Spellbook of cause fear

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spellbook of
+   cause fear   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 2.54%
Base price 300 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 6
Ink to write 15–29
Spell type enchantment
Level 3
Power cost 15 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent scroll of scare monster

In NetHack, the spellbook of cause fear allows you to learn the cause fear spell.

Effects

Casting this spell has the same effect as reading a scroll of scare monster: it will scare monsters, causing them to to run away. The downside of this method (versus those caused by more mundane or divine sources) is that it is subject to the target's monster magic resistance and immunities; once scared, a monster with full HP has a 4% chance of recovering each turn. It has no effect on pets.

Strategy

Cause fear can be useful if employed correctly. It is mostly it is used to scare away monsters that are too strong or out-of-depth for you to fight, or as an escape spell in case of an emergency. However, if you have a strong ranged attack or attack spells and can cast this spell reliably, you can combine them to kill monsters whilst avoiding melee combat with them. This is especially useful for wizards, but note that sleep can often allow for a similar effect at a lower cost; causing fear is more useful against large groups of monsters, against sleep-resistant monsters, or if there is nowhere you can retreat to maintain distance once the monster wakes up.