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The Anachrononaut (roughly, 'sailor against time') is a role added in dNetHack version 3.11.0. The Anachrononaut character comes from an apocalyptic future, and has been sent on a mission to prevent the end of the world, through means initially unknown to them. To aid them in this task, they have been equipped with a variety of future tech, and can obtain more from their quest home level.

Humans, Incantifiers, Vampires, Elves, Drow, Clockwork Automations (Androids), and Half-Dragons can be Anachrononauts. Each race receives a different set of starting equipment. Anachrononauts can neither pray nor sacrifice, but they can still buy protection or use altars to check BUC status. Their quest artifact is the Annulus, and they are the only role that can use lightsaber forms. All Anachrononauts are unable to eat corpses and can only consume prepared food.

Starting Inventory

Human Anachrononaut

Human Anachrononauts start with the following:

Incantifier Anachrononaut

Incantifier Anachrononauts start with the following:

  • a +3 lightsaber
  • a +1 elven toga
  • a +1 robe
  • a +0 bodyglove
  • a +1 sedge hat
  • a +1 leather pair of gloves
  • a +1 high boots
  • a spellbook of detect monster
  • a blessed spellbook of force bolt
  • a spellbook of jumping
  • 5 power packs

Incantifier Anachrononauts also start the game with Telepathy. This is a blessing and a curse as it will significantly increase the difficulty of the Quest due to the overwhelming presence of mind flayers and master mind flayers that will now be able to "lock onto your telepathy" to mass damage you from a distance.

Vampire Anachrononaut

Vampire Anachrononauts start with the following:

Drow Anachrononaut

Drow Anachrononauts are Myrkalfar, rather than actual Drow. This means that they get catsight rather than darkvision (meaning they can see perfectly in both light and darkness, but not into both at once), and have the same attribute caps as elves (20/20/18 rather than 20/18/20 Int/Wis/Cha).

Male droven Anachrononauts start with:

Female droven Anachrononauts start with:

  • a +4 mass-shadow pistol
  • +1 bodyglove
  • a +1 droven cloak
  • a +0 droven cloak
  • a +1 pair of elven boots
  • a +1 pair of gauntlets of dexterity
  • around 10-15 protein pills
  • a spellbook of force bolt
  • a spellbook of protection
  • a spellbook of slow monster
  • a potion of sleeping
  • a drug-injecting black signet ring (randomized)
  • 5 power packs

Furthermore, female Drow have their souls bound to the Black Web, which grants them some active powers like Binders. To be specific, "some powers" means you have shadowblades that do 4d8 damage if you're unarmed, and you have some cooldown-based powers (a ranged web bolt and a point-blank AOE) that you can access if you press ctrl + f.

Drow Anachrononauts can make sneak attacks.

Elf Anachrononaut

Elven Anachrononauts start with:

Dwarf Anachrononaut

Dwarven Anachrononauts start with:

Clockwork Automations (Android) Anachrononaut

Clockwork Automation characters are called "Androids". See the Android page for full details.

Male Android Anachrononauts start with:

  • a +0 gold-bladed vibrosword
  • a large +0 battle-axe
  • a +0 leather jacket
  • a +0 leather pair of gloves
  • a +0 pair of high boots
  • an android visor

Female Android Anachrononauts start with:

  • a large +0 battle-axe
  • a +0 white vibrosword
  • a +0 black dress
  • a +0 leather pair of heeled boots
  • a +0 leather pair of long gloves
  • an android visor

Half-Dragon Anachrononaut

Half-Dragon Anachrononauts start with:

  • a +3 auto shotgun
  • a +0 cutting laser
  • 100 +3 shotgun shells
  • a +0 bronze pair of gauntlets
  • a +0 bronze scale mail
  • a +3 cloak of protection
  • a +0 helmet
  • a +0 iron pair of armored boors
  • around 10-15 protein pills
  • a bullet fabber
  • 10 power packs


Anachrononauts gain intrinsics at these experience levels:


Anachrononaut skill sets fall into two categories: Android and everyone else. The basic skill set listed below applies to all non-Android races, with specific variations noted below the table. The Android skill set is listed in the second table.

