Gnomish wizard

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A gnomish wizard, G, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. As their name indicates, gnomish wizards are gnomes that are capable of casting monster spells. Like other gnomes, a gnomish wizard has infravision and can be seen with infravision; hostile gnome wizards will collect magical items that they can use.

A gnomish wizard will attempt to cast 1 monster spell during each round they get in combat.


Randomly generated gnomish wizards are always peaceful towards gnomish and dwarvish characters, and will be hostile towards the other playable races.

A pair of gnomish wizards are generated in the temple on most maps of Minetown at level creation, with the exception of Orcish Town, which does not generate gnomes at level creation, and Grotto Town, where they are instead placed in the southwestern-most room near the delicatessen shop. A pair of gnomish wizards each are generated in The Gnome King's Wine Cellar and The Mimic of the Mines maps of Mines' End. For a dwarvish or gnomish character, two-thirds of the gnomes and other peaceful monsters will instead be replaced with random monsters.

Gnomish wizards may appear among the hostile G that generate in throne rooms, as well the monsters randomly generated by looting a throne while confused and carrying gold (provided there is no chest on the level).[1]

Starting inventory

Gnomish wizards are eligible for offensive items, defensive items, and miscellaneous items.

A gnomish wizard placed at level creation has a chance of being generated with a single candle: the chance is 120 if he is in the Gnomish Mines, and 160 otherwise.[2] The candle has a 34 chance of being tallow and a 14 chance of being wax, and will be lit if the gnome is generated in a dark area.


Though gnomish wizards are faster and have better base AC than other gnomes, and they often cast haste self the first chance they get, their spellcasting attempts can fail often similar to a kobold shaman - this makes them very easy targets for an early character. However, their chances of success are still significant enough that they should be approached with care: a psi bolt can finish off a weakened character, and being stunned in Minetown is perilous if you are near groups of hostile gnomes or around a watchman or shopkeeper.


The gnomish wizard first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.



In SLASH'EM, if the player is a gnome or a dwarf, peaceful gnomish wizards in the Gnomish Mines are replaced with hostile orc shamans at level creation, with the exception of bones.[3]


In EvilHack, gnomish wizards have telepathy, and possessing telepathy allows you to detect the position of a gnomish wizard (and vice versa).

While a gnomish wizard's stats are unchanged, they have access to more monster spells such as fire bolt and ice bolt, making them far more dangerous for early characters overall and able to attack you at range. They are also more likely to constantly stun you, making them aggravating to face in areas with peaceful monsters.

Encyclopedia entry

... And then a gnome came by, carrying a bundle, an old fellow three times as large as an imp and wearing clothes of a sort, especially a hat. And he was clearly just as frightened as the imps though he could not go so fast. Ramon Alonzo saw that there must be some great trouble that was vexing magical things; and, since gnomes speak the language of men, and will answer if spoken to gently, he raised his hat, and asked of the gnome his name. The gnome did not stop his hasty shuffle a moment as he answered 'Alaraba' and grabbed the rim of his hat but forgot to doff it.
'What is the trouble, Alaraba?' said Ramon Alonzo.
'White magic. Run!' said the gnome ..
                        [ The Charwoman's Shadow, by Lord Dunsany ]
"Muggles have garden gnomes, too, you know," Harry told Ron as they crossed the lawn.
"Yeah, I've seen those things they think are gnomes," said Ron, bent double with his head in a peony bush, "like fat little Santa Clauses with fishing rods..."
There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered, and Ron straightened up. "This is a gnome," he said grimly.
"Geroff me! Gerroff me!" squealed the gnome.
It was certainly nothing like Santa Claus. It was small and leathery looking, with a large, knobby, bald head exactly like a potato. Ron held it at arm's length as it kicked out at him with its horny little feet; he grasped it around the ankles and turned it upside down.

[ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling ]