Spellbook of restore ability

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spellbook of
+   restore ability   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 2.54%
Base price 400 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 15
Ink to write 20–39
Spell type healing
Level 4
Power cost 20 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent potion of restore ability
Special for monk

In NetHack, the spellbook of restore ability allows you to learn the spell of restore ability. It is considered an emergency spell, and is the special spell for Monks.


Monks receive this spellbook as their crowning gift in lieu of an artifact.


Casting this spell has the same effect as a potion of restore ability, except that it does not restore lost levels. At less than skilled in healing spells, it restores one random lost attribute of strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, or charisma to its previous maximum amount, like an uncursed potion. At skilled or expert, it restores all six attributes like a blessed potion.


Valuable as the spell's effects are, by the time the vast majority of characters even discover the spellbook - let alone become capable of casting it - they are likely to have ready access to unicorn horns, which do a number of useful things in addition to restoring diminished ability scores. Monks receive the special spell bonus when casting this spell, and might just be in a position to require it before the first unicorn appears and is dispatched.

In SporkHack, UnNetHack and xNetHack this spell is considerably more valuable since the unicorn horn no longer restores lost attributes. Once this spell is learned, you are safe to abuse your stats (e.g. by remaining satiated, consorting with foocubi), since any attributes lost can be easily restored. You will also accumulate potions of restore ability, which can now be used for dilution. Similarly, in Fourk, unicorn horns lose one point of enchantment, making horns a somewhat limited resource.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Unicorn horns can no longer restore reduced attributes in vanilla NetHack, so the value of this spell has increased as described above.


The spellbook was called the spellbook of restore strength at its introduction, along with spells themselves, in NetHack 1.3d. It was renamed to spellbook of restore ability in NetHack 3.0.0, which also introduced the modern six-attribute system.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.