Many players keep extensive notes while exploring the Mazes of Menace. This serves multiple purposes:
- to keep track of various in-game resources such as shops, fountains, altars, etc.
- to keep track of various events, such as prayer timeout.
- to preserve some information in the event the character has a bad encounter with amnesia.
- to learn from their mistakes.
While this wiki provides information on universal facts ("is it safe to eat a kobold corpse?"), a player's notes serve to record information specific to the game they are playing that may change from game to game ("which floor has the entrance to Sokoban?").
The game provides a limited amount of in-game note-taking ability in the dungeon overview, which automatically tracks many things one would want to write down anyway. Naming items with intrinsics the character has gained or other useful facts is another common method. For other forms of note taking, a separate text-editing window, screenshots, or physical pen-and-paper can be used.
Things worth noting
NetHack 3.6.0 added the overview and annotate commands, which allow you to keep in-game notes of the dungeon overview. Dungeon features such as sinks, fountains, and altars, special rooms such as shops and temples, most special levels, and dungeon branches are automatically recorded.
You may want to annotate certain levels with things that are not automatically tracked:
- Location of any durable Elbereth retreat squares the character has prepared.
- Location of any stashes the character has created.
- Configuration of various dungeon elements that change on a game-by-game basis. For example, which shops are in Minetown (and which variant it is perhaps), if the altar there is co-aligned, etc.
- "Todos" such as floors that have not been completely explored or where there is a nymph that stole an item.
- Floors on which an unexplored vault exists.
Although the best way to review a character's attributes is through various means of enlightenment, the character may not always have such means, particularly in the early game.
- Intrinsics the character has acquired. For example: "Has this character eaten a floating eye corpse (to gain telepathy) yet?"
- A matrix of desirable attributes (reflection, magic cancellation, resistances, etc.) and what gives them.
- Last turn prayed, which is useful for tracking prayer timeout.
- Last turn an item was invoked.
- If your pet becomes separated from you, noting the level in which this occurred may be useful, as well as the turn on which separation took place. Separated pets lose tameness the longer they are apart from their owner.