NetHackWiki:Ask an expert/Archive1

From NetHackWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This page contains old sections from NetHackWiki:Ask an expert. If you want to carry on talking about these topics, post a new section on the current Ask an expert page. This page is intended to be a static archive.

How to NOT pick up every item I walk on?

Well I was in the oracle stage with a big mob of chickatrices, fire ants and a tengu chasing my ass, with intricit speed I managed to run around to stay alive. The corridor to the closest stairs were blocked with a huge stack of monster corpses and random loot. With little HP left I had no choice but to retreat, but after running on the loot stack it automatically picked it all up, ended up Stressed under the heavy load, the monsters catched up and killed me before I could drop them.

Well my long story aside is there any way to stop auto-picking up everything? Not the first time I'd love to just ignore corpses lying in the corridor. --Gengetsu6 13th of July 2008

Set OPTIONS=noautopickup in your defaults.nh or .nethackrc file, or press @ to turn autopickup off.--Ray Chason 20:55, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

How to un-curse your spellbooks?

I simply cannot find this information. How one can un-curse a big lot of curse spellbooks (remains of some poor wizard found in bones). Obviously dipping them in holy water is not a good idea...--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

A blessed scroll of remove curse decurses all inventory. A great thing to have after you hit a bones pile. Also the remove curse spell at Skilled or higher. Remove curse at Unskilled or Basic, or an uncursed scroll, will decurse your wielded weapon, even if your "weapon" happens to be a spellbook.--Ray Chason 21:02, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Wish in the first turn

How to obtain a wish in a very first turn? It just happened to me: i started as a Wizard, checked inventory, quaffed potion of extra healing for more HP and... it was smoky! I got a wish! Are there OTHER possibilities for wish in a first turn? 21:10, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

That seems to be the only one. You'll never start with a wand of wishing or a magic lamp. You might find a wand of wishing on level 1, but it'd take you a turn to pick it up and another to zap it.
Oh, and you've spoken aloud of your good fortune. Better pray thus to the Random Number God:
 "There is no god but the RNG, and Izchak is the prophet of the RNG."
Otherwise, you're gonna end up meeting a really nasty YASD. ☺--Ray Chason 21:43, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, and i did, as usual :-) If we speak about luck: what are the chances, that starting as wizard you got a smoky potion in your inventory and that you will get a wish in the first turn? I mean - is it really that rare? 21:41, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, let's see...(dives into the source)
You start with three potions. All, any or none may be smoky. There are 26 potion descriptions, and smoky is just one. We take these as three independent possibilities (since you may get two or even three instances of a smoky potion), and get the odds of a smoky potion:
 1 - ( 1 - \frac{1}{26} )^{3} = \frac{1951}{17576} \approx 0.111 .
I can't quite nail down where in the code the starting potions might or might not be marked as blessed, so I'm going to ignore that possibility for now. We'll assume the potion is uncursed. You check your inventory and determine that you have a smoky potion, and you try for a wish even though it is a potion of confusion. Your chance of getting a djinni is 1 in 13, since no djinn have been created, and he has a 1 in 5 chance of granting a wish.
We now arrive at last at an approximate answer:
\frac{1951}{17576} * \frac{1}{13} * \frac{1}{5} = \frac{1951}{1142440} \approx 0.00171 .
So no, that isn't an especially common event.--Ray Chason 22:43, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Rogue level

Hey, it's the guy from the previous question! Anyway, new valk, this time things got better, beat Sokoban, cleared the mines, and found my quest teleport (can't enter though, since only level 13). So, now I managed to find the entrance to the Rogue level. My question is - should I bother going in there and exploring it, or just try to find the stairs to the next dungeon level and keep smashing stuff until I can go on on my Quest? Which would you recomend. Also would I need some special intrinsics or items I better have if going in there?-- 21:36, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

