From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
( Bell.png
Name bell
Appearance bell
Base price 50 zm
Weight 30
Material copper
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A bell is a type of tool that appears in NetHack. It is an atonal musical instrument that is made of copper.

The Bell of Opening appears as a "silver bell" when unidentified, but both the item and its base type are distinct from a regular bell.


Elven Priests and Wizards have a 16 change of starting with a bell as their non-magical instrument.[1]

All bells are generated uncursed with the exception of bones levels and trap "bones".

In addition to random generation, general stores and hardware stores can sell bells.

110 of randomly generated headstones will read "Saved by the bell!" and have a bell placed on its square.[2][3][4]


Applying a non-cursed bell makes noise that wakes nearby sleeping monsters and calls pets. A cursed bell has the same effect, but also has a 14 chance (25%) of summoning a random nymph without their starting inventory provided none of them are extinct or genocided.[5] There is a 7100 chance (7%) of the bell breaking after generating the monster, and otherwise there is a 13 chance of the summoned nymph being fast and a 13 chance of the character being paralyzed for 2 turns.[6][7]

Covetous monsters attempting to steal the Bell of Opening specifically from a character's inventory may instead steal a bell in open inventory.[8]


Bells tend to have very little use in most games. A tin whistle is often sufficient for calling pets while being much lighter in weight; a cursed bell may be viable in some cases where a character wants to get rid of a cursed piece of armor or other item stuck to their person, with the other valuable items stashed nearby. There are also corner cases where a character may carry a bell to deter covetous thieves while bringing the Bell of Opening to the vibrating square. Otherwise, bells are usually either ignored or carried to sell at a shop.


The bell first appears in NetHack 3.1.0.

From NetHack 3.1.0 to NetHack 3.1.3, a cursed bell can be exploited to summon nymphs indefinitely without respecting extinction, risking paralysis or generating a fast nymph, and the nymph would generate with their usual starting inventory.[9] This is commonly used to accumulate large numbers of mirrors for polypiling, as well as many potions of object detection for dilution, alchemy, polypiling, or even wishes if potions of object detection were smoky potions.[10] NetHack 3.2.0 fixes this by ensuring that the summoned nymph has no starting inventory.


You ring the bell.
You applied a bell.
But the sound is muffled.
As above, but you are underwater or engulfed.[11]
You summon a nymph!
You summoned a nymph by applying a cursed bell.
The bell has shattered!
A cursed bell broke after summoning a nymph.



In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, the female half-dragon Noble always starts with a blessed bell.

Kukeri are always generated with a bell made of the default material.

Andromalius is a spirit whose binding ritual can use a bell as one of the two items placed in his seal, and using two non-bell items in the binding ritual may generate a bell as the third item the character receives if they successfully bind him.

Characters can wield bells as a form of spellcasting focus that improves the success rate of clerical spells and healing spells, and Priests wielding a bell improve the success rate of all spells they cast.


In SpliceHack, attempting to use a scroll of cloning on the Bell of Opening will always produce a normal bell. This also applies to Hack'EM.