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Deafness is a status property effect that occurs in NetHack. It is indicated by the word Deaf on the status line.


Being deaf will prevent you from hearing things, with several sound-related messages no longer printing and others using an alternate message - this also includes verbal messages for seduction and charming. You cannot use stethoscopes while deaf.


You can end up deafened through the following methods:


While deafness does not factor directly into any monster's attacks, most contextual messages hinting what is on your current floor will not appear, which may hinder you slightly. In addition, you will not hear any combat sounds either, which includes your pets fighting monsters or other monsters zapping wands.

In addition to simply going away over time, deafness is trivial enough to cure with a unicorn horn. Despite posing relatively little threat on its own, it should be cured as soon as possible in order to efficiently keep track of your surroundings - this can prevent unwelcome surprises from monsters that you would not have heard, e.g. a gelatinous cube eating and engulfing items.


Deafness as a status was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0. In NetHack 3.6.2, a bug was fixed that still printed vocal seduction-based messages.



In SpliceHack, deafness can be used to block against sonic damage and changes some interactions with unique demons.