Large box

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( Large box.png
Name large box
Appearance large box
Base price 8 zm
Weight 350
Material wood
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A large box is a type of tool that appears in NetHack. It is a lockable container that is made of wood.


Main article: Container#Generation

Large boxes make up 125 of all randomly-generated tools in the dungeon and Gehennom, and are always generated uncursed outside of bones levels and trap "bones". Randomly generated large boxes have a 45 chance of generating as locked, and a separate 110 chance of generating with a container trap[1] - large boxes may contain up to 5 random items if generated locked, and up to 3 random items otherwise.[2][3]

General stores and hardware stores can sell large boxes, whose contents are randomly generated as normal. Graveyards have a 115 chance of placing a large box on a particular square, while barracks have a 130 chance of placing a large box on a particular square.[4][5]

A quantum mechanic has a 120 chance of being generated with a large box:[6] the large box has a 12 chance of generating a peaceful housecat with the name "Schroedinger's Cat" if there is room to place it on the level, and will otherwise contain a housecat corpse named "Schroedinger's Cat". The state of the cat within the box is not determined until the box is opened - see the article on Schroedinger's Cat for more specific information.


Large boxes can be used to store items as with other containers, and protect their contents from becoming wet in addition to other forms of external damage; large boxes cannot be placed into any other container. Monsters will not open large boxes or otherwise interact with their contents except for the gelatinous cube: a cube will eat any large boxes they pick up, with the contents being immediately engulfed (but not eaten) by the cube afterward. As a wooden container, a large box will rot away if buried underground.

A large box that is locked must be unlocked or have its lock forced open before it can be used: successfully forcing a box open with a blunt weapon may destroy the box as well as some of its contents, while successfully forcing the lock with an edged weapon will prevent the box from being locked again until it is repaired. A broken large box lock can be repaired with the wand of locking, the wand of opening, the spell of wizard lock, or the spell of knock.[7]

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

Monsters can open large boxes and take out their contents - if they have an unlocking tool, they can also unlock a locked large box.


Large boxes and chests are generally used as stashes for characters throughout the game, even after they obtain a bag of holding and can carry more items with them - of the two lockable containers, the large box is much lighter in weight, easier to transport and more commonplace, but generates with fewer items on average. Characters without an unlocking tool in the early game can used disposable bladed weapons such as orcish daggers to pry open locked large boxes; in the later stages, large boxes can be used to lock troll corpses inside them and prevent them from reviving.


The large box first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


You succeed in unlocking the <container>.
You successfully unlocked a locked large box with an unlocking tool.
You unlocked a locked large box with the spell of knock or a wand of opening.
You break open the lock!
You kicked a locked large box open.
As above, but the large box was not opened.
THUD! The lid slams open, then falls shut.
As above, but the large box wasn't locked.
You hear a muffled shatter.
You kicked or threw a large box and broke at least one item inside it.
You hear a muffled cracking.
As above, and at least one egg inside was destroyed.


Some variants of NetHack may change how large boxes function - a common quality-of-life addition is to allow placing a large box or other container on an altar to identify the beatitude of both the box and its contents. Variants that implement object materials may alter a large box's properties based on its material.


In SLASH'EM, upgrading a large box will produce a chest.

Five large boxes are located on the southern end of the Yeoman quest home level.


In SporkHack, the large box's capacity is set to 3000 aum.


In UnNetHack, the chests on the top floor of Vlad's Tower are replaced with large boxes that double as coffins, and each contains a vampire monster that will awaken upon opening them.


In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, the item is known simply as a "box", as objects can generate in particular sizes (e.g. "a large and have their sizes changed. Pirates know the box as a foot locker. Maids that pick up boxes with broken locks will mend them.

The top floor of the Windowless Tower features boxes flavored as coffins in place of the chests from NetHack, which contain vampire monsters that will awaken upon opening them.


In SpliceHack, Cartomancers know the large box as a deck box.

Encyclopedia entry

Dantes rapidly cleared away the earth around the chest. Soon
the center lock appeared, then the handles at each end, all
delicately wrought in the manner of that period when art made
precious even the basest of metals. He took the chest by the
two handles and tried to lift it, but it was impossible. He
tried to open it; it was locked. He inserted the sharp end
of his pickaxe between the chest and the lid and pushed down
on the handle. The lid creaked, then flew open.
Dantes was seized with a sort of giddy fever. He cocked his
gun and placed it beside him. The he closed his eyes like a
child, opened them and stood dumbfounded.
The chest was divided into three compartments. In the first
were shining gold coins. In the second, unpolished gold
ingots packed in orderly stacks. From the third compartment,
which was half full, Dantes picked up handfuls of diamonds,
pearls and rubies. As they fell through his fingers in a
glittering cascade, they gave forth the sound of hail beating
against the windowpanes.

[ The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas ]