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spl1-343.txt  Last edited 2004-05-29 for NetHack 3.4.3
Spells (learning, practising, and casting) in NetHack 3.4
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.3 by Dylan O'Donnell <psmith@spod-central.org>.

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ : ~~~~~  ~~~  ~~~~ : ~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~
  blank paper      : $   0   50   18  :  0     0     0          plain
  Book of the Dead : 10000   20    0  :  7     0     0          papyrus
attack             :                  :
  force bolt       :   100   50   35  :  1     2    10
  drain life       :   200   50   10  :  2     2    20
  magic missile    :   200   50   45  :  2     2    20    Wiz
  cone of cold     :   400   50   10  :  4    21    40    Val
  fireball         :   400   50   20  :  4    12    40
  finger of death  :   700   50    5  :  7    80    70
healing            :                  :
  healing          :   100   50   40  :  1     2    10       +
  cure blindness   :   200   50   25  :  2     2    20       +
  cure sickness    :   300   50   32  :  3     6    30    Hea+
  extra healing    :   300   50   27  :  3    10    30       +
  stone to flesh   :   300   50   15  :  3     2    30
  restore ability  :   400   50   25  :  4    15    40    Mon+
divination         :                  :
  detect monsters  :   100   50   43  :  1     1    10
  light            :   100   50   45  :  1     1    10
  detect food      :   200   50   30  :  2     3    20
  clairvoyance     :   300   50   15  :  3     6    30    Sam
  detect unseen    :   300   50   20  :  3     8    30
  identify         :   300   50   20  :  3    12    30
  detect treasure  :   400   50   20  :  4    15    40    Rog
  magic mapping    :   500   50   18  :  5    35    50    Arc
enchantment        :                  :
  sleep            :   100   50   50  :  1     1    10
  confuse monster  :   200   50   30  :  2     2    20
  slow monster     :   200   50   30  :  2     2    20
  cause fear       :   300   50   25  :  3     6    30
  charm monster    :   300   50   20  :  3     6    30    Tou
clerical           :                  :
  protection       :   100   50   18  :  1     3    10
  create monster   :   200   50   35  :  2     3    20
  remove curse     :   300   50   25  :  3    10    30    Pri+
  create familiar  :   600   50   10  :  6    42    60
  turn undead      :   600   50   16  :  6    48    60    Kni
escape             :                  :
  jumping          :   100   50   20  :  1     3    10
  haste self       :   300   50   33  :  3     8    30    Bar
  invisibility     :   400   50   25  :  4    15    40    Ran
  levitation       :   400   50   20  :  4    12    40
  teleport away    :   600   50   15  :  6    36    60
matter             :                  :
  knock            :   100   50   35  :  1     1    10
  wizard lock      :   200   50   30  :  2     3    20
  dig              :   500   50   20  :  5    30    50    Cav
  polymorph        :   600   50   10  :  6    48    60
  cancellation     :   700   50   15  :  7    64    70

Spellbooks are listed above by school, then increasing level.
The COST field denotes the base price of each item.  WGT specifies the
weight (100 zorkmids weighs 1).

Spellbooks comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main
dungeon, 12% in containers, 0% on the Rogue level, and 0% in hell.
PROB is the relative probability of each subtype.  They appear 1/34
cursed, 16/17 uncursed, and 1/34 blessed.  There is also a chance of
obtaining a spellbook (if possible, one you haven't learnt yet and whose
school you're unrestricted in) from praying when your god is pleased.
A Wizard will usually receive a blessed spellbook of finger of death
when crowned; a Monk, a blessed spellbook of restore ability.

The level (LVL) of a spell controls how difficult it is to cast and
how much energy is required.  Normal spellbooks cost 100 times their
level.  READ indicates the number of turns needed to successfully read a
particular spellbook.

MRKR specifies the maximum number of magic marker charges needed to
write a spellbook of that type, or zero if it cannot be written.  You
may note that this number is 10 times the spell level.  The actual
number of charges used will be a random amount from MRKR/2 to MRKR-1.
Wizards have a base 1/3 chance of writing an unknown book, and all
other classes have a base 1/15 chance; your chance generally improves
with higher luck, to a maximum of about 98% for Wizards and 32% for
other classes.  You can only write on spellbooks of blank paper, which
can be made by getting any spellbook wet, cancelling any spellbook
(except spellbooks of cancellation), or reading a spellbook until it
is too faint to be read anymore.  The Book of the Dead can't be
blanked by any means.  You can select non-blank spellbooks to write
on, but this will abuse your wisdom and you will be told, "That
spellbook is not blank!"

Some spells provide a BONUS against spell failure.  Each character
class has a particular spell that they are good at casting (noted with
class identifier).  In addition, the spells marked with a plus (+) are
emergency spells that grant an additional bonus.  See the section on
calculating spell failure below for details.  Note that this column
does NOT list which spellbooks a character may start with.

Some types of spellbooks have the same APPEARANCE when unidentified.
The appearance of the remaining spellbooks are are randomized from the
following descriptions:
    parchment    vellum       ragged       dog eared    mottled
    stained      cloth        leather      white        pink
    red          orange       yellow       velvet       light green
    dark green   turquoise    cyan         light blue   dark blue
    indigo       magenta      purple       violet       tan
    plaid        light brown  dark brown   gray         wrinkled
    dusty        bronze       copper       silver       gold
    glittering   shining      dull         thin         thick

Reading spellbooks
Each spellbook takes a certain number of turns to READ it, noted above.
(Wearing lenses will reduce this number by, on average, one-third.)

If the spellbook is cursed, you will fail to learn the spell, will be
paralyzed for the given number of turns, and will be subject to a bad
effect (chosen randomly, with worse effects only being able to be caused
by higher-level spells):
  * You are teleported randomly.
      "You feel a wrenching sensation."
  * Monsters on the level are woken and unparalysed.
      "You feel threatened."
  * You are blinded for 250 to 349 turns.
      "A cloud of darkness falls upon you."
      "Oh, bummer!  Everything is dark!  Help!" (hallucinating)
      "Your vision seems to dim for a moment but is normal now"
        (blindness overcome by Eyes of the Overworld)
      "Your vision seems to dim for a moment but is happier now."
        (blindness overcome by Eyes of the Overworld, hallucinating)
  * You lose your gold in inventory, if any.
      "You notice you have no gold!"
      "You feel a strange sensation." (no gold to lose)
  * You become confused for 16 to 22 turns.
      "These runes were just too much to comprehend."
  * You are poisoned (1 to 10 damage, 3 to 6 strength loss; if poison
    resistant, 1 to 6 damage, 1 to 2 strength loss). Gloves will protect
    you from this, but ungreased metal gloves will be corroded.
      "The book was coated with contact poison!"
  * You get blasted by explosive energy (7 to 25 damage unless magic
      "As you read the book, it radiates explosive energy in your <face>!"
      "The book radiates explosive energy, but you are unharmed!"
        (magic resistance)
There is a 1/3 chance that the book then crumbles to dust.

If the spellbook is uncursed, there is a random chance of the same effects
happening as for a cursed spellbook, depending on your INTelligence, your
experience level (XL),and the spellbook's level (LVL):
    1 - ((INT + 4 +(XL/2) - (2 * LVL)) / 20)
    (If you are wearing lenses, the factor of 4 is increased to 6.)
Wizards will be warned if this chance is non-zero and given the option to
abort the reading attempt.

Blessed spellbooks never cause these bad effects.

You will never learn a spellbook while confused, and attempting while
you are has a 1/3 chance of destroying the spellbook (except the Book
of the Dead).
  "Being confused you have difficulties in controlling your actions.
    You accidentally tear the spellbook to pieces." (book destroyed).
  "You find yourself reading the <next/first> line over and over again."
    (book not destroyed)

If you are interrupted while reading, you may continue your efforts by
reading the same spellbook again.

When you successfully read a spellbook, there are four outcomes.  If you do
not yet know the spell, "You add the <spell> to your repertoire", ("You
learn the <spell>" if the first spell you have learnt), identify the
spellbook, get 20000 turns use of the spell, and increment the number of
times you've studied that particular spellbook.  For spells already known,
if the book has been studied more than 3 times "This spellbook is too faint
to be read anymore" and the spellbook turns into blank paper.  Otherwise, if
you had 1000 or fewer turns use of the spell remaining, then "Your knowledge
of the <spell> is keener", you have 20000 turns' use of the spell again, you
exercise your wisdom, and the number of times you've studied that particular
spellbook is incremented.  But if "You know the <spell> quite well already",
then there is no further effect and the number of times you've read the
spellbook is unchanged.

Reading a spellbook will give you 20000 turns during which that spell can be
used freely.  If you use the spell towards the end of this time, you will
get warning messages:
  1001 to 20000 turns left  No message.
  101 to 1000 turns left    "Your knowledge of this spell is growing faint."
  1 to 100 turns left       "You strain to recall the spell."
Expiry of this time is denoted by an asterisk (*) next to the level in the
spell's listing. If you try to cast an expired spell, "Your knowledge of
this spell is twisted" and you will become stunned and/or confused for
a number of turns depending on the spell's level (LVL):
  ~~~~~~   ~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~ 
    40%    3 * (LVL+1)      0  
    30%    2 * (LVL+1)   (LVL+1)
    20%     (LVL+1)     2 * (LVL+1)
    10%        0        3 * (LVL+1)
You may reset the time left to 20000 turns by rereading the spellbook after
the usage time has been reduced to 1000 turns.

Reading the Book of the Dead has immediate effect. If you are standing on
the vibrating square with a lit Candelabrum of Invocation with its quota of
seven candles, and have rung the Bell of Opening there within the last four
turns, and all three items are uncursed, then the staircase to Moloch's
Sanctum is opened. Otherwise, the invocation fails, and a message is given
to suggest why this may be the case. Outside of an invocation situation, if
the Book is blessed you will tame nearby co-aligned undead, and render any
other undead in sight peaceful and cause them to flee; if it is uncursed,
there is no effect beyond a random message; if it is cursed, some undead
will be summoned, corpses in your inventory revived and eggs in your
inventory rejuvenated.

Spell skills
Since the integration of the "wizard patch" into NetHack 3.3,
characters have had individual skill levels associated with particular
groups of spells, in a manner analogous to the weapon skills.  As with
weapons, continued use of a spell gives you practice in its spell
school.  With enough practice in a school of magic and experience
levels, you may have the opportunity to advance your skill level in
that school.  This will in turn lead to reduced failure rates and an
improvement in effects caused by spells in that school.

There are specifically two requirements needed to advance a spell school:
a number of successful castings of any spell in the school and a number
of experience levels. Castings to a total of 20 are needed to achieve
basic level, 80 to become skilled, and 180 to become expert, with each
spell cast contributing a number equal to its level to this total.  These
are cumulative from the beginning of the game (though if you start out at
basic level in a school you are precredited with the 20 castings that
would have been needed to achieve it).

The other criterion used to advance skill levels is experience levels.
Each time you gain an experience level, you earn a "skill slot" that is
used up when you an advance a skill.  Thus you can earn a maximum of 29
skill slots, by advancing from level 1 to level 30.  If you lose an
experience level, you lose the associated skill slot; if that skill slot
was used to enhance a skill, you will lose the most recently earned skill
and are refunded the remaining skill slots from that skill level.  Going
from unskilled to basic or basic to skilled costs one slot; going from
skilled to expert costs two slots.  Note that these slots are shared with
weapon skills.

When you start the game, Healers and Monks will have basic skill in the
healing school, Priests in clerical and Wizards in attack and enchantment;
you will be unskilled in all other schools.  When you reach the point when
you can advance a skill category, you will see the message, "You feel more
confident in your spell casting skills."  You can then advance the skill
using the #enhance command (alt-e on some systems).  You may choose to
not advance a skill level if you want to reserve the skill slots for a
different school or weapon class.  After advancing a skill, if you are
ready to advance another skill (possibly the same one), you will get the
message "You feel you could be more dangerous!"  The #enhance command can
also be used at any time to check your current skill levels.

Different classes can reach different maximum levels in the spell schools,
as follows:

School         Arc Bar Cav Hea Kni Mon Pri Ran Rog Sam Tou Val Wiz
~~~~~~         ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
attack      :   b   s   b   -   s   b   -   -   -   s   -   b   E
healing     :   b   -   -   E   s   E   E   b   -   -   -   -   s
divination  :   E   -   -   -   -   b   E   E   s   -   b   -   E
enchantment :   -   -   -   -   -   b   -   -   -   -   b   -   s
clerical    :   -   -   -   -   s   s   E   -   -   s   -   -   s
escape      :   -   -   -   -   -   b   -   b   s   -   s   b   E
matter      :   b   -   s   -   -   b   -   -   s   -   -   -   E

The term "restricted" is used to describe schools in which you are
permanently unskilled.  They do not appear in the #enhance menu, although
you will see schools that are unskilled and can be advanced.

Spell failure
There are some preliminary needs that must be met for any spellcasting.
The spell must be already known and have been (re)learnt less than
20000 turns ago.  You need at least 11 nutrition (weak, near fainting)
unless you are casting a spell of detect food.  You must have a strength
of at least 4, must have a free hand (both can't be welded to weapons
and/or a shield), and must not be overtaxed.  Finally, each attempt to
cast a spell drains energy equal to 5 times the spell's level (randomly up
to three times this amount if you have the Amulet) for a successful
casting, or half as much for a failure.  (See hppw-343.txt for details of
how fast you will regain this energy.)  Your hunger increases by twice
the amount of energy that would be drained for a success regardless, but
it will not make you faint. For Wizards, this hunger loss is reduced by an
amount depending on intelligence; halved for INT of 15, quartered for INT
of 16, or eliminated entirely for INT of 17 or greater.

There are three factors that cause spells to fail:

-   Your armor.  Metallic body armor, metallic helmets (except helm of
    brilliance), metallic gloves, metallic shoes, and any shield
    (although a small shield is not as bad) will penalize you.  Fighter-
    type classes are not penalized as much as the other classes.  The
    following items are "safe" for spellcasting:
        All shirts
        All dragon scales and dragon scale mails
        Leather jacket, leather armor, studded leather armor
        Crystal plate mail
        All cloaks and robes
        Elven leather helm, fedora, helm of brilliance
        All gloves except gauntlets of power
        All boots except iron shoes and kicking boots

    So the "best" armor class you could achieve for spellcasting -- not
    including your intrinsic protection or item enchantments -- is with
    any shirt, any dragon scale mail, a robe, a helm of brilliance,
    gauntlets of dexterity, and high boots.  Of course, there are other
    combinations that yield a lower AC or spellcasting ability but have
    strategic advantages.

-   The level of the spell, as shown above (LVL).

-   If you are confused, the spell will always fail.

There are seven factors that improve spellcasting success:

+   Your class.  Each class has its own base ability, armor penalties,
    bonuses for emergency spells, and a spell that they are especially
    good at.  See the table below.

+   Your armor.  Robes help offset a penalty for wearing metallic body
    armour, or grant an outright bonus if worn without it.

+   Your intelligence (Arc, Bar, Cav, Ran, Rog, Sam, Tou, Wiz) or
    wisdom (Hea, Kni, Mon, Pri, Val).

+   Your experience level.

+   Your skill in the school of the spell.

