                          d6    3.5  d8      4.5
Bow                       : -bs- b-bE -  Eb--   
  orcish bow              :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  bow                     :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  elven bow               :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  yumi                    :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  orcish arrow            :                          d5    3.0  d6      3.5
  arrow                   :                          d6    3.5  d6      3.5
  silver arrow            :                          d6    3.5  d6      3.5
  elven arrow             :                          d7    4.0  d6      3.5
  ya                      :                     +1   d7    4.0  d7      4.0
Sling                     : s-Es --bE -  -bbs   
  sling                   :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  flintstone              :                          d6    3.5  d6      3.5
  other rocks/gems/glass  :                          d3    2.0  d3      2.0
Crossbow                  : ---- sbbE E  -b--   
  crossbow                :                          d2    1.5  d2      1.5
  crossbow bolt           :                          d4+1  3.5  d6+1    4.5
Dart                      : b--E --bE E  -E-E   
  dart                    :                          d3    2.0  d2      1.5
Shuriken                  : ---s -bbs s  Eb-b   
  shuriken                :                     +2   d8    4.5  d6      3.5
Boomerang                 : E-E- --bE -  -b--   
  boomerang               :                          d9    5.0  d9      5.0
Whip                      : E--- ---b -  -b--   
  bullwhip                :                          d2    1.5  1       1.0
  rubber hose             :                          d4    2.5  d3      2.0
Unicorn horn              : s-bE --s- -  -s--   
  unicorn horn            :                     +1   d12   6.5  d12     6.5
Two weapon combat         : bb-- s--- E  Ess-   
Riding                    : bb-- E--b b	 sbsb		    
Bare-handed combat        : EMMb E-bb E  -sEb        d2    1.5  d2      1.5
Martial arts              : ---- -G-- -  M---        d4    2.5  d4      2.5
Weapons are listed above first by skill class, then by increasing damage.
Alternative Japanese names are listed in parentheses ().  The COST field
denotes the base price of each weapon.  WGT specifies the weight (100
zorkmids weighs 1); an asterisk (*) signifies that the weapon requires
two hands to wield.

Weapons comprise 10% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon,
0% in containers, 12% on the Rogue level, and 20% in hell.  PROB is the
relative probability of each subtype.  If an object is mergable, then
6d6 (6 to 36) quantity is generated.  Weapons have a roughly 10% chance
of being blessed, roughly 10% of being cursed, and roughly 10% chance of
a non-zero enchantment (exponentially distributed).  Poisonable weapons
(all arrows, crossbow bolts, darts, and shuriken) have a 1% chance of
being generated poisoned.  Pick axes, unicorn horns, grappling hooks,
gems, glass, rocks, two-weapon combat, riding, bare-handed combat, and
martial arts are also listed here for their weapon skills and damage,
even though they are not technically weapons.

The MATL column describes the material of the weapon.  This affects
whether the weapon can be damaged (eroded); see the section below to
find out how to repair and prevent damage.

    MATL  DESCRIPTION                      ERODES?
    ~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~
    BONE  Horn or bone                     No
    IRON  Iron                             Rusts/Corrodes
    LEAT  Leather                          Burns/Rots
    METL  Other metal                      No
    MINL  Mineral                          No
    NONE  Not an item or unusual material  No
    PLAS  Plastic or rubber                No
    SILV  Silver                           No
    WOOD  Wood                             Burns/Rots

Some character classes know the true identity of some or all weapons at
the start of the game.  Weapons whose identity has not yet been established
will have the APPEARANCE listed.

Each character class has a limit to the amount of skill that can be
obtained in each weapon class.  The maximum skill level is noted under
the ABCH KMPRaRo STVW columns: - for restricted (cannot advance beyond
unskilled), b for basic skill, s for skilled, E for expert, M for master,
and G for grand master.  Weapon skills are explained further below.

Finally, information about each weapon's ability to hit and cause damage
is listed.  A few weapons have an additional bonus to hit, listed in the
+HIT column.  The base amount of damage to small ("tiny", "small", and
"medium") and large ("large", "huge", and "gigantic") monsters is given
in the SDAM and LDAM fields, and is expressed in terms of die rolls.
For example, 2d6 means 2 dice which can each range from 1 to 6, for a
total from 2 to 12.  The average amount of damage (useful for comparing
weapons) against small and large monsters is given under SAVG and LAVG.

