Spellbook of cone of cold

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spellbook of
+   cone of cold   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 1.01%
Base price 400 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 21
Ink to write 20–39
Spell type attack
Level 4
Power cost 20 Pw
Direction ray/distant
Equivalent wand of cold
Special for valkyrie

Cone of cold is a medium-level attack spell. It is the Valkyrie's speciality spell.


Unskilled or basic

Zaps a ray with the Same effect as a wand of cold. NetHack will prompt you for a direction in which to cast the spell; you can also zap it at yourself, although this is not recommended.

Zap Case Effect
monster monster is unseen The location of the monster is revealed.
monster is cold resistant no effect
otherwise does (XL/2 + 1)d6 damage, plus damage bonus.
monster is fire resistant additional (XL/2 + 1)d3 damage
you are a knight with the MMoM the above damage is doubled.
monster is carrying potions they may freeze and shatter
self you are not cold resistant does 12 to 72 damage
you are carrying potions they may freeze and shatter
location water it freezes
lava it solidifies
closed door it is destroyed, and the ray is halted

Skilled or expert

You may choose a location at which to cast explosions of cold. This location may be no more than 10 squares away, must be in sight or (as of 3.6.0) the location of a monster "seen" by telepathy or detect monsters, and must be an open space. The explosion cannot be cast underwater or on the Plane of Water; if used while swallowed, it is automatically cast on your own location.

2 to 9 explosions follow; the first is centered at the location you chose, subsequent ones randomly at any of the nine squares around that point (unless swallowed). Each explosion affects the surrounding squares, as when unskilled/basic.

The damage to non-cold-resistant monsters is just XL/2 + 1 plus spell damage bonus,[1] halved if they resist, doubled if they are resistant to fire, and doubled again is they're grabbing you and you're within blast radius.[2] Monsters are dealt additional damage equal to the number of potion stacks in their inventory, even if they're cold resistant and potions didn't freeze.[3]

Any explosions that would be centered on yourself do not take place, but instead do damage as 'zap self' above.

Explosions produce noise.[4]


Message Reason
"The cone of cold hits the <monster>." You cast the spell at unskilled/basic
"The cone of cold rips into the <monster>." You cast the spell at unskilled/basic, while swallowed
"You imitate a popsicle!" You cast the spell at yourself, while not cold resistant
"You feel a little chill." You cast the spell at yourself, while cold resistant
"The water freezes." You cast the spell at water
"The moat is bridged with ice!" You cast the spell at a moat
"You hear a crackling sound." You cast the spell at water out of sight
"The water freezes for a moment." You cast the spell at water on the Plane of Water
"You hear a soft crackling." You cast the spell at water out of sight on the Plane of Water
"The lava cools and solidifies." You cast the spell at lava
"The door freezes and shatters!" You cast the spell at a door
"You feel cold." You cast the spell at a door out of sight
"Your mind fails to lock onto that location!" You tried to cast the spell at a location out of sight
"The spell dissipates over the distance!" You tried to cast the spell over too great a distance
"You're joking! In this weather?" You tried to cast the spell underwater
"You had better wait for the sun to come out." You tried to cast the spell at skilled/expert, on the Plane of Water
"<Monster> is caught in the ball of cold!" You cast the spell at skilled/expert
"You are caught in the ball of cold!" You cast the spell at skilled/expert, at yourself


The best possible casting scenario for this spell is if you are a level 30 character, 18 intelligence, and are casting at a fire-resistant monster: you can cast up to 9 cold explosions, each of which could hit the monster's square for (6*17 + 3*17) damage, for a total of 1377 damage. This makes this spell potentially the most devastating attack in NetHack, although under normal circumstances magic missile is likely to be better. The cone of cold is most useful for crowd control in Gehennom, where many of the monsters are fire-resistant and thus more vulnerable to the spell. It is also very useful for dealing with vampires transformed into other forms. In Gehennom any vampire bat, wolf or fog cloud killed is, as of 3.6.0, likely to come back to life as a vampire or vampire lord; using a cone of cold might kill the transformed form with an early blast and the risen vampire with one of the subsequent blasts. Coupled with detect monsters, this can be done from another room or corridor, keeping the player safe from the vampiric life-draining attack.

Enhancing to expert skill gives no benefits over skilled for this spell besides a decreased spell failure rate. A level 30 valkyrie with a robe can cast this spell at 2% fail thanks to valkyries' speciality spell bonus. The fail rate is 33% if the valkyrie also wears gauntlets of power (more likely).

See also


This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

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