Scroll of identify

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? Scroll.png
Name identify
Appearance random
Base price 20 zm
Weight 5
Ink to write 7–13
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A scroll of identify is a type of scroll that appears in NetHack. When read, it identifies items in the player's inventory, with the amount of items identified based on its beatitude.


18% of all randomly generated scrolls will be a scroll of identify, making it somewhat common.

Writing a scroll of identify with a magic marker takes up 7 to 13 charges.


Scrolls of identify are always safe to read, but noncursed scrolls usually identify more items. When read, the scroll will auto-identify itself and reveal the full identity of at least one chosen item in the player's open inventory;[1] if a scroll would identify a number of items less than the amount of unidentified items in the inventory, the player chooses which items to identify.[2] If the scroll is read while confused, it will auto-identify itself with no further effect.[3]

If the scroll is blessed or uncursed, it will identify 1, 2, 3, 4, or all items in the inventory, with the probability of each number given in the table below, while a cursed scroll will only identify one item.[4] If the player's Luck is positive, a blessed scroll will always identify at least two items, with a 35 chance of identifying more.[5]

Number of items
1 2 3 4 all
Blessed 15 15 15 15 15
Uncursed 2125 125 125 125 125
Cursed 1 0 0 0 0


Before reading any scroll(s) of identify, be sure to have as many unidentified items in your open inventory as is reasonably possible; if you have holy water to spare, you can bless your scroll(s) beforehand to increase the chance of identifying more items. If reading the scroll(s) of identify in a shop, you can also use price identification to prioritize which of the shop's wares to formally identify and get the most out of your scrolls.

A role such as Priest or Wizard that can learn the identify spell and train divination spells to Skilled or better can potentially render scrolls of identify redundant, though they may still be useful if the spell is forgotten at any point (e.g., you have also forgotten several other item identities due to a mind flayer or an ill-advised scroll of amnesia). A reliably-cast identify spell in combination with a source of energy such as The Eye of the Aethiopica lets you identify any object soon after you discover it, even if you only want to know its beatitude.


The scroll of identify is the only scroll with a base price of 20zm, making price identification trivial; it is also one of the most common scrolls randomly generated in the dungeon, to the point that the largest stack of unidentified scrolls in your inventory has a decent-but-unreliable chance of being a stack of identify scrolls.


The scroll of identify first appears in Hack 1.21, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack, and also appears in Hack for PDP-11. It is included in the initial item list for Hack 1.0.


What do you want to identify first?
You read a scroll of identify, auto-identifying it and prompting you to select an item in your inventory that is not fully identified.
You identify this as an identify scroll.
You read a scroll of identify while confused.



In SporkHack, every role begins the game with knowledge of the label for the scroll of identify.


In xNetHack, to counterbalance the removal of the identify spell, scrolls of identify are made more reliable: Blessed scrolls always identify 7 items, and uncursed scrolls always identify 4, while cursed scrolls only identify 1 item. Reading a scroll of identify while confused will "identify yourself" and give enlightenment.

When reading a cursed scroll of identify, the game may randomly print the phrase "Do you want your possessions identified?" in place of the usual prompt.


In SpliceHack and SpliceHack-Rewrite, the scroll of knowledge is a scroll with the same base price as the scroll of identify; 1 out of roughly every 10 scrolls that cost 20 zorkmids will be a scroll of knowledge, making price identifying scrolls of identify slightly less trivial.


EvilHack incorporates the SporkHack change that gives every role starting knowledge of the scroll of identify.


Hack'EM incorporates both the SporkHack change granting every role knowledge of the scroll of identify (via EvilHack) and the scroll of knowledge from SpliceHack; due to the former change, the scroll of knowledge's base price is raised to 50zm in order to make it less trivial to identify via price.