Weapon skills
    "First lesson," Jon said. "Stick them with the pointy end."
        -- George R.R. Martin, "A Game of Thrones"

The table of weapons above is organized by "skill classes".  Continued
use of a weapon gives you practice in its skill class.  With enough
practice in a skill class and experience levels, you may have the
opportunity to advance your skill level in that skill class.  This will
in turn lead to an improvement in your chance to hit and the damage
produced by weapons in that class.

               NEEDED        WEAPON       2-WEAP   
~~~~~~~~~~~   ~~~~  ~~~    ~~~~ ~~~~    ~~~~ ~~~~  
Unskilled       0    0      -4   -2      -9   -3   
Basic          20    1       0    0      -7   -1   
Skilled        80    2      +2   +1      -5    0   
Expert        180    3      +3   +2      -3   +1   

               NEEDED        RIDING     BARE-HAND   MARTIAL
~~~~~~~~~~~   ~~~~  ~~~    ~~~~ ~~~~    ~~~~~~~~~   ~~~~~~~
Unskilled       0    0      -2    0         0         +1 
Basic          20    1      -1    0        +1         +3 
Skilled        80    1       0   +1        +1         +4 
Expert        180    2       0   +2        +2         +6 
Master        320    2      --   --        +2         +7 
Grand master  500    3      --   --        +3         +9 

There are specifically two requirements needed to advance a skill class:
a number of successful hits by any weapon in the skill class and a
number of experience levels.  A hit is considered successful if it
causes more than one point of damage to a monster, regardless if the
weapon is wielded or thrown.  The particular damage value used for this
determination is described in "Calculating damage" below.

The number of HITS needed to advance to a particular SKILL LEVEL is shown
in the tables above; this is cumulative from the beginning of the game
(although if you start at basic level in a skill you will be pre-credited
with the 20 hits needed to achieve it). For advancing riding skill, 100
turns spent moving is equivalent to one hit.

The other criterion used to advance skill levels is experience levels.
Each time you gain an experience level, you earn a "skill slot" that is
used up when you an advance a skill.  Thus you can earn a maximum of 29
skill slots, by advancing from level 1 to level 30.  If you lose an
experience level, you lose the associated skill slot; if that skill slot
was used to enhance a skill, you will lose the most recently earned skill
and are refunded the remaining skill slots from that skill level. 

The tables above also lists the number of additional EXPerience levels
(skill slots) needed to advance to that skill level (note the difference
between the two tables).  Unlike the number of hits, this number is not
cumulative.  Thus, it takes 2 skill slots to advance a weapon from basic
to skilled, no matter if you started with it as basic or unskilled.  Note
that these slots are shared with spell skills.

When you start the game, you will have basic skill for the weapons and
weapon-tools in your initial inventory, have basic skill in bare-handed
combat if you can advance it beyond expert, basic skill in riding if a 
Knight, and will be unskilled in all other weapon categories.  When you
reach the point when you can advance a skill category, you will see the
message, "You feel more confident in your (weapon/fighting) skills."
You can then advance the skill using the #enhance command (alt-e on some
systems).  You may choose to not advance a skill level if you want to
reserve the skill slots for a different skill. After advancing a skill,
if you are ready to advance another skill (possibly the same one), you
will get the message "You feel you could be more dangerous!"  The
#enhance command can also be used at any time to check your current skill

Of course, there are limits to how much you can advance a particular
skill category.  Each character class has different maximum levels for
each skill category, as can be seen in weapons table 2 above.  These
differences help to distinguish the various character classes late in
the game.  For example, note that many of the fighter classes have skill
with swords, whereas Priests are restricted from edged weapons but are
good with bludgeons and missiles.  Note that you can usually advance your
starting weapons and your Quest Artifact (if it is a weapon) to expert

The term "restricted" is used to describe skill categories that are
permanently unskilled.  They do not appear in the #enhance menu, although
you will see skills that are unskilled and can be advanced.  If you
receive an artifact weapon from crowning or sacrificing, and the
artifact's skill category is restricted, then the restriction will be
removed and you will be able to advance that skill to basic level; only
hits made after the unrestriction count towards this advancement.