Basic Anachrononaut Skills

Human Anachrononaut skills
Max Skills

Race specific skills

Elven, incantifier, and myrkalfar (drow) Anachrononauts will have martial arts unlocked to Grandmaster. Elves will also have enchantment spells unrestricted to expert.

What skills you start with at basic is dependent on your starting weapons. Humans start with firearms and lance, dwarves with firearms and hammer, male drow with bare handed combat, firearms, and short sword, female drow with bare handed combat, firearms, and crossbows, elves with bare handed combat and firearms, half-dragons with firearms, vampires with firearms and short swords, and incantifiers with martial arts, saber, and the Shii-cho lightsaber form.

Android Anachrononaut Skills

Android Anachrononaut skills
Max Skills
Grand Master


Main article: Anachrononaut quest

In the Anachrononaut quest, the player fights a variety of tough enemies for the Annulus, but do not have a specific quest nemesis.

The Anachrononaut quest is tougher than the majority of other quests, and has the added challenge of the quest leader possibly dying prior to giving out the quest, which will prevent them from changing the future successfully.


Main article: Religion

Anachrononauts are assigned a pantheon of gods randomly chosen from the other roles at the start of the game. However, Anachrononauts cannot pray or sacrifice to any of these gods, as the only god in the future is Ilsensine, and She is not prayed to.

Anachrononauts can use altars normally to identify an item's beatitude by dropping it on an altar.


Early game

In general, Anachrononauts have a fairly easy early game. Future tech provides Anachrononauts with a combination of low starting AC, powerful melee and ranged weaponry, and useful tools. The specific difficulty will vary somewhat based on the particular race (and sometimes gender) a player chooses, as this will affect both equipment and race-specific abilities and bonuses. Elves may be the most difficult class to play early game, as they start with higher AC than many other Anachrononauts and many enemies in the Gnomish Mines wield iron weapons that do extra damage to Elves.

The highest priority for Anachrononauts in the early game is to obtain a tinning kit or other food sources, if they are not provided with one in their starting equipment. Because Anachrononauts cannot pray, it is easy to starve in the dungeon once protein pills run out. Sokoban typically solves this problem in the short term by providing a huge amount of food rations and other types of prepared food essential for Anachrononauts. Given the volume and weight of food rations, stashing food rations at the initial Sokoban level or in other strategic locations (like a magic chest) may be advisable, especially if the final Sokoban level does not contain a bag of holding.

A tinning kit is of lesser value to an Incantifier or Android Anachrononaut, but still valuable for producing potions of blood from lizard corpses; these can be used like a potion of acid against petrification in the mid- and late game.

Mid game

Anachrononauts have a difficult mid game, as future tech weaponry and armor becomes less overpowered against more difficult foes. Most powered weapons and blasters, for example, will need to be recharged, at the cost of valuable and limited power packs. Though bullet fabricators provide a means to resupply mechanical guns, the +0 bullets created in this way will only do so much damage, and carrying around a massive supply of highly-enchanted bullets for regular use may be impractical. As a result, a better weapon and improved damage reduction should be top priorities for the mid game.

The best weapon for Anachrononauts from this point on will almost certainly be the lightsaber. Lightsabers are 3x melee weapons when lit and can be used for a long time before needing to be recharged, especially if a player turns the lightsaber off when not being used in combat. However, if a lightsaber was not included in the player's starting equipment, the only place one can be obtained is the Anachrononaut quest, as future tech can generally not be wished for.

For non-Android characters, the Anachrononaut quest has substantial rewards, but is dangerous even for players with a full set of ascension gear. On the left side of the home level is the Last Bastion, which includes two supply rooms filled with free future tech (including lightsabers), as well as a guaranteed deli (filled with protein pills and other prepared food) and a well-stocked bookstore. On the right side of the home level is the downstairs, which will spawn hoards of mind flayers and other dangerous horrors that will try to home in on your Quest leader - Sara, the Last Oracle - and try to kill her. It is entirely possible for these monsters to overwhelm the Last Bastion and kill Sara before you can trigger the quest, making it impossible to get your Quest artifact, the Annulus. Though the Annulus is not necessary to complete the game, it is necessary for a full-scoring ascension. For Android characters, the Quest leader is already dead, and nothing at all prohibits you from making your descent towards the Annulus. However, the Last Bastion has been overrun, and the chests with free future tech items will have fewer items to offer you.

