Chat

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This article is about the in-game extended command. For the IRC channel, see Libera.

#chat is an extended command in NetHack which enables talking to a monster.

Description

  1. chat can only be used with monsters directly next to you; after entering the command, use a directional key (e.g. h, j, etc.) to talk to the monster on that square. Talking to a monster uses up your turn; not all monsters will print a response, which does not use a turn if it happens.

This command can give amusing results (see talking to vampires for an example) and is occasionally a hindrance (for example, when chatting with skeletons), but it also has a number of practical uses.

Strategy

  • Using #chat when standing on an item in a shop will tell you its price. Picking the item up will give the same information, but may be unwise to do (for example, a scroll of scare monster might turn to dust, and the shopkeeper will ask you to pay for it).
  • #chat-ting while hallucinating can help you tell monsters apart, since their responses are not distorted. For example, any monster that purrs or yips must be your pet cat or dog.
  • Talking to an appropriate-sex foocubus will initiate an encounter with it. This can be useful if the foocubus is tame or peaceful, or if it has trouble hitting you through your AC.
  • #chat-ting to your quest leader will cause them to roam about. This is useful if you want to get certain quest leaders such as Shaman Karnov or Neferet the Green off their thrones before you have quest permission - being (very) fast can help in that regard.
  • Talking to a monster hit with a spell, ray or potion of sleeping can tell you if it is actually sleeping - but beware if it wakes up that turn!

Pets

Talking to your pet may give you some information about its welfare, according to its nutrition and tameness levels.

  • When their tameness is less than 5, cats will yowl, dogs will whine, and horses will neigh; for cats and dogs, these messages also appear when confused, scared, or trapped. Dogs also whine when hungry; cats will meow when hungry, and horses will whinny. Tame dogs and cats also have special messages for being particularly non-hungry (yipping and purring respectively) - if none of the other cases applies, cats will mew, dogs (other than dingos) will bark, and horses will whicker.
  • Humanoid pets will say "I'm hungry" when hungry, and will also moan when at less than 1/4 of their maximum HP and ask for a potion of healing when at less than 1/2 maximum HP.

Aligned priests

Talking to an aligned priest in a temple gives you the opportunity to donate, if you are carrying gold. Depending on how much you donate, you may get clairvoyance or protection. Chatting to a temple priest breaks atheist conduct.[1]

  • If you decide to donate nothing ("Thou shalt regret thine action!"), you lower your alignment. If you accidentally chat to a priest but do not desire any services, then donate just 1 zorkmid - this will prompt the priest to simply call you a "cheapskate" with no other effect.
  • If you have no gold in open inventory and are co-aligned, the priest will instead "give you two bits for an ale" (two zorkmids) if they have any gold, or one bit if they only have that; they will "preach the virtues of poverty" if they have no gold.
  • #chat-ting to a peaceful aligned priest outside of a temple or inside a desecrated (converted) temple makes them hostile - this is usually the product of a bones file.

Dangers

Chatting can be detrimental or even dangerous in some situations, many of which occur usually when you are blind or hallucinating and trying to distinguish your surroundings.

  • #chat-ting with a skeleton paralyzes you for a short time; free action does not prevent this.
  • Talking to an appropriate-sex foocubus will initiate an encounter with it. While useful as mentioned above, it can also be dangerous in certain situations, e.g. if other hostile monsters are in the vicinity.
  • #chat-ting to a shrieker causes it to shriek, which will wake up all monsters on the level - this can have especially bad repercussions if it attracts the attention of something you want to avoid fighting (e.g., soldier ants or a sleeping nymph). Note that shriekers are mindless, so they will not appear if you blind yourself to use intrinsic telepathy.

Variants

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, as a Convict you can #chat with sewer rats to pacify and tame them.

References