Minetown

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Minetown is one of eight different maps, located on the 3rd or 4th level of the Gnomish Mines. This gives Minetown a 1/6 chance of being on levels 5 or 8 in the mines, and a 1/3 chance of being on levels 6 or 7 in the mines. As in the rest of the Mines, monster creation on this level is biased towards lawful monsters.

In most games, Minetown is also the largest collection of shops; some players call it the "toll plaza" (the RNG might be cruel enough to give you only Izchak's shop (0.5% chance each game), or worse, Orcish Town (1/7 chance each game)). There is a division between retail and security; shopkeepers do retail, while watchmen and their captains do security.

Maps

There are seven different Minetown variants, each with their own maps and guaranteed monsters. Note that Minetown is eligible to leave bones, so the monsters (and the map) may be in a different state than is shown below.

Also bear in mind that, as elsewhere in the Gnomish Mines, if you are playing a dwarf or gnome, two-thirds of the dwarves or gnomes respectively that are listed in these descriptions will be made random monsters instead.

Town Square

 ---------------------------------
 |.+..|..|..+....+..|..|..|G.+...|
 |.+..|..|..+....+..|..|..|..+...|
 |.----++----....----++-++----...|
 |...............................|
 |.-++----++-.......-++++-+++-...|
 |.|..|..|..|......{|.GG.|...|...|
 |.|..|..|.G|.......|....|...|...|
 |.----++----.......|.@_.|foo|...|
 |.............{....|....|...|...|
 |.------+++------.----------|...|
 |.+....|...|....+.+....|....+...|
 |.+.gen|.G.|lght+.+.G..|tool+...|
 |.+....|...|....+.+....|....+...|
 |.---------------.-----------...|
 |...............................|
 ---------------------------------

Izchak's light shop (marked "lght") is guaranteed, but the general store ("gen"), food shop ("foo") and tool shop ("tool") have only a 90% chance of existing.

Only one + on each wall is randomly made a door. This level contains two random traps.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomish Wizards GG In temple
Gnomes GGG In rooms marked with G
Gnome lord G In room opposite light shop
Gnomes GGG Outside mapped area
Dwarf h Outside mapped area

Alley Town

 ---------------------------------
 |...............................|
 |.----....-----.----+--..-----..|
 |.|..|---.|.@.+.+..|..|..|...|..|
 |.|..|..|.|._.+.+..|..|..|lgt|..|
 |.-++|tl|.|.GG+.--------.|...|..|
 |....|..|.|...+....+...|.-+++-..|
 |.{..-++-.----|....+wan|........|
 |..........+..|++-.-----..-----.|
 |....-++-..+..|..|........+...|.|
 |.-++|..|.----|G.|+++-....+foo|.|
 |.|..|..|.+...|--|...|---.-----.|
 |.|..|---.+gen|..|too|..+.......|
 |.|.G|....+...|..|...|G.+.......|
 |.----....-----+---------.....{.|
 |...............................|
 ---------------------------------

Izchak's light shop (marked "lgt") and the general store ("gen") are guaranteed, but the tool shops ("tl" and "too") have only a 30% and 40% chance of existing, respectively. The food shop ("foo") and quality apparel and accessories shop ("wan") have a 90% and 30% chance, respectively.

Only one + on each wall is randomly made a door. This level contains two random traps.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomish Wizards GG In temple
Gnomes 3 random G In rooms marked with G
Gnomes GGG Outside mapped area
Dwarf h Outside mapped area

College Town

 --------------------------------
 |..............................|
 |...--------.......-----------.|
 |...|...|..|------.|.G|...|G.+.|
 |...|boo|..|.....|.|..|lgt|..+.|
 |...|...|++|.._@.|.-++|...|---.|
 |...-+++-..|..GG.|....-+++-....|
 |..........|.....|.............|
 |........{.-+++++-.{...........|
 |..............................|
 |...-+++-...........-++-+++-...|
 |...|...|-------.---|..|...|...|
 |...|too|kk|foo+.+..|.G|gen|...|
 |...|...|ff|...+.+..|--|...|...|
 |...-----++-----.----..-----...|
 |..............................|
 --------------------------------

Izchak's light shop (marked "lgt") and the book shop ("boo") are guaranteed, but the general store ("gen"), food shop ("foo") and tool shop ("tool") have only a 90% chance of existing.