The difficulty of the Quest will be dramatically increased for Anachrononauts with Telepathy, as these levels contain large numbers of non-genocidable mind flayers who can find and damage you via your latent telepathy. Incantifier Anachrononauts in particular should hold off on trying to the quest until they have huge amounts of health or damage reduction to withstand the mental assault.

If you are strong enough to get the Annulus, it is a silver chakram that can be transformed into several different forms, including that of a double-bladed lightsaber that (unlike most double-bladed lightsabers) can be wielded with one hand. The Annulus can be invoked for infinite recharging and can be used effectively for the rest of the game, especially if enchanted to +7. The Annulus must be applied twice to ignite and then activate its double-bladed form, and special care must be taken to re-ignite it if an enemy spellcaster extinguishes it using a spell of darkness.

Non-Android Anachrononauts using lightsabers can also select a lightsaber form. Lightsaber forms are specific fighting styles that grant extra benefits, such as extra damage, dragon-breath reflection, or automatic counterattacks.

While the Annulus can be used as a primary weapon, it is important to remember that you will have to sacrifice it on the Astral Plane before ascending in order to achieve a full-scoring ascension. Consequently, having a backup weapon, such as one of the lightsabers from the Last Bastion, will be necessary as well.

A fast player without a full set of ascension gear could choose to raid the future tech from the Last Bastion and flee through the portal back to the Dungeons before hoards of monsters start spawning from the downstairs. If doing so, you would be well advised to wait until you're at least level 14 so you can unlock the Quest at the same time.

With respect to damage reduction, you have good odds of obtaining at least some form of half damage reduction from the Chaos Quest artifacts. If the Lord of the Rings version of the Chaos Quest is present in the game, you can get the Mantle of Wrath, which provides half spell damage. If the Final Fantasy version of the Chaos Quest is present in your game, the Earth Crystal can provide slotless half physical damage reduction. If neither of these are possible, a good early wish can always be spent on the Shield of the Resolute Heart, half physical damage reduction gauntlets of dexterity that won't interfere with spell casting.

End game

One of the changes to the Anachrononaut game is that there is no Bell of Opening that can be obtained from the Quest. Instead, Anachrononauts will either need to invoke the Annulus to Ring Out while it is a khakkhara, or get The Silver Key from the last level of the Neutral Quest to use in its place in the invocation ritual.

Doing so is best avoided until a player has a full set of ascension gear. Monsters in the second half of the Neutral Quest are a variety of highly dangerous Lovecraftian horrors, including nightgaunts, edderkops, and shoggoths, to name a few. Even worse, the last level of the Neutral Quest - where The Silver Key resides - also houses Great Cthulhu, who can easily kill a player with either his 400 damage melee attack or his permanent wisdom draining attack. Thankfully, Cthulhu is generated sleeping, and the Silver Key provides branchporting that can be used to immediately escape once it has been obtained.

Traversing the lower levels of the Neutral Quest is likely to cause damage to your sanity. Consequently, you will need some way to either restore your sanity or stave off the random hallucinations that occur when players start to go insane. Blessed potions of restore ability will restore 20 points of sanity, and potions of sleeping and potions of booze also provide a small sanity boost.

Once in Gehennom, the difficulty of the end game will depend upon the demon lords and ladies generated and which of them you choose to battle. Discretion is the better part of valor here - avoid picking fights with demons who might finish off an otherwise promising character. Having an excellent source of ranged damage, especially area of effect damage, can be also be highly useful. A well-enchanted, fully automatic arm blaster is a good choice, but high-level attack spells are a better one: spell casters with high levels of skill in attack spells can learn firestorm and blizzard as bonuses for reading the fireball and cone of cold spell books, respectively. Incantifier Anachrononauts can truly shine here, wiping out vast hoards of monsters with repeated spell casts, especially if they have found or wished for a spell book of finger of death. Likewise, Androids can simply throw the Annulus over and over again at extreme range and have it simply return to their hand so long as they are not confused, stunned, or hallucinating, though this must be used with caution lest the Annulus fall into a pit of lava or be forgotten on the ground in some other dangerous spot and be lost.

Once the vibrating square has been located, Anachrononauts must execute the revised invocation ritual: first, wield the Silver Key, then, light the Candelabrum of Invocation, and finally, read the Book of the Dead.

Retracing your steps to the surface and making your way through the Elemental Planes is largely the same as in vanilla Nethack (but watch out in case any dread seraphs awaken along the way!). Then, once you have made it to the Astral Plane, you have two choices: either complete your mission to save the future and then ascend, or leave the future to its fate and just ascend. Saving the future is optional, but it is necessary to receive a full score for your ascension.

To save the future, you must find Ilsensine's altar and eject her from it by sacrificing the Annulus. Ilsensine's altar is well defended by her attendants, Lugribossk and Maanzecorian, who will spawn huge numbers of monsters to try to fend you off. You may need wands of teleportation to disperse the crowds and wands of death to put a swift end to the attendants before you can access the altar - once you reach it, invoke the Annulus while standing on it to eject Ilsensine once and for all. Finally, you can ascend by offering the Amulet at your co-aligned altar.

Rank titles

The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:

  • XL 1–2: Survivor
  • XL 3–5: Recruit
  • XL 6–9: Insurgent
  • XL 10–13: Trooper
  • XL 14–17: Rebel Leader
  • XL 18–21: Chrono Commandant
  • XL 22–25: Anachrononaut
  • XL 26–29: Fatebreaker
  • XL 30: Hope of the Future

Future Tech

As a rule, future tech cannot be wished for, not even by Anachrononauts. Tourists, however, ARE able to wish for future tech, and may want to wish for a lightsaber. Some types of future tech will degrade if left in a bones pile, possibly even becoming nonfunctional.


Main article: Lightsaber#dNetHack


Worn in the shirt slot, a bodyglove protects against disease and provides MC3. It does not contribute to AC unless enchanted.


A jumpsuit provides reflection and uses the body armor slot.

Force pike

Force pikes are powerful melee weapons that can also be used like polearms. Force pikes are one-handed and use the lance skill (and can therefor also be used to joust, though they are just as likely to break as a normal lance). They are a powered weapon, consuming 1 charge per successful hit. A hit from a charged force pike deals 2d6+6 damage to a small target, and 2d8+8 damage to a large target. An uncharged force pike deals 1d6 damage to small targets and 1d8 to large ones. A force pike can be recharged an unlimited number of times. Blessed charging sets the force pike's charge to 100, uncursed to 80-99, and cursed to 10.

Arm blaster

An arm blaster is a high-damage directed energy weapon. It is used by wielding it and then firing. Arm blasters do not use quivered ammunition, instead consuming charges. A heavy blaster bolt deals 3d10+10 damage to a small target, or 3d12+12 damage to a large one. When a heavy blaster bolt either strikes a target or reaches its maximum range of 15 squares, it releases a 3x3 explosion of nuclear energy dealing a further 3d10 damage, for a potential total of 3d12+12+3d10 damage to the primary target and 3d10 damage to adjacent targets. An arm blaster can be set to single shot, burst fire, or full auto by applying it.

Unlike most ranged weapons, a heavy blaster bolt continues traveling if it misses its first target, so you must always keep in mind what you're using to backstop your shots. Additionally, a heavy blaster bolt has a 20% chance of blowing apart rock walls, potentially angering shopkeepers. Blasters are also quite noisy, waking sleeping monsters on the level. Arm blasters ("hard white bracers") are arm-mounted weapons, and incompatible with metal gauntlets, such as gauntlets of power and orihalcyon gauntlets. Blaster bolts reflect from targets with reflection. Blaster bolts are extremely inaccurate, and will almost always miss targets with low or negative AC.

An arm blaster can only be recharged 4 times. Moreover, there is only a single fresh arm blaster to be found on the Anachrononaut home level, one fresh arm blaster on the quest locate level, and 3 scattered around the goal level. This means there are only 5 fresh arm blasters in a standard Anachrononaut game, not counting the one a human starts with. The Anachrononaut quest guardians also carry arm blasters, but theirs are mostly drained and already 4x recharged. Blessed charging sets the blaster's charge to 100, uncursed to 80-99, and cursed to 10 (essentially wasting one of the 4 recharges). Therefore, to get the most shots out of your arm blaster, you will need a source of blessed charging.

