Spellbook of slow monster

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spellbook of
+   slow monster   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 3.05%
Base price 200 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 2
Ink to write 10–19
Spell type enchantment
Level 2
Power cost 10 Pw
Direction beam
Equivalent wand of slow monster

In NetHack, the spellbook of slow monster allows a player to learn the spell of slow monster. It is a level 2 enchantment spell, and the spellbook takes 4 actions to read.


Wizards may receive this spellbook as their starting non-force bolt spellbook.


When cast, the spell acts similarly to a wand of slow monster: if you cast it at a monster and they do not resist, it renders them slow (i.e. 2/3 of their normal speed). If the target(s) were already fast, they are returned to normal speed. If cast at a vortex or air elemental while it has you engulfed, you are immediately expelled.[1] If zapped at yourself, you lose any intrinsic speed you have.


The spell of slow monster is considered inferior to the sleep spell in most applicable scenarios, unless the target monster(s) has both high speed and sleep resistance, such as energy vortexes and Vlad the Impaler - such monsters are generally rare, however. The spell is also somewhat useful for escaping whirly engulfing monsters; this gives it a marginal use case on the Plane of Air, where it will allow you to escape air elementals.

Pacifist may find this more useful for deterring dangerous monsters and/or escaping some engulfers; many other players prefer to read it for confusion-on-demand from forgetting the spell, then polypile it or blank it to write another desired spellbook with a magic marker.


The spellbook of slow monster and its spell first appear in NetHack 1.3d.


<Monster> seems to be moving slower.
You zapped a monster, and it has been slowed.
You disrupt <monster>! A huge hole opens up...
You zapped it at a vortex or air elemental who was engulfing you, and will be expelled.
You slow down
You zapped yourself, and no longer have the speed intrinsic.
Your quickness feels less natural.
You zapped yourself and no longer have the speed intrinsic, but you still have extrinsic speed from your speed boots.