Terry Pratchett

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Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett (April 28, 1948 - March 12, 2015) was an English author, humorist, and satirist. His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971; he is best known for Discworld, a series of 41 comedic fantasy novels set on the titular Discworld, and for the apocalyptic 1990 comedy novel Good Omens which he co-authored with Neil Gaiman. The final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, was published five months after his death in August 2015.

With more than 100 million books sold worldwide in 43 languages, Pratchett was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998, and was knighted for services to literature in the 2009 New Year Honours. His influence on the fantasy genre during his life and long after has been long-lasting, and is comparable to that of his many peers, such Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Brooks, George R. R. Martin, and Neil Gaiman.


The influence of Pratchett's works on fantasy media naturally extends to NetHack, which contains some monsters and several concepts derived from the Discworld series. The Tourist as a role is an homage to Twoflower in particular and the series as a whole: the pantheon consists of three Discworld deities, Blind Io, The Lady and Offler; the Tourist quest branch is set in Ankh-Morpork, with Twoflower as the quest leader and the Master of Thieves as the quest nemesis.

After Pratchett passed away from Alzheimer's in early 2015, NetHack 3.6.0 was released later that year, and contains several additional tributes and references to Pratchett:

  • The primary tribute to Terry Pratchett is the addition of novels, books that can be found in book shops and are named after works in the Discworld series - reading a novel displays one of a few quoted passages from the named book, and the first novel your character reads gives 20 experience points.
  • Breaking an expensive camera has a 13 chance of creating either an imp or a homunculus. In The Color of Magic, the iconoscope (the Discworld equivalent of a camera) is revealed to contain a 'picture-painting demon'.
  • Each squeaky board trap squeaks in a specific pitch (e.g. "You hear a distant D flat squeak"), which a careful player can use to determine if enemies are near. In The Light Fantastic, a character has floorboards tuned so he can determine not only if someone is approaching, but also where that person is standing.
  • Death of the Riders speaks in all caps and without quotation marks, in the same manner as the recurring Discworld character.
  • When a guard in a vault asks for your character's name, "Creosote" produces the same result as "Croesus", causing them to leave you alone if the real Croesus is alive. In Sourcery, a character named Mr. Creosote appears, whose name is a pun on "Croesus".