Dexterity

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Dexterity is an attribute in NetHack.

Effects

Dexterity has a multitude of effects, of which the most significant is probably that it affects your chance of hitting monsters, whether in melee combat or with a missile or spell.

There is no direct way to increase your intrinsic dexterity apart from drinking a blessed potion of gain ability (or the corresponding fountain effect) which increases all stats by one. However, there are ways to exercise it, for example repeatedly picking locks. It is also exercised by fighting monsters, disarming traps, and reading a non-cursed Scroll of enchant weapon while not wielding a weapon.

Be aware that dexterity is easy to abuse. If you are trying to train it up, avoid being satiated and do not allow yourself to become strained or overtaxed. Being stunned, paralyzed, or having wounded legs is also bad for dexterity.

A pair of gauntlets of dexterity magically increases (or decreases) your dexterity by the amount of its enchantment, to a maximum of 25.

dexterity to-hit
3 −3
4–5 −2
6–7 −1
8–14 0
15 +1
16 +2
17 +3
18 +4
19 +5
20 +6
21 +7
22 +8
23 +9
24 +10
25 +11

Reference: dothrow.c, line 1200; weapon.c, line 705.

Messages

You feel agile! You must have been working on your reflexes.
Your dexterity increased due to exercise.
You feel clumsy! You haven't been working on reflexes lately.
Your dexterity decreased due to abuse.

Exercising and abusing dexterity

Dexterity is exercised by the following:

  • Successfully kicking a monster[1]
  • Uncovering or opening a secret door by kicking[2]
  • Uncovering a secret corridor by kicking[3]
  • Destroying a throne by kicking it[4]
  • Kicking an altar (which is a bad idea)[5]
  • Kicking a fountain[6]
  • Kicking a sink without hurting your leg[7][8][9][10]
  • Kicking fruit out of a tree[11]
  • Kicking a closed or locked door[12]
  • Successfully catching a returning boomerang[13]
  • Hitting a monster by throwing a weapon, weapon-tool, gem[14], heavy iron ball[15] or boulder[16]
  • Trying to move without levitation or flying on the Plane of Air, failing, and getting the "It's hard to walk in thin air" message[17]
  • Using an unlocking tool to try to lock or unlock a closed door, box or chest, whether or not you succeed[18][19]
  • Trying to force a lock using a bladed weapon, whether or not you succeed, even if the weapon breaks (using a blunt weapon exercises strength)[20][21][22]
  • Playing a flute or harp (magic or wooden)[23][24][25][26]
  • Spinning a web, when polymorphed into a spider[27]
  • Casting the haste self spell or quaffing a potion of speed[28], or breathing the potion's vapors[29]
  • Gaining intrinsic speed from a wand of speed monster[30]
  • Attempting to disarm a container[31] or door[32] trap (whether or not you succeed)
  • Hitting a monster in melee, unless you are engulfed and would have missed if you had not been engulfed[33]
  • Stealing gold from a monster, when polymorphed into a leprechaun[34]
  • Reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant weapon, while not wielding a weapon or weapon-tool[35]

Dexterity is abused by the following:

References

  1. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 84
  2. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 798
  3. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 818
  4. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 841
  5. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 872
  6. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 885
  7. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 953
  8. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 964
  9. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 976
  10. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 987
  11. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 917
  12. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1044
  13. dothrow.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 932
  14. dothrow.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1316
  15. dothrow.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1352
  16. dothrow.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1364
  17. hack.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 914
  18. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 102
  19. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 125
  20. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 142
  21. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 157
  22. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 207
  23. music.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 391
  24. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 398
  25. music.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 437
  26. lock.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 445
  27. polyself.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 841
  28. polyself.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 746
  29. potion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1275
  30. zap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 2020
  31. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 3512
  32. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 3574
  33. uhitm.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 480
  34. uhitm.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1425
  35. wield.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 701
  36. attrib.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 320
  37. attrib.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 340
  38. attrib.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 341
  39. attrib.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 362
  40. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 173
  41. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1002
  42. dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1025
  43. hack.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 468
  44. hack.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 608
  45. hack.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 908
  46. mhitu.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 144
  47. mhitu.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1126
  48. uhitm.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 2283
  49. mhitu.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1176
  50. potion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 608
  51. potion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1260
  52. potion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1269
  53. timeout.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 39
  54. timeout.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 142
  55. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 779
  56. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 939
  57. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 3745
  58. trap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1151
  59. wield.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 701