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Pirate Role
Author Chris
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Bilious PatchDB pending

The Pirate is a role added in the Pirate Role patch, which was developed using Nephi's preliminary Pirate patch as a base.

Pirates are a melee focused class that may have trouble finding a good weapon. Their first sacrifice gift is the Marauder's Map, and their crowning gift is an artifact cutlass (scimitar), Reaver. Their default pet is either a parrot or a monkey.

In the original patch, only humans can be Pirates. They can be neutral or chaotic.

In dNetHack, Elves, Drow, and Incantifiers can also be Pirates. Slash'EM Extended and SLASHTHEM unrestrict all race and alignment combinations.


Pirate skills
Max Skills

The Pirate's special spell is cause fear. Spell success is determined by intelligence.

In Slash'EM Extended, the pirate can also advance firearms to Expert, and starts with a pistol and a random quantity of bullets.

Starting equipment


Pirates gain the following intrinsics at these experience levels:


The pirate quest sees the Pirate traveling from the pirate stronghold of Tortuga to Shipwreck Island to retrieve the Treasury of Proteus from Blackbeard's Ghost. The Treasury will periodically polymorph its contents while carried. In addition, it grants magic resistance. It's described as so cursed, it sucks in lesser curses like a black hole (it blocks curses, similar to what Magicbane does).


Main article: Religion
  • Lawful: the Lord
  • Neutral: the deep blue sea
  • Chaotic: the Devil

Rank titles

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

  • XL 1-2: Landlubber
  • XL 3-5: Swabbie
  • XL 6-9: Cutthroat
  • XL 10-13: Bosun
  • XL 14-17: Second Mate
  • XL 18-21: First Mate
  • XL 22-25: Captain
  • XL 26-29: Pirate Lord
  • XL 30: Dread Pirate

Artifact generation

In dNetHack, artifacts generate 4 times as often as for other roles when you're a Pirate. (normally, each random item on the floor has a 1/20 or 5% chance of becoming an artifact if an artifact of that base type exists)

Pirate names for items

Like the Samurai, the Pirate will know common items by special names, in this case, following a nautical theme:

Standard Pirate
potion of booze potion of rum
cram ration sea biscuit
scimitar cutlass
small shield buckler
sack ditty bag
large box foot locker
club belaying pin
zorkmid doubloon
gold coin piece of eight

The patch treats the cutlass as a kind of scimitar. In real life, the cutlass is usually a much shorter sword than the scimitar, though both usually have conspicuously curved blades. Both are also related to the saber--the scimitar through the Persian shamshir and Turkish kilij, which were probably influenced by cavalry sabers used by the Byzantine Empire--but NetHack treats the scimitar/cutlass and saber as distinct weapons. NetHack is not real life.

Reference: Chris's Pirate Patch

Encyclopedia entry

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We kindle and char and inflame and ignite.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villians and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

[ Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland ]