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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 the repository on GitHub.

New races


Salamanders are a race of fiery creatures that count as amphibians for cannibalism purposes. They like to be in lava, where they can regenerate hungerlessly, and can secrete a pool of lava at the cost of halving HP; while in lava, they can also fling balls of lava that do extra damage based on their experience level and burn down any door within heat range of impact. They unlock an additional tail slap attack at experience level 10.

Like regular salamanders, salamanders cannot wear boots or even kick things due to lacking feet; they must also wear snakeleg body armour. Being slithy, they can slink through iron bars.

They can reach Expert skill in spear. Their special spell is fireball.


notdNetHack also calls this race Treant, because the letters e and E were already taken in the role selection menu (for elf and etherealoid).

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
25 16 25 14 14 14
  • start with at least 19 strength
  • can pick up and throw boulders
  • Huge size
  • Better HP growth than dwarves
  • Base speed 10
  • extra -3 AC and 3 DR for each slot
  • special spell: restore ability
  • random species determines additional properties (for species by property see the changelog):
    • ancient body: reroll negative AC
    • ancient knowledge: to-hit/damage increase based on Wisdom/4 floored
    • beautiful scent: releases a good smell that calms enemies - when hitting a breathing monster, 1/5 chance of discouraging them by d(1+XL/7) up to XL
    • coniferous: cold resistant (also protects inventory)
    • deciduous: receives amnesia forgetness and take sanity damage at half the rate
    • powerful build: effectively one size larger for attacks (like Ymir and cavepeople)
    • fast healing: heal at double the natural rate
    • spry: 12 speed instead of 10
species ancient body ancient knowledge beautiful scent coniferous deciduous powerful build fast healing spry special
ash x x x
beech x x
birch x x
blue gum x x x one size larger
cedar x x
chestnut x x x
cypress x x
dogwood x x x One size smaller for weapons, fast
elder x x x robe effect like incantifiers
elm x x x x
fir x x x
ginkgo x x x Poison resistance
larch x x
locust x x x +2 to strength damage bonus
magnolia x x x
maple x x
methuselah x x Spell boost intrinsic
mimosa x x +1 DR per slot
oak x x x x
poplar x x x
redwood x x x
spruce x
willow x x Weldproof
yew x x x
species ancient body ancient knowledge beautiful scent coniferous deciduous powerful build fast healing spry special


Main article: etherealoid

Yuki-onna changes

Yuki-onna now have a snow cloud form that they can polymorph into and return to normal form from at will; this ability is blocked by protection from shape changers. While in snow cloud form, they possess a cold touch, a cold engulfing attack, and a passive cold attack. Snow cloud yuki-onna cannot wear armor, hold weapons or even use their hands, but gain regeneration, catsight, sleep resistance, poison resistance, and sickness resistance.

New roles

Adds the Illithanachronounbinder role.


They can be humans, orcs, dwarves, elves, drow, gnomes, half-dragons, incantifiers, ents, salamanders, or yuki-onna. 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, and 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: a directional psionic attack which deals damage and is able to knock monsters back.
  • XL 7: Psionic echolocation: works identically to the chiropteran echolocation ability.
  • XL 10: Flying
  • XL 12: Psionic craze ability: allows you to "psionically torture" a monster, which may make it flee.
  • XL 14: Reflection
  • XL 15: 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 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 minibosses 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: has threatening melee attacks, including Famine's touch and digestion. Use ranged attacks.
  • Amon: Very tough early 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 automata 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 seduction 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.
  • Jack: Causes a big 100d4 fire explosion on death and always leaves his corpse, which behaves like a rider corpse. You can permanently get rid of him by killing him on a tile of ice, the ice will melt due to his explosion on death and the corpse will drop into the deep water, being unable to revive. Due to him reviving and causing a high damage explosion, it is strongly recommended to summon him in a branch such as the Sunless Sea, which also provides the body of water required to permanently get rid of him, if desired.
  • Ymir: Extremely dangerous and almost impervious to attacks. The easiest way to kill him is using mind blasts or steal his equipment off him.

Role changes


Can set attack #style:

  • Surge punch: 3 Pw to do 3 + d5 damage per barehanded hit
  • Force punch: 3 Pw to do a big pushback 50% of hits, also does d5 bonus damage. Unlocked at level 4.
  • Spirit punch: 8 Pw for a 3x3 magic explosion 6d3 with punch, centered on target. Unlocked at level 10.
  • Flicker punch: 1 Pw, works like Ataru somersaults but flavored as warping. Unlocked at level 8.
  • Absorptive strikes: Half damage but regains damage as Pw; this can't be on with other modes. Unlocked at level 2.
  • Chi Healing: drains 1 Pw per turn to heal 1 hp. Unlocked at level 6.


They now start with a spear instead of a club (the Sceptre of Might also becoming a bone spear), and can apply rocks to knap soft stones into new spear points/heads:

Armorsmith services

Armorsmiths are meant to address the weird gap caused by upgrade kits for strangely sized races. Maybe you'll find one in an adventure town. They charge a price to provide various services: they can remove damage from armor, lower or increase (with a duplicate) the size of a piece of armor, change its shape between barded/segmented/centaur (requiring a corpse or figurine if not modeling on you), and turn dragon scales into a shield (useful for etherealoids).

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

Black Forest

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 (Ruggo the Gnome King's crazed brother) with his pet rock in the southeast. The corridors contain gems and gold.

Dismal Swamp


  • 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 breathlessness and swimming when carried.
  • Windowless tower: Sand and lots of water.


Sokoban consists only of a single level with a few crates, no pits, and a piñata monster, which doesn't move or attack, but has around 1400-1500 hit points; it can be instakilled if you play the game properly. On death, it scatters 3 wands and rings, 30 random food items, 500 pieces of gold, and one of a bag of holding, an amulet of reflection, or more gold, depending on what you already possess.