There are no items or intrinsics needed in the Rogue level that aren't similarly valuable above or below it. The biggie is that monsters don't leave corpses, so if you meet a wraith, lure it off-level before killing it. (OTOH one way to kill a troll so that it stays dead is to lure it to the Rogue level.)--Ray Chason 22:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, the only way down is through the Rogue level. Note that stairs are represented by the % glyph, so the down-stair is the % you didn't enter on. --Andronikus 02:04, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Wait, wait, wait, I actually have to pass trough the level in order to progress? Guess I should stop searching for the stairs down then. -- 19:43, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Sacrificing and artifacts

Ok, this is like the 4th time I've ever made it to Minetown, so just go easy on me. Anyway, I am playing a Valkyrie in explorer mode, since I got sick of dying by suddely getting swarmed by 6+ monsters. Anyway, I managed to actaully get to Minetown without dying (Just my luck huh?) so now I'm doing a prolonged camping in there, gathering items, selling loot and doing offerings. So here's the thing. I must have sacrificed..what 30 or so corpses so far, in which we have 2 wood elves, tons of Uruk Hai, 2 Ogres, a yeti and other such stuff. Every time the offer gets accepted and I have yet to get even Mjolnir. I've had the "four leaf clover" message several times already, so my luck is ok. I haven't prayed in ages, so that's ok too...yet I still can't seem to get the damn hammer already. So is there something I'm missing or am I just having horribly bad luck (which won't be the first time either..). Thank you in advance.-- 21:40, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I feel for you. It's just bad luck, I'm afraid. We call it the wrath of the Random Number Generator - some games you will find a wand of wishing in the first room in a game, others will see you without a gift from your g-d all the way to the Castle. Keep at it! -- Kalon 23:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah I know what you mean. On another game I got a wish from a water demon from a fountain on the second dungeon level (I drank from the fountain just...for the heck of it). Also, after several more corpses sacrificed the RNG Gods decided to smile uppon me and finally gave me Mjolnir. On the second sacrifice after that I even got Trollsbane. Maybe they are trying to make up for making me wait so long? -- 06:58, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Tracking a game

How do people track their games? Do they just #name items to help identify things? What about where stashes are at, or what intrinsics you have? I'd be interested in something to help with that, but I'm not sure what to look for... -- 20:17, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I'll #name items when I know what they are but I rarely bother with recording locations of branches or intrinsics. I don't create stashes at all so that's not a problem for me. However, if you find yourself wanting something to help you keep track of your games you may find this useful ContraDuck 02:01, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Excalibur for Samurai

Does dipping a katana in a fountain work for getting Excalibur? If not, what's the best way to get a long sword?--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Katanas can't be dipped for Excalibur. Long swords are not that uncommon: you may get one at random, or you may kill a barrow wight.--Ray Chason 01:23, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Food taste

Does the taste of food do anything? 03:04, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

It does nothing to you, it's just that raw meat "tastes terrible" if you're not a carnivore and plant-based foods "taste terrible" if you're not an herbivore -- try eating that corpse when polymorphed into a dragon or other predatory animal, for example. There is a consequence for your pet, however -- it will turn up its nose at anything that "tastes terrible" unless it is famished.--Ray Chason 17:15, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
What about "Blecch! Rotten food!"? I found the line in eat.c,, but couldn't make heads or tails of it. Does rotten food give any nutrition? (In other words, is it worth finishing eating it?). --Snicker 06:50, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Rotten food is less nourishing than non-rotten. Also, a rotten wraith corpse will disintegrate and not level you up. There are of course the other well-known ill effects.--Ray Chason 14:10, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Fruit juice

What's fruit juice good for? 21:48, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

In itself, fruit juice is good for a little nutrition and not much else. But a potion that "tastes like fruit juice" may in fact be the potion of see invisible. Furthermore, dipping a unicorn horn into a potion of sickness turns the potion to fruit juice, identifying both potions; and dipping an amethyst stone into a potion of booze turns the potion to fruit juice, identifying both potions and also the stone.--Ray Chason 18:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

OK, thanks. 02:57, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I find that dipping large stacks into a fountain to create potions of water is also quite useful.

