Unofficial conduct

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Unofficial conducts are conducts that are not tracked by the vanilla version of NetHack. They are enforced by the players themselves only.

Popular conducts


The game tracks whether your life has been saved by an amulet of life saving (or choosing not to die in explore and wizard modes). If you manage to ascend without being saved, you get "You survived" in the attributes list, otherwise game states how many times you have been killed. 86% of all winning accounts on NAO have a survivor ascension.


Celibacy means not having sex. Having sex with an incubus or succubus may have positive effects such as gaining levels. SLASH'EM officially tracks this conduct.


The starting pet can be turned off from the options file.


Go through the entire game and ascend while polymorphed. NetHack 4 offers a polyinit option that allows you to choose a starting form. Popular choices include baby dragons, lizards, chickatrices, kittens, little dogs, and rats. Bonus points if you have no hands. More amazing the weaker your polymorphed form is. You lose automatically if you get polymorphed into another form, so an amulet of unchanging would be useful.


You may not engrave Elbereth nor use the word to scare off monsters where it's already engraved (Sokoban, Castle). There are no restrictions on other methods of scaring monsters though, such as Scroll of scare monster. In AceHack, this is a tracked official conduct (tracking heptagrams, the replacement for Elbereths), except that AceHack permits the use of pre-engraved heptagrams without breaking the conduct.


Main article: extinctionism

Also known as Mass killing machine: Kill every monster in all the levels until none spawn any more. On NAO, the amount of monsters created and killed of each type is tracked, and therefore this conduct, but not in vanilla NetHack.

Minimum score

You may not gain score in any way. This precludes killing monsters, using scrolls, wands, and potions before formally identifying them, and a few other activities. Unfortunately, you also get points for the depth of the Sanctum, so not every game can attain the theoretical minimum.

Some success stories, disregarding the depth of the Sanctum: Yeti (depth 45), Spontiff (depth 46), Spontiff (depth 47), 27B6 (depth 48), YumYum (depth 45), NuSlayer24400 (depth 51). 27B6 is probably also the first and only player to ascend all classes as pacifist.

Other conducts

This is where users can post their own conducts. You must give some description to the ways the conduct makes NetHack harder, as well as your signature without a timestamp(~~~).


Go through the entire game with your starting equipment. This is a difficult task, because you cannot use any rings, amulets, weapons, spellbooks, or items other than the ones with which you started. This is nearly impossible for the Tourist role, which is designed to buy necessary items.

Exceptions are allowed for the Amulet of Yendor, the Bell of Opening, and any of the items absolutely necessary to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor or the quest artifact that you earn through the quest. --Edrobot


Racial ascensions require the player to make use of weapons and armor appropriate for the character's race. "Soft" racial conducts require the player to use racial armor and weapons whenever possible (thus allowing any race to use a T-shirt or Hawaiian shirt, because there are no race-specific items for the shirt slot). "Hard" racial conducts require that the player only use race-specific items in the weapon and armor slots (thus making shirts and gloves completely unavailable).

It is generally acceptable to use items that are not technically race-specific, but have a strong association with that race (such as the aklys for gnomes). Thus, the acceptable items for each race are as follows:

There are no restrictions on items that are neither weapons nor armor.

Racial ascensions obviously vary in difficulty depending on the race. A hard racial elf suffers from little more than a lack of access to dragon mail or powerful artifacts, while a hard racial gnome is playing a nude conduct with a substandard weapon.

  • A page of racial ascensions can be found here: [1]
  • A racial orc, combined with the illiterate conduct: [2]

Humans are generally not used for racial ascensions. --Snikers

(Some people play Humans counting the equipment from Keystone Kops and Minetown Guards as racial) -LL


One may not pick up or use any tools, with the exception of one's quest artifact (if applicable) and the Bell of Opening. At the beginning, one should drop all of one's tools on the starting square before proceeding.

This restriction has many consequences:


You cannot wear amulets or rings; whether you can eat them for their effect is a matter of opinion.

No identification

You may not read a scroll of identify, cast the spell, or take advantage of an insight granted by a throne (which may require avoiding thrones altogether, as their insight has a 20% chance of identifying your entire inventory without prompting for confirmation). More specific methods, such as price identification or enlightenment techniques are acceptable.

Stick user

You may only use wands to cause damage and otherwise affect the dungeon. No use of weapons is allowed to #force locks or attack. You should rely on powerful pets. The wizard, a role with some of the best damage potential from spells, is one of the best roles for this conduct. -- Kalon 01:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


You must discover every single square of dungeon on every map and leave all doors open. The idea is that the entire world is now accessible to any future travelers. This adds a lot of time, and there is no closed door protection. Some people do this already on accident, and of course, once you have mapping spells it is trivial. For added headache, also make sure all dungeon tiles are physically connected. -- Funkopedia

Grid bug

You can't move diagonally, but you can jump. This is challenging because you will need to spend in most cases two turns to perform a movement. Another, more difficult version is that you can't even perform directional actions diagonally, such as kick, fight, zap wands or spells, throw ecc. --Orl


  • You must drop all your starting gold on turn 1.
  • You may not pick up gold.
  • You may not pick up gems besides gray stones.
  • Bonus conduct: No gold rings.
  • You may not sell items in shops. (Price-ID OK.)
  • You may eat coins as a Metallivore if standing on them.



Play the entire game punished. For getting punishment at the start of the game, either play as a Convict in a variant that has that role, start-scum for a scroll of punishment or pray several times and hopefully don't get killed. There is a known punished atheist ascension on RGRN: SATAP Punished Atheist


If you see downward stairs, you must take them.


do the game without artifacts


Ascend without ever once entering any of the option dungeon branches (the Gnomish Mines, Sokoban, or Fort Ludios). Most characters will have a 50% chance of accidentally choosing the down stairs to the Mines, but an Archaeologist can avoid this by digging down and then coming back up and noting which stairs are safe. Archaeologists are also advantaged in making up for the loss of the guaranteed luckstone in the Mines, since they can dig for and readily identify luckstones in the regular dungeon. Fyr (talk)


Don't use #chat. As a result, you cannot talk to your pet (you'll need a stethoscope for that), and you cannot buy protection from priests.

A more difficult version would be to avoid any commands that might involve talking, such as #pray, #offer, or pay. Uruwi (talk)


You must drop your entire starting inventory within the first few turns, and cannot pick up anything except invocation artifacts, the Amulet of Yendor and whatever other items are absolutely necessary to win the game. Bonus conduct: no using items (scrolls, spellbooks, corpses etc.) lying on the floor either. Probably easiest for monk and wizard. Bluescreenofdeath (talk)


The goal of this conduct is to maintain an AC of 10 for the entire game. This doesn't mean you must be armorless however. A mummy wrapping is the only potentially useful armor with 0 AC when unenchanted. Others can have their innate AC lowered by as much as 3 with various forms of erosion (that brown pudding could be your friend). Some useful 0 AC items might be a rusty helm to protect from falling rock traps, burned or rotted magical cloaks, a rusted helm of telepathy or opposite alignment, rusty gauntlets of power and all manner of degraded magical footwear. Pesky enchantments can be removed with cancellation or by the friendly neighborhood disenchanter. Protection, whether purchased, worn on your finger, from casting or even prayer with high luck breaks the conduct. Half physical damage artifacts are permissible however. Erode-proof armors such as dragon scales (mail is rather pointless) and silver shields can be offset with a sufficient number of cursed scrolls of enchant armor. A variety of styles, roles and strategies suggest themselves, with only a heavy reliance on melee being a probable non-starter... jim

See also