Thoth Amon

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Thoth Amon, @, is the Barbarian quest nemesis. He guards the Bell of Opening and the Barbarian's quest artifact, The Heart of Ahriman.

Thoth Amon has a weapon attack, the ability to cast mage monster spells twice during each of his turns, and a 'claw' attack that can steal the quest artifact if you obtained it from him without killing him. He possesses poison resistance and stoning resistance.


Thoth Amon is generated on the cross-aligned altar in the Barbarian quest goal level, with The Heart of Ahriman underneath him. He is always generated carrying the Bell of Opening.


Thoth Amon is a foe capable of casting spells such as haste self, curse items, destroy armor, and drain strength at minimum, and is also very likely to generate with the ability to summon nasties - despite this, he may prove surprisingly easy to defeat for all but the most unprepared of Barbarians. When preparing to take on Thoth Amon, remember that he does not respect Elbereth and tailor your kit accordingly.

Magic resistance blunts the impact of Thoth Amon's spells, and his low 10 MR score renders him vulnerable to magic in turn: a wand of sleep leaves Thoth Amon helpless against a Barbarian's usual powerful melee attacks, a wand of death can kill him outright, and a wand of cancellation can reliably nullify his spellcasting and make him into a pushover.

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Thoth Amon first appears with most other quest nemeses in NetHack 3.1.0.


Thoth-Amon is a recurring character in the Conan the Barbarian stories of Robert E. Howard, making his official debut in one of the original tales, "The Phoenix on the Sword". He is also mentioned by name in another Conan story, "The God in the Bowl", which was not published in Howard's lifetime. Thoth-Amon is a wizard from the lands of Stygia who holds the moniker "Thoth-Amon of the Ring" and is a priest of Set, though primarily for the purpose of seeking further power.

In "The Phoenix on the Sword", Thoth-Amon was robbed of his magical ring, the Black Ring of Set, forcing him to flee from Stygia; while disguised as a camel driver, he was waylaid in Koth by the reavers of an outlaw named Ascalante, and survived the slaughter of his caravan by revealing his identity and swearing to serve Ascalante. Ascalante is later recruited along with Thoth-Amon by a quartet of conspirators to aid in the deposing of Conan, who seized the crown of Aquilonia after strangling the tyrannic King Numedides on his throne: the Aquilonians initially welcomed him as a liberator, but soon turned on him due to his foreign blood. The "Rebel Four" intend to assassinate King Conan when he is unprepared and defenseless and put the crown in the hands of someone with royal blood - unbeknownst to them, Ascalante secretly plans to betray his employers and claim the crown, while Thoth-Amon only seeks to recover his lost ring.

Both these elements, along with an omen delivered to Conan in his dream by a long-dead sage named Epemitreus, ultimately thwart the conspiracy: Thoth-Amon murders one of the conspirators and summons a fanged ape-like demon to slay Ascalante, allowing Conan to slay the three remaining members of the Rebel Four. In a moment of mercy, Conan hesitates to kill Rinaldo, whose songs once touched the King's heart, but Rinaldo repays this by stabbing him, and is killed like the rest. Ascalante takes the opportunity to try and finish off Conan, only to be killed by Thoth-Amon's demon, and Conan recovers enough to slay the demon in turn.

As discussed above, this is the only time Thoth-Amon crosses paths with Conan: the two never meet face to face, and Conan's involvement in Thoth-Amon's plans are pure happenstance; the hero even unknowingly does the sorcerer a favor later by disposing of a rival priest of Set. Even so, later writers would come to depict Thoth-Amon as the Cimmerian's arch-nemesis.



In SLASH'EM, Thoth Amon's difficulty is raised to 24, and he gains access to the create pool spell, which is rarely cast but can spell a quick end for an unwary Barbarian - levitation, water walking and/or flight are useful countermeasures against this. This information also applies to SlashTHEM.


In dNetHack, Thoth Amon always generates with 128 HP and has all 10 points of AC in the protection category, but is otherwise unchanged in terms of basic stats. However, he also gains the ability to cast the nightmare monster spell, which inflicts hallucination, confusion and stunning, and has a 13 chance of using the spell with each of his casting attempts during his attacks. The Heart of Ahriman is changed heavily from NetHack, and grants half spell damage, magic resistance, reflection, drain resistance, fire resistance, and poison resistance when carried - Thoth Amon gains these properties from picking up the artifact, making him much more resistant to wands and many other sources of magic.

Fortunately, Barbarians in dNetHack lack any form of magical skill in exchange for highly-improved melee prowess, including gaining an extra melee attack (along with an offhand attack if twoweaponing) at experience level 14: a speedy, quest-ready Barbarian equipped with Cleaver or the Atlantean Royal Sword can simply hack their way through Thoth Amon in a handful of turns before he can establish himself as a threat. Thoth Amon's casting is also subject to spell cooldowns, and he is not especially likely to make use of haste self in time.


In xNetHack, Thoth Amon is unchanged from NetHack, but the goal level is changed to a barricaded village that he generates in the center of - the layout makes it harder to fight him while avoiding being overwhelmed by the ogres, trolls and other large humanoid monsters on the level.


In EvilHack, the Barbarian quest artifact is changed to the Ring of P'hul, an artifact ring of free action that confers sickness resistance and magic resistance - Thoth Amon will pick up and put on the ring the first opportunity he gets. Even with the worn ring and access to more dangerous monster spells, Thoth Amon is still susceptible to sleep and other types of magic, and he is generally no less difficult for a prepared Barbarian to hack apart.

Encyclopedia entry

Men say that he [Thutothmes] has opposed Thoth-Amon, who is master of all priests of Set, and dwells in Luxor, and that Thutothmes seeks hidden power [The Heart of Ahriman] to overthrow the Great One.

[ Conan the Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard ]