)   Magicbane   Athame.png
Base item athame
Damage vs. small 1d4 + 1d4 + (special) (2-8)
Damage vs. large 1d3 + 1d4 + (special) (2-7)
To-hit bonus +2 +1d3
Bonus versus fail monster MR check
or player without MR
Weapon skill dagger
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked


Cost 3500 zm
Weight 10
Material iron

Magicbane is an artifact athame. It is considered a dagger for skill purposes, and has a 40% chance of having a magical effect on the victim as well inflicting damage. Throwing Magicbane can have the same effect on a monster it hits. Care should be taken not to throw at an enemy that can pick it up and wield it, conferring magic resistance to the monster. The "bonus" effects that Magicbane can produce are:

Any bonus effect adds an additional 1d4 damage. Though the chance of some type of magical bonus effect is always 40%, Magicbane's level of enchantment affects the probability of each type of effect differently. Magicbane enchanted to +2 has the best chance of inflicting valuable magical effects, but the average damage it inflicts increases with each level of enchantment. It can be safely enchanted to +7 (but stop enchanting it once it reaches +6!), which is typically desirable for dealing maximum damage as primary weapon. [1]

Magicbane has two reactions if it's enchanted to +0 or above:

  • "Your right hand itches!" (+0 or +1)
  • "Your right hand flinches" (+2 or higher)

In addition, Magicbane catches and resists 95% of curses sent to the wielder and gives magic resistance. Like all athames, when blessed or uncursed Magicbane can also engrave Elbereth without dulling and in one turn, albeit not permanently. While being wielded, Magicbane nullifies the effects of magical traps: teleport, polymorph, and level teleport. This is especially useful against polymorph traps.

Wizards receive Magicbane as their first gift from their god after sacrificing at an altar. Arch-liches have a miniscule (1/1170, or approximately 0.085%) chance of being generated with Magicbane.

Magicbane, like all artifacts, resists being dual-wielded as a second weapon.

Hallucination messages[]

If hallucinating, the Magicbane bonus damage (and effect) messages change to suitably warped messages, such as amaze, purge and tickle. The effects they correspond to are randomized, but are still in effect.