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Not to be confused with SliceHack.


SpliceHack is a variant of NetHack 3.7.0 and in part of SLASH'EM, developed by AntiGulp. The goal of SpliceHack's development is to create a balanced variant that is easy to pick up and play without extensive use of outside materials, which also incorporates a very large number of new and dynamic monsters, items, and features along with community feedback and ideas. Discussion of SpliceHack occurs on the Hardfought IRC channel, and bugs can be reported there or on the issues page - be aware when reporting that SpliceHack is currently not being maintained or developed - for details regarding the most recent versions of the variant, see SpliceHack-Rewrite.

The released version of SpliceHack is 1.0.1.

Design philosophy

  • Accessibility: All features and changes must be clear enough that a player from vanilla NetHack can learn to play SpliceHack without undue difficulty. A fully functioning tileset must be maintained at all times, and the game should be kept as accessible as possible.
  • Variety: Any object or monster added must present a unique choice, challenge, or opportunity to the player. The game should consistently present the player with interesting choices and trade-offs in order to keep them engaged.
  • Dynamic features: When possible, additions should be extensible in some way, such as monster steeds, new behaviors, or object materials, so that items and monsters added in vanilla can take advantage of them.
  • Interesting endgame: The endgame must be interesting and engaging. Additions that add variety to an ascension kit are highly valued. Further, at no point should the player be so well-equipped that they can win without continuing to employ careful strategy.

How to play SpliceHack

If one is familiar with vanilla NetHack, SpliceHack plays extremely similarly. New players may want to examine the list of new roles and races, the rules changes or the SpliceHack strategy guide. Regardless of whether one plays online or offline, SpliceHack comes with a fully functional tileset, and can be played in tiles or in ASCII mode.

  • Online: SpliceHack is hosted online on Hardfought.
  • Offline: Developmental versions of SpliceHack can be compiled using the source on GitHub.
  • Offline: Compiled Windows binaries of each major release will generally be posted on the github releases page, depending on the availability of a Windows compiler. If anyone requests them, binaries for linux/macOS can also be produced easily.

Character creation

  • All vanilla roles and races are available in SpliceHack, as well as numerous additional roles and races, some of which are unique to SpliceHack. Additionally, some role and race combinations that were restricted in vanilla are available for play. The full table of playable combinations can be found on the roles and races page.
  • Each role has access to the usual skills as well as some new skills.
  • Players have the option of playing as male, female, or nonbinary, all of which have minor gameplay implications.
  • Players can define the sexuality of their character in the options via orientation:?. Currently available sexualities are straight, gay, bisexual, and asexual. Sexuality has no gameplay impact outside of interactions with monsters with seduction attacks.

New players

New to SpliceHack, or variants in general? Start here.

Essential tips

  • Far look unfamiliar monsters: Using the far look command on a monster will display a window with the attacks, resistances, and attributes of the monster, as well as any relevant encyclopedia entries. The information displayed in this window should be considered the single source of truth, since it is dynamically generated from the game's data.
  • Rely on pets: Pets in SpliceHack can gain intrinsics by eating corpses, use additional items and abilities, and can improve your hit chance when you flank enemies with your pet.
  • Read the rules changes: Take a few minutes to examine the rules changes page. It contains vital information about some of the changes from NetHack to SpliceHack.

Choosing a role and race

Choosing a role and race in a new variant can be intimidating. In SpliceHack alone, there are 13 races and 18 roles to choose from. Beginners are encouraged to read the roles and races page. Alternatively, relatively easy combinations for beginners include:

  • Dwarven Valkyrie: Apart from starting with a spear instead of a sword, Valkyrie in SpliceHack are similar in ease of play to vanilla and can be played in the same style.
  • Human Dragonmaster: Dragonmasters are unique in that they start with a saddled baby dragon as a pet. They have strong intrinsics when leveling up, and strong, simple techniques. Additionally, they can tame dragons in the same way that other roles can tame domestic monsters.
  • Infernal Barbarian: Infernal Barbarian is one of the easier combinations of role and race in SpliceHack. Infernals receive intrinsic regeneration beginning at level 4, turning them into powerful melee combatants.