Scroll of genocide

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? Scroll.png
Name genocide
Appearance random
Base price 300 zm
Weight 5
Ink to write 15-29
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A scroll of genocide is a type of scroll that appears in NetHack. It is considered one of the most powerful and rare scrolls in the game.


Roughly ~1.5% of all scrolls found in the dungeon will be scrolls of genocide.


Reading a scroll of any beatitude will auto-identify it, regardless of whether you choose to genocide any monsters; monsters will not read this scroll. The effects when read depend on the scroll's beatitude, including confused readings:

Beatitude Effect Confused effect
Blessed You may genocide a chosen monster class.
Uncursed You may genocide a chosen monster species. You genocide your own role, causing instadeath.
Cursed 4-6 monsters of the chosen species are summoned.

Monsters generated this way do not carry any inventory.

4-6 hostile player monsters of your role are summoned.

Monsters generated this way do not carry any inventory.

If hallucinating, an uncursed or cursed scroll's message will substitute your role for the monster specified, but the actual effect remains unchanged. Monsters that were already generated prior to being genocided are removed, dropping any inventory they had even if they were on a different floor - killing monsters this way does not break the pacifist conduct, though you may specify "none" or "nothing" to a noncursed scroll if you wish to keep genocideless conduct intact; specifying either to a cursed scroll will choose a random species for the generated monsters.

Tins made from genocided monsters will be empty when opened, and you cannot polymorph into a genocided monster. There is no alignment penalty for genociding a species that would include current pets or peaceful monsters, but there is a small alignment penalty for a lawful character that genocides any human species; a chaotic character gains a small boost to alignment for doing the same.


Main article: Genocide

The scroll of genocide is one of the player's most powerful tools and one of the most dangerous - a confused reading of an uncursed scroll is immediately and irreversibly fatal. Blessed scrolls still function as normal even if read while confused, but can still bring an unexpected end to your game if you are careless - do not use one to genocide mind flayers while reading one as a dwarf, and be sure not to typo while genociding master mind flayers as a Monk!

Uncursed scrolls of genocide are a useful emergency aid that allows you to quickly eliminate incredibly troublesome monsters bearing down on you - this tends to work best against monsters such as soldier ants that generate in groups. Blessed scrolls are often used to eliminate entire classes of annoying or potentially lethal monsters such as liches; players commonly use a blessed scroll on the ascension run just as they enter the Plane of Water in order to get rid of the sea monsters that appear and minimize their odds of drowning.

Conversely, the effects of a scroll of cursed genocide (also known as "reverse genocide") are frequently used to gather the corpses of desired monsters, such as wraiths or dragons. Another common ascension tactic is to read a cursed genocide scroll or two on the Astral Plane, generate purple worms, then use a scroll of taming on them; the player then breaks a wand of teleportation to send as many worms as they can around the level, leaving them to clear paths to the altars.

For a detailed list of common genocide/"reverse genocide" targets, see the main article linked above.


At a base cost of 300zm, the scroll of genocide shares its base cost with the scroll of punishment. Reading an unidentified 300zm scroll is especially perilous, and can potentially be fatal if you do not know its beatitude - this is especially true if you are confused. If you read a known scroll of genocide, especially without knowing its beatitude, be sure you are not confused - apply a unicorn horn a couple of times beforehand to make sure.

If reading a genocide scroll of unknown beatitude, it may be ideal to choose a low-level monster to genocide (e.g. leprechauns or newts) so that you are not immediately swarmed to death if it is cursed. Alternately, sea monsters such as the kraken may be a viable option - while fairly high-level at minimum, they immediately become scared while on land and will not attack; caution is still advised, as they may still lash out if cornered or you are occupied, e.g. by digging. If the scroll is cursed, you can kill the monsters somewhat easily for a nice bundle of experience - if the scroll is non-cursed, you wipe out a major late-game nuisance and lower your risk of drowning.


The scroll of genocide has been present in the game since Hack 1.21, a port/variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


You have found a scroll of genocide!
You read a scroll of genocide and auto-identified it.
What monster do you want to genocide? [type the name]
You read a cursed or uncursed scroll.
What class of monsters do you wish to genocide?
You read a blessed scroll.
A thunderous voice booms through the caverns: 'No, mortal! That will not be done.'
You read a cursed or uncursed scroll, and selected an ungenocidable species.
You aren't permitted to genocide such monsters.
You read a blessed scroll and tried to genocide a monster class that only contains ungenocidable monsters.
Such creatures no longer exist in this world.
You read a cursed or uncursed scroll, and tried to genocide a species that was already genocided.
All such monsters are already nonexistent.
The scroll was blessed, and you tried to genocide a monster class that already has all its genocidable members genocided.
Wiped out all <foo>.
You successfully genocided one of the selected monsters.
You aren't permitted to genocide <foo>.
The scroll was blessed and at least one of the monsters in the monster class is genocidable, but <foo> is ungenocidable. This message will be given for every monster in the class that cannot be genocided.
All <foo> are nonexistent.
The scroll was blessed and at least one of the monsters in the monster class is now successfully genocided, but <foo> was already genocided beforehand. This message will be given for every monster in the class that was already genocided.
Wiped out all <role/race>.
You wiped out your own race or role; if you are killed this way, the game proceeds to the DYWYPI screen, and the end-of-game screen reports you as "killed by genocidal confusion".
You feel dead inside.
You genocided your own race, but were polymorphed into another at the time. If you quit after getting this message without polymorphing back, the end-of-game screen reports that you "quit while already on Charon's boat."
Sent in some <foo>.
You read a cursed scroll and successfully "reverse genocided" some monsters.
Nothing happens.
You read a cursed scroll, but no monsters were created, perhaps because they are extinct.



In UnNetHack, a blessed scroll of genocide works like an uncursed one in vanilla NetHack, i.e. it allows a single monster to be genocided, rather than a monster class; an uncursed scroll instead kills all of a single monster on the current level.


Hack'EM copies the behavior of UnNetHack genocide.


In SpliceHack-Rewrite, the scroll's functions are unchanged, though it is renamed the scroll of annihilation to avoid certain implications from use of the word "genocide".

Most vanilla targets for genocide are similarly applicable in SpliceHack, as well as several of the newer dragons introduced.

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.