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notdNetHack is a variant of dNetHack, aiming to improve the shortcomings and balance of dNetHack, while also adding new content.

The full changelog can be found at

New races

Adds Salamander, Ent and Etherealoid as playable races.

New roles

Adds the Illithanachronounbinder role.


They can be humans, orcs, dwarves, elves, drows, gnomes, half-dragons, incantifiers, ents, salamanders, or yuki-onnas. They always start as lawful.

You play as a mind flayer of your chosen race, having all of the abilities of your race plus the mind flayer ones. They are immune to madness and insanity, their sanity is always locked at 100 and they can not contract madnesses.[1]

A key mechanic is that you need to summon spirits to be able to level up. Additionally, they are always lawful and can not change their alignment in any way. Due to their god being fallen, praying and sacrificing is impossible. BUC-testing on altars still works as usual, though.


The following abilities are gained by levelling up:

  • XL 1: ESP, tentacle attack, mind blast ability
    • The tentacle attack automatically triggers in melee, giving nutrition to the user if the target has a brain. Additionally it may kill the target by brainlessness. You can not choke or vomit by getting nutrition this way.
  • Mind blast works identically to the ability madmen have but is stronger due to the player being a mind flayer.
  • XL 4: Psionic pulse ability
    • Psionic pulse is a directional psionic attack which deals damage and is able to knock monsters back.
  • XL 7: Psionic echolocation
    • Psionic echolocation works identically to the chiropteran echolocation ability.
  • XL 10: Flying
  • XL 12: Psionic craze ability
    • Psionic craze allows you to "psionically torture" a monster, which may make it flee.
  • XL 14: Reflection
  • XL 15: Telekinesis ability
    • Telekinesis allows picking up items from a distance.
  • XL 17: Teleport control
  • XL 20: All thrown items return

Rank titles

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

  • XL 1–2: Exorcist
  • XL 3–5: Unbinder
  • XL 6–9: Vestige Vanquisher
  • XL 10–13: Spirit Killer
  • XL 14–17: Mind Flayer
  • XL 18–21: Psionaut
  • XL 22–25: Void Voider
  • XL 26–29: Telekinetic
  • XL 30: Keeper of the Gate


In order to be able to level up, you need to summon spirits. When spirits are vanquished, they will drop useful things. Once summoned, they do not need to be killed in order to be able to advance to the next XL.

The role starts with knowing Ahazu's and Amon's seal and will learn more in vaguely alphabetical order by gaining levels.

  • XL 1: Ahazu drops 4-5 food rations.
  • XL 1: Amon drops a frost horn, with a high chance of it having a non-standard material (such as gold or mithril).
  • XL 2: Andrealphus drops a sensor pack and a can of grease.
  • XL 3: Andromalius drops 5-15 daggers and a sack.
  • XL 4: Astaroth drops 2-3 upgrade kits.
  • XL 5: Balam drops two large daggers and a large robe.
  • XL 6: Berith drops the Crown Of Berith, a golden helmet which prevents brainsucking attacks (useful for the quest) and is able to be enchanted to +7.
  • XL 7: Buer drops a regular amulet of life saving and The Talisman of Buer, an amulet of life saving which confers sustain ability and health regeneration when worn. It can be invoked for healing, just like Release from Care.
  • XL 8: Chupoclops drops a large number of cave spider eggs.
  • XL 9: Dantalion drops the Dread of Dantalion, an intelligent, lawful two-handed sword with +1d10 damage that acts like a scroll of scare monster when dropped.
  • XL 10: Shiro drops the Stone Mask, a ceramic mask which confers invisibility, stoning resistance and stealth when worn.
  • XL 11: Echidna
  • XL 12: Eden, drops branchporting Eden's Scales
  • XL 13: Enki
  • XL 14: Eurynome drops fancy shoes
  • XL 15: Eve
  • XL 16: Fafnir
  • XL 17: Huginn and Muninn
  • XL 18: Iris
  • XL 19: Jack
  • XL 20: Malphas
  • XL 21: Marionette
  • XL 22: Mother
  • XL 23: Naberius
  • XL 24: Orthos
  • XL 25: Ose
  • XL 26: Otiax
  • XL 27: Paimon
  • XL 28: Simurgh
  • XL 29: Tenebrous
  • XL 30: Ymir (?)


The Ulitharid sees you fighting Menzoberranzan for the Elder Cerebral Fluid, a dilithium crystal which confers half spell damage and energy regeneration while carried.

There will be many hostile mind flayers ("adversaries") and so-called vilithids, which are vampire mind flayers. They can drain your levels in addition to sucking your brain.


This role sees you fighting many mini bosses to advance and rewards you with excellent drops to further encourage vanquishing them. Fighting some of the spirits will be tough. However, unless specifically mentioned, they are all vulnerable to your brain eating attack.

  • Ahazu:
    • He has threatening melee attacks, including Famine's touch and can digest you. Use ranged attacks.
  • Amon:
    • Very early tough fight. He will hit fast and hard. Due to his high speed and thick hide, it is usually required to draw the seal, escape downstairs, get some equipment and gain a level and then come back. Drops a frost horn you will likely need for Balam's seal.
  • Andrealphus:
    • Very fast but not nearly as threatening as the previous two. Can teleport you around with his attacks.
  • Andromalius:
    • Will use the stack of daggers he is guaranteed to spawn with, so be prepared for some ranged attacks. He can both paralyze you and teleport your equipped gear away, which is especially dangerous in combination with the paralysis he inflicts. Ranged attacks are strongly recommended.
  • Astaroth:
    • Will create automatons such as clockwork dwarves to fight for him. Can hit hard in melee but it is managable.
  • Balam:
    • Another tough fight. He is fast and will use a ranged icy gaze at you and a cold touch attack in melee. Beware of his demon gating abilities.
  • Berith:
    • Due to the artifact helm he will be dropping, he is invulnerable to your brain eating attacks. He hits hard and fast in melee and deals more damage to creatures with blood, so basically all races except Etherealoids, Ents, and Clockwork Automata. He also has an AC of 0.
  • Buer:
    • Beware his poisonous bite and speed. He is fortunately rather unremarkable and binding him will permanently unlock martial arts for you.
  • Chupoclops:
    • Would be dangerous if the binding did not confer immunity to webs and movement speed penalties to nearby monsters. Beware her poisonous bite. The many spider eggs she drops will hatch and spawn an army of cave spiders. They are not too dangerous, but they will be annoying.
  • Dantalion:
    • Hits hard in melee and will teleport to the upstairs like some of the demon lords. He will wear armor and will thus be resistant to brain eating attacks.
  • Shiro:
    • Very hard to hit and will retaliate by throwing rocks as a bonus attack. Vulnerable to brain eating attacks, but they will rarely land due to his high AC. Annoying to fight but not too dangerous.
  • Echidna:
    • Beware her seducing attacks. Her acid breath is also pretty nasty, but can be countered with reflection.
  • Eden:
    • Basically a silver dragon with a fire breath attack, much higher MR and less damaging physical attacks.
  • Enki:
    • Will use water-based attacks to try and apply water damage to your inventory and equipped weapon.

Dungeon changes

The village

Dungeon level 4 is guaranteed to be a village of friendlies of your own race. It contains a couple of houses, a fountain and the travelling wizard.

The fountain will be replaced with a magic portal after talking with the wizard.

Chatting with the peaceful inhabitants of the village will give you hints about what is waiting in the adventure branches.

Adventure branches

The stairs to the Gnomish Mines are replaced with a magic portal to a branch the player chose while taking to the travelling wizard. Each of the branches contains a unique reward, a different set of enemies and obstacles.

The chosen branch will affect how the base level of the windowless tower and minetown will look.

Ice Caves

Enemies: Mainly cold-themed, including White naga hatchlings, white nagas, brown molds, chill bugs, baby white dragons, ice vortices

Minetown: Shopkeepers are frost giants or ice trolls instead of humans. The altar is being watched over by two hostile ice devils and fenced in with iron bars. The corner of said cage are trees. A river is flowing through the town.

Boss: Abominable Snowman

Reward: The Abominable Veil: a Cloak of displacement conveying cold resistance.

Windowless tower: Trees replaced with walls, the floor is ice.

Black Forest

Enemies: Werecreatures, bugbears, horses, plants (mainly razorwines and weeping willows)

Boss: Tulip Poplar

Reward: Quarterstaff with 2d6 extra damage.

Gnomish Mines

Almost unchanged from the original. Mines End was replaced with a maze-like but static structure of corridors and a throne room containing Raggo in the southeast. The corridors contain gems and gold.

Dismal Swamp

Enemies: Snakes, kobolds, some orcs and birds (mostly parrots and ravens).

Minetown: Swampy, has two shops and a large stone structure on the northern part of the level, housing both a temple and the stairs down.

Boss: Kroo the Kobold King

Reward: Ring of alacrity conveying poison resistance.

Windowless tower: Swampy, but mostly traversible.


Enemies: Snakes, parrots, monkeys

Minetown: Very small. The whole area will flood if any of the outer walls are damaged, swallowing loot and monsters alike.

Boss: Archipelago Ancient

Reward: The Gillystone, an emerald which conveys magical breathing and swimming when carried.

Windowless tower: Sand and lots of water.