Scroll of earth

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? Scroll.png
Name earth
Appearance random
Base price 200 zm
Weight 5
Ink to write 4-7
Monster use May be used offensively by monsters.

The scroll of earth creates boulders. An uncursed scroll will create 9 boulders: 8 around you and one on top of your head. A blessed scroll will create 8 boulders around you (skipping the boulder on your head), and a cursed scroll will create just one boulder on your head. If there is a wall where a boulder would normally fall, that boulder will not be created. If you are confused, the scroll will create rocks instead of boulders, using the same pattern based on the BUC of the scroll.

If a boulder falls on your head, it will do 1d20 points of damage, unless you're wearing a hard helmet, in which case it does 2 points of damage. Beware—in the early game (or in a desperate situation later), this may kill you or your pet.

On the Rogue level and in the End Game (with the exception of the Plane of Earth) a scroll of earth has no effect.[1]

The first level of Sokoban has two guaranteed scrolls of earth in the lower-left corner (but beware that reading a scroll of earth in Sokoban will decrease your luck by 1[2]).

A scroll of earth does no damage to amorphous, phasing, noncorporeal, and unsolid monsters.[3] Feel free to create boulders on top of the jelly fort surrounding you.


  • This scroll can be used to create a "boulder fort". Monsters will not attack you if they can't see you through the boulders, and most cannot enter spaces containing boulders, but you can use telepathy to detect them and attack with missile weapons and spells (be careful of force bolt, though, as it will destroy boulders). This is a relatively safe way to deal with a horde of dangerous monsters, or one extremely tough monster.
    • It's also possible to create a fort and then carefully move a single boulder so as to allow only one monster to reach you at a time. This is best done on a staircase or a permanent Elbereth square (or both) so as to allow some means of escape if things do poorly.
  • This scroll can be used as a convenient source of boulders to fill trapdoors, holes, and moats. This can be especially useful to cross Medusa's level or to fill in the moat and some of the trapdoors at the Castle if you don't have levitation (be careful not to fill them all in, as they're the only way to enter Gehennom).
  • Be careful not to let nymphs or other intelligent monsters steal the Sokoban scrolls and use them—if you have to break the resulting boulders, you have to take the luck penalty even though you didn't create the boulders. However, monsters that don't have a hard helmet will only read them 10% of the time[4], so it is rare for this to become a problem if you kill them fast enough.


In the UnNetHack Black Market, a scroll of earth will have no effect 50% of the time.


This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.2.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-362}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.