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EvilHack is a new variant based off of NetHack 3.6.2, created by Keith Simpson (also known as User:K2). Work began on October 20th 2018, and was released for public play in April of 2019 on the Hardfought public NetHack servers. The Github repository for EvilHack can be found at https://github.com/k21971/EvilHack; a direct link to the change log can be found here, and is updated on a regular basis. The latest build of EvilHack incorporates 'bleeding-edge' code updates to NetHack, technically considered version 3.6.3-1 'Work-in-progress', which are primarily bug fixes (EvilHack version 0.3.2, last build Sun Sep 8 15:52:12 2019 UTC - git commit 994e7d4).

About EvilHack

Evilhack was designed from the outset to be a much more difficult game to win than vanilla NetHack. The inspiration for this game mainly comes from the variants Grunthack and SporkHack, incorporating many of the same features that make those variants difficult in their own right. Some of those features have remained the same (for example, SporkHack's reflection changes), but many have been altered to set them apart and provide the player with a new experience. Elements from other variants have been included as well, such as from Slash'EM, SpliceHack, UnNetHack, and xNetHack. There is also a significant amount of custom content that has been developed that is not found in any other variant. In the near future, much more custom content will be added, mainly in the way of optional branch quests.

It is not impossible to ascend EvilHack (there have been a handful of ascensions already as of this writing, see this page at the NetHack Scoreboard for a listing), but there are several aspects of this game that the player might take for granted from vanilla NetHack that can easily end a promising run. In general, monsters are tougher and have more hit points, they can fight more intelligently, and they can and will use a variety of items and spells against you that previously only the player could use. Players that lean heavily on using Elbereth will need to re-think their strategy, especially during the early game. Some improvements have been made for the player as well, so there is an attempt at balancing game play, but overall, this variant will be a significant challenge for even the seasoned player.

Special Thanks

From the variant author - a special thank you to community members Tangles, aosdict, AntiGulp, NCommander, jonadab, Demo, hothraxxa, jt, elenmirie, raisse, Grasshopper, ShivanHunter, Ogomt, various members of the DevTeam, and everyone else who play tested and provided invaluable feedback and code fixes. EvilHack would not have progressed as far as it has without their help and constructive criticism.

Major Changes

Example of HTML dumplog output.

Below is a quick list of the more obvious/significant changes in EvilHack vs vanilla NetHack:

  • Random dungeon levels are more varied and distinct.
  • Gehennom is no longer a series of mazes, but are mines-style levels with lava.
  • The first four Planes levels are randomized and appear in a different order every game.
  • Additional variants of the Castle, Fort Ludios, Mine Town and Mines End have been added.
  • You cannot use Elbereth until you've learned it in-game (via rumor, reading it, etc).
  • Object materials - many objects and items can spawn made from something other than its base material.
  • The mysterious force has been removed.
  • Some monsters ride other monsters as steeds, namely The Riders at the endgame.
  • The Gnomish mines have rivers running through them.
  • The Quest can be unlocked by killing the quest leader if you've made them angry.
  • Vlad the Impaler and Medusa have been... enhanced to a certain degree.
  • New player races: Centaur, Giant and Hobbit, replete with their own special abilities and restrictions.
  • Several role/race combos have been added/unlocked.
  • Gaining intrinsic resistances is no longer binary, but are percentages instead.
  • Reflection is not 100%; it can lessen the effects of an attack it reflects, but will never negate it.
  • Shower of Missiles attack from monsters that utilize it is not completely negated by magic resistance.
  • New artifact weapons (both normal and quest artifacts), and several tweaks to existing artifacts.
  • Players can twoweapon with an artifact in each hand, if those artifacts happen to get along with each other.
  • When sacrificing, your deity may gift you a regular piece of gear instead of an artifact.
  • Sokoban End has more prize variety, with a catch...
  • Shopkeepers can be a variety of different races; your race vs theirs directly affects pricing.
  • Several new objects that the player (and monsters) can use and interact with.
  • Intelligent monsters can use a whole new range of weapons/objects, either defensively or offensively.
  • Unicorn horns no longer cure attribute loss; they can now be wielded in one hand.
  • All dragon scales/dragon scale mail have secondary abilities (as does the source of those scales).
  • A few new spells (some for the player, some for monsters) have been introduced.
  • Spellcasting while wearing body armor will negatively affect your spell success rate.
  • Spell levels have been adjusted; some higher-level spells are now at a lower level, and vice versa.
  • Several new monsters have been added, and several existing monsters have been adjusted - some that used to be considered harmless may now be deadly.
  • All Demon Lords/Princes have their own special level in Gehennom - you will encounter all of them.
  • Player monsters can be encountered throughout the game. They covet the Amulet of Yendor much the same as the Wizard of Yendor, and will try to steal it.
  • Any monster, should it get a hold of the Amulet of Yendor, can and will sacrifice it on an endgame altar.
  • The end of game dumplog can be output in HTML format along with the native default text output (created by User:Tangles).

There are many more changes as well, but the above list will give you a good idea as to what to expect. More in-depth descriptions of various facets of EvilHack can be found below (and will probably be a work-in-progress for quite some time).

Player Race/Role Combinations

Combinations are marked with either an L, N or C denoting a playable alignment. Any blank field means that race/role combination is not allowed.

Human Elf Dwarf Giant Gnome Hobbit Centaur Orc
Archeologist L N L N N L N
Barbarian N C N C N C C
Caveman L N L N L N N
Healer N N N N N
Knight L C C
Monk L N C N C L N L N C N C
Priest L N C N C L N L N C L N N C C
Rogue N C N C N C
Ranger N C N C N C N N C C
Samurai L
Tourist N N
Valkyrie L N L N L N N
Wizard N C N C N C N C

Many alignment combinations have been unlocked as well vs vanilla NetHack, allowing for some race/role combinations you normally wouldn't expect to see (a neutral Dwarvish Healer for instance, or a chaotic Elven Knight, etc).

New Player Races

EvilHack adds three new playable races to the game - Centaur, Giant and Hobbit. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses:


  • Centaurs can play as either a Barbarian, Monk, Priest, Ranger or Valkyrie.
  • They can play both genders, alignment choices are neutral or chaotic (role restrictions enforced).
  • Centaurs have the same increased carrying capacity as the Giant player race does (Centaurs aren't as strong, but they're half horse, and are built for hauling gear).
  • Strength and dexterity can be maxed to 20, but intelligence maximum is 12, wisdom is 14, charisma is 16.
  • Centaurs generate slightly more hit points per level vs a human player.
  • Centaurs know all bow/crossbow weapons automatically, and excel at firing any bow regardless of role.
  • Centaurs start with intrinsic speed, and can jump once reaching level five (not like a Knight, but like wearing a pair of jumping boots). They also gain warning at level 10.
  • Centaurs cannot wear boots, for hopefully obvious reasons. They can wear all other forms of armor (as can now their monster counterparts).
  • Centaurs cannot ride anything as a steed due to them being a quadruped


  • Giants can play as either a Barbarian, Caveman, Monk, Priest or Valkyrie.
  • Giants can be any of the three alignments (role restrictions enforced) and either gender.
  • Giants have increased initial and maximum cap carrying capacity, with strength and constitution able to reach 25.
  • Intelligence and dexterity are capped at 14, charisma at 16.
  • Hit point generation is significantly greater for giants per level vs a human player.
  • Giants movement speed is slightly slower than other races due to their size.
  • Giants can pickup and throw boulders (the boulders stack and can be quivered) - in Sokoban, the player is asked before picking up/moving aside a boulder.
  • Giants have innate knowledge of certain gems, can ID touchstones and can dig as well as a dwarf.
  • Giants automatically aggravate other monsters from the beginning and are never stealthy. They do gain hungerless regeneration at level 12.
  • Giants excel in bare-handed combat or with a club, and have a greater chance of stunning an opponent or shattering their wielded weapon.
  • Giants can wield two-handed weapons in one hand.
  • Giants take extra damage from slings (think 'David and Goliath').
  • Giants cannot wear body armor, cloaks or t-shirts.
  • Giants cannot ride anything as a steed due to their massive size.
  • They have an innate lower armor class (AC 6 vs AC 10 when naked).
  • Other things in-game that require strength to accomplish are easier for Giants.


  • Hobbits can play as either an Archeologist, Healer, Priest, Rogue, Ranger, Tourist, or Wizard.
  • They can be either gender, alignment choices are lawful or neutral (role restrictions enforced).
  • Hobbits can max dexterity, wisdom and constitution to 20, but strength, intelligence and charisma are capped at 16.
  • Hobbits receive a multishot bonus with slings and small blades (knives/daggers).
  • Everyone knows Hobbits are all about food and when they can eat next. They start with the new 'Food Sense' intrinsic but are also innately hungry. Because of this, they always start with extra food and a tinning kit. They can also eat more than twice the amount of food other races can eat before becoming satiated.
  • Hobbits gain speed and searching intrinsics at levels 4 and 7 respectively.
  • Hobbits prefer elven gear over anything else, and will start with said gear if it's available.

Changes to Existing Races


  • Elves have an aversion to iron - wearing or wielding anything made of iron that touches the players skin will prevent hit point regeneration, and will cause 1d8 physical damage on initial contact. Being hit with any weapon made of iron will do the same amount of extra damage. Elf-based monsters are affected the same way when being attacked with weapons made of iron and will avoid using items made of iron.


  • Orcs have an aversion to mithril - the same conditions above for elves and iron exists for orcs and mithril. They are also the only player race that can tame and ride a warg.

Changes to Existing Roles

  • All roles can reach at least basic skill in riding.
  • Archeologist and Barbarian roles now have completely new quest artifacts.
  • Twoweaponing - Barbarians go from basic to skilled, Tourists from skilled to basic. Ranger obtains twoweaponing, up to skilled.
  • Barbarian - riding skill from basic to skilled. Attack spell school removed. Special spell changed to cause fear.
  • Caveman - all spell schools removed.
  • Healer - added clerical spell school, can train to skilled.
  • Knight - numerous weapon skills adjusted (broadsword, two-handed sword, polearms and spears from skilled to expert. Mace moved from skilled to basic). Attack spell school removed.
  • Monk - crossbow skill removed, added trident and broadsword; tweaked skill advancement for weapons. Gains an extra attack per round using martial arts skill at grand master level. Can break boulders and statues using martial arts skill at skilled level or higher.
  • Priest - all slash/piece weapons removed, can only train with blunt-type weapons. Incurs a substantial to-hit penalty, abuses wisdom and can negatively impact alignment when trying to use an edged weapon.
  • Samurai - removed attack and clerical spell schools.
  • Valkyrie - removed escape spell school. Special spell changed to repair armor.
  • Wizard - removed numerous weapons from being trained (axe, short sword, club, mace, polearms, spear, trident, shuriken). New starting pet, the pseudodragon.
  • Rogue - new trainable skill known as 'thievery', allows the rogue to pickpocket a hostile target and steal items from their inventory (must be bare handed to use). Critical strike from behind works while twoweaponing.