Note that only character classes who are unrestricted in two-weapon
skill are able to use the #twoweapon command in their unpolymorphed

Weapon skills affect your game by adding a bonus to your chance to hit
and your damage.  The WEAPON +HIT and +DAM columns in the table above
shows the amount of this bonus for each skill level. 

If you attack a monster while not wielding any weapon, you will cause
either bare-handed damage (d2) or martial arts (d4) damage.  You only
cause one or the other, depending on your character class.  These skills
can be enhanced just like weapon skills -- even to levels beyond those
of weapons (master and grand master) -- and have their own +DAMage bonuses.
The martial arts bonus also applies when attacking a monster by kicking it.

Calculating the chance to hit
(Adapted from the spoiler "weapons", by Robert DeLoura and
Boudewijn Waijers.)

There are four ways to attack a monster with a weapon.  You can hit the
monster directly by wielding the weapon and stepping into that monster's
square.  If no weapon is wielded, you use your bare-handed or martial
arts skill.  Second, you can use the throw command to throw a weapon or
any other object (just type the object's inventory letter), or the fire
command to throw the object currently in your quiver.  Missiles (such as
arrows) are fired from launchers (such as bows) by wielding the launcher
and throwing the missile.  Third, you can kick an object at a monster, or
just kick a monster in an adjacent square. Finally, you can apply a
wielded polearm (lances are, for combat purposes, considered polearms) at
a monster at a distance: if your skill in that weapon is basic or worse,
the monster must be exactly two squares away orthogonally; if skilled, it
may also be a knight's-move away; if expert (can only apply to lances),
anywhere at two moves' distance.

It is possible that you may hit with more than one weapon in a turn:
* If you are using two-weapon combat, then if your primary weapon hits and
  is not destroyed in the process, and the monster is not dislodged from its
  position, your secondary weapon also automatically hits. 
* When firing any arrows from any bow, bolts from a crossbow, stones from a
  sling, or throwing daggers, darts or shuriken, there may be a chance that
  several get shot in one turn. The maximum number starts at 1, and receives
  the following additions:
  +   1 if you are skilled in the weapon.
  +   2 if you are expert in the weapon.
  +   1 if you are a Ranger, a Rogue throwing daggers, or a Samurai firing
      ya from a yumi.
  +   1 if you are an elf firing elven arrows from an elven bow.
  +   1 if you are an orc firing orcish arrows from an orcish bow.
  +   If this results in a maximum higher than the number of missiles you
      have, the maximum is reduced to that number.
  The number actually fired on any given turn is d(maximum). This can be
  capped by giving a numerical prefix to the fire or throw command; doing
  so will only decrease, never increase the number you fire.

Your chance to hit is based on the sum of the following items.  The larger
the number, the better your chance to hit.

The following are added to all attacks:
+   The target monster's armor class.
+   Your experience level, or your hit dice if you are polymorphed.
+   Your total numerical luck, which can range from -13 to +13.
+   A bonus based on your dexterity (see DEXT +HIT in the table below).
+   Your increase accuracy bonus (such as from rings).
+   1 if you are in elven form and are attacking an orc (any o or orcish
+   2 if the target monster was asleep.  It will awaken, whether you hit
    or miss it.
+   4 if the target monster was paralyzed.  There is a 10% chance that
    the monster will be unfrozen.

The following are added only when attacking a monster directly with
a wielded weapon or bare-handed (melee attacks):
+   1 bonus for attacking directly.
+   A bonus based on your strength (see STRENGTH +HIT in the table
+   1 if you are XL 1 or 2 (game-balancing beginner's luck).
+   -1 if you are burdened, -3 if stressed, -5 if strained.  You cannot
    attack in any way if you are overtaxed or overloaded.
+   -3 if you are trapped.
+   2 if the target monster was stunned.
+   2 if the target monster was fleeing.
+   -20 if you are a Monk wearing body armour.
+   If you are a barehanded Monk not wearing body armour or a shield, 2
    plus your experience level divided by three.

