Potion of gain level

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! Pink potion.png
Name gain level
Appearance random
Base price 300 zm
Weight 20
Monster use May be used by monsters as misc items.

A potion of gain level is a potion that appears in NetHack.


2% of all randomly generated potions will be a potion of gain level. The potion may appear in the starting inventory of a Wizard.

Many monsters can receive this as a miscellaneous item in their starting inventory.


Quaffing a non-cursed potion of gain level will increase your experience level by one - an uncursed potion will set your experience points to the minimum for your new experience level, while a blessed potion will set your experience points to a random value from the minimum to the maximum for your new experience level - e.g., quaffing an uncursed potion at XL 2 will increase your level to 3 and set your experience points to 40 (the minimum for level 3), while quaffing a blessed potion will set your experience points to a random number from 40 to 79 (80 points is the minimum for level 4). This will also auto-identify the potion.

Your stats and attributes will increase as normal depending on your level, race, role, and constitution. If you quaff the non-cursed potion while already at the maximum level (30), it will still increase your HP and energy. A blessed potion behaves exactly as an uncursed potion when increasing those attributes and will not result in more HP and energy.

A cursed potion does not increase your experience level, but makes you gain one dungeon level by causing you to rise through the ceiling to the floor above. However, this does not work in any of the following locations: the End Game, Sokoban, the top floors of the Wizard's Tower and Vlad's Tower, the top floor of the Quest, and Fort Ludios. A cursed potion of gain level will only work on dungeon level 1 if you are carrying the Amulet of Yendor. Quaffing a cursed potion of gain level does not auto-identify the potion, but will prompt you to name it - doing so while carrying the Amulet is subject to the effects of the mysterious force in addition to the above.

Intelligent monsters with hands will quaff a potion of gain level in their inventory as soon as the player is within a certain range. A monster quaffing a non-cursed potion will gain experience and possibly grow up into a more powerful form (e.g. a master lich into an arch-lich); if their grown-up form is genocided, the monster dies instead. If the potion is cursed, the monster may rise through the ceiling, subject to the same conditions as the player. As usual, witnessing a monster gain experience will auto-identify the potion, and witnessing the cursed potion's effects will prompt you to name it.


Blessing potions of gain level before drinking them makes more sense earlier in the game than later. At higher levels - usually around the time you are quest-ready (e.g. XL 14-17) - the number of experience points needed to level up through normal adventuring runs into the hundreds of thousands, such that there is little point in doing so. Potions, foocubi, and wraith corpses are the preferred methods of gaining levels in that phase.

Cursed potions of gain level are most useful for quickly leaving Moloch's Sanctum and other non-teleport levels while on the ascent to the Elemental Planes, and can be used as an escape item in a pinch. A player with an otherwise 'complete' ascension kit may consider wishing for 2 or 3 cursed potions of gain level as needed.

For alchemy, the potion of gain level has the same uses as a potion of gain energy, but gaining an extra level of experience is generally a better idea unless you have potions to spare. There are also an couple of alchemy recipes for producing them.

A constant supply of noncursed potions of gain level is essential for pacifist players to gain experience levels, though most of those potions will be reserved for their pet of choice (almost always an Archon).


The potion of gain level first appears in variants of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


You feel more experienced.
You quaffed a non-cursed potion of gain level.
You rise up, through the ceiling!
You quaffed a cursed potion of gain level.
You have an uneasy feeling.
As above, but under conditions where it could not take effect.
<Foo> seems more experienced.
A monster quaffed a non-cursed potion of gain level, and may grow up.
<Foo> rise up, through the ceiling!
A monster quaffed a cursed potion of gain level.
<Foo> looks uneasy.
As above, but under conditions where it could not take effect.


NetHack: The Next Generation

In NetHack: The Next Generation, the chemistry set can be used to create a potion of gain level, using up four charges.


In SLASH'EM, you can upgrade objects by dipping them into a potion of gain level - this does not violate polypileless conduct, and doing so will prompt you to name the potion. The potion is also more worthwhile to bless and quaff in SLASH'EM, as the lower XP requirements for gaining levels make killing enough monsters to advance a level feasible for a longer period in comparison to vanilla.

Two potions of gain level can be found in the outside area of Grund's Stronghold.


Hmm! You don't recall dipping that into the potion.
You upgraded an item by dipping it into a potion of gain level; if the potion is not identified, you will be prompted to name it.


In UnNetHack, there is a chance of a potion of gain level being found at the bottom of the Dragon Caves branch.


In dNetHack, The Rod of the Elvish Lords, The Rod of Lordly Might, and The Sceptre of Lolth all have an invoke effect that can emulate a cursed potion of gain level if used prior to picking up the Amulet of Yendor.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, the chemistry set from NetHack: The Next Generation is present and uses the same amount of charges for a potion of gain level.