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The Tourist is one of the roles in NetHack. A Tourist has low starting HP and poor equipment, so playing one is quite the challenge in the early levels, but they have the potential to become very powerful near the end of the game. Tourists always start as neutral humans.

The Tourist is inspired by Terry Pratchett's Discworld books; Twoflower, the tourist from these books, appears as the quest leader for the Tourist role.

The guidebook has this to say about Tourists:

Tourists start out with lots of gold (suitable for shopping with), a credit card, lots of food, some maps, and an expensive camera. Most monsters don't like being photographed.

Starting equipment

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As of commit 9d910773, Tourists have a 5% chance of a magic marker (19–23 charges) if they do not start with one of the other tools (4.42368% chance, when accounting for the other tool probabilities.)



Tourist skills
Max Skills

Tourists start with Basic skill in darts. Despite not starting with a melee weapon, they start Unskilled in Bare hands, because only roles which can reach Master start with Basic skill in Bare hands, and Tourists can only reach Skilled.

Compensating somewhat for their poor starting equipment, a Tourist can advance to Basic skill in every type of weapon except clubs, making the role a "jack of all trades" that can make use of almost any weapon without restriction.

Special rules

Shopkeepers recognize Tourists below experience level 15 as suckers and charge them an extra 13 markup when buying and only offer 13 the base price of sold items. (The same problem will be experienced by other roles when wearing a visible shirt or a dunce cap.)

Tourists have a +1 penalty with emergency spells.

Tourists don't receive the multishot bonus for being Skilled at any weapon other than darts. They do receive the bonus for becoming Expert at daggers.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Tourists are the only role capable of reading a conical hat. Only 13 of conical hats have any lettering, but those that do read either "DUNCE" or "WIZZARD", unambiguously identifying the hat.

Rank titles

The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:

  • XL 1–2: Rambler
  • XL 3–5: Sightseer
  • XL 6–9: Excursionist
  • XL 10–13: Peregrinator/Peregrinatrix
  • XL 14–17: Traveler
  • XL 18–21: Journeyer
  • XL 22–25: Voyager
  • XL 26–29: Explorer
  • XL 30: Adventurer


Main article: Tourist quest

The Tourist quest requires fighting the Master of Thieves for the Platinum Yendorian Express Card.


Character creation

The only choice available when generating a Tourist is their gender, which is generally inconsequential outside of consorting with foocubi: the Quest's goal level for Tourists contains four guaranteed incubi, but only two succubi. Players who want to raise their level and energy as high as possible for spellcasting purposes will probably want their Tourist to be female. A Tourist that finds an amulet of change or a ring of polymorph control can use up the foocubi of one gender, then switch and start consorting with the other.

Early game


Tourists tend to start with comically low HP and strength, and no real armor to speak of. Thus, the early game must be played with extreme caution. Unlike most other roles, Tourists need to rely heavily on items that they find.

It is critical to find armor as soon as possible. Tourists should use their starting pet to curse-test every weapon and piece of armor that they find. Non-cursed armor should be worn immediately, unless it encumbers you. In the early game, the most common source of magical armor items is an armor shop, and Tourists typically start out with enough gold to buy most of the good items in the shop.

Heading directly for Sokoban or Minetown is a valid strategy, but the monsters may get too difficult too quickly. A very cautious strategy is to wait somewhere around dungeon level 3 or so and kill easy monsters until you gain a few levels, then descend deeper.


The initial stock of 21–40 +2 darts should be viewed as a bridge to a better weapon. Each dart will, on average, last for 4 throws (given that each dart has a 14 chance of breakage per throw), which means that Tourists will get about 84–160 dart throws before the supply is exhausted. Once a better weapon is found, any remaining darts should be kept for use in attacking monsters from long range, preferably after blessing.

At low experience levels, it is difficult to hit anything with a weapon in which you are unskilled, since unskilled usage confers a −4 to-hit penalty. Hence, unless you find a high-damage weapon such as a dwarvish mattock or two-handed sword, you find a highly enchanted weapon, or you are facing weak monsters, it is much safer to kill things by throwing your darts in the very early game. Once you do find a weapon that you want to train, you can use it on non-threatening monsters (such as lichens, fog clouds, and grid bugs) and save your darts for true challenges.

By the time you reach experience level 5 or thereabouts, you will often have found a better weapon (such as a dwarvish mattock, two-handed sword, long sword, silver saber, or unicorn horn), which you can start using in place of the darts since your experience level is now high enough to partly offset the unskilled to-hit penalty. Of course, your weapon will not stay unskilled for long; you should advance it to at least basic as quickly as possible.


Take off your shirt immediately - it grants no AC or magic cancellation, and could be destroyed by a polymorph trap or destroy armor monster spell. Shirts are best enchanted when you have magic resistance and other means to protect it from being destroyed.

The most useful starting item for a Tourist is the expensive camera: when applied, the camera will blind any monster in the path of the flash, and has a 34 chance of scaring monsters if used within two tiles. This is useful for fighting or escaping difficult monsters, since fleeing monsters often won't stop to attack you, and you gain an accuracy bonus against them. If you lack a towel or blindfold, you can also flash yourself for temporary blindness to use telepathy or avoid a gaze attack. Writing Elbereth in the dust can also scare monsters, and pets can help kill retreating foes - keep in mind that monsters blinded by your expensive camera will not respond to Elbereth!

In terms of other useful items, the credit card is useful for opening locked doors and chests without having to kick, bash, or pry them open, though a lock pick or key is preferable if you can find one. The quantity of starting food also makes taming or pacifying domestic monsters trivial, and in particular can help you avoid fights against them since they are usually faster. The starting food can also last quite a while, making it less necessary to rely on corpses for nutrition.

Despite the sucker markup on shop prices, the Tourist's high natural charisma more than makes up for it and will often get them better prices than Barbarians or Rangers - be sure to account for the buying and selling modifiers when performing price identification. Their high charisma and above-average intelligence also makes consorting with foocubi less risky than for other early-game characters: foocubi can help them gain the last couple of levels to qualify for their Quest, which they'll want to complete as soon as possible for the PYEC and shop loot.



Once you are able to bring your AC down below zero, and you obtain a better weapon than the starting darts, you have a reasonable chance at going after the luckstone in Mines' End and the prize at the end of Sokoban. After that, continue down the dungeon until you find the portal to the quest.

The quest artifact for the Tourist is the Platinum Yendorian Express Card. This artifact is so useful that in most cases a Tourist should try to complete the quest as soon as possible. The most important intrinsic to have for the quest is reflection, because the quest's locate and goal levels contain several large rooms filled with soldiers armed with attack wands. The Master of Thieves, the quest nemesis, is not particularly difficult compared to other quest nemeses, and any character capable of dispatching the soldiers should have no special trouble with him.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As part of a general buff to quest leaders, the Master of Thieves has been made stronger, and thus his difficulty relative to other quest nemeses has increased.

The quest also contains a sizable amount of loot: between the many shops, barracks and graveyard treasure, and items generated along with the spiders, you will likely find an ascension kit item or two. Consider postponing sitting on the two thrones until you loot the entire branch. Further, the lower levels have several guaranteed captains, which have a good chance of carrying at least one silver saber.


It's likely that you've found an altar at this stage, and can sacrifice for a good artifact weapon such as Mjollnir, Magicbane, Vorpal Blade or Fire/Frost Brand. Otherwise, you can enchant other good weapons like a long sword or silver saber that you may have found.


Tourists should seek out the same types of armor that a warrior-type character such as a Valkyrie or Barbarian would use. In most cases, it is not worth avoiding metal armor to improve spell casting rates, because Tourists suffer enormous spell casting penalties from even one peripheral piece of metal armor, and it is not practical to avoid metal armor entirely. Typical armor for a mid-game Tourist would be a mithril-coat, iron shoes, a dwarvish iron helm or orcish helm, and an elven cloak or dwarvish cloak, with perhaps one or two pieces of magical armor.

