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Ice, ., is a dungeon feature that appears in NetHack.

Ice may be formed formed when a pool is frozen by a spell or wand of cold, a frost horn, or a cold breath attack, and is naturally found in a few places such as the Valkyrie quest.


Ice is slippery, and walking on it often causes you to stumble, similar to one of the effects of fumbling. When riding a non-flying steed over ice, there is a chance you may fall off your saddle. Corpses rot half as fast if laying on ice, and items on an icy floor will slide further when kicked.

Slipping on ice can be prevented by wearing snow boots, being a Valkyrie, or polymorphing into a monster with cold resistance. Cold resistance from any other source (e.g. eating a corpse, wearing the appropriate ring, or being a level 13 Monk) will not prevent this fumbling. If snow boots are the random appearance of fumble boots, they still negate the fumbling effect of ice, but cause you to fumble by their own effect.


Flames from a fire-breathing monster, a wand of fire, fire traps, and other sources of fire can melt ice and cause you to fall into the newly created moat. Having reflection will guard against the rays, but will not prevent ice underfoot from melting. As with falling into normal water, your inventory will get wet, and you will attempt to climb out, with a chance of drowning dependent on the circumstances.

Ice created by a spell or breath attack has a chance of melting on its own after between 50–2000 turns.[1] Ice created on level generation will always be permanent, and newly created ice has a chance of becoming permanent as well. Thawing ice that is hit with another spell or breath attack will increase the duration, and has another chance of becoming permanent. Players with warning will be informed if they are standing on ice that will break in under 15 turns.[2]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Ice tiles appear in two themed rooms: an "ice room" where the entire floor is ice, and another room with a random terrain at the exact center, which can potentially be ice.


Creating ice is a common means of traversing water in areas such as Medusa's Island and the Castle. A source of levitation or water walking boots can help prevent drowning.

Melting ice is especially dangerous on the fire trap-laden Valkyrie quest, where an unwary Valkyrie can trigger one and drown; in addition to the above, players can also stick to the narrow snow paths, such as the one leading to the Norn's dwelling. Additionally, if the Norn begins wandering around the ice (e.g., after you #chat to her but before you qualify for entry to the quest), there is a minuscule possibility that she may step on one of the fire traps in the area and drown as a result. While this can be avoided by simply waiting until you are at experience level 14 before chatting to her, it is very unlikely for the Norn to die this way in the vast majority of games.


Icy terrain first appears in NetHack 3.1.0 with the introduction of the Quest branch and the Valkyrie quest. Ice melting over time was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.


Whee! A(n) <item> slides across the ice.
You kicked an object resting on an icy floor.
Some ice melts away.
You saw an ice tile melt completely and revert to water.
The ice seems very soft and slushy.
You have warning and are standing on ice that will melt in under 15 turns.
You feel the ice shift beneath you!
As above, but in under 10 turns.
The ice, is gonna BREAK!
As above, but in under 5 turns; this is a direct quote from The Dead Zone, hence its punctuation.



In SLASH'EM, the Ice Mage quest branch fittingly has icy plains on the home and upper filler levels.

Lethe patch

In the Lethe patch for vanilla NetHack and SLASH'EM, the lair of Geryon found within Gehennom is almost completely made of ice.


In dNetHack, one of the Big Room maps and the goal level of the Knight quest contains several ice tiles, as does one of the Lethe Gorge maps. Icy terrain also appears in the lairs of Baalphegor, Kostchtchie and the creature in the ice (which can be either Leviathan or Levistus).

See also