EvilHack adds a variety of new artifacts, weapons, armor and other usable objects, as well as some edits to a few existing objects. The vast majority of these objects take advantage of the object materials code incorporated from xNetHack, and have the potential to be generated made of a material other than its standard base material. The exception to this rule are artifacts - their material type is hard-coded and cannot be altered, even via a wish.

Object Material Details

The object materials patch exists in several variants - the code used for EvilHack was taken from xNetHack and then modified. An objects material affects its weight, its cost in a shop, how much protection it can grant as armor or damage it delivers as a weapon, and what types of damage/decay its subject to (if any). Certain monsters are adverse to various material types, and spellcasting failure percentage can also be affected. Some materials can affect your magic cancellation rating too. When items are wished for, their material type can also be chosen if its allowed for that type. Artifacts are the exception, as are a few other items.

In the below table, iron is the baseline on which every other material is based off of. Density is an arbitrary value (an item made of iron weights X amount, the same item made of cloth would be one-eighth its weight) as is its cost (an item made of iron costs X amount, same item made from gemstone will cost 50 times that amount). For armor class, a poor material can never make the wearers AC worse if it's in an undamaged state.

Material Density AC (as armor) Damage (as weapon) Relative Cost Erosion Type Notes
Liquid 10 0 1
Wax 15 1 1
Veggy 10 1 1
Flesh 10 3 3
Paper 5 1 -2 damage penalty (all) 2 burn/rot can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Cloth 10 2 3 burn/rot can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Leather 15 3 5 burn/rot can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Wood 30 4 -1 damage penalty (slash) 8 burn/rot can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Bone 25 5 20 burn can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Dragonhide 20 10 200 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor'
Iron 80 5 10 corrode/rust can be made rustproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object), bonus damage against elves, player as an elf cannot heal if iron armor/weapon touches its skin
Metal 70 5 10 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor'
Copper 85 4 10 corrode can be made corrodeproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Silver 90 5 30 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor', bonus damage against demons, werefoo, vampires and shades
Gold 120 3 +1 damage bonus (whack) 60 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor'
Platinum 120 4 +1 damage bonus (whack) 80 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor'
Mithril 30 6 +2 damage bonus (slash/pierce) 50 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor', grants magic cancellation level 3 (MC3) for elves when worn as body armor (MC2 for all other races), bonus damage against orcs, player as an orc cannot heal if mithril armor/weapon touches its skin
Plastic 20 3 -2 damage penalty (all) 10 burn can be made fireproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Glass 60 5 +3 damage bonus (slash/pierce) 20 fracture can be made shatterproof via wielding object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon when confused (if object is armor, read a scroll of enchant armor while confused and wearing said object)
Gemstone 55 7 +3 damage bonus (slash/pierce) 500 immune to erosion
Stone 70 6 +2 damage bonus (slash/whack) 10 deteriorate inherently fooproof, but is subject to decay via the monster spell 'destroy armor', grants magic cancellation level 3 (MC3) for orcs when worn as body armor

Material Percentages

Not all objects can randomly generate as any material. There are rules in place that determine the probability of what type of material an object will generate with. You can also use the tables below to determine what material you can wish for based on the object (e.g. wishing for dragonhide plate mail won't work, since plate mail base material is iron/metal).

Default base type iron/metal:

  • 70% its base material
  • 5% iron
  • 5% wood
  • 4% each silver or copper
  • 3% mithril
  • 1% each gold, glass, platinum or bone

Default base type wood:

  • 80% wood
  • 10% stone
  • 4% iron
  • 2% each bone or mithril
  • 1% each silver or copper

Default base type cloth:

  • 80% cloth
  • 19% leather
  • 1% dragonhide

Default base type leather:

  • 86% leather
  • 13% cloth
  • 1% dragonhide

Armor of dwarvish make (minus cloth items):

  • 80% iron
  • 15% mithril
  • 3% silver
  • 1% each gold or platinum

Weapons of dwarvish make:

  • 70% iron
  • 15% mithril
  • 15% gemstone

Armor/weapons of elven make (minus cloth items):

  • 60% its base material
  • 20% wood
  • 10% copper
  • 5% mithril
  • 3% silver
  • 2% gold

Armor/weapons of orcish make (minus cloth items):

  • 70% iron
  • 20% bone
  • 10% stone

Reflectable objects (shields of reflection and amulets):

  • 50% its base material
  • 20% silver
  • 15% gold
  • 5% mithril
  • 4% each copper or metal
  • 2% platinum

Most bows:

  • 70% wood
  • 7% iron
  • 7% bone
  • 6% mithril
  • 2% each silver or copper
  • 1% gold


  • 70% bone
  • 10% copper
  • 8% mithril
  • 5% each wood or silver
  • 2% gold


Artifact Symbol Base type Alignment To-Hit Bonus Damage Bonus Notes
Lifestealer ) Two-handed sword Chaotic 1d5 1d2 Wielded by Vlad the Impaler, drains levels and also grants drain resistance when wielded.
Keolewa ) Club Neutral 1d5 1d6 Keolewa is a Hawaiian war club, and is the first sacrifice artifact gift for Cavemen. Grants shock resistance when wielded.
Dirge ) Long sword Chaotic 1d5 1d8 The 'Dark Knights' sword, can only be obtained by chaotic Knights by sacrificing a same race monster on a co-aligned altar while wielding a long sword. Does additional acidic damage as well as conferring acid resistance when wielded.
The Sword of Bheleu ) Two-handed sword Chaotic 1d10 1d10 The Sword of Bheleu delivers a significant amount of damage, especially against creatures not of its alignment, and is made of gemstone. It is also permanently coated in poison, and does extra poison damage against monsters that are not resistant. Wielding this sword confers stoning resistance.
Magic 8-Ball ( Orb Non-aligned N/A N/A The ultimate rumor generator. Applying the Magic 8-Ball delivers a rumor - whether that rumor is true or not depends on its BUC status. Reading the Magic 8-Ball randomly generates one of twenty responses one would find from the Real Life™ commercial product. This artifact does not count against the player for wishing purposes, as it's guaranteed to show up early in the game. The Magic 8-Ball confers warning when carried, and if conditions are just right, there's a very small percentage chance it could grant the user a wish when applied.
Xiuhcoatl ) Atlatl Lawful 1d5 1d24 Xiuhcoatl replaces The Orb of Detection as the Archeologist quest artifact. The atlatl is part of the spear family, and this artifact has its roots in ancient Aztec lore. Can be thrown, and it will return to the thowers hand just like Mjollnir, but a dexterity of 18 or greater is required for this to happen. Xiuhcoatl does a massive amount of fire damage to monsters that are susceptible to fire, and confers fire resistance when wielded, ESP when carried, and can be invoked for levitation.
The Ring of P'hul = Ring Chaotic N/A N/A The Ring of P'hul replaces The Heart of Ahriman as the Barbarian quest artifact. The Ring of P'hul is a ring of free action, confers magic resistance when worn and disease resistance when carried.

Changes to existing artifacts:

  • Only lawful Knights can dip for Excalibur.
  • Mjollnir and Ogresmasher have had their base types changed from a war hammer to a heavy war hammer, which deals significantly more damage.
  • Demonbane and Sunsword are made of silver; Demonbane has been switched from a long sword to a mace, and is the first sacrifice artifact gift for Priests.
  • Fire Brand and Frost Brand are now short swords, and are each made of mithril.
  • Dragonbane has been switched to a pair of dragonhide gloves that provides reflection, warns against dragons, and provides acid resistance.
  • The Valkyrie quest artifact The Orb of Fate has had half spell damage removed.
  • The Knight quest artifact The Magic Mirror of Merlin has had magic resistance removed. In its place is reflection and half spell damage when carried.
  • Various artifacts that have a nemesis monster warn against those monsters.
  • Almost all of the stock weapon artifacts have had their to-hit and damage modifiers adjusted in the players favor.
  • Certain artifacts can either deliver extra damage to their nemesis monsters, or have a small percentage chance of delivering a fatal blow - this applies to the player as well, so beware of that hill orc wielding Grimtooth if you're playing an Elven character.
  • Artifact weapons can be dual-wielded for those that can twoweapon, but there's a catch - lawful and chaotic artifacts cannot be dual-wielded together, and will resist the attempt if tried. Like-alignment artifact weapons can be dual-wielded together, and any aligned artifact weapon can be dual-wielded with a second neutral or non-aligned artifact weapon.
  • Putting Magicbane into a bag of holding runs a risk of exploding the bag and destroying the artifact due to Magicbane's cancellation magic.

Dragon Scale Mail

This bit was taken from SporkHack and then heavily modified - all DSM has a secondary extrinsic effect when worn.

DSM Extrinsic EvilHack secondary extrinsic
Blue dragon scale mail shock resistance confers speed
Black dragon scale mail disintegration resistance passive disintegration attack
Gray dragon scale mail magic resistance passive cancellation attack
Green dragon scale mail poison resistance passive poison attack
Orange dragon scale mail sleep resistance passive slow attack
Red dragon scale mail fire resistance +1d6 to all melee damage, passive fire attack
Silver dragon scale mail reflection confers cold resistance
White dragon scale mail cold resistance freezes water/lava under foot, passive cold attack
Yellow dragon scale mail acid resistance confers stoning resistance
Shimmering dragon scale mail displacement confers stealth
Gold dragon scale mail fire resistance radius 2 light, confers sick resistance

What's new for EvilHack that you won't find elsewhere, is that the dragons these scales come from enjoy many of the same secondary extrinsics. Blue dragons are faster, red dragons hit harder, hitting a black dragon has a small chance of disintegrating the weapon you hit it with, etc.

Crystal Plate Mail

Probably one of the most under-utilized pieces of body armor around - decent AC and no material spellcasting penalties, but its so heavy, wizard-types will steer clear of it even if DSM isn't available. I've attempted to address these shortcoming in EvilHack, giving it much more utility and hopefully making it into a viable choice for spellcasters other than the standard DSM.

Back story: crystal plate mail is forged from dilithium crystal, and can only be made by the most skilled of blacksmiths in conjunction with a powerful wizard. Dilithium is virtually transparent to magic; it almost acts like it doesn't exist. To some, this may seem like a bad thing, but for others it's a blessing.

  • Crystal Plate Mail weight reduced (from 450 aum to 150 aum).
  • Base material changed from glass to gemstone - no longer runs the risk of being shattered.
  • The base material change makes it much more expensive, and much more rare to find.
  • Crystal Plate Mail is immune to disintegration and the monster spell 'destroy armor'.
  • Crystal Plate Mail is the only body armor that does not incur a spell casting penalty when worn.


A few new weapons were added to either flesh out a monster type, or to serve as a base for an artifact weapon.

Weapon Symbol Base type Base material Weight Damage vs small Damage vs large Notes
Atlatl ) Spear wood 30 aum 1d8 1d12 Made specifically for the Archeologist quest artifact Xiuhcoatl. Does not appear randomly.
Elven long sword ) Long sword wood 35 aum 1d10 1d12 Racial soldiers are a thing in EvilHack, and the elven types needed a long sword they could wield since elves have an aversion to iron. Lighter than its iron counterpart, but susceptible to fire damage. Damage output is on par with a katana.
Orcish morning star ) Morning star iron 120 aum 1d4 1d6 Made specifically for two new monsters, the Goblin Outrider and the Goblin-captain, but can appear randomly.
Heavy war hammer ) Hammer iron 60 aum 1d8 1d10 Made specifically for the artifacts Mjollnir and Ogresmasher. Does not appear randomly. Damage output is significantly more than its weaker cousin the war hammer.
Staff of Divination ) Quarterstaff wood 40 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of Divination confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any divination-based spells when wielded. This staff and others like it can help non-casters attempt to cast certain spells that normally would have been either extremely difficult or impossible to cast otherwise.
Staff of Healing ) Quarterstaff wood 40 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of Healing confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any healing-based spells when wielded.
Staff of Holiness ) Quarterstaff bone 40 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of Holiness confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any clerical-based spells when wielded.
Staff of Matter ) Quarterstaff mithril 30 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of Matter confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any matter-based spells when wielded. It is also slightly lighter than its counterparts.
Staff of Escape ) Quarterstaff wood 40 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of Escape confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any escape-based spells when wielded.
Staff of War ) Quarterstaff iron 50 aum 1d6 1d6 The Staff of War confers a 50% boost to spellcasting any attack-based spells when wielded. It is heavier than its counterparts, but also has an extra d2 to-hit bonus.

Containers and Tools

Item Symbol Base type Base material Weight Notes
Iron safe ( N/A iron 900 aum A secure container that can only be 'cracked' using a stethoscope. Cannot be locked again once it's been unlocked. Can appear randomly.
Eight ball ( Orb plastic 20 aum The base item for the artifact Magic 8-Ball. Does not appear randomly.


An assortment of new spells have been added to EvilHack, both from GruntHack and SporkHack.

Spell Class Level Notes
Lightning Attack 4 This spell shoots a powerful lightning bolt as a ray from the caster. Effects are basically the same as a wand of lightning, damage output uses the same scale as the spells fireball and cone of cold.
Poison Blast Attack 5 Produces a cloud of noxious gas in a ray pattern, same effects much like a green dragons breath attack.
Acid Blast Attack 6 A serious damage-causing spell, will transition from a ray to an area of effect spell much like the spells fireball and cone of cold, damage output is on the same scale to creatures that do not resist acid. Can corrode objects in a monsters (and your) inventory.
Repair Armor Matter 3 When cast, repairs one level of damage to any worn piece of armor. Will not fooproof armor items, but will bring them back to a new undamaged state. This spell is significant, as the monster spell 'destroy armor' can un-fooproof and damage your armor to the point that it's destroyed completely.
Reflection Matter 5 Creates a temporary reflective bubble around the caster, acts exactly the same as an amulet of reflection/silver dragon scale mail.

Several stock player spells have also had their levels altered to something that (to the variant author) makes sense:

  • Dig - was level 5, now level 3
  • Sleep - was level 1, now level 2
  • Detect Monsters - was level 1, now level 3
  • Detect Food - was level 2, now level 1
  • Charm Monster - was level 3, now level 5
  • Detect Unseen - was level 3, now level 2
  • Restore Ability - was level 4, now level 2
  • Invisibility - was level 4, now level 2
  • Jumping - was level 1, now level 2

Spellbook weights are now based on their level, the logic being the higher level the spell, the more pages needed to hold the formula. Level 4 spellbooks weigh the same as vanilla spellbooks; lower level weight less, higher level books weigh more.

Additional Item Changes

  • Wands of wishing are more rare to find randomly, and are always charged once already (1:x) - the Castle wand is still created as having never been charged (0:x).
  • Amulet of Flying - new amulet that allows the player to fly when worn.
  • Amulets of life saving do not work if cursed (for either the player or a monster wearing it), nor do they work for the non-living (again, for neither the player nor monsters that are non-living).
  • Unicorn horns do not cure attribute loss anymore. Otherwise they act as expected. They are now a one-handed weapon, with its damage output changed accordingly (1d8/1d10).
  • Magic markers now never generate randomly nor will they appear in a players' starting inventory. The only way to obtain one is to either wish for it, or choose it at Sokoban End (50/50 chance between it spawning or a bag of holding).
  • Iron shoes were renamed to be 'dwarvish boots'.
  • Many body armor types have had their weight reduced.
  • Many types of potions will have their effects diminished if diluted.
  • Luckstones will slow down your luck timeout based on its beatitude; it no longer halts the timeout.
  • Exploding bags of holding scatter its contents in a roughly 10 by 10 area. Breakable items (things made of glass, potions, etc) are subject to being destroyed from the force of the magical explosion.
  • Any item/object can be fooproofed (wielding the object and reading a scroll of enchant weapon while confused) if it's material allows for it.
  • Magic lamps can be wished for.


EvilHack introduces several new monsters - some pulled in from other variants, others are custom creations not found in any other variant. Several stock monsters have also been changed to varying degrees.

New Monsters

This section lists all of the new monsters introduced in EvilHack, and is just a brief overview of each monster and any outstanding abilities or features each has. The order listed here is the same order as these monsters appear in src/monst.c

Monster Symbol Difficulty Notes
Locust a 11 Small but dangerous flying insect, spawns in small groups. Can bite and sting, the latter of which can make the player terminally ill.
Giant Mosquito a 4 Tiny, fast flying insect that spawns in large groups. Their bite is weak but has a small chance of poisoning the player much like a rabid rat, but affecting their constitution instead of dexterity. Being surrounded by a large group of these can be a serious problem for a lower level player.
Basilisk c 16 Basically this - a larger, faster and all-around more deadly version of the cockatrice.
Rabid Dog d 4 Small mangy dog that is slightly stronger but a bit slower than a little dog. Its bite attack is the same poisonous bite that a rabid rat employs.
Beholder e 16 If woken up, one of the most dangerous creatures in the game. Beholders spawn asleep 80% of the time. They are slow, and cannot be detected by any means other than direct viewing or via warning (Beholders will always show as a 5 via warning, regardless of the player's experience level). It has a strong bite attack along with several different gaze attacks (slow/sleep/disintegration/stoning/cancellation), all of which can be negated by simply blinding oneself. Cannot be tamed nor genocided.
Magical Eye e 14 A serious nuisance, especially when encountered with other monsters. Harasses the player with six different gaze attacks at its disposal (slow/sleep/stun/fire/cold/luck) and is skittish, meaning it will evade and kite its target, making the Magical Eye somewhat difficult to kill. Eating its corpse will adjust the players luck randomly +/- 2 points. Cannot be tamed nor genocided.
Hobbit Rogue h 3 Slightly more powerful than a regular hobbit, has a single item stealing attack.
Goblin Shaman o 5 Weak monster spellcasting goblin, much the same as a kobold shaman. Eating its corpse (or any monster spellcasters corpse) can confer intrinsic telepathy.
Goblin Outrider o 5 One of the few monsters in EvilHack that can ride a steed. Slightly stronger than a regular goblin, always spawns riding a wolf and are created in small packs. Goblin Outriders are usually equipped with some form of ranged attack. Not a serious threat by itself, but along with its steed and forming in small packs, can be a concerning threat.
Goblin-captain o 7 The strongest of the goblin race, and also spawns riding a warg. Does not spawn in groups.
Enormous Rat r 7 Larger, stronger and faster than a giant rat, which can grow up into these if given the chance. Spawns in small groups.
Rodent of Unusual Size r 9 Stronger than an enormous rat, does not spawn in groups.
Honey Badger r 12 A fearless, nasty rodent that loves to eat the lumps of royal jelly found in a beehive. Can tunnel through rock, and has a significant bite and claw attack. Killer bees are its natural enemy. Can spawn randomly, but any level generated with a beehive has a good chance of spawning 1d4 honey badgers. Incentive to get to that beehive before they do.
Jumping Spider s 5 Slightly stronger than a cave spider and has a poisonous bite. Spawns in small groups. Can jump at the player from a small distance.
Nightmare u 8 An evil type of horse that is the default steed for the 'Dark Knight' player role. Has a poisonous bite.
Pale Horse u 21 Unique monster, and is the steed ridden by Death. Powerful in its own right, as are all of the Riders' steeds. Has a level-draining bite attack along with multiple kicking attacks. Is the only undead steed, as no living creature could endure such proximity to Death for any period of time and live.
White Horse u 21 Unique monster, and is the steed ridden by Pestilence. Has an armor disenchanting bite attack, along with multiple kicking attacks.
Black Horse u 21 Unique monster, and is the steed ridden by Famine. Has a slow-inducing bite attack, along with multiple kicking attacks.
Red Horse u 32 Unique monster, and is the steed granted to the player once they enter the Astral Plane (in lieu of an Angel minion) if their alignment record is of sufficient level (fervently aligned or greater). The player is considered one of the four horsemen, or War, hence the Red Horse. The Red Horse is stronger than the steeds that the Riders employ, and has a decent chance of surviving along with the player if it's taken care of. Has a fire-based bite attack, along with multiple kicking attacks. Spawns with a blessed saddle.
Archangel A 25 About as strong as an Archon, and are only found on the Astral Plane. Can cast clerical-based spells and can grab the player, not allowing them to escape. Cannot be tamed nor genocided.
Shimmering Dragon D 20 A shimmering dragon has a natural displacement intrinsic (which its scales can confer if worn), and has a breath attack the same as a gray dragon. The baby form of this dragon also exists.
Gold Dragon D 20 A gold dragon is much like a red dragon with a fire-based breath attack and is fire resistant. But it is also resistant to sickness-inducing attacks, and its scales confer sick resistance to the player when worn. Its scales also light up when worn. the baby form of this dragon also exists.
Fell Beast D 16 Like a dragon, but isn't one. The fell beast is the steed of the Nazgul. Has a fairly strong claw and bite attack. Cannot be tamed nor genocided.
Pseudodragon D 7 The new starting pet for the wizard player role. Is fast, can fly, and has a poison stinger at the end of its tail. Can grow up into an elder pseudodragon. Does not spawn randomly - the only way to obtain one is to either start with one as a wizard, cast create familiar spell, or to find one on a bones level that was the pet of a deceased player.
Elder Pseudodragon D 9 Slightly stronger version of the pseudodragon. Can grow up into an ancient pseudodragon.
Ancient Pseudodragon D 10 The strongest of the pseudodragons, and is grown up sufficiently that it can be ridden as a steed.
Gray Fungus F 5 Nasty addition to the fungus-class of creatures. Only has a passive attack, but this attack can make the player terminally ill.
Hill Giant Shaman H 10 The hill giant shaman is considered a mid-level spellcaster, and can cast from the pool of clerical-based monster spells.
Elder Minotaur H 29 A much stronger and harder hitting version of the minotaur, only found in Gehennom. Along with the typical claw and headbutting attacks which can do serious amounts of damage, it can also grab the player and crush them, preventing escape. Cannot be tamed.
Snark J 15 Weaker than a jabberwock and skittish. Is disintegration resistant, and its corpse can confer disintegration resistance when eaten. Cannot be genocided. One percent of snarks will turn into a boojum when attacked.
Boojum J 21 Stronger and faster than a jabberwock and can do more damage per attack. Very rare, only appears when a snark is attacked, and it has the same intrinsic properties. One of its attacks can teleport the player across the map much like a quantum mechanic.
Vorpal Jabberwock J 26 Strongest and most deadly of the jabberwock class of creatures, each of its claw attacks has a small chance of beheading its target if said target has a head. Can be killed in one hit with Vorpal Blade.
Hobbit Mummy M 6 The hobbit player race exists, so hobbit mummies do also. Same characteristics as any other mummy.
Giant Anaconda S 13 The largest and strongest of the snake family of creatures, it can grab onto the player and also engulf them with a digesting attack.
Shambling Horror U 15 This bizarre monster will always be something different from game to game. Its monster abilities, hit points, speed and other characteristics change every game and it's never the same monster twice. You may get lucky and encounter a very weak shambling horror, or have a game where they are incredibly powerful and would give any demon lord or prince a run for its money... or anything in between. Cannot be genocided.
Vampire Mage V 26 One of the most powerful undead monsters in the game, the vampire mage enjoys all of the same attacks and abilities as a regular vampire, but also has powerful magic at its disposal. These can make for powerful pets if you can overcome its natural magic resistance (monster) and keep it tame.
Hobbit Zombie Z 3 Just like hobbit mummies, hobbit zombies exist because the hobbit is a playable race. Has the same characteristics as any other zombie found in EvilHack.
Elven Wizard @ 11 Elven wizards are considered a mid-level spellcaster and can cast from the pool of wizard-based monster spells. They also have a ranged magic missile attack.
Spectre   13 A more powerful form of ghost, the spectre can always be found in Gehennom. They can use weapons and other gear that the player can use. If a high level player dies (experience level greater than 15) and leaves bones, if they would have normally arisen as a ghost, they will instead arise as a spectre.
Sandestin & 15 The chameleon of demons, can shapechange into most monster forms. Only found in Gehennom.
Giant Turtle : 8 Very tough and hard to hit due to its protective shell, but also very slow. Has a moderately powerful bite attack.

