Special room

From NetHackWiki
(Redirected from Anthole)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For special rooms in SLASH'EM, see Special room (SLASH'EM).
For special rooms in UnNetHack, see Special room (UnNetHack).
For special rooms in dNetHack, see Special room (dNetHack).

A special room is different from the normal rooms of the randomly-generated dungeon. For example, it might contain a shop or a collection of monsters. They only appear in random rooms-and-corridors levels in the Dungeons of Doom, not in mazes or cavern levels.

This list might be incomplete.


Main article: Shop

Shops contain a shopkeeper, an assortment of items, and allow you to buy and sell items. There is at least one guaranteed shop in Minetown. Shops will only be created in rooms with exactly one entrance (and no closets or special features), and are thus usually found at the left or right periphery of the map.


(3/DL, DL 2+, not below Medusa, suitable room - note that this always tries to produce shops on levels 2 and 3, although they will only be created if there is a suitable room)


  • "You hear someone cursing shoplifters."
  • "You hear the chime of a cash register."
  • "You hear Neiman and Marcus arguing!" (hallucinating)
  • "Welcome to <shopkeeper>'s <merchandise> store!" (entering)
  • "Hello, <player>! Welcome again to <shopkeeper>'s <merchandise> store!" (entering previously visited shop)
  • "This shop appears to be deserted." (entering, no shopkeeper)

Throne rooms

Throne rooms contain an assortment of monsters, a throne, and a chest. The monsters are always generated hostile.[1] There is a guaranteed throne room in Fort Ludios (if the Fort is generated at all). There are also guaranteed thrones in the Castle and in Vlad's tower; however, the rooms they are located in are not considered throne rooms.

Throne room monsters are dragons (on level 15+), giants (13+), trolls (10+), centaurs (6+), orcs, bugbears, hobgoblins, gnomes and kobolds.[2] Deeper levels are skewed to harder monsters. The limits for ordinary random monsters (based on the average of your and the dungeon floor's level) do not apply. Extinct or genocided monsters will be replaced with ordinary random monsters.


(1/6, DL 5+)


  • "You hear the tones of courtly conversation."
  • "You hear a sceptre pounded in judgment."
  • "Someone shouts "Off with <his/her> head!""
  • "You hear Queen Beruthiel's cats!" (hallucinating)
  • "You enter an opulent throne room!" (entering)

Leprechaun hall

Filled with sleeping leprechauns and gold.


(1/8, DL 6+, leprechauns not genocided/extinct)


No level sounds.

  • "You enter a leprechaun hall!" (entering)

Treasure zoo

Main article: Zoo

Filled with random monsters, and a small pile of gold on every square. There is a guaranteed treasure zoo at the top of Sokoban and another in the second level of the Wizard's Tower.

You might want to displace your (fully healed) pets into the zoo and lock the door, since pets are effectively never surrounded.


(1/7, DL 7+)


  • "You hear a sound reminiscent of an elephant stepping on a peanut."
  • "You hear a sound reminiscent of a seal barking."
  • "You hear Doctor Doolittle!" [sic] (hallucinating)
  • "Welcome to David's treasure zoo!" (entering)


An altar with a priest tending it is a temple. If the priest and altar are co-aligned with you and your alignment record is good enough, the temple is a sanctuary. If a temple's resident priest dies or is otherwise removed from the room, the temple becomes desecrated; every time you enter a desecrated temple, there is 1/5 chance of "an enormous ghost" appearing next to you, paralyzing you for three turns, and then acting as an ordinary ghost.[3] A desecrated temple cannot be restored; all desecrated temples that are generated normally (i.e. not in a bones file) will have the altar be unaligned if one is present.

Known locations of temples

Minetown is guaranteed to have a temple with an altar, but this level may leave bones, meaning a file can occur where the altar, the priest or both may not exist. As of NetHack 3.6.0, the Orcish Town variant, imported from the variant UnNetHack, has a desecrated temple.

The Valley of the Dead contains a temple of Moloch with an unaligned altar. The room in Moloch's Sanctum housing the high priest of Moloch is also a temple.

Many quests have a temple one of their floors; the knight quest locate level has a neutral temple, and the healer quest locate level has a chaotic temple. The Caveman quest home level has a temple that is always co-aligned, while the Wizard quest goal level has a desecrated temple that is always cross-aligned. The Monk quest home level (and by extension the Priest quest's home level) contains a desecrated temple; the Priest quest also has a temple to Moloch on the locate level. The Tourist quest locate level has a desecrated temple that does not contain an altar at all.

The room with the unaligned altar in Orcus Town is not considered a temple.

What to do in a temple

You can donate gold to the priest to get extra AC. For more information, see protection and aligned priest.

It is possible to change the alignment of an altar in a temple by sacrificing a monster, especially the right type of unicorn, but doing so will anger the priest. More information is on the page about altars.

What not to do in a temple

When you are BUC testing rings, do not put them on inside the temple. If the ring is a ring of conflict, chances are you will have YASD on your hands. In fact, it is probably just a good idea to use the altar to do this anyway.

If you are read-identifying scrolls that you have recently BUC tested in the temple, it would be a good idea to read scrolls that are possibly Scrolls of fire away from the priest, preferably in another room, to avoid having the scrolls accidentally damage and anger the priest.

If there is a gas spore in the room, lure it out of the temple before killing it - if you kill it while in the temple and the priest is caught in the explosion, the priest will get angry. Do not test a drum that might be a drum of earthquake anywhere on the level. If the altar is within line of sight, it may be destroyed, and the priest be made hostile. Even if the altar is not within line of sight, the priest may still be made hostile by a chasm opening underneath him.

Frequency and alignment

One temple is created with probability 1/5 from level 9 on in an ordinary rooms-and-corridors level in the main dungeon, provided it does not already have a shop, a throne room, a leprechaun hall or a zoo.[4] There is an 80% chance the temple is the same alignment as its hosting dungeon branch, the rest of the time it has 1/3 chance of each alignment.[5][6]


Since NetHack 3.6.0, the following sounds can be heard if a priest is present whose alignment matches that of the altar: [7]

  • "You hear someone praising <deity>." (only if the priest can speak)
  • "You hear someone beseeching <deity>." (only if the priest can speak)
  • "You hear an an animal carcass being offered in sacrifice." (only if you can't see the priest or altar)
  • "You hear a strident plea for donations." (only if the priest can speak)

The following other messages are related to temples:

  • "You have a forbidding feeling." (entering, temple desecrated or cross-aligned)
  • "You have a strange forbidding feeling." (entering, alignment record -4 or lower)
  • "You experience a sense of peace." (entering, alignment record 20 or higher)
  • "You experience an unusual sense of peace." (entering, alignment record less than 20)
  • "You have an eerie feeling..." (entering, no priest)
  • "You feel like you are being watched." (entering, no priest)
  • "A shiver runs down your <spine>." (entering, no priest)


Beehives contain killer bees and one queen bee. Roughly 1/3 of the squares will contain royal jelly. All residents are asleep when the room is generated.


(1/5, DL 10+, killer bees not genocided/extinct)


  • "You hear a low buzzing."
  • "You hear an angry drone."
  • "You hear bees in your bonnet!" (hallucinating, wearing helmet)
  • "You hear bees in your (nonexistent) bonnet!" (hallucinating, no helmet)
  • "You enter a giant beehive!" (entering)


Also called crypts or morgues. Contains undead, demons, corpses, chests, boxes and graves. This is one of the few times major demons will be randomly generated outside Gehennom. The chance any given monster is a demon is (dungeon level - 11)/(10* dungeon level).[8] The Valley of the Dead contains three graveyards, though they are cavernous areas rather than rooms in the usual sense. The lair of Orcus also has a graveyard.