The following are added only when attacking by throwing, firing or
kicking a weapon, or applying a polearm (long- and medium-range attacks):
+   -1 penalty for attacking from a distance.
+   +2 to -4, depending on your distance to the target monster.
+   -2 to +5, depending on the size of the target monster.
+   2 with a heavy iron ball.
+   4 with a boomerang.
+   2 with throwing weapons (daggers (except athames), knives (except
    scalpels and worm teeth), spears, javelins, war hammers, aklys, darts,
+   -2 with non-throwing weapons.
+   6 with a boulder.
+   1 if you are an elf or Samurai wielding any bow and shooting any arrow.
    This bonus is 2 when an elf uses an elven bow or a Samurai uses a yumi.
+   Some gloves are a hindrance if you wield any bow class.  Gauntlets of
    power are -2, and gauntlets of fumbling are -3.
+   -4 if you throw or kick a missile without wielding a matching
        LAUNCHER(S)                  MISSILE(S)
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        orcish bow, bow, elven bow,  orcish arrow, arrow, silver arrow,
          yumi                         elven arrow, ya
        sling                        gems and stones
        crossbow                     crossbow bolt
+   Enchantment of the launcher you are wielding, if you threw or kicked
    a matching missile.
+   -1 if your launcher is damaged, -2 if it is very damaged, or -3 if
    it is thoroughly damaged.  This only applies when you kick or throw
    a matching missile.
+   An artifact launcher +HIT bonus, if any applies.

If the target monster is being attacked with a weapon or weapon-tool --
your (primary) wielded one when attacking directly or with a polearm, or
the missile if thrown or kicked -- there are additional bonuses based on
that object:
+   The object's enchantment.
+   The object type's to-hit bonus.  See +HIT in weapons table 2.
+   A weapon skill +HIT bonus if not using two weapons; see WEAPON +HIT
    in the weapon skills table above, for the current skill level of
    that weapon.
+   A penalty if using two weapons and/or riding while poorly skilled;
    see 2-WEAP +HIT and RIDING +HIT in the weapon skills table above.
    (For the former purpose, your skill is considered to be the lower of
    your actual two-weapon skill and your skill in your primary weapon.)
+   An additional -2 if using two weapons while riding, regardless of skill.
+   2 for blessed weapon(-tool) against a demon or undead monster.
+   2 for weapons in spear class against X, D, J, N, or H.
+   2 for a trident against snakes or sea monsters out of water.
+   4 for a trident against any swimmer in water.
+   2 for weapons in pick-axe class against xorns and earth elementals.
+   An artifact +HIT bonus, if any applies.

A die from 1 to 20 is rolled and compared to the to-hit total.  If the
die roll is less than the to-hit total (or equal when throwing or
kicking), you hit the monster and inflict damage as described below;
otherwise, you miss the monster.  The die roll is also used in determining
if certain "chance" artifact effects occur (e.g., beheading or Magicbane's
special attacks).

There are also some special cases.  If you are swallowed or engulfed by
a monster, then direct or thrown attacks always succeed, although you
will be unable to kick or apply polearms.  Unicorns will always catch
gems and glass that is thrown or kicked at them, causing no damage. Your
Quest Leader will always catch your Quest Artifact, and return it to you
if peaceful.

Here is the table of attribute adjustments:
                  STRENGTH   DEXT   :                   STRENGTH   DEXT
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~   :   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~
        3         -2    -1    -3    :   18/76 - 18/90   +2    +4    --
     4 to  5      -2    -1    -2    :   18/91 - 18/99   +2    +5    --
     6 to  7      -1     0    -1    :       18/**       +3    +6    --
     8 to 14       0     0     0    :        19         +3    +6    +5
       15          0     0    +1    :        20         +3    +6    +6
       16          0    +1    +2    :        21         +3    +6    +7
       17         +1    +1    +3    :        22         +3    +6    +8
       18         +1    +2    +4    :        23         +3    +6    +9
  18/01 - 18/50   +1    +3    --    :        24         +3    +6   +10
  18/51 - 18/75   +2    +3    --    :        25         +3    +6   +11

Calculating damage
(Adapted from the spoiler "weapons", by Robert DeLoura and
Boudewijn Waijers.)

If you hit directly without wielding anything, you inflict either bare-
handed base damage (d2) or martial arts base damage (d4). No base damage
occurs against shades. If the base damage is more than one point, you
exercise that weapon skill.  Added to this is a d4 bonus if wearing
blessed gloves while fighting undead or demons, or d20 if wearing a silver
ring(s) and no gloves while fighting a silver-hating monster.  There is
also a small chance of stunning your opponent and causing it to stagger
back a space (if it can); this will only happen if you are wearing neither
body armour nor shield and are in your natural form.

