Spellbook of levitation

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spellbook of
+   levitation   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 2.03%
Base price 400 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 12
Ink to write 20–39
Spell type escape
Level 4
Power cost 20 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent potion of levitation

In NetHack, reading the spellbook of levitation allows you to learn the spell of levitation. It is an escape spell, and the spellbook takes 14 actions (roughly 12 turns) to read.


2.03% of all randomly-generated spellbooks will be a spellbook of levitation.


Casting the spell of levitation at Basic skill or lower in escape spells has the same effect as an uncursed potion of levitation - it grants you levitation for 10 to 149 (more) turns. Casting it at Skilled or higher has the same effect as a blessed potion, giving you 250 to 299 (more) turns of levitation as well as the ability to land at will using the > command.

Note that you must be at the appropriate skill-level at the time of casting; if you cast it while Basic and then train to Skilled, you will not be able to land at will unless you cast it again.


Early-game, the only real use for the spell is to levitate above an Elbereth engraving in order to slow down eroding it; this can be powerful, but if the Elbereth wears off as you cast the spell, you will be stuck in midair and unable to try again. Using the spell for this purpose is also potentially unwise due to the time it can leave you stuck in midair, which can exacerbate combat problems.

Later in the game, the spell is typically used to cross water or lava—you will get a warning that your levitation spell is about to wear off, so watch for that warning especially in such scenarios. While a levitation source is a vital part of most ascension kits and handy for areas such as Medusa's Island and the much-later Plane of Air), it is typically wiser to use the ring of levitation and boots of levitation rather than the spell, as they work in a much more predictable way.

If you end up stuck in midair due to the use of this spell and do not want to wait it out, you can land using a sink, a blessed potion of levitation, or (if somehow possible) raise the spell to Skilled and cast it again.

Uncontrolled levitation is unlikely to cause problems if cast in the Plane of Air, so long as you're mindful of the possibility of it wearing off - there is no real need to land on the ground from that point, unless you plan to drop the Amulet of Yendor to reduce Pw costs.


All spellbooks were introduced in NetHack 1.3d.

The warning that your temporary levitation is close to expiring was introduced in NetHack 3.6.1.


In SLASH'EM, the spell is a level 4 body spell.