Madman

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The Madman is a new role specific to dNetHack. It was designed to be more difficult than the Convict role.

Madmen may be any race except for Chiropteran and Clockwork Automaton. They may be any alignment to start, provided it is allowed by the race.

Starting inventory

  • cursed straitjacket
  • uncursed blindfold (this can be put on and remove via apply even while stuck in the jacket, and madmen begin with intrinsic telepathy).
  • 2 uncursed potions of booze or two potions of human blood as a vampire.

The cursed straitjacket prevents the use of the hands, with the same basic effects as a cursed two-handed weapon. Worse, the jacket prevents melee attacks with the hands. The Madman will kick as their default attack.

Further, Madmen have a summon-able secret whisperer instead of a normal pet.

Psychic powers

Madmen can use mind blast for 10 power, and can summon their secret whisperer, initially at a cost of 10 power (this cost increases as your insight increases).

  • The mind blast can be used to thin crowds of enemies from across the map, but this is not reliable. The blasts are very reliable vs. mind flayers, and pretty reliable vs. other psychic monsters.
  • The secret whisperer initially has no attacks and is quite fragile. Its primary purpose is to buff the Madman ("whispers dire secrets, filling you with zeal"), increasing their to-hit and damage. Enemies will also still attack the whisperer in preference to the PC, so it can be used to absorb a blow or two. It's typically important to summon the whisperer before a battle begins, since it costs a turn and needs to be out for a round before buffing you. The whisperer gains one level per point of insight you gain.
    • Every time the secret whisperer buffs you, both wisdom and intelligence are exercised. This is one of the only ways to exercise intelligence.

Intrinsics

Madmen gain intrinsics at these experience levels:

Skills

Madman skills
Max Skills
Basic
Skilled
Expert

Madmen start with no skills learned.

Madmen use charisma as their spellcasting stat.

Quest

The madman quest sees you fighting Doctor Archer for the Star of Hypernotus, an amulet versus curses that protects against confusion, stunning, sanity, and madness effects when carried.

Box

There is a special box on the quest nemesis level containing some stuff and skills depending on your race. Opening the box will also release several daughters of bedlam if you have at least 10 insight.

Female Human/Incantifier

  • Expert dagger skill, skilled short sword and two-weapon combat skills, and a free skill up in dagger and short sword
  • a pair of stilettos
  • victorian underwear
  • a pair of gloves
  • a +2 gentlewoman's dress
  • a +2 knife
  • a +2 gray cloth robe (if incantifier)
  • a +2 copper blade of mercy (if human)

Male Human/Incantifier

  • Expert saber skill and a free skill up in saber
  • a pair of high boots
  • a ruffled shirt
  • a pair of gloves
  • a +2 gentleman's suit
  • a +2 rapier
  • a gray cloth robe (if incantifier)
  • a black cloth cloak (if human)
  • a +2 rakuyo (if human)

Vampire

All vampires get:

  • a lifeless doll
  • a plain dress
  • a cloth cloak
  • a pair of low boots
  • a pair of cloth gloves
  • a pair of gloves

If you are female, you also get:

  • Expert dagger skill, skilled short sword and two-weapon combat skills, and a free skill up in dagger and short sword
  • a pair of stilettos
  • victorian underwear
  • a +2 gentlewoman's dress
  • a +2 knife
  • a +2 opera cloak

If you are male, you also get:

  • Expert saber skill and a free skill up in saber
  • a pair of high boots
  • a ruffled shirt
  • a +2 gentleman's suit
  • a +2 rapier
  • an opera cloak

Gnome

All gnomes get:

  • Expert broadsword and beast mastery skills, a free skill up in broadsword and beast mastery, and knowledge of aklyses, gnomish pointy hats, dwarvish helms, dwarvish mattocks, and dwarvish cloaks
  • a +2 gnomish pointy hat
  • a +2 aklys
  • a +2 isamusei
  • 3d3 potions of starlight
  • 3d3 iron rocks
  • a freezing iron rock
  • 1d3 diamonds
  • 3d3 tiny diamond loyal figurines randomly selected from the following monsters: yellow light, yellow light, black light, mote of light, tiny being of light
    • motes of light will also be pseudonatural
  • a tiny crystal skull containing a pseudonatural Coure Eladrin, and:
    • a set of tiny diamond armor: crystal boots, gauntlets of power, crystal plate mail, crystal helm, shield of reflection
    • a tiny flower-woven cloak of magic resistance, with the colour chosen randomly from the following list: yellow, red, bright magenta, blue
    • a tiny diamond sparkling crystal sword with an object property that makes it count as an insight weapon
  • a pair of gloves

If you are female, you also get:

  • a pair of stilettos
  • victorian underwear
  • a +2 gentlewoman's dress
  • a +2 knife
  • a +2 opera cloak

If you are male, you also get:

  • a pair of high boots
  • a ruffled shirt
  • a +2 gentleman's suit
  • a +2 rapier

