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I, PeterGFin have still never held the Amulet of Yendor. I have owned Nethack about 4 years. I use NAO Nethack, and NethackQT for the Mac. On this site I'd most like to see pages or notes for all race/role combinations.

Multiplayer NetHack

Multiplayer Nethack get discussed and asked about frequently. I believe that Nethack would work best as a Multiplayer deathmatch, a two player duel, a 2-3 player co-operative or a board game which would need genius design to retain the essence of NetHack.


Chaos (1985; ZX Spectrum; Games Workshop) Chaos was written to implement a board game that had gotten too complicated. Chaos sees 8 wizards of either computer or player in a free-for-all deathmatch. Emulators and ports are freely available. In its favour as an inspiration

  • It is turn based
  • It uses the Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic idea. The spells are aligned rather than the wizards. As low level spells that are Lawful or Chaotic get used, the winds of magic lean towards that alignment; making the more powerful spells easier to cast. Neutral stay the same.
  • There is a standard combat system. Wizards can summon monsters to fight for them, and attack directly.

Toejam and Earl (1990; Mega Drive/Genesis; PUBLISHER) @Play already lists this game as a roguelike-ish game, and its two player ability is unique. This co-op play could be a Simple Matter of Programming: requiring both players to be present to go up or down stairs, waiting for both players input and acting simultaneously, and expanding the #chat command. To balance the massive advantages of the WoUD and teamwork, the game would have to get really hard. The Carrot Man would also be a good addition!

Board Game Geek (.com) Has over its various forum history gotten about 12-13 thread discussions: including many ambitions to create a board or card game. I have my own not finished (and may never be) or published deathmatch game set in a Big Room or Gnomish Mine, called Polymorphitis.

  • Role and race distinctions only affect your starting stats and card draw.
  • Polymorph is vital to keeping you alive when two hits from (e.g.) a fire ray will kill you.
  • The polymorph control system is to roll a D20 for monster class (the higher the better, 20 is free choice), then have a re-roll ability (for a roll of your Charisma or less), and adjustment abilities for that die and the subsequent monster colour die (D6).
  • It features the Nethack monsters; but the monsters are YOU- meaning no GM or other control mechanism needed.
  • Most item cards show randomised items: which are all coloured prominently. Once the item is identified it is publicly known to all via markers on the board edge. The mechanic of just one player knowing items doesn't exist.
  • Wearables are limited to 4; on each corner of your @.
  • You can play Holy Water as a 'power card' to improve certain outcomes, or play Unholy Water to sabotage: this is the only BUC system.
  • The depth needs increasing, while the number of cards etc needs to go down. While a NetHack aficionado would be interested, the complexity/gameplay payoff isn't high enough at present.
  • Probably needs modifying for print-'n'-play (free). (wearables would be easy in plastic, prone to constant slippage on paper)
  • A possibility is secret factions (Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic) for 4 or more players where you have to guess (probe) who is on which side and try to either a/ensure your faction wins or b/every Hacker for themselves but with wrath on co-aligned kills for a cagier game.

Stat based card games using NetHack monsters would be relatively easy.

Heroquest (1986, Amstrad) Impressed with its isometric view, and handling of multiple characters: each player take their turns in order, and then the monsters take their turns. Speed could be reflected with extra moves.

d20 3.5