Only one + on each wall is randomly made a door. This level contains two random traps.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomish wizards GG In temple
Gnomes 3 random G In rooms marked with G
Kobold shamans kk In southwest room
Kitten f In southwest room
Feline A random f In southwest room
Gnomes GGG Outside mapped area
Dwarf h Outside mapped area

Grotto Town

 -----         ---------                                                    
 |<..---  ------.......--    -------                       ---------------  
 |.....---|.........--..|    |.....|          -------      |.............|  
 --..|....|.---------|..|    |.._..|          |>....|     --+---+--.----+|  
  --.|-.....----     -CC-    |.....|  ------  --....----  |..|...|-.|.+..|  
   --|.........|---  -CC--   ---+---  |..+.|--D---..-..---|..|--+-..--|..|  
     ----.|....|..----...--    |.|    |..|.DDDDDD--+-.....-+--........--+|  
        -----..|....|.....---- |.|    |G.|.------......--................|  
     ------ |..|..........A..---.--   ---|.+..||.......-|..--------+--..--  
     |food| --.c....---...A.......-----  |.|..||...{....|--|.........|..--  
     |....|  |.c......|...|..........B---|.|..|--.......|  |.general.|EEE|  
     ---+--------....-------...---...B..-|.|------....--|  -----------...|  
  ------.---...-|...-|..|..|-...|..---...|.--..|...|....------- |.......--  
  |..|-.........|aa--|..|..|--.....|-....|.....d..---...-|....| |.-------   
  |..+...............-+---+-----..-|..........--....|-...+tool| |.|.G.S.    
 -----.....{....----.............bb|...G.......|-...|...-|....| |.|...|     
 |..............-- |-+--.---------.........--..|........|------ |.--+-------
 |+-----.........| |...|.|....|  --.......-----|...|....|--------.....|....|
 |.G.| --..------- |.G.|.+lght|   ---...---    --..|...--......|...{..+..-+|
 |...|  ----       ------|....|     -----       -----.....----........|.G|.|
 -----                   ------                     -------  ---------------

In Nethack 3.6.0 and later, the map is partially randomized. For each pair of Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd one character is replaced with walls with equal probability (for Aa and Bb, this only happens 75% of the time), while there is a 50% chance that E is replaced with a wall. In previous versions, Aa, Bb, c, d and E are always floor, while C and D are always walls.

The map is mostly dark.

Izchak's light shop (marked "lght"), the general store ("general"), the food shop ("food") and the tool shop ("tool") are all guaranteed.

The G in the bottom center of the map is a historic statue of a gnome king.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomes GGGGGG Random
Gnome lords GG Random
Dwarves hhh Random
Gnomish Wizards GG In far southwest room, in front of secret door
Gnome lord G Larger southeast room
Gnomes 2 random G Opposite light shop, in room at top of central corridor

The room with the down stair contains a random tool, the secret door hides a random ring, the far southeast closet contains a chest, and there is a (historic) statue of a gnome king in the wide open lit space in the south.

Bustling Town

 -----................----------------.-
 |...|................|...|..|...|...|..
 |...+..--+--.........|gen|..|...|...|..
 |...|..|...|..-----..|...|..|-+---+--..
 -----..|...|--|...|..--+---+-.........-
 .......|...|.G|too+.............-----..
 .......|---|.G|...|......--+-...|...|..
 ----...|...|+------..{...|..|...+...|..
 |..+...|lgt|.............|G.|...|...|..
 |..|...|...|-+-.....---+-------------.-
 ----...--+-|..|..-+-|..................
 ..|........|..|..|..|----....---------.
 ..|..#.....----..|..|...+....|......||.
 ..|-....{........|..|foo|....+...@_.||.
 ..--..|....#.....--------....|......||.
 ......|-.....................----------

The mapped town area is surrounded by empty cavern level, which is lit and contains the upstair (to the left of the town) and the downstair (to the right).

Two trees are marked ("#").

Izchak's light shop (marked "lgt"), the general store ("gen"), the food shop ("foo") and the tool shop ("too") are all guaranteed.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomes GGGGGG Random
Gnome lords GG Random
Dwarf hhh Random
Gnomes GG In room between light and tool shops, in room east of fountain
Gnome lords G In room between light and tool shops

Bazaar Town

 --------------------------------
 |..............................|
 |.------++-------------..-----.|
 |.|....|..|...|....|..+..+...|.|
 |.|....|..|YYY|.n..|G.+..+too|.|
 |.-++++---|.G.|+------|..+...|.|
 |......|..|...|.|..|..|.-----|.|
 |.----.|..|+++-.|..|fd|.+....|.|
 |.|..+.-++-..{..-++|..|.+.@_.|.|
 |.|..+.............-++-.+GG..|.|
 |.|---+++-.----++-......+....|.|
 |.|..|...|.+G.|..|++++-------|.|
 |.|tl|lgt|.+..|gn|....|#.|fd.+.|
 |.|..|...|.---|..|....|..|...+.|
 |.-++-----..{.---------++-----.|
 |..............................|
 --------------------------------

Izchak's light shop (marked "lgt") is guaranteed, while there is a 50% chance each of two food shops ('fd'), a 50% chance of one tool shop ('tl') and 30% chance of a second ('too'), and a 60% chance of a general store ('gn'). There is also a sink ('#')

Each of the rooms marked in yellow has a 75% chance of existing. If a room is not created, neither will the monsters that normally spawn there. The "+" characters on the wall represent valid locations for the room's door.

Only one + on each wall is randomly made a door. There is a random trap in the room with the downstair, and another in one of the other rooms not containing the upstair.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomish Wizards GG In temple
Gnomes GGGGGG Random, some outside mapped area
Gnome lord G Random
Monkeys YY Random
Gnomes G In marked rooms
Monkeys YYY In room north of central fountain
Nymph Random n In marked room
Gnome king G In marked room
Gnome Random G In room north of lower fountain
Dwarf h Outside mapped area

Orcish Town

.....................................
.----------------#------------------.
.|.................................|.
.|.-------------......------------.|.
.|.|.%.|...|.%.|......|..|%..|...|.|.
.#.|...|.%.|...|......+..|...|.%.|.|.
.|.|...|...|...|......|..|...|...|.#.
.|.|...|...|-+--......-----+---+--.|.
.|.--+---+--.......................|.
.|..............{.......{..........|.
.|.--+---+--.....--...--...........|.
.|.|...|...|----.|.....|.------+--.|.
.|.|...|...|...|.|..%..|.|..|....|.|.
.|.|...|..%|...+.|.._..|.+.%|....|.|.
.|.|.%.|...|...|.|.....|.|%.|.%..|.|.
.|.-------------.-------.---------.|.
.|.................................#.
.-----------#------------#----------.
.....................................

Orcish Town, or Orctown, is a replacement of Frontier Town added in 3.6.0 and UnNetHack that has been ransacked and looted by orcs. All of the normal inhabitants have been killed, there are no functioning shops or temple, the entrances are barricaded with iron bars, and the whole area is swarming with orcs.

The marked walls between shops have a chance of being knocked down, and 11-19 boulders or rock piles will be randomly placed throughout the level.

The altar is unaligned and may be converted by sacrificing (but not same-race sacrifice). Thus, you will always have an available coaligned altar in this level after you convert it.

Since Izchak's shop does not exist in this variant, several of the shopkeepers' corpses will be generated with candles. At least 7 are guaranteed. In addition, an oil lamp and several spent wands of striking and magic missile will be generated with them.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch %%%%% Random
Priest % In temple above altar
Shopkeepers %%%%% On marked squares not in the temple
Orcs 6-15 random o, o, and o Inside the town walls
Orc shamans 2-6 o Near or inside the temple
Weak orcs 10-19 o and o Random

Comparison of Towns

This table lists the various shops, dungeon features, and extra monsters and items than can appear in each variant of Minetown. Each variant besides Orcish Town also has a stock of monsters and a guaranteed light shop. The light stores all have 6 item stacks, except the ones in the Town Square and Grotto Town variants, which have 9.