Changes to Existing Monsters

  • The zombie - probably the most significant monster change in EvilHack and one of the key changes that makes this variant so difficult. Zombies now have two different attack types, one being a poisonous claw attack (effects and frequency are the same as a bite from a rabid rat), the other being a disease-inducing bite attack to the head. The latter is a very serious threat, as the ability to cure oneself from being terminally ill are almost non-existent in the early game. If the player becomes ill from a zombie bite, they only have a few turns to cure themselves, or they will die and turn into a zombie. This zombie can be encountered by other players if a bones file is generated. There is a very small chance that the player will be able to continue playing if they are turned into a zombie, however they will be stuck in that form for the remainder of the game. A zombie's bite attack also has a chance of causing amnesia. Eating a zombie corpse or a tin of zombie meat will make the player ill and cause them to start turning into a zombie. Attacking zombies at range and wearing a piece of armor that protects your head are highly recommended.
  • Various overall changes - monster hit point generation is now determined by their size as well as what level they are. They also have the same armor class damage reduction that players enjoy. Intelligent monsters can use many more items against the player or for their own benefit, including stashing objects into bags and taking them back out, making a wish (either from the wand, or from a djinni appearing from a used smoky potion), activating any figurines it may have, unlocking and looting locked containers, wearing most rings, scrolls of remove curse to uncurse items in its inventory, scrolls of charging to recharge wands in its possession, and utilizing powerful wands against the player (polymorph and cancellation).
  • The Wizard of Yendor can use any artifact weapons or armor it steals from the player and will use them against the player.
  • Player monsters are now technically their own class of monster and are separate from how the actual player is defined in src/monst.c, and were purposely left out of the new monsters table as it would unnecessarily inflate that list. Player monsters differ here from vanilla NetHack in that they can spawn outside of the Astral Plane, are yellow in color, and are kitted out in player-like gear starting at level 10, and then can be kitted out with ascension-level gear starting at level 20 - their hit dice and difficulty level roughly matches that of the actual player (this is based off of what experience level the actual player is when the player monster spawns). Their abilities closely match their role as well (wizards and priests can cast spells, rogues can steal items from inventory, etc). Player monster Knights spawn riding either a horse or a warhorse. Player monsters in EvilHack covet the Amulet of Yendor and will attempt to steal it, and if they steal it while on the Astral Plane, will attempt to sacrifice it themselves. As you can imagine, if that happens, it is a game-ending event.
  • All unique demons (demon lords and princes) have their own special level in Gehennom and will be encountered by the player at some point in the game. They have all also been given the ability to cast clerical-type spells in addition to their regular attacks.
  • Unique demons now ask for a significantly greater amount of gold when attempting to bribe the player for safe passage.
  • Along with the group of vanilla NetHack creatures that are immune to magical scaring, all quest leaders and nemesis, all demon lords and princes, player monsters, archangels and honey badgers are also immune to magical scaring.
  • The Riders have had their hit points increased significantly, and each Rider has its own steed which it rides, each with unique attacks and abilities.
  • Players can do battle with their quest leader if they turn hostile, and if they defeat their quest leader, it unlocks their quest and they can still finish it. Subsequently, angering your quest leader or being banished from the quest is no longer a game-ending event.
  • Vlad the Impaler can cast wizard-based monster spells, and wields the artifact weapon Lifestealer.
  • Medusa has been enhanced significantly, and is no longer an easy kill. She has a high chance of covering her eyes should her gaze be reflected back at her. Medusa's hit points and level have been increased, and she spawns wielding an enchanted orcish bow with a quiver full of enchanted and poisoned orcish arrows. The snakes on her head can attack (poisonous bite) and her own bite causes slow-stoning. Her gaze is still of the instant petrification type.
  • Stoning - monsters being stoned is a slow-stoning process, just as it is for the player.
  • The Yendorian Army is now significantly changed, as there are now various races among the soldier, sergeant, lieutenant and captain ranks. It is not uncommon to see either human, elven, dwarvish, gnomish, orcish, hobbit, giant or centaurian races across all ranks, outfitted with appropriate gear given their race and size. The hit dice and difficulty rating for each rank is basically the same, regardless of race. As with player monsters, listing every single new rank/race of the Yendorian Army would unnecessarily inflate the new monster list and was purposely left out.
  • All of the 'lord' and 'king' monsters that exist (dwarves, kobolds, gnomes, ogres, and elves) now have 'lady' and 'queen' counterparts. Their stats are the same, just that their title and gender have changed. To include all of these on the new monsters list would have been counter-productive and was left out on purpose. The one exception to this is that the vampire lord does not have a 'lady' counterpart - this will be addressed in a later version.
  • Dragons have been significantly enhanced - they spawn with much more hit points (especially in the end game), can engulf creatures smaller than it and digest them, and their scales have some form of a secondary passive attack (which is passed on to the scales they drop upon death). Overall, they are now a much more worthy opponent befitting their status and are not to be taken for granted.
  • All elemental monsters can engulf creatures smaller than it - the fire elemental engulfing attack is fire-based, the earth elemental engulfing attack is much the same as an air elemental, and the water elemental engulfing attack can choke the player if they do not have a means of breathing underwater.
  • The gelatinous cube and green slime now have engulfing attacks - the green slime engulfing attack is the same as its touch attack (sliming), whereas the gelatinous cube engulfing attack is a modified version of the giant eel wrap attack. It will strangle the player unless they have a means of magical breathing, and not much time is afforded the player to escape before they die of suffocation. Since the gelatinous cube also has a paralyzing attack, this makes them a very fearsome monster and they should be avoided if at all possible.
  • Lichens now have a weak attack that does little damage but can slow its target down.
  • Leprechauns will steal not just gold pieces, but anything made of gold from the players inventory.
  • Tame vampire types will not revert back into their animal form.
  • All orcs are immune to poison, just like the orc player race.
  • Shape-changing monsters (except for vampires and were-creatures) will revert back to their original form when their polymorphed form dies. They cannot change form again once this happens.
  • Wargs can now be ridden by player orcs, and subsequently can only be tamed by the same.
  • The Elvenking has been renamed to 'Elven King'.
  • Color changes - the Wizard of Yendor, mind flayers and master mind flayers have had their color changed to bright magenta so as to make it possible to differentiate them from other monsters that they used to share the same color (magenta) with.

