Unofficial conduct

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Unofficial conducts are conducts that are not tracked by the vanilla version of NetHack. They are typically enforced by the players themselves only, though some variants track various unofficial conducts.

Playing on a public server that records ttyrecs of your games is a good way to prove that you did an unofficial conduct.

Popular conducts

Of the unofficial conducts, these tend to get attempted most often, usually in vanilla games.


Never have your life saved by an amulet of life saving. It's okay to wear one, so long as you never trigger it by dying. It's also okay to die in a polymorphed form and return to your normal form; this doesn't count as being killed. Choosing not to die in explore or wizard mode also breaks this conduct.

Vanilla NetHack actually tracks this, but not as a formal conduct. If you manage to ascend without being lifesaved, you get "You survived" in the attributes list; otherwise it states how many times you have been killed.


Never have a pet of any sort. The starting pet can be turned off from the options file, and most other ways of obtaining pets are very deliberate and easy to avoid. The one exception is the charming effect of a magic trap, which is possible to trigger without any warning and will instantly tame adjacent monsters.


Go through the entire game and ascend while polymorphed. 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. Every variant which currently offers polyinit mode starts you out with permanent intrinsic unchanging, so you will not be able to repolymorph or revert to your base race, which would be considered breaking the conduct.


Never engrave Elbereth. A stricter version of this conduct would also mean never using the word to scare off monsters in places like Sokoban or the Castle where it's already engraved, but most of the variants that track this conduct only track when you engrave it. This conduct doesn't restrict you from other methods of scaring monsters, such as instruments, coaligned temples, or the scroll of scare monster.


Main article: Extinctionism

Kill every monster in all the levels until none spawn any more. This is more about patience and dedication than it is about avoiding any specific behavior. It can be done to varying degrees: some extinctionists only kill everything that can be naturally generated with create monster; others will repeatedly stone and unstone statues of various rare or unique monster types in order to have them treated as extinct. Versions of NetHack that produce dumplogs will show extincted species in the dumplog.

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.


Never load a bones file. While many bones files are from relatively early in the game and don't contain much that's particularly useful, they might contain large piles of powerful items, artifacts, or other loot which make the game significantly easier for an adventurer who finds and collects them. Therefore, an ascension that never loaded a bones file couldn't have been able to take advantage of such windfalls. You can force the game not to load bones files by turning the bones option off in your configuration file.

Vanilla NetHack does track whether you have loaded any bones files, but similar to Survivor this is not listed in-game as a conduct or reported in the logfile as one.

Conducts in variants


Never have sex with an incubus or succubus, which may give you positive effects such as gaining levels.


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 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.

Table of variant tracked conducts

Conduct Notes Variant
Elberethless NetHack4
NetHack Fourk
Hardfought's build of vanilla
No pudding splits Never split a pudding NetHack4
NetHack Fourk
Polymorphed NetHack4
NetHack Fourk
Perfectly aligned Never lose a point of alignment NetHack Fourk
No Sokoban penalties Never get a Luck penalty in Sokoban NetHack Fourk
Jewelryless Never wear rings, amulets, or eyewear (eating jewelry is fine) NetHack Fourk
Unihornless Never applied a unicorn horn (using one as a weapon is fine) NetHack Fourk
Containerless Never applied or looted containers NetHack Fourk
Toolless Never applied (or looted) any tools NetHack Fourk
Fountainless Never interact with a fountain NetHack Fourk
Sinkless Never interact with a sink NetHack Fourk
Quaffless Never quaff a potion (other uses like throwing are fine) NetHack Fourk
Conflictless Never generate conflict NetHack Fourk
Invisibleless Never turn invisible NetHack Fourk
Displacementless Never become displaced NetHack Fourk
Reflectionless Never have reflection NetHack Fourk
Magic-wishless Never wish for a magic item UnNetHack
Unique items pacifist Never kill any of the unique guardians of the Bell, Book, Candelabrum, or Amulet UnNetHack
Bonesless UnNetHack
Deathdropless Monster never drop any items upon their death UnNetHack
Racial armor Never wear armor not associated with your race UnNetHack
Racial weapons Never wield weapons not associated with your race UnNetHack
Heaven or Hell Game mode where everything has one hit point, but you have three extra lives UnNetHack
Hell and Hell Game mode where only you have one hit point UnNetHack
Wardless Never draw a warding symbol dNetHack
Identifyless Never magically identify items dNetHack
Shop identifyless Never identify items via shopkeeper service dNetHack
Celibate SLASH'EM
Permahallu Hallucinate for the entire game xNetHack
Permadeaf Go deaf for the entire game xNetHack
Artifactless Never touch an artifact xNetHack
Petless Never have a pet xNetHack
Unfair-scareless Never cause a monster to flee by standing on a spot such as Elbereth or a coaligned temple xNetHack
Techniqueless Never use a technique SpliceHack
Teetotal Never drink alcohol SpliceHack
Permafumbling Be fumbling for the entire game SpliceHack
Illfated Game mode where very high difficulty monsters can generate SpliceHack
Intrinsicswap Game mode where gaining a non-poison resistance via a corpse causes the player to lose all other resistances SpliceHack
Marathon Game mode where you begin with 999 HP that can never be replenished SpliceHack

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(~~~).


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...



Ascend the game without any artifacts beyond the ones necessary for the Invocation ritual (the Bell of Opening, the Book of the Dead and the Candelabrum of Invocation).


You reject the bourgeois Yendorian economy. This forbids the carrying of gold in open inventory.

  1. All gold must be dropped on turn 1.
  2. No gold may be picked up, or taken out of a container.
  3. No gold may be carried into a new level (follows from rule [1]).
  4. It is permitted to shop with gems.
  5. The probity of coin consumption was for a while disputed. It was decided in the end that this might be one of the most definitive ways to destroy the Yendorian economy. Therefore, floor-based coin consumption as a metallivore is actively encouraged. In fact, floor-based consumption of Fort Ludios earns the title Barter Hero, and if you achieve a floor-based consumption of every single coin in the game, then don't even bother ascending, you made it to Barter Marshal.
  6. (Some Vancian mental gymnastics may be required here) It is permitted to shop by barter of containers that already contain gold.

Barter has some features of SaintD's Moneyless conduct, but is a bit more liberal as it allows shopping.


Basically, the opposite of vegan: you must only eat corpses that come from animals. This excludes eating food rations, fruit and tins of spinach.

Probably, the easiest role/race for this will be Cavemen and orcs (no penalty for cannibalism or eating the corpses of domestic animals), but downright impossible, or ill-advised, for Monks. --nabru


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 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)

Ironless Elf

Apparently elves are allergic to iron. To keep this conduct simple in vanilla, no weapons or armor made of iron may be wielded or worn. This includes Stormbringer, Magicbane and GoP. Tools and projectiles (either thrown or launched) are exempt however. Amulets, being made of iron (with the exceptions of the Amulet of Yendor and its cheap plastic imitations), are prohibited as is any ring randomly labeled as "iron". Elf rangers would seem to be the best adapted to this conduct although wizards are also a possibility. A priest's starting mace could be quite a handicap though...



  • 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.



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)


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.


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).

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]

Many variants give bonuses to certain monsters wearing appropriate racial equipment, and often expand on the amount of racial equipment available.

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

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)


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


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)

See also

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

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