On levels containing graveyards, undead creatures are less likely to leave corpses[9] (1/9 as likely if killed by you, and 1/3 if otherwise).[10] This includes wraiths, whose corpses are highly desirable. Some players lure wraiths away from graveyard levels before killing them. Note that the Castle is considered a graveyard level, making luring wraiths up from the Valley of the Dead more difficult.

An exhaustive list of graveyard levels is:

A headstone alone does not mark a level as a graveyard; nor do bones.


(1/6, DL 12+)


  • "You suddenly realize it is unnaturally quiet."
  • "The <hair> on the back of your <neck> stands up."
  • "The <hair> on your <head> seems to stand up." (hallucinating)
  • "You have an uncanny feeling..." (time of entrance is between 01:00 and 23:59)
  • "<Run> away! <Run> away!" (time of entrance is between 00:00 and 00:59). Note that undead deal twice normal damage between these times.[11]


Filled with food items and either soldier ants, giant ants, or fire ants. The ants will be sleeping if nothing has woken them. If ants are extinct, they will be replaced with random monsters. Even if the random monsters are extinct, they will still appear in the anthole.


(1/8, DL 13+)


No level sounds.

  • "You enter an anthole!" (entering)


Filled with either soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants or captains, depending on depth. There are guaranteed barracks in the castle and in Fort Ludios. Contains chests or boxes (created on roughly 1/20 of squares).

The occupants will be asleep if nothing has woken them; Fort Ludios soldiers will automatically awaken when you enter the level.


(1/4, DL 15+, soldiers not genocided/extinct)


  • "You hear blades being honed."
  • "You hear loud snoring."
  • "You hear dice being thrown."
  • "You hear General MacArthur!" (hallucinating)
  • "You enter a military barracks!" (entering)
  • "You enter an abandoned barracks." (entering, empty)


Swamp rooms occur together: up to 5 rooms on a level may be swamps, with a checkered pattern of pools of water containing sea monsters. Various fungi are generated on some of the land spaces.

You can easily guess the presence of hidden doors in swamps, because of the absence of water pools near the door. Very small swamp rooms can generate just one water pool, easily mistaken for a fountain, so be careful.


(1/6, DL 16+)

This room has been known to very rarely appear between Medusa's level and the Castle.


  • "You hear mosquitoes!"
  • "You smell marsh gas!"
  • "You hear Donald Duck!" (hallucinating)
  • "It looks rather muddy down here." (entering)
  • "It feels rather humid down here." (entering, blind)

Cockatrice nest

Main article: Cockatrice nest

Cockatrice nests contain sleeping cockatrices and chickatrices, along with statues of player-monsters (created on roughly 1/3 of squares) containing up to four random items.


(1/8, DL 17+, cockatrices not genocided/extinct)


No level sounds.

  • "You enter a disgusting nest!" (entering)


Main article: Vault

Vaults are 2x2 rooms (4x4 including external walls) with gold on each of the empty squares. Tunnels are not generated to them so you will either have to dig to reach them, or fall through a trap door and land inside. Landing inside a vault without a pickaxe to escape with can be remedied by waiting for the guard to escort you outside.

Levels with vaults might contain a room with a square marked "ad aerarium" (Latin: to the treasury) written in the dust. If you search long enough on such a square you will find a hidden door, behind which there may be a teleport trap. If there is a teleport trap, it will take you into the vault (unless you are magic resistant; you can press Control-T to use the trap while standing on it if this is the case). The trap disappears once used; you will have to escape the vault on your own.

On deeper levels, the "ad aerarium" message may have a level teleport trap generated behind it instead of a vault teleporter.


(independent approximately 35% chance)


  • "You hear the footsteps of a guard on patrol."
  • "You hear Ebenezer Scrooge!" (hallucinating)
  • "You hear someone searching." (looted)
  • "You hear someone counting money." (unlooted)
  • "You hear the quarterback calling the play." (unlooted, hallucinating)


External links

This page is a stub. Should you wish to do so, you can contribute by expanding this page.

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

"TODO:Design more readable layout, and finish transferring individual room info from the DOD spoiler linked above."

This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.

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 {{nethack-36}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.