Incantifier (dNetHack starting race)

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You can play dNetHack as an incantifier. Incantifiers can be any alignment or role, like humans. You will see yourself as @, and are considered the @ human or elf monster class for game purposes. Incantifiers are only available in the dNetHack variant.

According to the dNetHack text:

Incantifiers eat magic, not food, and do not heal naturally.

Source: DnD Planescape, Shemeska's Planescape Storyhour

Racial benefits and restrictions

Recovery

Incantifiers do not recover hit points (HP) or energy (Pw) over time; in fact, they lose energy instead of nutrition. Incantifiers can gain energy by draining certain magical items, a special racial ability. Other than that, they can only gain hit points and energy through magical means or gaining levels.

Intrinsics

Incantifiers begin the game with intrinsic magic resistance.

While they cannot eat corpses in order to gain other intrinsics, they are able to gain intrinsics by draining (quaffing) potions of blood. Potions of blood can be created in dNetHack by applying a tinning kit to the corpse of a monster that has blood. Beware: incantifiers count as human, and draining a potion of human blood is cannibalism for them.

Incantifiers can gain intrinsics by eating rings and amulets. They can eat any magical jewelry, regardless of the material it is composed of (since they are actually draining the jewelry's magic, not physically consuming the item). Their chance to gain intrinsics, and the intrinsics that they can gain, are the same as for eating jewelry after polymorphing into a form that can do so. Incantifiers also gain energy from eating jewelry, and should take care not to overeat while trying to acquire intrinsics in this way.

Enchantment sense

Incantifiers are sensitive to the magic contained in items. They can always see the enchantment level of weapons and armor and can tell if wands are out of charges.

Eating magic

Incantifiers are magivores. They consume magic to live. Everything that causes a gain or loss of nutrition causes incantifiers to gain or lose energy instead. Incantifiers have vastly greater maximum energy than other races, starting with over 1,800 and gaining much more per experience level.

With a few exceptions, incantifiers do not eat food. Instead, the eat command allows them to drain items of their enchantment, gaining energy in the process. Incantifiers can drain positively enchanted weapons (except stackable weapons, to prevent players from using stack enchantment to create a virtually inexhaustible power supply) and armor, charged wands, spellbooks, rings, amulets, and scrolls. Each drained enchantment point of weapon or armor is worth around 250 energy, as is each drained scroll, spellbook, ring or amulet. Each wand charge is worth around 50 energy. On weapons and armor this has the same effect as casting drain life on the item. On spellbooks it increments the read counter, like studying the spell, turning them into blank paper when it reaches maximum. Scrolls are turned blank immediately and wands are merely emptied. Rings and amulets are destroyed.

Incantifiers can #untrap magic, polymorph, teleport, and level teleport traps (but not magic portals). Untrapping one of these traps grants 500 energy.

Incantifiers may die of overeating, the same as any other race, though they explode rather than choke. They will become satiated at about half their max energy, but can continue "filling up" to the maximum safely - but not a single point further!

Incantifiers are not able to drain artifacts.

Rings of slow digestion have no effect on incantifiers when worn, but can be drained for energy as with other rings.

Having low energy does not count as trouble, so incantifiers cannot have their energy restored by their god through prayer.

The only exceptions to incantifiers' prohibition on normal food are corpses and tins which can provide energy when eaten, specifically: newt, aoa, and aoa droplet. Incantifiers can drain these items for energy as if they were magical, destroying them. These items can even be drained safely when it would put the incantifier over their maximum energy, causing their maximum energy to increase instead of causing the incantifier to explode.

Spellcasting

Incantifiers are innately very adept at spellcasting, even more so than wizards. No matter their role, all incantifiers have a number of advantages in this regard.

Incantifiers begin the game with very high intelligence and their spellcasting stat is always intelligence, regardless of role.

Incantifiers begin the game knowing the spells Force bolt and Healing, although they are not necessarily skilled at casting them.

Spellcasting has no nutrition cost for incantifiers.


Incantifiers can reach expert skill in all seven schools of magic. Their initial skill level in each school is still determined by their role.

When wearing a cornuthaum, incantifiers gain its beneficial effects, as if they were wizards.

Maximum attributes

Character
race
Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
Incantifier 18/** 18 18 18 18 18

Starting inventory

Incantifiers always begin the game with a spellbook of force bolt and a spellbook of healing in addition to any spellbooks that their role normally begins with. If the starting inventory for your role already includes a spellbook of force bolt (wizards) or a spellbook of healing (healers and possibly monks), it is replaced by a random spellbook from a school that is not restricted for your role.

For most roles, incantfiers begin the game with a robe instead of the role's usual body armor or cloak and scrolls of food detection in place of regular food. The details of substituted items and affected roles are listed in the following table:

Regular item Substitute Affected roles
Cloak of magic resistance Robe Wizard
Cloak of displacement Robe Ranger
Leather armor Robe Caveman/cavewoman, rogue, valkyrie
Leather jacket Robe Archeologist, pirate
Ring mail Robe Barbarian
Splint mail Robe Samurai
Food ration Scroll of food detection Archeologist, barbarian, monk, nobleman/noblewoman, valkyrie
Cram ration Scroll of food detection Binder, pirate, ranger
Tripe ration Scroll of food detection Binder
Banana Scroll of food detection Pirate
Orange Scroll of food detection Troubadour, monk
Potion of fruit juice Scroll of food detection none
Potion of booze Scroll of food detection Troubadour, pirate

Notable exceptions:

  • Incantifier knights start with their usual chain mail instead of a robe
  • Incantifier binders start with their usual leather cloak instead of a robe
  • Incantifier healers start with their usual healer uniform instead of a robe
  • Incantifier nobles start with their usual array of gender-specific fancy duds, none of which are replaced with a robe
  • Incantifier troubadours start with their usual leather cloak instead of a robe
  • Incantifier tourists start with their usual random food assortment, none of which is changed into scrolls of food detection. You can eat your scrolls of magic mapping if you get desperate.

Encyclopedia entry

Several centuries ago, there existed a faction, now almost entirely extinct, called nowadays 'The Incantifers', then simply as The Magicians or The Wanters. They believed that magic, specifically arcane magic, was the key to power, indeed the only power that mattered in the multiverse. Gain enough knowledge of magic and skill in it and you could do anything. Even challenge The Lady....

According to legend, at least two members of the Wanters tried just that. They died, horribly and spectacularly. Legend also says that one of them almost succeeded.

Then one day, they vanished. Cutters looked up one morning and the Tower Sorcerous, the faction headquarters of the Wanters was simply gone. Nearly all of their members vanished with it, though a scant few remain to wander the planes.

[ Shemeska's Story Hour, by Todd Stewart ]

"They all ate magic. They ate other people's magic. Spells, items, anything they could buy, steal, or otherwise get a hold of. This place is sealed off from everything. There's no way out and you've got an entire faction of magic eating wizard suddenly bottled up with each other and no food source... except each other."

[ Shemeska's Story Hour, by Todd Stewart ]