Forum:My opinion on dNethack

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So I kept hearing about dNethack, and I got curious! It seems to be a lot less popular than, say, SLASHEM, and what I'd heard made it sound a lot like a black sheep among the Nethack variants. I downloaded the Windows binary from Chris' webpage and toyed with it for about twenty minutes. I also read a lot of the wiki pages on it, and here's a few thoughts:

Some of it could be a lot better polished. I noticed a few typos, which make it feel a lot less professional. For example, the name of the neutral pirate god "deep blue sea" needs to be capitalized or it just looks really silly.

Also, there are some really laughable ideas, like giving Gnomes pointy hats (I don't think the Gnomes in Nethack were ever based on garden gnomes.) Things like this detract from the rather carefully cultivated tone of Nethack, in my opinion. On the same note, do Weeping Angels from Doctor Who *really* have a place in a Nethack variant? The same goes for monsters from Zelda and Metroid, as much as I like Metroid.

On the other hand, I *really* like a lot of the ideas that have been added. Clockwork Automaton as a starting race is fun, but I'm still unclear on how winding works. (Can your starting pet do it?) As much as I want to nitpick about tone, Pirate is absolutely delightful, especially the fact that it starts with a pet monkey. I like a lot of the DnD monsters, especially the ones that have their origins in Lovecraft. Binder seems like it'd be a bit clunky, but it shows a lot of potential as a class.

I like that the magic system seems to be moving away from the generic Vancian system of DnD and Vanilla Nethack, with the Wards being a really refreshing addition, and the Binder class having a completely different system of magical effects. Troubadors are a nice but somewhat dated touch.

I certainly like it at least as much as I do SLASHEM, but it still needs some improvement. A word to the developer: if you add the hitpoint bar from NAO, I'll be your biggest fan, I absolutely will.


Oh, by the way, does anyone else want to add anything? Any particular experience playing this variant?

JMarieStanton (talk) 16:04, 19 December 2015 (UTC)


I am really liking dnethack! The updated gehenom is nice (and very hard), and I really like the alignment quests (especially neutral) In the game I am playing now, I accidentally awoke cthulhu, which was one of the most exiting nethack experiences of all time. Catullus (talk) 02:09, 9 December 2015 (UTC)


dNethack is my favourite variant. The Binder class is a tour-de-force. No-one else has done anything like it in terms of moving away from Vancian magic. Chris has made Gehennom a lot harder by introducing real Boss fights. One strategy is to branchport the & and abandon it in some branch somewhere. You can't expect that every character will win all these fights. The alignment quests are replayable. Neutral is epic, with its psi-blasting illithid army in R'Lyeh. I don't mind about the typos -- they'll come right in time. I am VoR on nethack.xd.cm. ***** Thanks for posting, Wikid (talk) 19:49, 19 December 2015 (UTC)


PS Can anyone say the location of the First Key of Chaos? It's said to be "well hidden". Wikid (talk) 19:22, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

According to the source, it is a nameable artefact

https://github.com/Chris-plus-alphanumericgibberish/dnethack/blob/47c55f1d4cad98197966d7c500255f1a7aa4aeb4/dnethack-3.4.3/include/artifact.h

Catullus (talk) 21:14, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks -- interestingly it seems that it becomes nameable only after the Third Key comes into existence. I guess that would be at the same time as Chaos is spawned. The way to test that would be to try naming a skeleton key before and after killing final level Garland. Wikid (talk) 23:15, 20 December 2015 (UTC)