Forum:What's your unluckiest death?

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After finishing the Castle, I decided to travel up past Medusa to gather a few things out of my stash and polypile what I had available to me in preparation for Gehennom. I then started traveling down, but rather than use a wand of digging to get through Medusa, I decided to just fly over. I left my levitation boots in my stash, opting for the lighter levitation ring. An electric eel grabbed hold of me, shocking me and blasting my ring. Samurai do not swim well, it seems. Lesson learned: levitation boots are well worth the weight for the few areas that require them. Magicalfeyfenny (talk) 01:09, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Just had an elven lvl 15 Priest AC -25. Didn't have reflection when I got to Medusa so I wrapped a towel around my head and stormed in. She soon fled down the stairs and Perseus kindly provided a SoR, so I removed the towel. As soon as I went down after her a succubus jumps me and forces me to remove nothing but my new shield. The rest goes without saying. What's your unluckiest death?--Dtarnish (talk) 10:59, 14 October 2013 (UTC) master lich summoned a jabberwock next to me on Dlvl 8 --Rancalred (talk) 20:23, 18 October 2013 (UTC)


One time I actually got a gnome with a wand of death on level 1. I couldn't stop laughing. Most of my other deaths have been at least as much stupidity as bad luck. Brunhilde (talk) 04:57, 1 December 2013 (UTC)


The worst has to be having unexpectedly angered a shop keeper, I polymorphed him (surely he'll turn to an orc, gnome, acid blob, etc.) ... into a Titan. Dead in one turn. Then that bones file turned up weeks later, I recognized the level, but not the events. Sure enough, I round the corner and there he is barreling down on my level 4 character. And dead in a turn. The next worst has to be when I spent a couple hours in shops on levels 2,3, and 4 to painstakingly identify nearly everything in the game. Walked out of the shop on level 4, unlocked a door and got blasted by [something] with a wand of lightening. Needless to say, I spend much less time Id-ing everything in a shop until I've reached the oracle level and I'm heading to or have already been to minetown.Aheneve (talk) 05:50, 26 December 2013 (UTC)


"Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 zorkmids." Playing a knight, I got on my horse, fell off, got back on, fell off and died. Remember, even those who have spent their ENTIRE FREAKING LIVES TRAINING TO RETRIEVE A MAGIC AMULET FROM A PLACE CALLED "THE MAZES OF MENACE" can meet their dooms falling off a horse. Oh, and to the fellow who got the death gnome, holy crap. User:anonymous 22:05, 26 December 2013 (EST)

Wow, no comments on that. *Appreciates the wit in silence*--Detonator coil, suitable for a small nuclear device. (talk) 10:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Not my death, but it's possible to die before you have a turn. Start with autopickup enabled, start on a cross-aligned artifact, get killed by artifact blast. See http://tasvideos.org/3080S.html Kufat (talk) 13:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

That was my death, and it took me over three millions tries before it happened (I got my computer to spend several days playing NetHack games and then immediately quitting them, but it did legitimately happen in a game eventually). It felt pretty lucky, rather than unlucky, to me, though (even though I had a good idea it would happen eventually). Ais523 (talk) 11:53, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Killed by falling rock trap on level one after taking about 4 steps.

Pet killed by falling rock trap on level one after taking about 4 steps, as a tourist. Quit.

Died by falling down the stairs while carrying too much. .-. --Detonator coil, suitable for a small nuclear device. (talk) 10:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Died by triggering a landmine and falling in the pit while wielding a cockatrice corpse.--Zgyt4033 (talk) 17:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Attacked a shapeshifter safely shifted into a sessile monster. it then decided to shift again into an arch-lich which immediately finger of deathed me. --194.116.198.185 13:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Some jerk on NAO died right on the up stairs with three pet arch-liches and a master mind flayer, and left me a bones file. It had been a fantastically lucky run right up to that point, too. --129.176.151.14 10:08, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Playing Nethack for Android, having the phone unlock in my pocket and zapping a wand inside the store, angering the shopkeeper who promptly killed me.

