From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the role known as the Geek in NetHack-- 3.0.10. For the role in NetHack: The Next Generation, see Geek.

The Hacker is a role that appears in SlashTHEM. It is a more challenging version of the Geek role from NetHack-- 3.0.10, an early version of SLASH'EM, and is renamed to avoid confusion with the Geek role of NetHack: The Next Generation.

They are always neutral and can be a human, elf, gnome, or hobbit.


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

Hacker skills
Max Skills

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

  • SLASHTHEM u_init.c line 1670 in v. 0.8


Starting equipment

Additionally in SlashTHEM:

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
  • SLASHTHEM u_init.c line 335 in v. 0.8

Rank titles

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

SLASHTHEM role.c line 682


The quest sees the Hacker fighting the Student Leader for the Master Boot Disk, a neutral pack of floppies which confers reflection when carried, and can be invoked for phasing. The maps are copied from the Geek quest, but with more traps and monsters (especially mimics); random monster generation is biased towards (heisen)bugs and the xan and pudding monster classes.


Their pantheon is named after famous geeks:

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


The Hacker is based directly on the Geek role in NetHack-- 3.0.10, which was one of nine new roles added to the variant. 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, like the one in NetHack: The Next Generation, this Geek 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 SlashTHEM, and was renamed the Hacker in order to likely avoid confusion with the better-known role from NetHack: The Next Generation. The connection between the old Geek role and the new Hacker role is more clear in SlashTHEM, which gives the Hacker the Geek's paraphernalia, a sharpened pencil and an ugly backpack.


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