NetHackWiki:Ask an expert/Archive5

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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.

Adjusting NAO

I've been playing Nethack for a while and have recently started playing on NAO. I've messed around with it to get my desired options set, but my biggest issue is with the control scheme, where I have to use the number pad instead of the arrow keys. I figured that 'BIOS' or '!BIOS' would fix it, but it didn't work, and I'd prefer not to move around all of my keyboard buttons.

Any advice?

There is an option called something like "number_pad=". Choose off if you are comfortable with VI-mode movement keys or do not have a separate number pad. -Tjr 20:22, December 28, 2009 (UTC)

Message History

While watching other players on NAO, I've seen players pull up a message history that displays the previous dozen or so messages (such as dungeon sounds). How do I do this?--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Control-P. The unmodified game does not have this feature; it is one of many patches that NAO uses.--Ray Chason 10:46, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
Look in Guidebook for options msg_window and msghistory. They set how old mesages are displayed when using Ctrl + p. I am not sure if unmodified game cannot do that too. --Stevko sk 11:58, January 1, 2010 (UTC)

SLASH'EM Compilation troubles: no executable generated

i did everything in the compile directions and got a license file ONLY in binary

OK so this is IMPOSSIBLE i keep getting so many random errors i am getting frustrated. heres a better option can someone pre-patch slashem so that underground rivers and jedi patch is installed and then upload a zip of the resulting playable tty windows exe to or or something and then post the link? I would like to compile this myself but it seems to be impossible. I wanted to make 2 new classes but I guess it will not be impossible unless compiling at least will give me consistant errors that I can search for.

OK null and void now!!!!!!!!!

so win32api.h was NOT in the include or the src folder and THAT was the problem so anyone who has trouble with compiling and knows NOTHING about it (like me) might find this post and copy the win32api.h file FROM (your directory)/sys/winnt TO both (your directory)/src AND (your directory)/include

and unless there are any other strange attacks against your compile you should get it ALSO MOST IMPORTANT IT PUTS THE COMPILE INTO a folder called slam32d

lots of people are probably laughing and saying DUH repeatedly at this post but some people don't know this (like me) and keep checking their (your directory)/bin folder frowning and repeating the compile again and again. NOW I just have to try and find out where the spells are so I can change 2 of them (flame/ice sphere to shocking sphere/gas spore) and modify the flame and ice mages to be electric and air mages and Ill be good to go.

so another question.....

where are the files with the spells/spellbook types in them and also the character files for icemage and flamemage? for now i will test it


where are the files with the spells/spellbook types in them and also the character files for icemage and flamemage?

compiling errors please help

So I got a bunch of erroneous errors and so I thought hey... I'll recompile the original source to create the directory of slam32d with all the standard stuff in there (especially the dlls since mingw can't recreate them apparently) then I compiled from the altered and patched folder that I have been working on for about a month. Some things worked but others did not. I think I need to force recompile of the entire altered source.

with the install.bat it says mingw-make -f makefile.gcc (among the other stuff it needs in there) what switches do I use in place of -f (or) as well as -f to get it to totally remake the entire directory as if it's the first time (ie process ALL files in ALL directories)?

ok nevermind you just delete everything in the directory but leave the directory there (slam32d)

Then recompile and it will do everything again.

Nethack html/php interface?

I was wondering what sort of technical difficulties there would be making a nethack html/php interface. I imagine the lag would be terriable, but surely that would be the hardest problem. I've also read that nethack doesn't give any feedback about the screen being refreshed. Anying hacking gurus out there thought about this?

general pacifist advice

Hi there, I'd like some advice on nethack :D

I'm trying to ascend a neutral pacifist gnomish healer, and I think i've got it well underway. However, due to a few complications, I'd like to ask a few questions on the matter.

Firstly, I've tried to do a protection racket before buying levels off the oracle. However, my archon just killed the minetown priest! What do i do now? Do i give up? The same applies for shopkeepers and price identification.

Secondly, I'm afraid that my archon will go rogue if it steps onto a level teleport trap (this occured before) or changes due to a polymorph trap! Should I still do mines end, where there is an overabundance of such traps? Or should I skip it and hope for a luckstone? Or do they have intrinsic magic resistance?

Thirdly, can you list the recommended equipment for an archon? I'm a bit worried about the lack of magic resistance. Will the archon be able to fight through hordes of monsters to the high altar? Or will I need some sort of backup plan? Will the monsters attack the archon and not I? Or should I bring conflict? Does stoning break the pacifist conduct?

Fourth, I need intrinsics. Should I go for crowning? Or should I just try and eat corpses?

And lastly, (thanks for your time), should I wish for a spellbook of charm monster/ another archon? Do i need them? Is there any reprecussions for doing so? And what equipment should I put on them?

Thanks again,

Osborn :D

(in a hurry) There is a host of information available on pacifist, Pet#Equipment_for_pets, archon, and talk:archon. Most of your questions are answered there. -Tjr 10:26, February 26, 2010 (UTC)

Dagger skill for barbarians

Hi, I've read here that barbarians can only reach the 'Basic' level in dagger but looking at #enhance I see I already have the basic level and there is no '#' indicating it cannot be enhanced further (as it is the case for my bow skill). The bare handed combat skill is already at the Master level and there is no '#' neither. Can somebody explain why, please ?

Thanks, patrokle

Practise a bit more, and the '#' sign will eventually appear. -Tjr 17:20, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

How do you pacify an angery priest?

For some reason the alter in MineTown was cross-alligned, so I converted it, took 2 tries but I did it, unfortunatly the preist got angery and killed me. -_- I tried chatting which would usualy donate, then I tried to just throw my gold at her, but then she killed me. So How would I calm her down in the future?

--DemonSlayerThe3 :: The Neutral Human Wizard

The best solution is to simply not anger them in the first place. The minetown altar (any altar, actually. But this isn't a big problem if it isn't a temple) only has a 1 in 3 chance of being coaligned. If the minetown altar isn't co-aligned, then do not sacrifice on it. You can still use it to determine BUC, and you can still #chat to the priest for most of the services. If you need to sacrifice, then find another altar. If there are no other altars, than either kill the priest first (get reflection to avoid the lightning bolts) yourself or get a pet strong enough to do so.
You can pacify the priest using a scroll of taming, casting the Charm Monster spell, or using a magic harp. #chatting to the priest afterwards should make him angry again, so don't do that. I'm not sure if you'll be able to freely use the altar, but you probably can. -- Qazmlpok 03:49, March 7, 2010 (UTC)

thanks a lot

It's safer if you first sleep the angry priest from a distance before charming him. But, if you can, don't anger him in the first place. -Tjr 02:40, March 15, 2010 (UTC)


How do you seperate a stack of items? I want to buy a few food rations, but the whole stack costs likw $300, I have like $278, so I want to buy only a few, my pets don't seem to want to pick them up. So I just decided to buy 'em. But I need to unstack them, how?DemonSlayerThe3 :: The Neutral Human Wizard! 17:20, March 7, 2010 (UTC)

Type dXI, where X is the number of food rations to drop, and I is the inventory letter of food rations. You can also use that, as ',XI', to pick up items where there's more than one item stack on the ground. -Ion frigate 20:09, March 7, 2010 (UTC)
Or 'X,' when there's only one stack. --nooodl 18:24, March 16, 2010 (UTC)

SLASH'EM and modern Qt

Is it possible to compile SLASH'EM with Qt interface against a modern version of Qt libraries (Qt3 or Qt4) on Linux?

Change Status Line in Windows

Is there anyway to change the status line in the windows version to a graphical display like in the mac version?

You are blasted by Magicbane's power!

I'm playing a wizard, got Magicbane through sacrifice, and this has started happening when I pick it up, recently. No idea why, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't happening the whole game through--either that or I'm incredibly oblivious. But I thought this never happened with sacrifice gifts. Anyway, the only difference is that I had it pulled from me by demons with bullwhips a couple of times and got it back. (That's what happened just now, when I first noticed this. But I haven't changed alignment (elf wizard, chaotic from the beginning), my God's not angry, Magicbane isn't cursed (is blessed, in fact), so I don't know what's going on. Any ideas?

Fix your alignment record. This describes you well you behave according to your religion and is different from converting alignment. -Tjr 21:32, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

What happened to Nethax ?

Hi all,

Anyone knows ? The site ( is not working since a week or so...


The site is back online... it is also a nice alternative to play online when one's company proxy blocks all the telnet/ssh connections.

What to do if I can not find a way out

I am playing iNetHack, and sometime when I create new game, and I found my dungeon was surrounded with walls, I can not find a way out or down, what can I do except restart a new game?

I tried kick a wall but only got hurt and HP losing.

Search along the walls until you find a hidden door.
Also, try typing 'n10s' or 'n20s' to search 10 or 20 times on each wall; this is safer than holding down the s key, particularly if monsters come along. Also, if you have a pick-axe, you can dig down or through walls. -Ion frigate 21:29, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Eating artifacts


Eating an artifact gives more chances to new ones to be generated as a sacrifice gift ?


Nope. Wishing and sacrificing is based on artifacted generated, not in existance. There's no way to increase your chances. -- Qazmlpok 11:45, April 23, 2010 (UTC)

Applying a patch

Some time ago i came to this forum asking for help in compiling under MS Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition i recently found that nethack issued a patch for this problem however the instructions for applying it are vague can you please explain as to a person that never did this before.The link to the patch is --IngerAlHaosului 03:53, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

Taming Quest Nemeses

Is it possible to tame your quest nemesis? Namely, can a Knight use a magic trap (which are readily available) to tame Ixoth and use it as a mount? Could a Caveman kill the Chromatic Dragon, grab the quest items, revive it with a wand of undead turning and tame it as a pet? I'm thinking that the dragon would be especially useful because it is resistant to basically everything. --Aarnott 20:21, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

All quest nemeses are covetous and therefore completely immune to taming, even from a magic trap. If you can manage to polymorph or slime a covetous monster, then they become tamable (with the exception of the Wizard of Yendor. Several other non-covetous creatures are completely immune to taming even if polymorphed as well), but all you have is the tame green slime/random non-special monster. The exception to this is SLASH'EM, where it is not only trivial to polymorph any non-magic resistant monster by polymorphing yourself into a genetic engineer, polymorphed monsters also revert to their original forms. Your quest nemesis will almost certainly be carrying the quest artifact, and many of them provide magic resistance and thus also polymorph resistance, however. Additionally, covetous monsters are damn near useless as pets, so pulling this off in SLASH'EM is mostly just to brag. -- Qazmlpok 21:59, May 3, 2010 (UTC)
According to Eva Myers's tame monster spoiler, the Quest nemeses (along with Medusa and Rodney) are implacable enemies and can't even be made peaceful. Don't know if this applies to the SLASH'EM polymorph trick.
The dialogue makes it seem like a rogue ought to be able to pacify the Master Assassin (possibly bribing him for the Bell) and then fight the Master of Thieves. The Master of Thieves is a jerk anyway. (Also a pushover. How do you get to be the Master of Thieves without acquiring poison resistance?) Slandor 13:16, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
I've tamed medusa in SLASH'EM, but haven't yet tried a nemesis. A tame medusa is worth than useless, as she STILL uses her damn gaze attack on you. -- Qazmlpok 13:59, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

Valkyrie needs configuration file, badly!

I'm running the latest version of nethack for the Mac OS X Terminal on Mac OS 10.6.4. I believe that my defaults configuration file is supposed to be called NetHack Defaults, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

I had the same problem with the same version of nethack on an OS 10.5 system. I downloaded this version of nethack from the official website.

So where do I look to find my NetHack Defaults? And if it's really missing, how can I safely remedy the issue? 19:44, July 12, 2010 (UTC) Borghild

Just create a plain text file called .nethackrc in your home directory. You can get a sample file from NAO. Tjr 13:07, July 13, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a million! I decided to try making my own file at one point, but didn't know what to call it and I wasn't able to find a copy online. Borghild 16:25, July 13, 2010 (UTC)

How would one learn to make patches?

My biggest issue is that I am unable to find the files for the game to even attempt to learn. I keep getting NetHack but with nhdat. Am I misunderstanding something? Icalasari 20:40, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

Question about naming

I'm playing NetHack using Vultures Eye. I have a Runed Dagger AND a Runed Bow, both refusing to be named. But, they have no names, and the bow can't be invoked. So, are they artifacts, or is there a bug? EDIT: Shoot, forgot to sign my name. Well, it doesn't matter anyways. I got killed and it showed that the bow was cursed (the dagger was blessed). So now my question is: Why was I unable to name them? The message I got each time was, "That's a silly thing to name!" Icalasari 22:30, July 29, 2010 (UTC)

Were you using #name or Call? They definitely weren't artifacts. -- Qazmlpok 22:54, July 29, 2010 (UTC)
You were attempting to name the item class. Weapons can only be individually named (answer yes at the prompt). This is because in vanilla, all* appearances uniquely point to the type of weapon. (*: exception: Stormbringer isn't an elvish broadsword.) Tjr 13:00, July 30, 2010 (UTC)

Wizard Starting with a 100% Failure Rate Spellbook?

So I started a wizard gnome, and I got a spellbook of Identify. But it is a level 3 spell with 100% failure rate. Can anyone explain to me how to train spells to get better when you have 0% chance of getting them right?

I'm not wearing any armor or anything.

Level up. Spell failure rates are based on intelligence (or wisdom, for some classes), skill, and experience level. Obviously you're not going to increase your skill level if you have a 100% failure rate, and increasing intelligence requires good luck with fountains or a potion of gain ability - you can't exercise that stat. You may need to go up a few levels before you can usefully cast it though, possibly to level 5 or 7. You could increase skill if you find a low-level divination spellbook, such as light or detect monsters, which is actually not that unlikely in shops. -Ion frigate 21:42, August 1, 2010 (UTC)

Cursed starting equipment on Friday the 13th?

I just started a tourist in nethack--343-win, my starting inventory looks like this:

                                   a - 31 cursed +2 darts (in quiver)
                ┌─────────┐        i - a cursed +0 Hawaiian shirt (being worn)
                │·········+        Comestibles
                │·········│        b - 5 uncursed food rations
                │···<·····+        c - an uncursed egg
                └──■──────┘        d - 2 uncursed tripe rations
                 ░░░░              e - 2 cursed fortune cookies
                 ░░░               f - a cursed slime mold
                 ░                 l - a food ration
                 ░                 Scrolls
                ░░░                h - 4 cursed scrolls of magic mapping
                ┌·─────────·─┐     Potions
                │·········$d·│     g - 2 uncursed potions of extra healing
                │············│     Tools
                │············│     j - an expensive camera (0:46)
                +············│     k - a cursed credit card
                │····@·······│     (end)
Lopez the Rambler           St:11 Dx:12 Co:12 In:14 Wi:8 Ch:18  Neutral
Dlvl:1  $:489 HP:10(10) Pw:2(2) AC:10 Xp:1/0 T:53

I immediately tried creating several new characters (including other male tourists) both locally and at NAO but haven't seen this effect again. Anyone know anything about this?

Fix a broken lock?

I notice that when you force a lock with a weapon, it will break the lock, rendering it unusable. I have learned to wait until I have another way to open such things, but when I mistakenly tried to lock a broken lock, the game told me that I couldnt fix it with an uncursed lockpick. Can it be fixed with a blessed one then? Or do I need some other item? Or did the DevTeam just put that message there for the evulz?

That message is somewhat misleading (maybe they were planning to implement manual lock fixing at some point?); the only way to fix a broken lock is with a wand of locking or a spell of wizard lock. You're not really missing much, though. AFAIK the only effect of a locked container is that troll corpses inside will not revive. Monsters can't remove items from even unlocked containers, and gelatinous cubes just spit out the locks after dissolving the wood. --Darth l33t 03:28, August 18, 2010 (UTC)