Also listed are, for each variant and for each shop, the number of item stacks that will appear in that shop, if it exists.

The "Expected Item Stacks" column lists the number of item stacks you can expect to find by shop type. (E.g., you should expect to find either 6 or 9 light store item stacks, depending on which variant you get.) There is a (dungeon level - 1)% chance of any given square containing a mimic instead of an item stack, the chance therefore depends on how deep Minetown is, but on average will be 5.5%.[1]. The "Expected Item Stacks" column does not account for this, because it does not impact inter-variant comparisons.

Variant General 1st Food 2nd Food 1st Tool 2nd Tool Extra Expected Item Stacks
Frontier Town 90% 9 90% 4 90% 9 6 Light, 8.1 General, 3.6 Food, 8.1 Tool
Town Square 90% 9 90% 9 90% 9 6 Light, 8.1 General, 8.1 Food, 8.1 Tool
Alley Town 100% 6 90% 4 30% 4 40% 6 30% chance of a quality apparel and accessories shop with 4 items 9 Light, 6 General, 3.6 Food, 3.6 Tool, 1.2 Quality apparel and accessories
College Town 90% 6 90% 4 90% 6 guaranteed book shop with 6 items, 6 Light, 5.4 General, 3.6 Food, 5.4 Tool, 6 Book
Grotto Town 100% 9 100% 4 100% 9 3 fountains, Almost entirely dark, 1 random tool, 1 random ring, 1 chest 9 Light, 9 General, 4 Food, 9 Tool
Bustling Town 100% 6 100% 4 100% 6 2 trees, 2 watch captains 6 Light, 6 General, 4 Food, 6 Tool
Bazaar Town 60% 4 50% 4 50% 4 50% 4 30% 6 sink, monkeys, random nymph 6 Light, 2.4 General, 4 Food, 3.8 Tool
Orcish Town No shops, desecrated temple, many orcs 7 Candle, 1 oil lamp, 5 empty wands of striking and magic missile, 11 human corpses

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Some of these probabilities should be recalculated to take Orcish Town and its lack of items into account"

You can therefore expect to find, on average, 6.857 stacks of lighting store items, 6.429 of general store items, 4.414 food, 6.286 tool, .857 book, and 0.171 stacks of quality apparel and accessory shop items in the shops of the average Minetown variant. Accounting for mimics, these figures become 6.480 lighting, 6.075 general, 4.171 food, 5.940 tool, .810 book, and 0.162 quality apparel and accessories.[2]

You can expect to find 0.18 magic lamps in the average 6 stack Izchak's lighting store, and 0.27 in the 9 stack Izchak's lighting store. This gives 0.206 expected[3] magic lamps in the average Izchak's lighting store, and 0.194 accounting for mimics.

In addition, you can expect to find 0.000729 wands of wishing on average in the Minetown quality apparel and accessories shop; as well as 0.00122 wands of wishing and 0.00729 magic lamps on average in the Minetown general store; and 0.0891 magic lamps on average in the Minetown tool stores; all accounting for mimics.[4]

In total, there will be on average, 0.25375 magic lamps and 0.001706 wands of wishing in Minetown shops, again, accounting for mimics.

The Watch

Main article: Watchman

The Watchmen patrol randomly to protect the merchandise and features of Minetown. A player should not, while in sight of a Watchman:

You will receive one warning before angering the Watch for kicking down or unlocking doors. Digging through walls or doors with a pickaxe will receive a warning, but using a spell or wand to dig them will cause the watch to become hostile immediately (as it cannot be interrupted).

You will usually receive a warning before a fountain dries up, either from a watchman or from the fountain's flow "reducing to a trickle." However, if you dip for Excalibur and successfully receive it, the fountain will disappear without warning. No matter how you dried up the fountain, the watch will be angered whether or not they are in sight.

If being attacked as part of being under arrest, the crime of stealing can be reversed, by paying all debt to the shopkeeper. (The shopkeeper, like all others within the dungeons, will still be angry at you, so you have to deal with him as well as the watch.) This can be used to pacify the watch if they are angry for something else.

