Spellbook of confuse monster

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spellbook of
+   confuse monster   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 3.05%
Base price 200 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 2
Ink to write 10–19
Spell type enchantment
Level 2
Power cost 10 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent scroll of confuse monster

In NetHack, the spellbook of confuse monster allows you to learn the spell of confuse monster.


Casting this spell has exactly the same effect as a scroll of confuse monster; your hands will "glow red", confusing the next monster you attack in melee, subject to monster magic resistance. If cast at a skilled level of enchantment skill, it works like a blessed scroll of confuse monster instead, giving 2-9 more uses of this ability. You can store up to 40 uses. Only wizards can get skilled in vanilla NetHack.

If you are polymorphed into a form not represented by @, the spell has a different effect: you confuse yourself (for 1-100 turns). The confused scroll effects are not available via the spell, because confusion prevents spellcasting for players.

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.

As of commit c73595cc, confuse monster is a level 1 spell, and Monks now have a 1 in 3 chance of starting with the spell and spellbook instead of the spellbook of sleep. As a level 1 spellbook, it takes 5-9 magic marker charges to write. Also, its generation probability increased to 49 permille.


Confuse monster is poor man's conflict. It is moderately strong early, but rapidly becomes nearly useless as the game goes on and monster magic resistance gets higher. Generally speaking, it will be more effective for a spellcaster to dispose of monsters via attack spells. Magic resistance is a better defense against spellcasting enemies rather than trying to confuse them to prevent casting or reduce the chance that they target you with attacks. Unfortunately, the monsters you'd most want to confuse generally have a high monster magic resistance; and it is mostly wasted on monsters that are particularly vulnerable to being confused, such as minotaurs. (The unreliable confusion would be inferior to more readily available and effective enchantments, such as sleep, in such cases).

Low-turncount speed ascenders often confuse themselves with this spell, e. g. to locate the magic portals on the Elemental Planes via confused gold detection. Such players are usually polymorphed into a fast, non-@ monster anyway, like an air elemental or titan. In a more conventional game, a forgotten spell is easier to use if you have read a book 20,000 turns earlier.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.