Wand of probing
|Base price||150 zm|
|Monster use||Will not be used by monsters.|
In general, wands of probing act much like stethoscopes. Zapping one prompts the player for a direction, and if there is a suitable target, shows the name, alignment, level, HP, AC, and status of the target. Like a stethoscope, it does not anger peaceful targets. Unlike a stethoscope, it is a directional beam, allowing the remote assessment of the target, and it will also show the inventory of the target.
The wand has some situational usages, such as:
- Checking the inventory of your pet when supplying it with equipment.
- Determining if you are at the correct Astral Plane temple by probing the high priest.
- Checking the inventory of peaceful monsters for useful items before taking an alignment penalty for killing them, e.g. dwarves with mithril, or temple priests with books.
- Checking the inventory of monsters with predefined magic items (shopkeepers, soldiers) to identify those items.
- Checking a bag of holding in a bones pile to decide if you would benefit from uncursing it right away.
- Checking historical statues for useful items before taking an alignment penalty for breaking into them as an Archeologist.
- Checking for buried objects when zapped downwards, for example while on top of a grave.
- To locate and identify an invisible creature causing you distress.
- To identify which creature is wearing the amulet of life saving or reflection you know is on the level, so that you may charm and perhaps polymorph it into a powerful pet instead of merely killing it (twice).
- Game-time speed runners need to write many scrolls of charging to replenish their power. Air elemental is the fastest polyself form, e.g. to find the vibrating square. But it is blind. Probing oneself makes a freshly written scroll "seen" and useable.
- In principle, zen players could make objects seen. However, identifying it is hard.
Otherwise a wand of probing is inferior to a stethoscope, being heavier, slower, and having only limited charges. This makes it a good candidate for polypiling.
- zap.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 2309: Behavior of wand of probing zapped downwards.