Spellbook of levitation

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spellbook of
+   levitation   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 2.03%
Base price 400 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 12
Ink to write 20–39
Spell type escape
Level 4
Power cost 20 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent potion of levitation

In NetHack, the spellbook of levitation can be read to learn the spell of levitation. It is a level 4 escape spell, and the spellbook takes 14 actions (roughly 12 turns) to read.


There is a ~2.03% chance that a randomly-generated spellbook is a spellbook of levitation.

A spellbook of levitation requires 20 to 39 charges from a magic marker to write.


Casting the spell grants levitation similar to the potion of levitation, dependent on your skill level in escape spells:[1] at Basic skill or lower, casting the spell of levitation has the same effect as an uncursed potion, giving you levitation for 10 to 149 (more) turns[2] - at Skilled or higher, casting the spell has the same effect as a blessed potion, giving you 250 to 299 (more) turns of levitation and the ability to land at will using the > command.[3] Both forms of levitation override flight.[4]

You will get warning messages when your levitation is about to expire. Note that you must be at the appropriate skill level at the time of casting - if you cast it while Basic and then train to Skilled, you will not be able to land at will unless you cast it again.


The spell is generally not required until the midgame, usually at the point before entering the quest or the Castle) - one possible use for the spell is to levitate above an Elbereth engraving in order to slow down eroding it. While this can be powerful, if the Elbereth wears off after you cast the spell, you will be stuck in midair for its duration; this can also exacerbate combat problems that you may have used Elbereth to solve.

Levitation is typically used to cross water or lava safely—you will get a warning that your levitation spell is about to wear off, so watch for that warning especially in such scenarios. While a levitation source is a vital part of most ascension kits and handy for areas such as Medusa's Island and the much-later Plane of Air), it is typically wiser to use the ring of levitation or levitation boots rather than the spell, as they work in a much more predictable way. Casting levitation at Basic skill or lower is unlikely to cause problems on the Plane of Air so long as you remain mindful of it timing out - it is also not especially urgent that you land once you exit the Plane, unless e.g. you need to drop the Amulet of Yendor to reduce energy costs from casting.

If you end up stuck in midair due to the use of this spell and do not want to wait it out, you can land using a sink, a blessed potion of levitation, or (if somehow possible) raise the spell to Skilled and cast it again.


The spellbook of levitation is introduced with all other spellbooks in NetHack 1.3d. From this version to NetHack 3.4.3, including some variants based on those versions, it is possible for a character to attack while levitating above Elbereth using the spell or another source. It is also wise to spend as little time as possible above water or lava to avoid an ignoble death from abruptly dropping to ground level with nowhere safe to stand.

The warning that your temporary levitation is close to expiring is introduced in NetHack 3.6.1.



In SLASH'EM, the spell of levitation is re-categorized to a level 4 body spell.