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The Graduate is a role in the variants Slash'EM Extended and SlashTHEM. It may be seen as a more challenging version of the Geek role from NetHack: The Next Generation.

The Graduate is based on an even earlier "Geek" role which appeared in an early version of SLASH'EM (NetHack-- 3.0.10) but was dropped from the code at the time the quest branch was ported into that variant. The role was later revived, renamed, and given a quest in Slash'EM Extended.

One advantage Graduates have in Slash'EM Extended is that they suffer from the effects of nasty traps for only a quarter of their usual duration.


NetHack-- 3.0.10 was based on NetHack 3.0.10, which predated the skill system, so Geeks could use any weapons.

The Slash'EM Extended Graduate has a remarkably wide range of skills and is unrestricted in most weapon skills, except pick axes, spears, tridents, boomerangs, and all swords except the two handed sword:

Graduate skills
Max Skills

SLASHTHEM adjusts and further restricts the Graduate's skill selection:

Graduate skills
Max Skills

The Graduate's special spell is cure hallucination. Spell success is determined by wisdom.

  • Slash'EM Extended u_init.c line 3338
  • SLASHTHEM u_init.c line 1670 in v. 0.8


Starting equipment

SlashTHEM replaces the spoon with a +3 sharpened pencil and the sack with an ugly backpack. It is significant to note that these are both items from the old Geek role in NetHack-- 3.0.10. The pencil is a weak dagger-type weapon, but a useful tool that can engrave like an athame.

  • NetHack-- 3.0.10 u_init.c line 239
  • Slash'EM Extended u_init.c line 561
  • SLASHTHEM u_init.c line 335 in v. 0.8

Rank titles

In Slash'EM Extended, the status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:

  • XL 1-2: Junior Assistant
  • XL 3-5: Ass Assistant
  • XL 6-9: Mean Assistant
  • XL 10-13: College Graduate
  • XL 14-17: University Traveler
  • XL 18-21: Junior Professor
  • XL 22-25: Experimental Scientist
  • XL 26-29: Lab Leader
  • XL 30: Test Row Developer

SLASHTHEM has a different set of rank titles:

  • XL 1-2: Dork
  • XL 3-5: Nerd
  • XL 6-9: Hobbyist
  • XL 10-13: Tester
  • XL 14-17: Hacker
  • XL 18-21: Programmer
  • XL 22-25: Project Leader
  • XL 26-29: Senior Developer
  • XL 30: Kernel Maintainer

Slash'EM Extended role.c line 1221

SLASHTHEM role.c line 682


The quest sees the Graduate fighting Student Leader for the Master Boot Disk, a neutral pack of floppies which confers reflection when carried, and can be invoked for phasing.


  • Lawful: Jobs
  • Neutral: Wozniak
  • Chaotic: Gates


The Graduate seems to have its origins in the Geek role in NetHack-- 3.0.10 (a precursor to SLASH'EM), not to be confused with the Geek role added in NetHack: The Next Generation. The Geek was one of nine new roles in NetHack--, in addition to the twelve in the contemporary version of NetHack. The discussion thread in which the authors first announced NetHack-- suggests that some of the new roles were taken from a list proposing a role for every letter of the alphabet. See here for the relevant post. The post hints that the Geek role, like its NhTNG counterpart, is a tribute to the NetHack player.

After the release of NetHack 3.1.3 in 1993, NetHack-- was updated to NetHack-- 3.1.3 by porting some of the changes from NetHack-- 3.0.10 into a patch for the newest version. Due to some changes in the vanilla code, however, some content was removed to improve compatibility with NetHack. Most significantly, NetHack 3.1 had seen the addition of the Quest branch. To avoid the challenge of fitting full-length quests for the roles that had been added in NetHack-- 3.0.10 into the patch code, those roles were simply left out of the patch.

There is some evidence that the developer(s) of SLASH may have wanted to bring back some of the roles, including the Geek, as the DAT folder for SLASH 6 contains unused maps for quest levels for this and other roles that are not actually present in the version. The quest leader would have been "Stallman" (possibly this one), the nemesis a & named "Gates", and the quest artifact a credit card called the Magic Calculator. The code for the maps indicates that the quest would feature numerous x, ;, s, and S.

The Geek role, along with the other eight new roles in NetHack-- 3.0.10, made its reappearance in the variant Slash'EM Extended, renamed the Graduate, probably to avoid confusion with the better-known Nh-TNG role. The connection between the old Geek role and the new Graduate role is more clear in SlashTHEM, which gives the Graduate the Geek's paraphernalia, a sharpened pencil and an ugly backpack.

There does not appear to be any connection between the Graduate role and the 1967 American film of the same name.


  • NetHack-- 3.0.10 attrib.c line 62
  • NetHack-- 3.0.10 u_init.c line 239