Spellbook of polymorph

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spellbook of
+   polymorph   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 1.01%
Base price 600 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 48
Ink to write 30–59
Spell type matter
Level 6
Power cost 30 Pw
Direction beam
Equivalent wand of polymorph

The spellbook of polymorph allows you to cast the polymorph spell, casting a beam that changes any monster, item, or player it hits into something else of its type.

Strategy

Polymorph is one of the most complicated and useful abilities in the game, and having its spellbook and being able to cast it is extremely useful if applied right. There are several aspects to polymorphing that having this spellbook allows you to do.

First of all, you can cast it at monsters, pets, or yourself. Casting it at a monster is usually a bad idea (as it will frequently generate out-of-depth monsters), but may work if you meet an out-of-depth monster. Casting it at pets allows you to, basically, reroll pet forms until you get a strong one. Beware of system shock: any monster has a 1/25 chance of being instakilled by polymorph, if they don't resist the polymorph itself. This will break pacifist conduct. A polytrap is usually preferable for changing pet forms, since it does not carry the risk of system shock.

Casting it at yourself will transform you into a random monster. This is not terribly useful and can even be ruinous depending on what form you get, but becomes very interesting and useful if you acquire a ring of polymorph control, which allows you to select the form you wish to assume. An amulet of unchanging can be used to keep you in your current form without needed to recast polymorph. This is risky, however, since if killed in creature form while wearing an amulet of unchanging, you will die instead of reverting.

You can also polymorph junk items in the hope of generating something useful, a process called polypiling. Combined with The Eye of the Aethiopica, you can do this repeatedly to generate valuable items out of common drops. Note, however, that polymorphed items will have the same BUC status, number of uses (if it is a wand or tool), enchantments and class. In addition, spellbooks will come out with one less use (but due to a bug, this does not matter unless you already know the spell), and there is a chance that polypiling will create a golem or simply destroy the item.

Having access to the polymorph spell makes magic markers almost redundant, because you can just keep polying your junk scrolls until you get the ones you want. You can then save your marker charges for writing spellbooks, which are harder to poly for. Make sure you don't polymorph too many scrolls at once, however, because you might create a paper golem, losing all your scrolls.

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.