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 when read. An uncursed scroll will create 9 boulders: 8 around the player and one on top of their head. A blessed scroll will create 8 boulders around the player without dropping one on them, and a cursed scroll will create a single boulder over the character's head. If there is a wall where a boulder would normally fall, that boulder will not be created. If read while confused, the scroll will create rocks instead of boulders, using the same pattern based on the beatitude of the scroll. The first level of Sokoban has two guaranteed scrolls of earth in the lower-left corner.

The scroll has no effect on the Rogue level and the Elemental Planes (with the exception of the Plane of Earth),[1] and reading one in Sokoban will decrease Luck by 1.[2]

The boulder that falls on the players head does 1d20 points of damage; if they are wearing a hard helmet, it bounces off for 2 points of damage. A scroll of earth does no damage to amorphous, phasing, noncorporeal, and unsolid monsters.[3]

Strategy

  • This scroll can be used to create a "boulder fort": Monsters will not be able to attack a player they cannot see, and the boulders prevent most monsters from approaching them while the player uses telepathy to detect them and attack with missile weapons and spells. Be careful of force bolts and wands of striking, as they 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; it can be especially useful to cross Medusa's Island, 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.

UnNetHack

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

References

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.