I died. A lot. As a lawful valkyrie.

So, I've been trying to #dip for Excalibur, and haven't had any success yet. One of the Gnomish Mines levels was a bones level for me, and I found a cursed sword named Excalibur.

Is this the artifact, or am I still able to #dip for the real Excalibur? I don't want to waste a holy water on a boring old sword if it isn't an artifact...

2 Answers 2


It is. Nethack uses the name of artifacts on certain base item type (such as long sword for the Excalibur) as a way to identify the actual artifact. (This can be abused to rename ID some artefacts, note that some online servers fix this).

  • Sadly I tried taking on a swarm of fire ants instead of scaring them off, so I never got a chance to try and uncurse it. Good info to know though...thanks.
    – erik
    Oct 22, 2012 at 0:10

If you try to name any potential artifact, it will resist naming thus establishing its authenticity.


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