Male Half-dragon

  • Expert two-handed sword and attack spell skills, skilled beast mastery, and a free skill up in two-handed sword
  • a +3 vorpal silver two-handed sword with the gith-silver sword object property
  • a +2 golden band with the blast object property
    • grants knowledge of fireball, and a large boost to success rate when casting fireball and fire storm when worn
  • a +2 silver archaic plate mail with the brilliance object property
    • increases int/wis by enchantment while worn, as a helm of brilliance
  • a +2 pair of silver archaic gauntlets
  • a +2 pair of silver archaic boots

Female Half-dragon

  • Grandmaster martial arts skill, expert attack spell skill, and expert skill and a free skill up in whichever mercurial weapon is in the box
  • a random mercurial weapon, selected from the following list: broadsword, long sword, two-handed sword, katana, tsurugi, spear, trident, mace, morning star
  • a random pair of +2 gauntlets, selected from the following list: gauntlets of power, gauntlets, gauntlets of dexterity, orihalcyon gauntlets
    • either spiked (if you got a slashing weapon), or bladed (otherwise)
  • +2 red dragon scale mail
  • a random pair of +2 spiked boots, selected from the following list: armored boots, high boots, speed boots, water-walking boots, jumping boots, kicking boots, flying boots

Dwarf

  • Expert pick-axe and shield skills, a free skill up in shield, and knowledge of dwarvish equipment
  • a pair of high boots
  • a black ruffled shirt
  • a pair of gloves
  • +2 silver chain mail
  • a black dwarvish cloak
  • a +2 battle-axe

Elf

  • Expert broadsword and wand power skills, skilled shield, riding, and firearm skills, free skill ups in broadsword, shield, and riding, knowledge of elven equipment including imperial elven armor
  • Knowledge of how to repair and upgrade imperial elven armor
  • Changes your current and initial alignment to lawful when opened
  • +2 gold wrathful elven broadsword with the elf-lord weapon object property
  • 2 wooden upgrade kits
  • a scroll of enchant armor
  • a bright green phasing wooden saddle
    • can be generated as an artifact
  • a yellow or bright green plain dress (if female)
  • a brown or green ruffled shirt (if male)
  • a brown or gray gentleman's suit (if male)
  • a pair of gloves
  • a pair of low boots

Additionally, there is a set of thoroughly burnt rotted wooden imperial elven armor on the first level of the quest, under Lady Constance.

Orc

  • Expert scimitar skill, skilled two-handed sword and riding skills, a free skill up in riding, and knowledge of orcish equipment
  • a pair of low boots
  • an orcish helm
  • +2 gold orcish ring mail
  • a +2 two-handed sword

Yuki-onna

  • Expert long sword, short sword, and two-weapon combat skills, and a free skill up in long sword and short sword
  • a pair of wooden shoes
  • a +2 mithril rakuyo wakizashi
  • a +2 silver rakuyo katana
  • a yumi
  • 30 ya
  • a +2 white waistcloth
  • a +2 bright blue robe
  • an orange sedge hat

Female Drow

  • Expert saber and whip skills, skilled beast mastery, a free skill up in whip, knowledge of droven equipment, signet rings, noble's dresses, and consort's suits
  • a signet ring
  • a pair of stilettos
  • +2 victorian underwear
  • a pair of gloves
  • a +2 silver reflective noble's dress
  • a +2 droven dagger

Male Drow

  • Expert saber, morning star, and two-handed sword skills, a free skill up in morning star, knowledge of droven equipment, signet rings, noble's dresses, and consort's suits
  • a signet ring
  • a pair of high boots
  • a ruffled shirt
  • a pair of gloves
  • a +2 gentleman's suit
  • a +2 droven short sword
  • a self-acidifying silver droven greatsword
  • a black cloth cloak

Gods

Main article: Religion
  • Lawful: Lobon
  • Neutral: Tamash
  • Chaotic: Zo-Kalar
  • Non-aligned: Bokrug, the water-lizard

The Madman pantheon is made up of deities worshiped by the inhabitants of Sarnath in the H.P. Lovecraft story "The Doom That Came to Sarnath." They have the option to switch to the unaligned Bokrug after they complete their quest.

Crowning gifts

Water-damaged scroll

This page is a stub. Should you wish to do so, you can contribute by expanding this page.

Rank titles

The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:

  • XL 1-2: Ward
  • XL 3-5: Escapee
  • XL 6-9: Drifter
  • XL 10-13: Derelict
  • XL 14-17: Raver
  • XL 18-21: Lunatic
  • XL 22-25: Maniac
  • XL 26-29: Augur
  • XL 30: Seer

Strategy

Madmen start the game stuck in a straitjacket, with a negative alignment record, and an angry god. Vampiric madmen also start the game punished.

  • The jacket prevents the use of the hands (even in combat), so the Madman must get free from the jacket before being able to improve their offensive or defensive abilities. See the straitjacket article for suggestions on how to get free.
    • The jacket forces Madmen to kick down doors in order to pass through them. Use the starting blindfold to make sure you aren't about to kick down a shop door!
  • Your god's anger and your negative alignment record prevents prayer.
    • It will be at least 800 turns before you can increase your alignment record to 1.
    • If you can fix the anger, you will be able to pray for aid once your alignment record is positive.