Due to neglect, arm blasters found in bones files will be 4x recharged and lose half their remaining shots.

Hand blaster

The hand blaster is a smaller, handheld version of the arm blaster. A blaster bolt from a hand blaster deals 3d6+6 damage to a small target, or 3d8+8 to a large target, in addition to a 3d6 damage explosion. Hand blasters can't be set to burst fire or automatic mode.

A hand blaster has only a 5% chance of blowing apart rock walls, and can be used in conjunction with any handwear.

Hand blasters can also be recharged only 4 times; however, there are several fresh hand blasters on the Anachrononaut home level, and 10% of the changed spawn wielding hand blasters. In addition, two hand blasters are spawned on the goal and lower filler levels of the Anachrononaut quest.

Mass-shadow pistol

A mass-shadow pistol is a charged firearm that fires duplicates of whatever ammo is loaded into it. When generated, it is loaded with a rock, but any rock, grey stone, or bullet can be used as ammo. To swap out ammo types, drop the pistol and #loot it. Mass-shadow pistols can be recharged an unlimited number of times.


A pistol is a firearm that fires bullets. It has a +1 rate of fire, a range of 15 squares, and a +2 to-hit bonus when firing.


A shotgun is a firearm that does 2d12+4+enchantment against small, and 2d6+4+enchantment against large enemies. However, it has a maximum range of only 3 squares, not counting the square you are standing on.


A SMG is a firearm with both single- and auto-fire modes, reaching a maximum of five projectiles at expert on auto.

Grenade Launcher

A grenade launcher can fire both frag and gas grenades.

Assault rifle

An assault rifle is an upgrade to the SMG.

Heavy machine gun

A HMG is a firearm. It will only fire on full auto, but will surpass the SMG's multishot considerably (up to 9 vs 5 at expert firearms).

Sniper rifle

A sniper rifle is a single-shot, two-handed firearm with a long range that gets to-hit bonuses over longer distances.


A raygun is a beam-type firearm that uses charges and can be charged an unlimited amount of times. Settings are sleep (1 charge), heat (fire damage, 2 charges), kill (death ray, 10 charges) and disintegration (disintegration ray, 20 charges).

Power pack

A power pack recharges items in the same manner that a scroll of charging does (though using a power pack while confused does not result in the character recharging themselves). As the future tech of the Anachrononaut is explicitly magical in nature, power packs can be used to recharge normal items, and scrolls of charging can be used to recharge future tech. Power packs cannot be blanked as they are classified as tools.

Sensor pack

A sensor pack allows detecting certain symbols, like a crystal ball.

Protein pill

A protein pill is an extremely light, compact food ration. Like the food ration, it gives 800 points of nutrition. Unlike the food ration, it weighs only 1 unit, takes only 1 action to eat, and never rots.

Bullet fabber

A bullet fabber is a tool that can be applied to transform rocks into bullets. Silver rocks will produce silver bullets. Silver bullets can be transformed into rockets and back. Normal bullets can be made into shotgun shells and back. Possibly somewhat surprisingly, it does not need to be charged.


A hypospray can be used to inject ampules. (These are like potions, but cannot be diluted as they are classified as tools. Blessing them produces a blessed potion effect, but they can't be used in alchemy.) Ampules are also found in the Anachrononaut role quest. Offensive ampules like sleep or polymorph can only be used against adjacent monsters.


A vibroblade is a melee weapon using charges. It can be used to force locks without destroying a chest.

Cutting laser

A cutting laser uses charges, and can be used to dig through walls by firing it.

Seismic hammer

A seismic hammer is a weapon-tool using charges that's essentially a high-tech pickaxe. It is capable of digging a hole in the ground in only 1 turn, so it can be used to quickly escape.

Android Visor

Shows relative health statuses of creatures while worn. Uses the "eye" slot.

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Elaborate on dnh firearms, ammo, and other future tech. Future tech may deserve its own page(s)."


The Anachrononaut role draws inspiration from a number of different fantasy and sci-fi franchises, including Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, Underworld, and Dungeons and Dragons (most notably the classic D&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks). The Firearms module for SLASH'EM provided a lot of the foundational code for the future tech.