Damage from weapons, weapon-tools, gems, stones, ball, or chain is the
total of the following:
+   Impacting object's base damage (SDAM or LDAM above, accordingly)
+   Impacting object's enchantment (weapon and weapon-tool only)
=   Subtotal A
#   Subtotal A is set to zero if attacking thick-skinned creature with
    item made of venom, wax, food, paper, cloth, or leather (namely, a
    bullwhip).  Thick-skinned creatures include: gargoyle, winged gargoyle,
    all mimics, mumak, titanothere, baluchitherium, mastodon, all baby and
    adult dragons (D), earth elemental, all baby and adult nagas (N), xorn,
    skeleton, gold golem, wood golem, clay golem, stone golem, glass golem,
    iron golem, horned devil, barbed devil, shark, crocodile, salamander,
    Chromatic Dragon, and Ixoth.
#   Subtotal A is set to zero if attacking a shade without silver.
#   Heavy iron ball sets subtotal A to 1-25, depending on weight.
+   d4 if using a blessed item against undead or demon.  Undead include
    all liches (L), all mummies (M), all vampires (V), all wraiths/wights
    (W), all zombies (Z), ghosts, and shades.  Demons are all & except
    Death, Pestilence, Famine, the mail daemon, djinn, and sandestins.
    This bonus can't be doubled.
+   d4 if using an axe or battle axe against a wooden creature (namely,
    wood golems).  This bonus can't be doubled.
+   d20 if silver weapon against silver-hating creature.  These include
    all were-creatures (in both human and creature form); all vampires
    (V); all demons (&) except Death, Pestilence, Famine, the mail
    daemon, djinn, and sandestins; shades; and all imps (i) except 
    tengu.  This bonus can't be doubled.
+   erosion penalty from whichever of rust/fire damage or rot/corrosion
    damage is greater (-1 = damaged, -2 = very damaged, -3 = thoroughly 
    damaged). This won't reduce subtotal B beyond 1.
=   Subtotal B.  This is the value that must be greater than one for the
    hit to be counted toward a weapon skill.
+   If you are a Rogue in natural form hitting a fleeing monster, aren't
    stuck or using two weapons, and subtotal B is more than one point,
    you strike from behind with an additional random damage from 1 to
    your experience level.
+   2d10 for a successful joust (2d2 if with a secondary weapon). This
    bonus can't be doubled. To joust successfully, you need to hit with a
    lance in melee while riding (and not fumbling or stunned), and the
    chance is dependent on your skill in lance (or, if two-weaponing, the
    lower of your skill in two-weapon combat and in lance): 20% at
    unskilled, 40% at basic, 60% at skilled, 80% at expert. The monster
    will be stunned for a turn and thrown back a square (if possible).
    There is a small chance that the lance will break (dependent on your
    Luck). Successfully jousting will always exercise your weapon skill.
+   1 if you're a Samurai using ya with a yumi, or are an elf using elven
    arrows with an elven bow. Polymorph doesn't count.
+   Artifact damage bonus, doubling, and/or special attacks.  This may
    apply only against certain creatures.  See art1-343.txt.
=   Total damage
Hitting directly with a launcher, hitting directly with a missile, using
the wrong missile with a launcher, or using a polearm at close range
(unless mounted) causes only d2 damage (zero against shades) and does not
exercise your weapon skill. If you attack directly with a boomerang,
there's a chance (decreasing with higher Luck) that the boomerang
breaks, causing another 1 point of damage (no damage to shades).

Damage from other objects are as follows.  No weapon skills are exercised.
  OBJECT            DAMAGE
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  corpses           2 to 8, depending on size.  Cockatrice/chickatrice
                    corpses (nicknamed "rubber chickens") turn monsters
                    to stone, or do no damage if monster is stoning-
  eggs              1, penalize luck if you laid it, and no increase
                    damage bonus.
                    Cockatrice/chickatrice eggs (nicknamed "stoning
                    grenades") turn monsters to stone, or do no damage
                    if monster is stoning-resistant.
  clove of garlic   1, makes undead (but NOT demons) flee for 2d4 (more)
  cream pie,        0, blinds target; no increase damage bonus.
    blinding venom  
  acid venom        2d6 to monsters not acid resistant; no increase
                    damage bonus.
  potions           See pot1-343.txt.
  expensive camera  0, breaks camera, no increase damage bonus.
  mirror            1, breaks mirror (even on shades) with a -2 penalty
                    to your luck.
  boulder           d20.
  heavy iron ball   1 to 25, depending on weight and subject to rusting.
  iron chain        d4+1, subject to rusting.
  other objects     1 to 6, depending on weight. Silver objects receive
                    a +d20 bonus against a silver-hating creature (see
                    above for list).