Late game


In the advanced stages of the game, a Tourist should have several artifact weapons available from which to choose. Because Tourists have almost no weapon restrictions to speak of, any decent artifact weapon is a good choice. However, if you have a choice, the following weapons are especially desirable and are worth pursuing if your character has the opportunity (e.g., via a wish):

  • Grayswandir – Tourists can advance saber to Skilled. In most cases it must be obtained from a wish, since Tourists start out neutral. It can then be dual-wielded with another silver saber; this is the most powerful melee weapon combination for an endgame Tourist.
  • Magicbane – Tourists can advance daggers to expert and can get this by sacrificing.
  • Mjollnir – Unless the enemy is shock-resistant, this weapon inflicts the most damage out of all the aligned weapons that a Tourist can obtain by sacrificing.

Tourists can become skilled in two-weapon combat, but this only becomes useful late in the game, when good weapons are available. Using two weapons is preferred unless your character needs a shield for reflection. For ranged weapons, highly enchanted darts or daggers work well, since both are readily available and Tourists can get to Expert skill in both daggers and darts. Of the two, darts are preferable since Tourists suffer a multishot penalty for all other weapons.


With regards to armor selection, a Tourist is no different from any other role and should follow the same guidelines as any other character in terms of assembling the various pieces of armor that form a typical ascension kit. One advantage you have over other roles is that you don't have to look for a shirt to complete your set.

The main function of the Platinum Yendorian Express Card is that it can be #invoked to charge wands and tools like a scroll of charging. Properly exploited, this function gives the Tourist the equivalent of a blessed scroll of charging every few hundred turns, a feat which is not possible with any other role. This makes the Tourist role one of the easiest to ascend once the quest has been completed.

Wands have an increased chance of exploding each time they are charged, so a post-quest Tourist will usually want to keep several of each type of wand on hand to maximize the number of recharging opportunities. For rare wands, such as wands of death, a small number of such wands will last an entire game if properly managed. For common wands, such as wands of digging, it is a good idea to maintain a rotating stock of such wands, discarding the ones which have been charged many times and replacing them with newer ones.

The Platinum Yendorian Express Card can also be used to charge tools. This is especially useful because most tools, unlike wands, can be recharged infinitely many times. For example, a horn of plenty combined with the Platinum Yendorian Express Card means that a Tourist can get by with carrying very little food. A bag of tricks can be used to create monsters indefinitely. Other useful chargeable tools include brass lanterns, crystal balls, tinning kits, magic harps, magic flutes, fire horns, frost horns, the Bell of Opening, and even the expensive camera that comes in the initial inventory.

Certain rings can be charged with the Platinum Yendorian Express Card as well. You may want to wear a +6 or +7 ring of increase damage full time, especially for two weapon combat. Since rings can explode when charged, a good strategy is keep two of the same type of ring, and charge the one with the lowest charge, so as to not risk destroying a highly charged ring.

Because the game will not display the number of charges and recharges on an unidentified item, finding a spellbook of identify may be convenient for a Tourist.



In SLASH'EM, a Tourist may also be a doppelganger or a hobbit.


In addition to SLASH'EM, they can be incantifiers.


SporkHack offers a wider selection of races for various roles. An orc Tourist is an interesting choice that starts with potions of sickness; dipping the starting darts into one offers an instant kill attack from the second move.


In UnNetHack, items in shops are automatically identified when playing as a Tourist, regardless of whether the player has seen them before or not. Similarly, selling unidentified items will automatically identify them. Enchantments and BUC status are not identified.


In FIQHack, tourists ID shop items in the same manner as UnNetHack. Additionally, a Tourist may be a gnome. Tourists start with all of their optional equipment. The magic marker that a tourist starts with is always 0:0.

Encyclopedia entry

The road from Ankh-Morpork to Chrim is high, white and winding, a thirty-league stretch of potholes and half-buried rocks that spirals around mountains and dips into cool green valleys of citrus trees, crosses liana-webbed gorges on creaking rope bridges and is generally more picturesque than useful.
Picturesque. That was a new word to Rincewind the wizard (BMgc, Unseen University [failed]). It was one of a number he had picked up since leaving the charred ruins of Ankh-Morpork. Quaint was another one. Picturesque meant -- he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired Twoflower to use the word -- that the landscape was horribly precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed, meant fever-ridden and tumbledown.
Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant "idiot".

[ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ]

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