See the main article for information on getting watchmen out of the way and killing them for profit.

Strategy

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"This section assumes that Minetown always has an temple and shops, which Orctown doesn't. It should be rewritten to reflect the fact that the temple and shops cannot be relied on."

Because Minetown always has an altar and shops, it is an excellent location for a first stash. The altar provides BUC identification while the shops provide price identification, especially if your Minetown has a general store. There is also a significant 1/3 chance that the temple is co-aligned, which makes it a sanctuary (and a useful altar). Many players unload some excess loot in the Minetown temple before going on to Mines' End, and then consolidate upon their return. The disadvantage is that you might not be putting your stash in a container.

Minetown often has a deli and a tool shop. (Remember not to let your pet eat all the tripe rations.) Minetown can be a good place to increase your food supply if you are low. Players who are missing a skeleton key or other cheap tool can buy one. Be aware though that the Gnomish Mines has several tools for free sitting on its other levels.

The popularity of Minetown means that players spend a long time there, and hence have a greater than average opportunity of dying there. Thus Minetown is often a bones level.

Reaching the Minetown priest is the objective of the protection racket, perhaps also cloning credit in the stores.

Izchak's light shop will have .194 magic lamps on average. In case there are no other shops and you want price identification: clone credit, throw items in, and buy them back to get a price quote.

As mentioned above, if you dry up one of the fountains by dipping, the Watchmen will become hostile, regardless of whether the Watchmen can see you.

If you let your pet kill them (and perhaps heal it up afterwards), the minetown guards will be a good source of studded leather armor and leather gloves for a spellcaster and help identify non-magical equipment. If you want to kill them yourself one by one, it is a good idea to lure them to a different level first. You will still be penalized for murder, but the other guards will not be angered with you.

A wizard should sacrifice for Magicbane as early as possible. If the minetown temple happens to be cross-aligned, the tending priest needs to be killed safely beforehand (and after buying protection). (Note a Helm of opposite alignment might allow you to sacrifice without killing the priest, but you will never get Magicbane this way.)

NetHack 3.4.3

In NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions, Orcish Town existed in a non-destroyed form as Frontier Town:

 ---------------------------------
 |...............................|
 |.------------.....------------.|
 |.|...|...|..|.....+..|...|...|.|
 |.|...|...|fd|.....+G.|lgt|.G.|.|
 |.|gen|...|..|.....+..|...|...|.|
 |.|...|...|++-.....----+++-+++-.|
 |.-+++-+++-.....................|
 |.............{......{..........|
 |.-+++-+++-....-++++-...........|
 |.|...|...|---.|.GG.|.----++++-.|
 |.|...|...|..+.|....|.+..|....|.|
 |.|too|...|.G+.|.@_.|.+..|....|.|
 |.|...|...|..+.|....|.+..|....|.|
 |.------------.------.---------.|
 |...............................|
 ---------------------------------

Izchak's light shop (marked "lgt") is guaranteed, but the general store ("gen"), food shop ("fd") and tool shop ("too") have only a 90% chance of existing.

Only one + on each wall is randomly made a door. This level contains two random traps.

Monster Symbol Location
The Watch @@@@@ Patrolling randomly
Priest @ In temple
Gnomish Wizards GG In temple
Gnomes GG In rooms marked with G
Gnome lord G In room marked with G
Gnomes GGG Outside mapped area
Dwarf h Outside mapped area

References

  1. Weighted mean probability: (1/6)(5 - 1) + (1/3)(6 - 1) + (1/3)(7 - 1) + (1/6)(8 - 1) = 5.5%
  2. Expected without mimics, times .945, the proportion of squares without mimics on average.
  3. Weighted mean: 0.18 * 5/7 + .27 * (2/7)
  4. 3% of items in a light store are magic lamps; 8% of items in general store are tools, 0.015 tools are magic lamps; 90% of items in "wand" shop are wands, 4% of items in general store are wands, 0.5% of wands are wishing; see http://www.steelypips.org/nethack/343/tool-343.html and http://www.steelypips.org/nethack/343/wan1-343.html as well as the wiki's shop page.

This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.