Monster Spells

A few new monster spells have been added to EvilHack, and some existing spells have been tweaked or changed. The order listed here is the same as they are listed in src/mcastu.c, typically strongest to weakest.

Spell Type Status Notes
Touch of death Mage existing Vanilla NetHack behavior - no magic resistance, you're dead. With MR, nothing happens. In EvilHack, if you have MR you'll take damage (8d6) and your maximum hit point level can be reduced slightly. Having MR and half spell damage together can reduce those effects even more.
Cancellation Mage new Acts just like having a wand of cancellation zapped at the player. The spellcasting monster must be lined up with the player before it can cast this spell.
Acid Blast Mage new A powerful area of effect spell, does acid damage to its target. The damage output is dependent on the level of the monster casting it. Only the Wizard of Yendor, quest leaders/nemesis, or spellcasting monsters flagged as M2_LORD or M2_PRINCE have access to this spell. The acid from this spell also has a chance of eroding any unprotected weapons or armor in open inventory.
Destroy armor Mage existing Vanilla NetHack behavior - if the player didn't have magic resistance, one piece of armor would be completely destroyed. In EvilHack, this spell isn't as direct, but is more insidious, and having magic resistance is no longer full protection against this spell. Any piece of armor being worn can have its fooproofing removed, and then can be deteriorated to the point that it's completely destroyed. Even armor that is normally fooproof (dragonhide/dragon scales, mithril, etc) is affected. Having MR keeps the erosion level at one per cast, otherwise the erosion level is of one to three levels per cast. The counterbalance to this spell is the player spell Repair Armor. Blessed pieces of armor have a small chance of resisting. Armor-based quest artifacts are immune to this spell, as is crystal plate mail.
Fire Bolt Mage new A small area of effect spell, this spell explodes a small fireball upon its target. Any flammable objects in open inventory are subject to being burned. This is a low-level spell, so access to this spell is given to every monster spellcaster that has access to mage-based spells.
Ice Bolt Mage new A small area of effect spell, this spell explodes a small ice storm upon its target. Any non-protected objects in open inventory are subject to being frozen. This is a low-level spell, so access to this spell is given to every monster spellcaster that has access to mage-based spells.
Summon Minion Clerical new Allows the monster spellcaster to summon a type of minion based on its alignment. Demons that can cast clerical-based spells are not given access to this spell as they already have the ability to gate in other demons.
Geyser Clerical existing A powerful spell that causes a large geyser of water to slam into its target, causing physical damage (8d6). What's new to this spell vs vanilla NetHack is that it can now rust any unprotected worn armor.
Vulnerability Clerical new The target of this spell temporarily becomes vulnerable to either fire, cold, shock or acid-based attacks, dropping its resistance (if any exists) by 50%.

The monster spell cure self has not been altered, but some logic was introduced that makes this spell a priority if the spellcasting monsters hit points drop to a life-threatening level.