Additional damage can occur to all of the above attacks (even against
shades; however, the first two bonuses are not applied if your current
damage total is less than one):
+   Your increase damage bonus (such as from rings), unless if noted
+   The STRENGTH +DAM bonus from the attributes adjustment table above.
    This won't occur if you aren't allowed the increase damage bonus, or
    if you're firing a missile from a launcher.
+   If you scored a hit that exercises a weapon skill, the +DAM bonus
    for that weapon skill or for two-weapon combat skill (and for
    riding skill if applicable, unless using two weapons). If fighting
    with two weapons, your skill for this purpose is considered to be the
    lower of your actual two-weapon skill and your skill in the single
    weapon scoring the hit.
+   If you hit a non-poison-resistant monster with a fired poisoned
    missile, there's a 10% chance of an instant kill, else you inflict d6
    more damage.
Your total damage is limited from being negative.  If you are allowed an
increase damage bonus, you will score at least 1 point of damage.

When you attack a monster and are polymorphed into a creature, you usually
use the attacks of your polymorphed form.  However, if you are in a form
that can use a weapon, are wielding something, and attempt a weapon,
claw, kick, bite, sting, touch, butt, or tentacle attack, then you will
attack with the wielded object instead.

You may sometimes shatter your opponent's weapon if you are wielding a
two-handed weapon, or are a Samurai wielding a katana with nothing in your
off-hand. Your skill with your weapon must be skilled or better.  The chance
depends upon your weapon's erosion and the ability of your opponent's weapon
to resist; it is about 2.5% under the best circumstances.  This attack also
causes the monster to flee for 2d3 (more) turns.

Some monsters fight back passively when attacked.  Also, when a black or
brown pudding is hit directly with an iron weapon, it will be cloned
after taking damage.

What's the relationship between launcher and missile modifiers?
A very brief summary (for the full details, see the above two sections) of
which effects enchantments, erosions, and artifact combat bonuses will have
when using a launcher and missile in the correct combination:

MODIFIER                           TO HIT    DAMAGE
Launcher enchantment            :   YES        NO    
Launcher erosion                :   YES        NO
Launcher artifact to-hit bonus  :   YES        NO
Launcher artifact damage bonus  :   N/A       N/A
Missile enchantment             :   YES       YES
Missile erosion                 :    NO       YES
Missile artifact to-hit bonus   :   YES        NO
Missile artifact damage bonus   :    NO       YES

Choosing an early weapon
Most players know that the best weapons in NetHack are artifacts (see
art1-343.txt and art2-343.txt).  However, you usually won't find a good
artifact weapon until you are well into a game.  Which weapons should you
use until then?

The best general advice is to use the same weapon preferences that
monsters use.  Their choices of wielded weapons for hand-to-hand combat,
from most to least preferred, are as follows:
  cockatrice/chickatrice corpse, tsurugi, runesword, dwarvish mattock,
  two-handed sword, battle-axe, katana, unicorn horn, crysknife, trident,
  long sword, elven broadsword, broadsword, scimitar, silver saber, morning
  star, elven short sword, dwarvish short sword, short sword, orcish short
  sword, mace, axe, dwarvish spear, silver spear, elven spear, spear,
  orcish spear, flail, bullwhip, quarterstaff, javelin, aklys, club,
  pick-axe, rubber hose, war hammer, silver dagger, elven dagger, dagger,
  orcish dagger, athame, scalpel, knife, worm tooth.

If monsters can attack you from a distance with a ranged weapon or
polearm, they will use them in the following order:
  halberd, bardiche, spetum, bill-guisarme, voulge, ranseur, guisarme,
  glaive, lucern hammer, bec-de-corbin, fauchard, partisan, lance,
  dwarvish spear, silver spear, elven spear, spear, orcish spear, javelin,
  shuriken, ya, silver arrow, elven arrow, arrow, orcish arrow, crossbow
  bolt, silver dagger, elven dagger, dagger, orcish dagger, knife, flint
  stone, rock, loadstone, luckstone, dart, boomerang (not yet implemented),
  cream pie.

