Wand of nothing

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Name nothing
Appearance random
Abundance 2.5%
Base price 100 zm
Weight 7
Type random
Maximum charges 8 or 15
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The wand of nothing is a wand that appears in NetHack.

Effects

True to its name, the wand does absolutely nothing when zapped, engraved with, or broken by applying. Despite this, it still has charges like any other wand.

A wand of nothing can either be non-directional, giving no feedback whatsoever when zapped, or prompt for a direction, then do nothing with it; each variant is equally likely. The variant is randomly determined per-game, not per-item, so if you find a non-directional wand of nothing, all other wands of nothing in that game will also be non-directional. Whether the wand is directional or not determines how many starting charges it has (4-8 if directional, 11-15 if non-directional).

A wand of nothing is non-magical, and so doesn't lose its charges to cancellation. As the only non-magical type of wand, it will usually turn into a magical wand when polymorphed.

Note that the message "Nothing happens." isn't associated with the wand of nothing, but with any wand that's out of charges. A wand of nothing won't produce this message unless it happens to be out of charges.

Strategy

The wand of nothing's properties tend to interfere with identifying other wands; however, the only other wand with a base price of 100 zorkmids is the wand of light, which is very easy to identify and safe to zap or engrave with. Only 25% of all price 100 wands are wands of nothing. It can also be formally identified by elimination once all wands are known that produce no message when engraving.

The wand of nothing's only real use is as polyfodder. Converting it to any other magical wand will keep its amount of charges intact, which is especially useful if it's the non-directional variant with more charges.

History

Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, all wands of nothing were directional.

xNetHack

In xNetHack, wielding a wand of nothing gives a bonus when spellcasting, increasing the player's effective intelligence score by 5 when calculating the energy cost. This effect is the same as wearing a robe or wielding a quarterstaff, and these effects do not stack.