Spellbook of teleport away

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spellbook of
+   teleport away   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 1.52%
Base price 600 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 36
Ink to write 30–59
Spell type escape
Level 6
Power cost 30 Pw
Direction beam
Equivalent wand of teleportation

This spellbook allows you to learn the teleport away spell. This is a beam-type spell that can be aimed at monsters or at yourself.

Teleporting yourself

As of NetHack 3.6.2, casting this spell at yourself has the same effect as the teleport at will action; unless you are on a no-teleport level, you teleport to a random square on the current level that you can stand on (e.g. in your default form, you won't end up over water, inside a wall or monster, on a trap, etc.). The teleportation is not inherently controlled, but if you have teleport control, you can use that to control your destination.

When used for this purpose, the spell has two main advantages over teleport at will. One is that you can use it even when you don't meet the requirements to teleport at will; in particular, many players wish to avoid gaining teleportitis until they have a reliable source of teleport control, but the spell can be used even without teleportitis. The other is that the spell benefits from hungerless casting.

Teleporting monsters

The spell can be used on monsters, with similar effects to a wand of teleportation; the monster will teleport to a random square on the current level on which it can survive. (The major difference is that, as a spell, it costs nutrition and Pw rather than wand charges.) Only a very few monsters can resist the effect (Death, Pestilence, and Famine will normally teleport next to you rather than to a random square); however, note that although covetous monsters can be affected by the spell, there is typically no point in doing so as the monster will simply teleport back next to you as part of its next turn.

Strategy

Once teleport control is available, the spell can be used as a primary method of travel, but this is unwise in general play because the Pw cost is too high to be sustainable for most characters, even with help from the Eye of the Aethiopica. As with most things that burn resources unsustainably, the obvious use for it would be the ascension run, but there are two factors making the spell less usable for that purpose: the Amulet of Yendor blocks 1/3 of teleportation attempts, and increases spell Pw costs (on average, doubling them), meaning that the spell is effectively 3 times as expensive in Pw during an ascension run.

Instead, late in the game, the spell is best used to clear your path of monsters. If you do not need the experience, intrinsics, or death drops from a monster – and during the ascension run, you typically don't – teleporting it away is as effective as killing it, and much faster. The spell can even be used on multiple monsters at once, if they happen to form a line (and on the Astral Plane, is sometimes combined with jumping to jump into the gap thus created).

Earlier in the game, there are two main uses for the spell. One is as an emergency escape from a dangerous situation, hoping to land somewhere safer. On most levels, you are very likely, but not guaranteed, to land somewhere out of danger; bear in mind that it's always possible to move just a single space and still end up next to whatever danger you were in previously. The other is to escape disconnected areas, which can arise either from vaults or due to a chokepoint that's guarded by monsters you don't want to deal with. However, as a level 6 spell, many characters will not be able to cast it until near the end of the game anyway.

History

In NetHack 3.6.1 and earlier, this spell was somewhat more expensive in Pw than teleport at will (at the time, teleport at will cost 19 Pw, teleport away cost 30 Pw).