Do I really need magic resistance?

So I've got reflection, and I keep reading that I need magic resistance, but I can't figure out exactly why. Is it just to avoid polymorph and teleport traps? --Beefnut 05:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Not only that, but several monsters, mainly late game, like to cast spells. Some of the worse ones include destroy armor, which can leave you very vulnerable very fast, and touch of death, which outright kills you. Magic resistance guards against these. Lotte 12:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

It seems he never met those Master and Arch Liches and good old Rodney. Even with magic resistance it can hurt being the target of one of those spells they cast at you.Jin Tsu

  • Getting MR in some form is a more pressing issue than reflection. Besides the various instadeath attacks, it will also protect against polymorph traps, which will trash your armor. I'm very happy if I can get MR somehow before Dlvl 8 (which is where polytraps start appearing).


Where can I find candles?

I'm standing on the vibrating square and haven't got any candles. What can I do? --Jayt 22:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

You can go back to Izchak's shop in Minetown to buy some, or in the rare event that there aren't enough there, you can wish for them (wishing for 7 candles always gives 7). Additionally, candles are non-magical, so polypiling non-magical tools should yield some. --Jayt 22:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Corpse Weights in code

In the Source Code what files define the corpse weights? -- PraetorFenix 08:43, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

They're in monst.c#line101. The first number in that line says giant ants (and also their corpses) have weight 10. --Jayt 18:04, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

artifact that defends against lycanthropy

what is the artifact that defends against lycanthrophy? [1] -- PraetorFenix 04:53, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

It's Werebane, though lycanthropy isn't strictly the same thing as Disease. --Jayt 09:59, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Sliming and stoning (which I added) might not be disease either. --Kernigh 00:08, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


blessing a spellbook

what does blessing a spellbook do? i.e making it blessed not just uncursed does it improve the chances of learning the spell or the chances of casting the spell? -- PraetorFenix 04:56, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

It improves your chance of successfully reading it to 100%, regardless of intelligence, level, or anything else. Reading a difficult spellbook will still take time though. --Jayt 09:55, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


excuse me, i have no idea what this wiki does, and no sane way to find out.--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

It's a wiki about a game called NetHack. NetHackWiki:About is a good starting point. --Jayt 18:08, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Other ways to detect portals

So what other ways are there to detect the portals on the elemental planes but a confused scroll of gold detection? --ZeroOne 18:27, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

You can apply a crystal ball to look for the "^" symbol, or you can wield the Amulet of Yendor - it gets hotter/colder as you move towards/away from the portal. On the Plane of Fire, you can usually just wander around for a few dozen turns and some random monster will walk into the portal, locating it for you. This works on the Plane of Air too, but might be more dangerous with all those air elementals. --Jayt 22:12, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
OK... It's just that crystal balls are rare and rather heavy, and I prefer wearing an amulet of life saving. I was hoping I could use confused spell(book) of detect treasure, or maybe potions of object detection... But oh well, I just wished for a magic marker and wrote those scrolls. And ascended the rogue! --ZeroOne 03:18, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Congrats! :-) You don't have to wear the AoY - just wield it (although being without a weapon is arguably worse than being without an amulet of life saving...) --Jayt 09:32, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Wand of secret door detection works well also. 14:25, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Cursed +127 SDSM

Is a cursed +127 SDSM a good thing or a bad thing? What does it do?

