Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 zorkmids.

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Off to a poor start.

If the player somehow manages to die on or before the first turn (indicated by "T:1" if the time option is enabled), the following message appears:

You die... Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 zorkmids.

The message is a reference to the Monopoly board game: Monopoly players periodically pass the Go space on the board and earn 200 dollars each time they do so, and players that end up going to the Jail space must not pass Go, even if Go is between their current position and Jail. The Chance and Community Chest cards that can deliver this penalty read: "Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200"

Causes of death

Many players never receive this message, but outside of intentional attempts, there are a few rare accidents that can cause it.

  • Probably the most common way is to start as a Knight, attempt to #ride your pony at turn 1, fall off, and take enough damage to die. The #ride command uses a turn if you mount successfully, but does not use a turn if you mount and fall off, making it possible to trigger this with repeated failed attempts.
  • As your first move, you might trip a trap that kills you. While most of the sufficiently dangerous traps never appear at dungeon level 1, it is still possible to trigger a dart trap that fires a poisoned dart and hits the 10% instadeath, or suffer the fate of many cats and dogs at the hands of a falling rock trap.
  • You zap an offensive wand that produces a ray (e.g. fire, cold, magic missile) as your first move, and the ray bounces from a wall and kills you. In a similar vein, a wand of polymorph can trigger a system shock if you use it on yourself, with a good chance of instantly killing the character in question. This last type of death is comparatively rare, since only wizards can start with such wands.

The following accidents might also trigger this message:

  • The game places an unidentified object that can kill you if you use it (such as a cursed wand) on the first up staircase, and autopickup is enabled. After grabbing the item (which does not use a turn with autopickup), if using it kills you (e.g. a cursed wand explodes or the ray rebounds and hits you, similar to the wizard example above) you will trigger the message.

Methods and avoidance

To avoid the most common possible source, Knights should simply not try to #ride their starting pony until they can survive the possible 14 HP damage from falling off. If attempting to ride your steed fails on turn 1, do not try to #ride again until the pony has sufficient tameness and/or you have more hit points.

It is also good advice in general to avoid aiming a wand or spell at a wall if the angle of the ray will cause it to bounce back at you, unless you can resist the ray's damage or have a means of reflection.

Intentional 1-turn death

Commiting suicide on the first turn with a wizard's wand of lightning.

On the other hand, there are also a few intentional methods for a curious player to trigger the message; as above, a Knight attempting to ride their saddled pony can do so, although this may "fail" if the game allows them to mount their steed. As mentioned previously, wizards can start with one of many random wands, and may have a powerful wand to zap themselves with, such as a wand of fire or wand of lightning. Casting force bolt or magic missile at yourself will fail because of your cloak's magic resistance.

In addition, wizards and monks start with random scrolls that can assist in intentional first-turn deaths:

It is also possible, albeit time-consuming, to overflow the turn counter to turn 1 and then die, technically fulfilling the condition for the message. Wrapping the turn counter is only feasible if the "long" integer type is 32 bits; if it is 64 bits, a bot running at 100 turns per second would need about six billion years to come around to turn 1.

Due to the various reasons above, killing a character on the first turn this way tends to occur when start-scumming wizards, since that player will want to get to the next starting inventory roll as quickly as possible - on sheer averages, this means a first-turn death is very likely to be reported at least once.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

For games running over 100000 turns, prayer timeout increases by 1 every 100 turns, so prayer will eventually fail and you will starve to death. This was implemented to prevent denial-of-service attacks against public servers.

If a game runs over one billion turns, it ends immediately in an escape:

The dungeon capitulates.