User:Chris/dNetHack/Rule Changes

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Race changes


  • Accelerated skill slots -- humans get 1.5x the amount of skill slots compared to other races


  • Begins the game knowing all magical staves, as well as a club and a knife to carve staves.


  • Low-light vision -- light radius is doubled
  • Smaller than other races - can only equip small-sized armor and start with small weapons. Non-fitting armor can be resized with an upgrade kit.
  • Gnomish racial equipment added
    • all gnomes start with gnomish pointy hats
    • gnomes begin with an aklys instead of bullwhips or clubs
    • gnomes begin with crossbows instead of bows
  • Gnomes get an extra damage +1x weapon damage with crossbows
  • Can become expert in club and crossbow, regardless of role.


  • Low-light vision -- light radius is doubled
  • No longer has infravision
  • Very low maximum stats, but gain increased AC, to-hit, damage, carrying cap, and physical stats (STR, DEX and CON) with every level up.
  • Gain magic resistance at level 15


  • Major low-light vision -- light radius is tripled
  • No longer has infravision
  • Can still use Elbereth at its' full potential (like in vanilla)
  • Hates iron - will take bonus damage when hit with iron weapons and regenerates more slowly when their bare skin is in contact with iron (iron armor, rings, etc.)


Based heavily on the Vampire Patch, with the following changes

  • Gets new perks as they level up -- cold resistance and halved nutrition consumption at level 10, polymorph control at level 21
  • Can see any monster with blood despite being blind or monster is invisible

See full dnethack race page here

  • Takes extra damage from silver, in addition to penalties for wearing/wielding silver or blessed gear.


  • You can no longer become crowned before finishing your role quest.
    • In order to be formally acknowledged as having completed the quest, you must speak to your quest leader while carrying the quest artifact.
  • a luckstone is now also required (your luck must be 12 or higher, so maximum luck with a non-cursed luckstone will crown you, on your first prayer)

Changes to alignment record

  • Many transgressions now reduce your maximum alignment record in addition to reducing your current record.
  • The hod sephirah may appear to attack characters who earn many such reductions.

BAB (base attack bonus)

Different roles and binder spirits grant different BAB. BAB grants a <modifier>*level bonus to-hit, so for example a level 30 barbarian would have +30 to-hit on each of his attacks. The roles that get each bonus are as following:

  • Full BAB roles: Barbarian, Convict, Anachrononaut, Pirate, Samurai, Valkyrie, Monks with no weapons wielded.
  • 3/4 BAB roles: Archeologists, Binders, Cavemen, Monks wielding weapons, Nobles, Priests, Rogues, and Rangers.
  • 1/2 BAB roles: Bards, Healers, Tourists, Wizards.

In addition, Berith grants full BAB with any weapon (or none), Eurynome grants full BAB with no weapon, and Enki grants 3/4 BAB. In addition, lightsabers get full BAB with either extrinsic or active intrinsic telepathy, and 3/4 BAB otherwise.

Ability scores

  • Score drop from abuse can no longer be cured with a unicorn horn. Makes sustain ability more useful, coupled with some new potential nasty stuff in Gehennom.
  • Constitution and Wisdom changes apply HP/Pw changes that they would have given for level ups retroactively, discouraging drain for gain and making high bonuses more effective lategame
  • Constitution/Wisdom co-relation with HP/Pw gains at level ups slightly changed -- you get +4 bonus HP at 19-20, +5 at 21-22, +6 at 23-24, +7 at 25 con. You get +N bonus Pw from level up where N is Wis/4
  • Dexterity contributes to AC. The formula is (score-11)/2.
    • As a rule, dex bonuses are not cumulative with body armor base AC, but penalties are.
      • Some body armors allow up to 1/2 of the dex bonus to contribute to AC.
        • Specifically: leather armor, studded leather armor, chain mail, scale mail, banded mail, and bronze plate mail.
      • Dex bonuses are fully cumulative with leather jackets and mithril coats.
  • characters with a natural strength limit of 19+ will have to go through the stages of 18/01 to 18/** before moving higher.

