Magic flute

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( Flute.png
Name magic flute
Appearance flute
Base price 36 zm
Weight 5
Material wood
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A magic flute is a magical tonal instrument,[1] and it can be used to play the passtune. Improvising with a charged magic flute will produce "soft music" ("piped" if hallucinating) and will put nearby monsters (including pets) to sleep[2] unless they resist (see below). It also exercises dexterity[3] and consumes a charge.[4]

An uncharged magic flute behaves as a wooden flute.[5]

The usage fee for a charged magic flute is one quarter of the full price.[6]

Detailed effect

Sleep resistance prevents this attack from succeeding. Monsters may also prevent the attack using their innate magic resistance. There is no message given if a monster falls asleep; the only indication without a stethoscope or similar tool is the lack of movement.

Monsters are affected for 10d10 turns,[7] after which they may be roused.[8]

The radius of the effect is \sqrt{XPlevel \times 5} squares. At various levels this calculates to:

Level Radius
1 2
5 5
14 8
30 12


Main article: Charging

A magic flute is generated with 1d5 + 4 charges.[9] It may be charged any number of times.[10]

Uncursed charging adds 1d4 charges to a magic flute.[11] Blessed charging adds 2d4 charges.[12] In either case, there is a maximum of 20 charges.[13]


You start playing the flute. You produce soft music.
You improvised on a magic flute.


The magic flute has its biggest advantage over the wand of sleep or sleep spell in that those methods are targeted in a single direction, while the magic flute is omnidirectional. This comes in handy in open-spaced levels where the player may be attacked from all sides, or as a defense against monsters who immediately summon other monsters completely surrounding the player. Similar to doorway combat, a player with stealth can use the sleeping monsters as protection, and funnel the remaining monsters through to fight them one-by-one.

A player with the Tourist quest artifact, The Platinum Yendorian Express Card, can make frequent use of the magic flute as it can be recharged infinitely.

Encyclopedia entry

With this thou canst do mighty deeds
        And change men's passions for thy needs:
        A man's despair with joy allay,
        Turn bachelors old to lovers gay.

The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


  1. apply.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 3509: a tonal instrument
  2. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 470: puts monsters to sleep
  3. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 476: exercises dexterity
  4. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 472: consumes a charge
  5. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 478: behaves as a wooden flute when uncharged
  6. shk.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 4164: usage fee is ¼ of the full price
  7. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 99: effect lasts d(10,10) turns
  8. music.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 100: need rousing to wake up
  9. mkobj.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 909: created with 1d5+4 charges
  10. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 650: may be charged any number of times
  11. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 663: uncursed charging 1d4 charges
  12. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 658: blessed charging 2d4 charges
  13. read.c, line 659, read.c, line 664 max 20 charges

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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

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