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( Bag.png
Name sack
Appearance bag
Base price 2 zm
Weight 15
Material cloth
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A sack is a type of tool that appears in NetHack. It is a type of container that is made of cloth, and appears as a bag when unidentified.


Main article: Container#Generation

Archaeologists and Rogues start each game with an uncursed empty sack.

Sacks make up 7200 of all randomly-generated tools in the dungeon and Gehennom, and are always generated uncursed outside of bones levels and trap "bones". Randomly generated sacks may contain a random item.[1]

General stores and hardware stores can sell sacks, whose contents are randomly generated as normal.

The statue of Perseus on Medusa's Island has a 12 chance (50%) of containing a sack.[2][3][4][5]


Sacks can be used to store items as with other containers, and protect their contents from fire, cold, shock, and cancellation. Monsters will not open sacks or otherwise interact with their contents except for the gelatinous cube, which can eat a sack it picks up, with the contents being immediately engulfed (but not eaten) by the cube afterward. As a cloth container, a sack will rot away if buried underground.

A sack that is thrown or kicked, or else is dropped while levitating or on a down stair may break or damage fragile contents, and being submerged in water will wet and damage vulnerable contents.

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.

Monsters can loot sacks and take out their contents.


Sacks are the simplest and lightest form of container, and while they offer relatively minimal protection compared to an oilskin sack or bag of holding, they are still sufficient for managing inventory throughout the game, and can be greased to offer some additional protection against water damage. Even after obtaining a bag of holding, a sack can still be of some use to store emergency items, such as holy water or a scroll of scare monster, separately from the rest of the character's items to #tip them out when needed - the most important of these uses is storing a wand of cancellation, which causes an item-destroying explosion if placed into a bag of holding; the wand may also be used to uncurse a bag of holding if necessary.

A sack can also be used to contain a bag of holding and protect it against being cursed as well, and nested sacks with a bag of holding at the core also offer the possibility of reducing the weight of loot for extra points when you ascend - the risk of an explosion is still possible, albeit with a reduced chance. See the bag of holding section on nesting for more on this tactic.


The sack first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


Some variants of NetHack may change how sacks function - a common quality-of-life addition is to allow placing a sack or other container on an altar to identify the beatitude of both the container and its contents. Variants that implement object materials may alter a container's properties based on its material.


In SLASH'EM, upgrading a sack has a 45 chance of producing an oilskin sack, and will otherwise produce a bag of holding - this makes the other bags more obtainable for most characters.

Player monster archeologists and rogues are generated with sacks.

All of the above information also applies to SlashTHEM.


In dNetHack, Pirates know the sack as a ditty bag.

Andromalius is a spirit whose binding ritual can use a sack as one of the two items placed in his seal, and using two non-sack items in the binding ritual may generate a sack as the third item the character receives if they successfully bind him.

Hill giants that generate on the revamped Healer quest are always generated with a sack special-cased to contain various live victims of a plague that the Healer is sent to cure during the Quest.

The Grue's Cavern generates a sack containing a wrathful silver elven broadsword among the second pile of treasures placed at level creation.


In FIQHack, monsters can carry and utilize sacks.


In SpliceHack, Cartomancers know the sack as a card bag.

A sack can be combined with a can of grease at a furnace to create an oilskin sack.


In notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Andromalius generates with a sack when he is summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.


In EvilHack, monsters can carry and utilize sacks. Tortle characters in roles that start with a sack will receive an oilskin sack instead.

Hobbit pickpockets have a 16 chance of generating with a sack. Low-level player monster archeologists and rogues that are not tortles are generated with sacks.


In Hack'EM, upgrading a sack produces an oilskin sack, and upgrading a bag of holding will produce a sack; dipping a bag of rats or bag of tricks in a potion of amnesia will downgrade them to a sack.

Monsters can carry and utilize sacks as in EvilHack.

Encyclopedia entry

"Now, this third handkerchief," Mein Herr proceeded, "has also four edges, which you can trace continuously round and round: all you need do is to join its four edges to the four edges of the opening. The Purse is then complete, and its outer surface--"
"I see!" Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted. "Its outer surface will be continuous with its inner surface! But it will take time. I'll sew it up after tea." She laid aside the bag, and resumed her cup of tea. "But why do you call it Fortunatus's Purse, Mein Herr?"
The dear old man beamed upon her, with a jolly smile, looking more exactly like the Professor than ever. "Don't you see, my child--I should say Miladi? Whatever is inside that Purse, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it. So you have all the wealth of the world in that leetle Purse!"

[ Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, by Lewis Carroll ]