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I'm not so sure all of the behaviors in this article (like kraken farming) are really scumming. As I see it, the two kinds of scumming are startscumming and savescumming. Other ignoble behaviors are abuse of game mechanics (pudding farming), exploitation of bugs (astral call trick), just plain cheating (savescumming), and so on. I suggest we move the information on all the farming to its own article, and use scumming as a disambiguation for startscumming and savescumming. --Eidolos 04:38, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed... farming may be scummy, but it needs its own page. --Intx13 20:24, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Wraith farming

Dubious about the "undead farming". Wouldn't Rodney be something of a concern? I can't see how this is a real strategy so maybe it should be removed... EkiM 17:59, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

If you steal the Book of the Dead without killing Rodney, he won't start appearing until you have the Amulet. You can use this to summon as many wraiths as you want, and eat their corpses to gain levels. If you're at level 30 already, you'll still get some HP and Pw. Since there's no upper limit, this is probably one of the quickest ways to gain lots of HP (if not the quickest, after the polyself bug is fixed). I know itsblah has used the undead farming trick in a "real" game. Even if nobody uses it, undead farming is still useful to include. --Eidolos 18:24, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I changed the undead farming part of the article to just include wraith farming, seeing as how that's far more effective than just killing zombies.. --Eidolos 18:37, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


It seems to me that using foocubi to maximize constitution, wisdom, power, and level should be included here. They can be summoned so easily with sinks and a starting wizard can so easily abuse it. -Neopergoss

In my experience, by the time my wizard has a unihorn for ill effects and high charisma to make favorable outcomes more likely, foocubi usually don't cut it anymore. So, if you will, in include it, but there are way more potent ways to farm. -Tjr 18:26, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Well with a wizard that has starting charisma around 10 and 20 intelligence the odds of a negative effect are only 4/35, so even without a unicorn horn the positive effects will more than offset the negative ones. I suppose there is the issue of having enough food and hit points to wait out the headaches, but it seems pretty easy to maximize constitution, wisdom, power, and level this way. I'm still somewhat of a newb, so I will have to ask you if maxing those is somehow not as cheap as I initially thought. Maybe the increased difficulty monsters from the level gains eventually offset all advantages?

The level gains will be compensated for in this way, but the rest of the advantages have no drawback. -Tjr 08:13, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I suppose the real question is whether this really counts as farming, given that each foocubus is only good for a limited number of, well, interactions, and that each sink is only good for one foocubus. The rest of the farming methods currently on this page are things that one can, in principle at least, keep doing forever.

(Mind you, I suspect chaotic human characters may indeed have access to a fairly large, if not quite infinite, number of foocubi by stealing from shops to summon Kops, killing and sacrificing the Kops to summon demons — some of which will be foocubi — and repaying the shopkeeper before repeating the process. The number of foocubi generated this way should only be limited by extinction. Minetown would seem the most convenient place for this, although any level with a shop and an altar should do.) --Ilmari Karonen 10:21, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok, altar farming for foocubi with Kops is indeed farming in my book. The same thing goes for sacrificing vault gaurds. -Tjr 19:40, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Ah, I forgot about the 1 in 25 chance of the foocubus becoming cancelled.

You can generate an infinite amount of foocubi by two methods only:
  • demon summoning, preferrably on low dungeon levels. Try water demons.
  • cursed Book of the Dead in Gehennom
The other methods listed above will not create more than 120 foocubi. Speaking out of experience, both methods are quite unpalatable. (I was leveling up to enter the quest in a 10-conduct game without any sinks.) Tjr 17:21, July 1, 2010 (UTC)


I think bonescumming should be mentioned somewhere; the process of copypasting bones files to give oneself an unfair advantage. It's almost as bad as savescumming, so why shouldn't it be mentioned? Archmage84 06:02, April 25, 2010 (UTC)

Because it's cheating. It's not "farming" any more than hex-editing your save to get 65,535 potions of gain level is. --Darth l33t 17:19, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

Throne farming for illiterates / multiconduct

If you wanted to use a cursed unicorn horn for confusion, couldn't you just polyself into a ghoul, which is sickness resistant? You would need a ring of polymorph control, an amulet of unchanging and a source of polymorph, all of which can be gotten by an illiterate character and ID'd with a wand of enlightenment. Admittedly they're statistically weak, but with a burned Elbereth square that shouldn't be a problem. Speed boots/speed monster can bring their speed up, and the other negative effects of a cursed unicorn horn shouldn't be a problem, at least until you were done generating monsters. -Ion frigate 01:47, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

Good point. I was thinking "multiconduct illiterate", and I enjoyed writing routines to handle abstract operations on probability measures ;-) Tjr 01:56, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I should try illiterate someday, as then I'd realize that a burned Elbereth square isn't exactly very useful for someone wanting to do illiterate conduct. Of course you'd need a scroll of scare monster... Personally, although it's quite subjective, perhaps conduct should comment on their relative difficulties. -Ion frigate 10:58, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion, conducts start getting really difficult once you combine them. For example, you can get holy water if you are literate (confused remove curse), theist (water prayer), wishing (wish directly), or non-pacifist (pudding farm for it), but I can't imagine how to go about it without any of these options. Multiconduct aspects don't fit nicely into the NetHackWiki's structure, though they are the most interesting to play and to write about. I've had long debates with Djao on this. Tjr 13:59, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Quite true; I suppose one might try starting with the actions/things people would want (holy water, DSM, enchanted armor, artifacts, etc) and say how various conducts would make them difficult or impossible, but I could see that being almost as bad as trying to list out conduct combinations. Maybe just having some of the more common conduct combinatons, or listing ways to do or get things that break no conducts? (i.e. DS can be gotten from throne looting; good pets from feeding + polytraps, magic harps, or magic traps; reflection 50% of the time in Sokoban, however often in Medusa; experience from foocubi, the Oracle, and tripe; resistances from jewelry and certain artifacts; and other things like that)
Oh, and this probably goes against most multiconduct games, but one could always polypile potions, as polypiled objects do retain their BUC status. The chance of getting holy water from a blessed non-magical potion is ~22% I think, and a magical one is much lower of course, but becomes higher if it goes to a non-magical one (1.7% chance). You'd need a lot of potions to do that though, and if you're also going polyless, then I'd say you're probably out of luck.
Also, why can't a pacifist pudding farm? It'd be harder to automate, but with a suitable Puddingbane, a locked-away pet, and a stethoscope, it seems one could do it. You could even automate it if you wanted to, it'd just be somewhat harder. Is there something I'm missing? -Ion frigate 15:25, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Holy water: good point, thanks.
Pudding farming: pacifists can go through the motions, they just don't get any death drops. Throne farming at least gives access to the monsters' starting inventories.
Good pets: ascension quality pets (read archons) cannot be obtained from magic harps unless you level drain them first, which breaks weaponless and either atheist or wishless (or illiterate, but then you could charm it directly).
Experience /is/ a problem. The pacifist article has a good list. In my 11-conduct attempt (literate), the only ways are !GL, foocubi, sink quaffing, and untrapping squeaky boards. That's why I added so many pointers how to farm for potions and how to create foocubi. Tjr 16:13, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize you, not your pet, had to kill monsters to get death drops. As for the ideas I mentioned, I didn't mean to say any of those were as easy or effective as their non-conduct counterparts, merely that they could be substitutes. And since I love finding marginal cases, you can level drain monsters without violating any conduct: throw a level-draining weapon at them. On the off chance they pick it up, you can bullwhip it out of their hands (doesn't violate weaponless if you're careful). This seems like it might actually be a viable strategy, although it of course requires getting Stormbringer or the Staff first. Barring good luck with bones, that means you'd need to be a healer. -Ion frigate 17:40, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
They can pick it up without wielding it anytime soon. Specifically, an archon wears a shield and therefore will never wield a two-hander, not even an artifact. Also, they never wield (but do pick up) cross-aligned artifacts. This is largely hypothetical for my personal use because 1) I specialize in wizards, even would practise magic in the real world if that were effectual, 2) I suspect the Archon kills you faster than you level drain it. Tjr 18:26, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

Death farming vs. Famine / Pestilence farming

Wouldn't it make much more sense to replace Death with Famine / Pestilence for polearm farming? The obvious advantage is that you can level drain them until they only have one max HP, which means you don't have to eat a single ring. I'm guessing the author chose Death to farm because F & P can be tamed, but there are other ways to deal with Death (e.g. lure him into a room and then revgen blue jellies into the doorway). --Darth l33t 17:19, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

I thought it was because Death is near-harmless once your character has hitpoints in the millions, while letting the other two hit you ocassionally (IP fragmentation ...) will kill you if you don't supervise the operation. Tjr 22:08, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
That makes some sense, although if you're being hit by Death, that means your farm is broken anyway. Maybe the article could be edited to suggest Famine or Pestilence on a local copy. I don't know if it's even worth the bother, though; farming the Riders would seem to fall under "don't bother if you don't know exactly what you're doing", and I see this strategy as more a bit of trivia than an actual how-to. --Darth l33t 19:17, July 22, 2010 (UTC)

Vault Farming

Should Vault Farming (waiting forever in a vault killing guards, which don't respect extinction) be included here? 12:07, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it'd be very useful. You have the murder penalty for any non-chaotic, and everyone gets a huge alignment drop. Guards always start with equipment that could be useful in the beginning, but they're too tough to kill at that point and it's not useful for farming. Fort Ludios or the castle are usually a better bet if you want non-magical polyfodder, since it doesn't require waiting and you will usually get enough equipment for whatever polypiling you're doing. Guards can start with random misc/offensive/defensive items, but since they're hard to kill in one hit they have a decent chance of using it up before you can kill them. Finally, guards always appear in the walls of the vault, and the wall will be restored once you kill the guard, even if it was already dug out. Any equipment they would have dropped will be lost if you don't make them hostile first to move them into the vault itself, making the farming take that much longer and be that less brainless.
So while you could do it, I really don't see the point. Pudding farming is much better for death drops and throne farming for off/def/misc items. It'd be way too slow and the rewards aren't any better than other methods. -- Qazmlpok 13:17, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Why not just use very strong pets instead of murdering? 13:19, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
No death drops, harder to control. You need to anger the guard or he won't walk into the vault, and if your pet kills him before he walks into the vault you lose all of the potential loot. I suppose you could use the teleport spell to remove your pet from the vault and magic whistle him in each time. It also only solves one of the problems; you're still getting less loot and taking longer. -- Qazmlpok 15:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I guess it would be hard to extensively farm this, though I could see a high level chaotic doing it a few times to get some gear from them. 15:43, 23 July 2011 (UTC) Oh, and if you are not human you could eat the guard corpses indefinitely. 15:52, 10 August 2011 (UTC)