Tin whistle

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( Whistle.png
Name tin whistle
Appearance whistle
Base price 10 zm
Weight 3
Material metal
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A tin whistle is a simple, nonmagical whistle. You can apply it to wake nearby monsters from sleep.[1] If your pet is close enough to hear the noise, then for the next few turns it will try to approach you more closely.[2][3] Despite what tin whistles are in real life, in NetHack it is not a tonal instrument, and cannot be used to play the passtune.

Because there is no specific material for tin, the game considers tin whistles to be made of generic metal.


You produce a high whistling sound.
You applied an uncursed or blessed tin whistle.
You produce a shrill whistling sound.
You applied a cursed tin whistle. Though the message is different, the whistle still has the same effect.
You feel rushing air tickle your nose.
You applied a tin whistle while deaf.



Apply any unidentified whistle; if the messages do not match those above, then you have a magic whistle.

Watchmen are often (2/3) generated with a tin whistle, so a whistle dropped by one is almost certainly tin. Since the two types of whistle are already easy to distinguish, this fact is typically not useful.


The range of a tin whistle is sqrt(xlvl*20)[4]. This results in a radius of about 4 squares at XL 1, 16 squares at XL 14, and a maximum of 24 squares at XL 30.

Knight combat

If you are a Knight, then you could apply a tin whistle to wake a sleeping monster before you attack it, so you do not violate your code of conduct.

Rogue quest

The final level of the Rogue quest is a no-teleport, undiggable level, featuring multiple sections which are completely isolated from one another - the quest nemesis cannot be accessed from the section containing the stairs. Some rogues polymorph into a phasing monster to tackle this problem, while others prepare cursed potions of gain level in order to return after jumping through holes or trapdoors in the level above, hoping to land in the correct section once before their stock of potions is exhausted; occasionally, a fortunate rogue will find a drum of earthquake, or a leather drum, which can both wake the Master Assassin readily from a position inside the stair-containing area at XL 13 (and a rogue must be at least XL 14 to enter the quest anyway).

Tin whistles, however, are evidently not as loud as drums - in fact, according to the source code's math, they are only half as loud - and magic whistles don't wake up monsters at all unless they are cursed[5]. In order for a tin whistle to wake the quest nemesis from the same rightmost tile upon which a drum does the job, a rogue would have to be at least XL 25 - at XL 26, a tin whistle finally matches the cacophony of a leather drum played by an XL 13 character.


Otherwise, the best use of tin whistles is with pets. Apply a tin whistle repeatedly until your pet comes to you; this can sometimes help you take pets through stairs or out of shops. The effect of a tin whistle lasts for 5 turns[6] (provided the pet was near enough to hear it in the first place). If you find a magic whistle, then leave your tin whistle in a stash somewhere. Magic whistles are better because your pets immediately appear beside you and other monsters do not awake.


Although tin whistles are not themselves changed in SLASH'EM, they can be upgraded into magic whistles. This is useful to everyone, but in particular to conduct players, since upgrading objects breaks no conducts.


This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.1.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.