Classes that are good fighters usually start with good weapons (for
example, BKRaSV), but other classes may want to switch to a different
type of weapon as soon as possible.  During the first few levels of the
game, you can #untrap dart and arrow traps to get some ranged weapons to
throw.  Daggers (especially elven) are often left by monsters in the
first few levels and in the mines, and have a +2 to-hit bonus.  Pick-axes
(good to practice skill for dwarvish mattock), unicorn horns, and
quarterstaffs (from wood golems) appear somewhat later in the game and
are good choices for certain classes.

Note that you will start out unskilled in weapon categories other than
your starting weapons, which makes fighting with other weapons difficult
until you can advance them to basic.  Using petrifying corpses requires
gloves and has other risks.  Naturally, there are other ways to fight
and defend yourself as well.

Weapon enchantment and erosion
(Adapted from the spoiler "enchant.lim" by Peter Snelling and
Boudewijn Waijers.)

Your weapon's enchantment (e.g., -1, +0, +2) affects both your chance to
hit monsters and the amount of damage produced.  However, damage is
reduced if your weapon has been eroded by rust/fire or corrosion/rotting.

Some weapons are made of materials that do not erode (see weapons table 1),
but others must be specially protected to prevent erosion.  This section
explains how to enchant your weapon and protect it from erosion.

All of the weapons and tools listed above can only be enchanted by reading
scrolls of enchant weapon.  You must wield the weapon first.  The effect
is dependent upon the blessed status of the scroll and the weapon's
enchantment before reading the scroll.  A blessed scroll adds 1 or more
enchantments, based on the current enchantment (see table below).  An
uncursed scroll adds only one enchantment.  Cursed scrolls remove one
enchantment; however, artifacts other than Sting or Orcrist are not
affected by cursed scrolls of enchant weapon.
  Current enchantment  -3 to -1  +0 to +2  +3 to +5  +6 to +8  +9 or more
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~
  Additional possible   1 to 4    1 to 3    1 to 2       1       0 to 1

A blessed or uncursed scroll will further make a cursed weapon uncursed,
and will convert a worm tooth into a crysknife.  Cursed scrolls will
convert a crysknife into a worm tooth.  There is also a 2/3 chance of
your weapon being destroyed if it was more than +5 (less than -5) before
reading a non-cursed (cursed) scroll.

Thus, the maximum safe enchantment for a weapon is +7.  This is obtained
by reading uncursed or blessed scrolls until +5 is reached, and then
reading a blessed scroll.  If by chance this results in +6, you should
bring the enchantment back down to +5 -- by engraving one letter with
the weapon or by reading a cursed scroll of enchant weapon -- before
trying again.  Note: Engraving works only for weapons with edges, and for
athames only when they are cursed.  Weapons may also lose enchantments
when zapped with a spell of drain life or used to hit a disenchanter, but
may resist; artifacts will resist more than ordinary weapons.

The artifact Magicbane has special attack effects that decrease in
frequency as the enchantment is increased.  See art2-343.txt for a
discussion on why enchantment to +2 is the optimal point to maximise

A special case occurs if you are confused while reading a scroll of
enchant weapon.  Blessed or uncursed scrolls of enchant weapon while
confused will remove any rust, fire, corrosion or rot damage and
erodeproof your weapon.  The weapon's current enchantment does not matter.
In the special case of crysknives, they become "fixed"; unfixed crysknives
have a 100% chance of reverting to a worm tooth when they cease to be
carried (possibly within a container) by you or a monster, fixed only 10%.

Reading a cursed scroll of enchant weapon while confused removes any
erodeproofing but will not otherwise damage your weapon.  You can also
choose a weapon that doesn't damage (such as one made of silver),
temporarily protect your weapon by applying a layer of grease from a
can of grease, or #dip a damaged metallic weapon into a non-cursed
potion of oil to remove one level of each type of damage.

Corrections and clarifications provided by Joe Bednorz, Aaron Bell,
Mark Bever, Patrick Clot, David Corbett, Kieron Dunbar, David Grabiner,
Troy Holly, Ivan, Eva Myers, nyra, Janis Papanagnou, Pat Rankin,
David Richerby, and Shaman.

This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.