Eating Corpses

  • Changed how gaining intrinsic resistances from food works
    • You have a shot at all resistances a corpse can give.
    • Fire, Cold, Shock, Sleep, Acid, Displacement, Drain resistances time out.
      • (Resistances received from leveling up and from crowning do not time out).
    • Use the self-examination command (Ctrl-X) to receive clues about your current resistances.

Tweaked skills

  • Expert gives +5 to-hit and +5 damage (-2 to hit and +2 damage for twoweapon fighting)
  • Expert riding gives +2 to-hit and +5 damage
    • In vanilla, high skill levels give diminishing returns rather than escalating bonuses.
  • Crossbows now function differently. High crossbow skill does not grant multiple shots, instead it increases the damage dealt by a single crossbow bolt.
    • at basic or lower, does 1x(bolt+enchantment) damage.
    • at skilled, 2x(bolt+enchantment) damage.
    • at expert, 3x (bolt+enchantment) damage.
    • at all skill levels, adds 3x the damage bonus from skill (-5 restricted, -2 unskilled, +0 at basic, +2 at skilled and +5 at expert)
    • This extra damage is precision based, and so does not apply against amorphous, stationary, or incorporeal monsters; which are assumed to lack discernible weak-points.

Enchantments on Armor

  • Many, but not all, artifact armors can be enchanted to +7.
  • All crystal gear (helm, plate mail, shield, gauntlets, boots) can be enchanted to +7.
  • Plain (iron) plate mail, bronze plate mail, and cloaks of protection can also be enchanted to +7.
  • Elven gear can be enchanted to +7, but this includes high-elven helms, plate, and gauntlets and elven togas in addition to vanilla elven gear.
  • For wizards, cornuthaums and the Robe of the Archmagi can be enchanted to +7. (but not normal robes for anybody, including wizards)

Also, when any artifact (armor or not) is enchanted beyond the safe point, it will reset to +0 instead of evaporating. This is subject to the same evaporation chances, so with enough enchant scrolls (and a good amount of luck) it is possible for your artifact gear to reach +8 or even +9, or +6 or +7 if it cannot be enchanted past +5 safely.

Dungeon features

Iron bars


  • Chopping down a tree no longer produces fruit.

Bugs/exploits removed

  • Fixed Astral Call bug (based on Patric Muller's patch)
  • Fixed Artifact ID bug. Or removed that feature.

Quest artifacts

  • Can no longer be wished for by ANY class
  • Only your quest nemesis will deliberately steal your quest artifact, other monsters may steal the amulet and invocation items.
    • The QA is therefore a much more dependable source of extrinsics.


  • Can be cancelled (Malcolm Ryan, tweaked). Zapping a wand of cancellation downwards while standing on a magical trap will disarm it. This applies to magic traps, teleporters, level telporters, and polymorph traps. The original patch also included magic portals, dnethack removes this aspect.
  • Breaking certain wands can create traps (adapted from UnNetHack)


  • Now affects how objects are seen as well, until you pick it up (James).

Item material and size

  • Weapons and armors can have different sizes and material.
    • Size of a weapon affects its damage and weight. Size of an armor piece determines what body type can wear it. Ill-fitting armor can be resized with an upgrade kit. Starting equipment will automatically be of your size.
    • Material of an item determines their weight (mithril equipments are very light) and whether they deal bonus damage against certain creatures (iron weapons deal bonus damage against iron haters, silver weapons deal bonus damage against silver haters). As a consequence, silver weaponry like silver daggers or silver spears no longer exist as separate items, there's only one "base" item type and a material can be applied to it.


  • amnesia only applies to maps, no longer formally IDed items.
  • luckstones only slow down losing good luck, even when blessed. They still give the usual extra luck, however.
  • quaffing potions of booze now permanently slightly lowers the chance of moving in the wrong direction when confused or stunned (three potions per XP level). Dwarves outside the mines now carry potions of booze.
  • Sokoban boulders have been replaced by huge stone crates, that will pop open and spill out food when pushed into the holes.
  • switching between primary and secondary hand no longer takes time.
  • the doors to Gehennom in the Valley of the Dead now need to be unlocked with special keys you find in the alignment quests (see other new features page)
  • the number of pets you can have is now limited by Cha/3 (rounded down). When going over that limit, the weakest pet will untame after a few turns.