Spellbook of create familiar

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spellbook of
+   create familiar   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 1.01%
Base price 600 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 42
Ink to write 30–59
Spell type clerical
Level 6
Power cost 30 Pw
Direction non-directional

In NetHack, the spellbook of create familiar allows you to learn the create familiar spell.


This spell creates a monster near you. It has a 1/3 chance of creating an appropriate starting pet (see below) and a 2/3 chance of creating a random monster.[1] The created monster will be tame, if it is tameable, and made peaceful otherwise.

Pet types

If create familiar creates an appropriate starting pet and you are one of the following roles, you will receive the listed pet type:pet_type in dog.c

Role Pet
Caveman little dog
Knight pony
Ranger little dog
Samurai little dog
Wizard kitten

If you are not one of the above roles, but have specified the pettype option, you will receive a pet of that type. Otherwise, you will have an equal chance of receiving a kitten or little dog.


Overall, the spellbook of create familiar is a useful one-time utility spell, and may be worth keeping in your stash if you want to create more pets in the future. Because of its high difficulty, however, you will generally not get to cast it early unless you happen upon a robe. Because domestic animals are so easy to tame, the spellbook of polymorph can supersede this spellbook if you get lucky or do not fear system shock.

If you are casting this spell at a high enough level, it can be used to forcefully create a desired pet; simply cast it over and over again until you get one you want. Useless pets can be abandoned on the level; doing this will probably exhaust your magic reserves more than once, but you probably won't have to fear enemies while casting, considering the number of friendly monsters you are likely to create.

If you're altar farming, you could use this spell to summon a pet and then kill it, reducing your luck in order to avoid crowning. This also causes a loss of alignment record, but the other monsters you kill should get your alignment back up to maximum before prayer timeout reaches zero again. Be very careful not to sacrifice a former pet's corpse! If you name your new pet, its corpse will inherit the name, making it easier to avoid this mistake.


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

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 the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.