+   Certain "emergency" spells get an extra bonus.  They are noted with
    a plus (+) in the above BONUS column.  The amount of the bonus
    depends on your class.  Note that Rangers and Tourists are actually
    penalized for these spells.

+   If you have the teleport intrinsic ("teleportitis"), you may be able
    to perform a self-teleport (^T) without using the teleport away spell.
    You also must be at least experience level 12 (8 if a Wizard) or be
    polymorphed into a teleporting monster, may not be overtaxed, must
    have at least 6 strength, and need 100 nutrition and 19 energy (both
    of which are consumed).  If you fall into water with teleportitis or
    as a teleporting monster, you may automatically attempt to cast a
    self-teleport to get out.  Finally, characters with teleportitis
    will always teleport at random intervals.

To calculate spell failure, you first need to sum together the penalties
marked with a number sign (#) below.  An increasing total penalty is worse
for spellcasting, and is limited to a maximum of 20.

#   The "BASE" value from the table below, depending on the character's
#   If an "emergency" spell (noted with a + above), the "EMERG" field.
#   If wearing any shield, the amount in the "SHIELD" field.
#   If wearing metallic body armor, the amount in the "SUIT" field.
    If also wearing a robe, only add half the amount (rounded down).
#   If wearing a robe without metallic armour, *subtract* the amount
    in the "SUIT" field.
#   If wearing a metallic helmet other than the helm of brilliance, add 4.
    (Metal helmets interfere with the mind.)
#   Metallic gloves add 6 (casting channels through the hands).
#   Metallic boots add 2 (all metal interferes to some degree).
#   Add -4 if the spell is special to that class (see table).

~~~~~   ~~~~    ~~~~~   ~~~~~~  ~~~~    ~~~~    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Arc      5#      0#      2#     10#    Int     Magic mapping
 Bar     14#      0#      0#      8#    Int     Haste self
 Cav     12#      0#      1#      8#    Int     Dig
 Hea      3#     -3#      2#     10#    Wis     Cure sickness
 Kni      8#     -2#      0#      9#    Wis     Turn undead
 Mon      8#     -2#      2#     20#    Wis     Restore ability
 Pri      3#     -2#      2#     10#    Wis     Remove curse
 Ran      9#      2#      1#     10#    Int     Invisibility
 Rog      8#      0#      1#      9#    Int     Detect treasure
 Sam     10#      0#      0#      8#    Int     Clairvoyance
 Tou      5#      1#      2#     10#    Int     Charm monster
 Val     10#     -2#      0#      9#    Wis     Cone of cold
 Wiz      1#      0#      3#     10#    Int     Magic missile

Next, calculate a base chance of success, which is 5.5 times your
intelligence or wisdom STAT, depending on your class.  This chance is
modified by the following factors:
#   SKILL level (unskilled = 0, basic = 1, skilled = 2, expert = 3)
#   spell level (LVL)
#   experience level (XL)
according to this formula:
    difficulty = (LVL * 4) - (SKILL * 6) - (XL/3) - 5

If this is positive, your chance is reduced according to another formula:
    chance = base chance - square root of ((900 * difficulty) + 2000)
Otherwise, it will be increased with diminishing returns: the
absolute value is multiplied by (15/LVL), capped at 20, and added to
the base chance.

The resulting chance is clipped to the range of 0% to 120% success.  If
you are wearing a shield larger than a small shield, the chance is then
reduced to 1/4 its amount (except if it is the special spell for your
class -- then it is only halved).

Finally, the chance of success is adjusted by your total penalty using
the following formula:
    chance = (chance * (20-penalty) / 15) - penalty
The result is clipped to the range of 0% to 100% success.

Thanks to Bruce Cox for proofreading the original version of this file.
Further corrections and clarifications provided by Jason Brown,
Snibor Eoj, Monte Mitzelfelt, Petrosky, Pat Rankin, Pekka Rousu,
Pekka Savola, Robert R. Schneck, Darshan Shaligram, Jason Short, and
Sascha Wostmann.

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

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
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