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The Locksmith is a role in the variants Slash'EM Extended and SlashTHEM.

The Locksmith first 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 and given a quest in Slash'EM Extended.

In SlashTHEM the Locksmith gets a bonus to picking locks, similar to the Rogue role.


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

The Slash'EM Extended version of the role has a narrower weapon selection:

Locksmith skills
Max Skills

SLASHTHEM gives the Locksmith a skill set closer to the Rogue's:

Locksmith skills
Max Skills

The Locksmith's special spell, fittingly enough, is knock. Spell success is determined by intelligence.

  • Slash'EM Extended u_init.c line 3931
  • SlashTHEM u_init.c line 2055 in v. 0.8


Starting equipment

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: Key User
  • XL 3-5: Door-opener
  • XL 6-9: Lock Breaker
  • XL 10-13: Lock Trickster
  • XL 14-17: Safecutter
  • XL 18-21: Keymaster
  • XL 22-25: Emergency Key Carrier
  • XL 26-29: Door Safety Assistant
  • XL 30: Supreme Lockpicker

SLASHTHEM has a slightly different set of rank titles:

  • XL 1-2: Listener
  • XL 3-5: Lockpicker
  • XL 6-9: Lock Breaker
  • XL 10-13: Lock Trickster
  • XL 14-17: Safecracker
  • XL 18-21: Keymaster
  • XL 22-25: Slim Jim/Slim Jane
  • XL 26-29: Keymaker
  • XL 30: Supreme Locksmith

Slash'EM Extended role.c line 1549

SlashTHEM role.c line 860


The quest sees the Locksmith fighting Burglar Ed for the Nocturnal Key, a chaotic skeleton key which grants hallucination resistance and functions as a luckstone when carried. When used, it gives a random rumor, similar to the Master Key of Thievery. It can be invoked to branchport.

SlashTHEM gives the Locksmith a new quest artifact, the Lockpick of Arsene Lupin, a neutral lockpick. When carried, it grants telepathy, stealth, warning, and magic resistance, and functions as a luckstone. When used, it gives a random rumor, and it can be invoked to untrap a door or container with 100% success.

  • Slash'EM Extended artilist.h line 762
  • SlashTHEM artilist.h line 824


The Locksmith's gods are taken from Celtic mythology:

  • Lawful: Nuada
  • Neutral: Dagda
  • Chaotic: Morrigan


The Locksmith's first appearance was in SLASH'EM precursor NetHack-- 3.0.10, as one of nine new roles in addition to the twelve in the contemporary version of NetHack. The discussion thread in which the authors first announced the variant 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.

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.

The Locksmith role, along with the other eight new roles in NetHack-- 3.0.10, made its reappearance in the variant Slash'EM Extended. It was also carried over, with some tweaks, into SlashTHEM, a variant of Slash'EM Extended v75.


  • NetHack-- 3.0.10 attrib.c line 74
  • NetHack-- 3.0.10 u_init.c line 230