My against-all-odds unluckiest death was fortunately early enough in the game that I didn't have much to lose. I found a bag of holding on second, then third level. I figured out what the first one was, but thought it was too unlikely to have a second in only three levels of exploration. I didn't bother to check; I just stuffed the second into the first. 98.172.189.77 22:52, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

that's not unlucky, just didactic. --194.116.198.185 12:33, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
sorry, to clarify, two things apply. firstly now you have been given a chance to learn the important lesson never to do that. and secondly you should be class naming every possibly magical item you come across. this is particularly important for lamps and gray stones, but also applies to bags and flutes among other things. --194.116.198.185 12:46, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
As long as we're being didactic, you can identify items through deduction in the lack of conclusively certifying means. This wasn't a lesson; I already knew the properties of a bag of holding, and I was less than 20 steps away from a general store I could've done a price check at. You could call this a stupid mistake, but no reasonable person would've believed a second bag of holding had dropped in only three levels of exploration. I just had luck bizarre enough to prove my deduction wrong. But I would do the same thing again, simply because it's even less likely to happen twice. 98.172.189.77 01:17, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Btw, I wonder what the bones file for this kind of death looks like. Is the dungeon going to collapse in on itself sometime I reach level 3 again?98.172.189.77 01:22, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
i'm sorry if i seemed patronising. putting an unidentified bag into another bag is never justified and something you really should learn not to do. bag in bag has no benefit (if your inventory is full there will be something else you can put in or drop) and has a non-zero probability of the worst negative outcome (the explosion will probably kill you.)
the bones level will be completely normal, with the exception that in vanilla both bags are destroyed and their contents lost. --194.116.198.185 12:44, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
It unclutters my inventory so I can focus on items of interest, which is a benefit not to be underestimated. That less than a fraction incidence of the worst probable outcome is still far less likely than dying of things I have no control over.
According to the death description, putting a bag of holding in another doesn't create an explosion, but an implosion. That dungeon should have a rapidly growing black hole.

98.172.189.77 21:05, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

My previous entry just got topped. I fell down a trapdoor into gnomish mines dlvl 8 (Unnethack) just below minetown, while I was fighting some gnomes, an INVISIBLE ARCH-LICH snuck up behind me. I fiqured it out, but then it summoned monsters and used touch of death on me. --Rancalred (talk) 21:22, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Dropped through a trapdoor into a level I'd already cleared, so the respawns shouldn't have been any problem for me. First step blinded me with a magic trap, and when something grabbed me, I assumed it was the owlbear I could see with telepathy. After a couple quick whacks failed, I realized I was being strangled by one of the question marks around me. So I stabbed around to find what I could hit, and by the time I poked the rope golem, I was already a turn away from death.98.172.189.77 14:52, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

New record! Playing as a wizard, took two steps away from the upstairs onto a fire trap, killed by exploding potion. Brunhilde (talk) 19:30, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Two-way tie: (a) a captain in Moloch's Sactuary picked up the cockatrice I'd just killed, and I didn't realize what he'd done; (b) level teleport trap on Monk quest took me right to Kaen, who froze me in place with a spell. Gblack (talk) 04:33, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

A soldier did the same to me in Moloch's Sanctuary, but I noticed it and killed him with daggers. I picked up the `c` corpse so that the next soldier couldn't pick it up and use it against me, stepped forward, and immediately fell into a pit I already knew was there. DYWYPI? NeonKow (talk) 17:50, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Coming back up from the castle (with unused wand of wishing) to replenish holy water before hitting Gehennom. I'm crossing the water (water walking boots) from Medusa's island to the upstairs and a succubus RUSHES me --"Let me rub your feet" -- thanks sweetheart. Mannc (talk) 15:26, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

A black dragon was standing behind my quest leader. I thought that monsters on the quest level would be peaceful, so I did not sidestep away. The black dragon disintegrated my leader before I got close enough to chat! I did not die, but I might as well have. 72.177.25.244 13:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Opened a door on lvl 2 and was instantly zapped by a death-wand toting goblin.. Guess it was the gnome's day off 5.69.184.195 09:44, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


Damn those polymorph traps and chameleons. An arc-lich on oracle level. A deep dragon (slashem) in mine's town, a star Vampire (slashem) at mines end, a giant slogoth at the quest.... Stupid deaths have been overconfidence at Ludios and with Demogorgon. I remember once i died at first level as a tourist by a falling rock trap...--Quantum Immortal (talk) 20:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Was around 3 levels higher than the dungeon level on a floor, and I said "I could skip a floor or 2..." then I imediately fell down a pit and landed 6 floors down, and died on my way back up. --Epicman12390 (talk) 19:13, 9 July 2015 (UTC) 1:11 July 9, 2015.

First time anywhere near there, I finished Medusa, finished the castle, went back to do the quest, however, I was unused to having such power: I stuck with my mithril and amulet of reflect, when I should have wished sdsm and "oLS. On my way back down, a giant eel got me. Now, don't get me wrong: I was paranoid about them, so much so that I levitated with a towel on: but this was right in the beginning. Elrond (talk) 10:02, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I have cleared Medusa and thought of doing a little diving to clear potions and scrolls. Unfortunately my zoo was coming closer with every dive and were looking at their master doing his splashing in the water. So, there was no room for me on the shore any more and I have drowned. --88.217.180.246 22:59, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

On the first level i dipped something into a fountain and a water demon appeared. Instead of attacking me it summoned friends and ended up getting Yeenoghu, 6 water demons, and 2 succubi. then since there were so many of them i died instantly. this fountain was in the room with the up staircase so right after i died i played again and got the bones file with Yeenoghu and the rest two times in a row.

One step rock trap two step bear trap dead in two turns

died by eating a fortune cookie when satiated :-(--Kolobok (talk) 21:51, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Died of hunger two squares away from high altar on Astral Plane--Ingo321 (talk) 18:03, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Got cornered by killer bees. Perhaps a stupid death, instead, as I completely forgot about the E-word. --Uruwi (talk) 05:31, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

When I was rather new at NetHack I stepped on a rock trap not sure what to do I moved on to a bear trap and died in two turns--Skull (talk) 04:05, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Had been blessed by RnG with a wishing wand with a priest by the time i reached minetown, as well as a magic lamp in minetown. Wished for all around decent survival (SDSM, The eye, etc...) only to fall into a pit about 3 steps on the next level. The pit had spikes. The spikes were poisonous and ofc i got instantly killed. Morakh (talk) 02:35, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Not a death, but a very close one. I stepped on a trap door (about Dlvl 4, ~40 HP), and found myself in a shop. Unfortunately, the shop is closed for inventory. I have about 100 gp (nothing to pay door repair with), so I can't kick the door. Don't have a key. Don't have any means of teleportation or digging. Nor do I have anything to fight a shopkeeper with. So I'm stuck. I just waited there for some time, eating away my last meal and waiting for the inevitable. And then my savior, a dwarf, dug through the shop wall! I thanked the RNG, ran to the dwarf before he entered the shop, made short work of him and stepped out through the hole the dwarf had dug. 91.159.96.181 12:43, 20 February 2016 (UTC)


Well, I just had a very interesting experience. It was on dungeon level two, and I was playing a lawful human Val. I think I'd leveled up to 4, but I'm not sure.

Then I found this wand... so I engraved on the floor with it, and it didn't leave an inscription. I made a mental note that it was probably invisibility, and moved on. So in the very next room there's this goblin, and I think "Well, even if I make that goblin invisible, I can still beat him", so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to confirm what I'd thought about the wand. (I'd just like to note here that, if I were really trying, I wouldn't have done this. This was a throwaway character I wasn't invested in.)

It was polymorph.

And that guy turned into an Aleax.

I didn't even manage to hit it once. And sadly, that's probably one of the coolest-sounding deaths I have on my main NAO account, cause I tend to get stupid instadeaths between the mines and Sokoban.

JMarieStanton (talk) 17:48, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

This is a good reason to start by writing something in the dust with the '-' option and then engrave-test with the wand on it(pressing y if asked to add to the engraving). If it is poly it will change it to a random message. Also this allows for the separation between wands that give no message and those that make messages disappear:cancellation, make invisible and teleportation(though this actually moves the message to a random square on the same level). I usually name the vanishing ones something significant and avoid putting them in bags of holding in case of cancellation.——Dtarnish (talk) 11:13, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm playing for the first time in years, and recently had enjoyed a Valk that got Mjollnir and had the luck to find gaunts of power. Half-way through the quest I decided to take out a Titan at range. After my first throw of the hammer, I key up another only to find that I have nothing wielded. I'm not blind, or confused, and I have nothing at my feet. I wield my backup weapon and read to my horror, "The Titan picks up Mjollnir." The 1% chance of Mjollnir not returning I understand, but hitting the longshot while fighting a Titan? That was delightfully rude.

Wtgj (talk) 05:46, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

A mix of unluck and foolish. Returned to saved game, got Weak by hunger, eaten all corpses around (even bad-to-eat ones) but still weak, then praying to avoid hunger. But I forgot I had prayed before saving and received a -1 level penalty. Then I tried to eat my last resources, a lizard corpse I was saving and a gray ooze glob I thought was poisonous. I ate the lizard corpse, still weak and then I was forced to ate the gray ooze, became sick, quaffed a potion of healing (extra healing was gone) and got a ghost from it, just to find I had a wand of monster creation inside a bag-- So I could have used it to create some food. That was extremely unlucky because it was the first time I got wishes (I use to become killed before level 8).——Gargarismo (talk) 12:43, 16 April 2016 (UTC) Forgot to say I was a healer with an amulet against poison when I died from the poison Illness... --Gargarismo (talk) 12:46, 16 April 2016 (UTC)


I just had a great game going, but then I got to a drawbridge. A soldier had a wand of striking on the other side. Catullus (talk) 17:30, 12 June 2016 (UTC)


Well, about three minutes ago, I had my absolute all-time stupidest death: I was in the level under mine-town, with decent armor and Mjollnir, and this salamander (not even a f*cking gnome!) just walked right up to me while I was battling some gnomes and zapped a wand of lightning at me. While I was blinded, it grabbed me and shot me a couple more times while I struggled with it. I prayed once, but in the end the Salamander knocked me down to couple of hp and killed me in melee.

Most frustrating of all: I had an unidentified potion of extra healing in my inventory. JMarieStanton (talk) 12:21, 24 June 2016 (UTC)


Fell down a pit early on, somehow a succubus and a beefy monster were down there. I had low charisma, and i was mainly relying on my armor to keep me alive. Welp, Succubus Wombo combo--ReynTheLord (talk) 18:21, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Picked up a wand, zapped it at a random jackal on the second floor, early game... eaten by black dragon next turn. Mr Foxx 10:10, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

This was awhile ago, I was on nethack.alt.org and chatting on the irc channel while playing. On Minetown, there were TWO bones files in the same place due to a Centaur with a Wand of Death. Both of these players were warning me that they died do it. I added to the pile. What are the odds that both bones files were retained? --SophiaMakoto (talk) 07:30, 24 November 2016 (UTC)


