Gnome (starting race)

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You can play NetHack as a gnome: G. You will see yourself as @ (unless you have showrace turned on), but you are actually considered to be letter G for other purposes.

According to the guidebook:

Gnomes are smaller than but generally similar to dwarves. Gnomes are known to be expert miners, and it is known that a secret underground mine complex built by this race exists within the Mazes of Menace, filled with both riches and danger.

Racial benefits and restrictions

Gnomes have infravision and can use uncursed touchstones as if they were blessed, like an Archaeologist. As a gnome, you will also find the gnomish inhabitants of the Gnomish Mines to be generally peaceful.

Gnomes are always neutral. They can be Archeologists, Cavemen, Healers, Rangers, or Wizards. From an attribute perspective, they are mostly average, with moderate strength and high intelligence. The following table outlines their maximum (unaided) attribute levels.

Race Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
Gnome 18/50 18 18 19 18 18

Gnomish items

Gnome Rangers start with a crossbow instead of bow, and crossbow bolts instead of arrows. These are listed below. The weapon damage figures are copied from weap-343.txt.

  • crossbow – d2/d2
  • crossbow bolt – d4+1/d6+1



In SLASH'EM, gnomes can also be Flame Mages, Ice Mages, or Undead Slayers. Gnomes start with the vanish technique. At level 5, they gain stealth. When they reach level 7 they gain tinker, which allows them to upgrade certain items.


In dNetHack, gnomes get low-light vision with double radius, as do orcs.


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 Information on this page may be out of date.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.