It's a very good thing. It lowers your AC by 136 points. You're not likely to see it outside wizard mode though. --Jayt 12:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
But I thought cursed items never could have positive numbers for enhancements... --SuperNoob 13:54, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Cursed items are generally not generated with a positive enchantment. A cursed +127 SDSM could have been made by enchanting an SDSM to +127, then having it become cursed. --Eidolos 16:03, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I suppose it is possible to get a +127 SDSM in a normal game... but (if I'm reading read.c correctly), you have to beat a 1 in

(this has been deleted beacuse it triggerd the spam filter, but trust me, it's a whole lot--Edrobot 19:56, 26 March 2007 (UTC))

chance. That's not an accurate calculation; your actual odds will be worse. Much easier to stick to pudding farming for protection :-) --Jayt 16:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Autopickup and gold pieces

I've been fooling around with the autopickup exceptions, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to make it so that I always pick up gold pieces. "<gold" "<*gold*" and "<$" don't work. --Flatluigi 03:53, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Autopickup exceptions is for discriminating within an item class (so you, say, only pick up certain potions). I think what you want is:
I use $!/="+? Good luck! --Eidolos 04:07, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Aggravate monster and stealth?

I am playing SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2. I ate a large cat (stupid mistake, I should not eat corpses while hallucinating) and now have aggravate monster as an intrinsic. I later found elven boots, so now I have stealth. How do aggravate monster and stealth interact? Should I be worried? --Kernigh 00:42, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

From a cursory glance at the NetHack source, it seems like aggravate monster completely nullifies the effects of stealth. See the big comment and code of monmove.c#disturb. Aggravate monster has additional bad effects, like making your pet dog become untame faster. Whether it's at all the same for SLASH'EM is anyone's guess. :) --Eidolos 01:41, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The code you point to seems to say the opposite -- ignoring other factors it says if (!stealth && AggMon) then wake up?-- 01:41, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point. Sorry Kernigh! --Eidolos 05:11, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The code in SLASH'EM is src/monmove.c#line208. This is not the part of the code that I am familiar with, but now that you suggest it, the code does look like (!stealth && AggMon). I guess that I should worry about my pets, then. I have no idea what happened to my pet dog Fido, maybe it went untame and my pet horse killed it while I was not looking? I tried my magic whistle on a few different levels. --Kernigh 18:26, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

How do I kill/avoid archons?

On the Elemental Plane of Air I'll get swamped by summoned monsters from archons, such that in a few moves practically the whole level is filled with all the monsters I havn't genocided (including more archons). How do I deal(kill/avoid) with archons on this level? The closest I've come to getting to the portal was by using many scrolls of taming while confused, but I was hopelessly bogged down in monsters... Chris. 14 Sept 2006

Archons shouldn't summon other archons, but a few relevant tactics for summoning storms are:
  • If you can get close to the archon, kill or cancel it before anything else
  • Use conflict
  • Move fast; don't stop to kill anything unless you have to
  • Avoid the archon - it will only summon monsters around itself
  • Be extremely tough and dangerous, then muscle your way through the crowd!
--Jayt 21:03, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to second Jayt's second and third points. Using a conflict makes the monsters focus on each other and you can sneak between them. You must also be very fast and never burdened on the elemental planes. Just locate the portal and run for it. Being invisible is also useful and displacement will help you too. --ZeroOne 21:27, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, just to follow up - I am running NH v.343 on Pocket PC and Archons ARE being summoned (big problem), so even if I run up and kill'em quick in 3-4 hits it will still summon at least one other archon (not to mention the plethora of other critters. Conflict doesn't seem effective since they (multiple archons) are also casting 'monsters aware of your presence' spells so they all go back to wailing on me. I'll have to try wands of teleport and avoidance... That or change the version I'm playing. Chris. 15 Sept 2006
While I'm not familiar with that particular port, I'd have to say that it's probably the same game, just with a different interface. Meaning the mechanics are the same and all. Anyway, according to J. Ali Harlow's Monster Manual, Archons have 80 MR.. which means that conflict is, on average, only going to affect them every one in five turns. Conflict is more for the critters they summon. In any case, I can't stress how important evasion and wands of teleport are on the Planes. Good luck! --Eidolos 20:09, 15 September 2006 (UTC)