It was pretty recent, so I'll tell the entire game as I can remember: the first long game I ever had: was an elven wizard, rushed mines, got pet master lich from polytrap, pet grew up soon after into an arch-lich, killed everyone in minetown, except for Izchak, who I didn't let him even close. I gave all the gold I got, in parts, to the temple priest, and then let my arch-lich kill him. Got a +2 cape of protection. Converted the altar with another elf corpse and summoned Juiblex. Pet made short work of him, as well as Yeenoghu soon after, and I got spellbook of create monster thorugh prayer, so I farmed a lot on that altar. Went back to DL3 with my pet, killed the shopkeeper there (potion shop), scavenged the entire inventory, made tons of holy water with useless potion and reached max attributes with the gain ability ones, that were about 6 in total. GAME WAS EXCELLENT! After maxing out my luck and praying a few more times, I got crowned and got FoD (couldn't cast it yet, but oh well), so I started to enchance attack as I got out of the mines and progressed with the normal dungeon. Pet archlich stepped on a level teleport trap a few floors below bigroom and I didn't bother to look for him. One floor down I found a coaligned altar, and used my gold to max out my divine protection, and farmed on the altar there. I got a lot of spellbooks, even polymorph, and summoned several succubus using an elf corpses, so soon enough I was lv30, could polypile at will, had reflection(from sokoban), magic resist(magicbane), and could instakill everything with FoD. I made short work of the quest and got the eye. Went back to the coaligned temple and farmed a little more and raised my max Pw with the succubus that weren't cancelled. At that point I could even summon dragons, and made a SDSM. After polypiling a few unihorns I got magic marker, and blessed genocided liches(I didn't even remember about my pet anymore), so I wouldn't have trouble with them. I was at -41 AC, because I poly'd scrolls until I got enchant armor. Went to the castle, made short work of the guards, got wishing, asked for +3 rustproof blessed helm of brilliance and boots of speed, and blessed enchanted them soon after, then I recharged the wand and asked blessed BoH, so I could dump that sack and carry a lot more. Went back to stash in temple, made my final preparations (I even put a blessed scroll of scare monster in that spare sack so I could tip it in emergencies). Finally got to Gehennom for the first time(about 4 days of gameplay, I played just one hour or so a day). I lost all that progress because I killed a chickatrice, which dropped a corpse, and I decided to wield it and use as a rubber chicken(because chickatrice corpses are light and rare). Found a spiked pit. Used jumping spell to get over it. Landed two squares away from that pit, and fell into another. Petrified. I froze for a minute before start laughing at my stupid mistake. --Jundavr (talk) 00:07, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

I started the game happenstance with a ring of slow digestion and regeneration as a wizard at spawn. I equipped both (the net hunger rate is 60% from the norm (1 hunger for each ring, every even turn for regeneration, 12/20)) to stay really hardy to damage until I get better rings. At DL6 level 8, doing very well because of being very hard to kill to hp damage. Open the door, walk into the doorway, ghoul I don't see around the corner hits me exactly once before I had a chance to be able to do anything to it, paralyzed. About 40 "The ghoul hits!" later I finally died. Death due to the absurd statistical improbability of having 50ish hp with regen, only getting hit by a ghoul once to cause terminal paralysis, and somehow stay paralyzed long enough to get beaten to death by a single ghoul, no other enemies showed up and I was not encumbered. Nethack 3.6.0. - Shikaku 06:19, 6 January 2017‎ UTC


Ever get bisected twice?--MasterVash (talk) 19:11, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Earlier today I was killed by an actual gnome with the wand of death in Minetown! A literal gnome, not even a gnome lord. If you encounter a Bustling Town bones level with a chaotic altar on NAO, beware! Tomsod (talk) 19:58, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

I was playing, on NAO, a monk who had leveled up a bit too quickly and got killed by a blue jelly on dungeon level 5 or 6 (a YASD in itself.) I started a new game right after that, this time a priestess, and played the first few levels a lot more carefully. Then I got to a level whose layout looked familiar (sink right next to the stairs with a long corridor to the east) and realized that Ratdiva the priest had found Ratdiva the monk's bones file. I was happy because RtM had plenty of gold and some good spellbooks and potions, but scared because RtP was level 2 and no match for the ghost, the blue jelly, the floating eye, and the incubus that RtM had summoned by kicking the sink until she got that ring of adornment, which was now cursed and stuck to RtP's hand by the incubus. So I retreated to that long corridor, which was now blocked at one end by the floating eye. My dog tried to attack it and got paralyzed, and RtM's ghost followed me and blocked the other side. I didn't have anything to burn a permanent Elbereth and writing in the dust didn't last long enough to get either the eye or the ghost out of the corridor before it got scuffed up. Long story short, Ratdiva was killed by the ghost of Ratdiva. Reincarnation is a bummer sometimes. --Ratdiva (talk) 18:14, 16 June 2017 (UTC)