Spellbook of remove curse

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spellbook of
+   remove curse   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 2.54%
Base price 300 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 10
Ink to write 15–29
Spell type clerical
Level 3
Power cost 15 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent scroll of remove curse
Special for priest

In NetHack, the spellbook of remove curse allows you to learn the spell of remove curse. The book takes 12 actions to read; it is a clerical spell, and the only emergency spell that is not a healing spell. Remove curse is the special spell for Priests.


Priests have a chance of starting the game with a spellbook of remove curse as one of their two spellbooks. Wizards may also start the game with the spellbook of remove curse as their second spellbook.

Aligned priests may receive the spellbook of remove curse as one of their many spellbooks.


When cast at Basic level or lower, the spell of remove curse acts identically to an uncursed scroll of remove curse; at Skilled or higher, it is identical to a blessed scroll.


The spell of remove curse is a very useful utility spell that makes use-testing certain items less dangerous - you can uncurse most items within your inventory by wielding them and casting the spell. If your role permits it, consider enhancing clerical spells from Basic to Skilled if you intend to uncurse multiple items in your inventory simultaneously and save magic power. If you want to advance the skill quickly, you can just cast the spell multiple times. It doesn't matter if the wielded object is cursed or not: as long as you get the message "You feel like someone is helping you.", the game considers your casting successful and trains the skill even if actual uncursing didn't happen because you weren't wielding a cursed item. The spell of remove curse spell is outclassed only by the spell of identify, which can be cast beforehand to check items' BUC status as well as identifying them.

While the spell can uncurse weapons, doing so at Basic skill or lower requires that you have at least one hand free, so it is unwise to wield two-handed weapons for this purpose; one-handed weapons can be uncursed safely if you are not wearing a cursed shield in the other. Similarly, avoid putting on cursed armor that will significantly impair your ability to cast the spell, and beware of autocursing helms. Wielding amulets to uncurse them is much safer than wear-testing - a discovered cursed amulet of strangulation will prevent you from chanting the spell and cannot be removed (except via prayer).[1] Also, the spell cannot be used to uncurse a saddle worn by a steed, regardless of if you are stuck on it at the time.

As Priests have an innate knowledge of an item's beatitude, they can more readily spot cursed items - Priests thus excel at sorting through any bones files they encounter, as they can efficiently prioritize and uncurse loot using the spell to preserve precious holy water. The spell becomes especially useful during the mid- and late game for countering the curse items monster spell from enemy spellcasters (e.g., liches, some quest nemeses and the Wizard of Yendor); scrolls of remove curse remain a useful backup item, and are best kept within a container to #tip out whenever you are prevented from casting.

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

Per this commit and the general list of fixes for 3.7:

While riding, the saddle is now considered part of your inventory, meaning that the spell of remove curse can now uncurse a cursed saddle.


Like all spellbooks, the spellbook of remove curse was introduced in NetHack 1.3d. The vocal requirement for spell casting (and thus being prevented from doing so by strangulation) was introduced in NetHack 3.6.1.


In SLASH'EM, the spell of remove curse is now a level 5 protection spell.