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NetHack pasta for /vg/ Roguelike General v. 0.5.3

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  1.                                         /rlg/'s NetHack pasta:
  3. Before getting started, note that the official NetHack was last updated in 2003. Several variants have sparked since (See: for more info).
  5. NitroHack is a fork that fixed some bugs and made several GUI changes, while still being true to the original game. Since the site ( went down, you can find the nitrohack files here:
  7. Currently, NitroHack's development has been suspended in order to focus on a new and more ambitious project, NetHack 4 ( However, NH4 lacks a window executable, this means the only way to play it is online through a terminal emulator like PuTTY or KiTTY.
  9. If you are new to the game, you will have an easier time playing NitroHack. But note that it is fairly infamous for it's crashes, and even though it features a savegame recovery, it *will* corrupt some saves. Be warned.
  12.                                 Assorted NetHack Tips for NetHack-newfags:
  14. First of all, read the Guidebook. It has a lot of information about the game. This pasta will work as a tl;dr, but you should read it anyways. Also, pay attention to the stuff the Oracle, the fortune cookies and some engravings say. They can give some helpful tips.
  16. Second, the game can be a bit overwhelming at first. You can activate "explore mode" by starting a game, then pressing X (shift + x), or by starting a game with the -x option. This last method gets you a free wand of wishing. When you die in this mode, you will be asked if you wish to continue playing. The drawback is that your game won't be recorded on the score list.
  18. 0a. AC - Armour class. Starts at 10 (naked) and goes to -40 to -50 for end-game players. The lower you have, the greater damage reduction after damage roll you take on a separate die/dice that DOES contain 0's. (meaning lowers the chance of getting hit high). The Guidebook has a list of armor pieces and their respective AC.
  20. 0b. B/U/C - Stands for Blessed/Uncursed/Cursed. In general, blessed items are beneficial, and cursed items harmful. You won't know the beatitude of items until you identify them, or drop them in an altar. Priest characters can sense the beatitude of items. If you come from DCSS, be wary: EVERY item in NetHack has a b/u/c status, not only equipable ones.
  22. 0c.     St = Strength. Determines damage dealt with weapons and how much stuff you can carry unburdened. Ranges from 3-18, to 18/01-18/** or 25.
  23.         Dx = Dexterity. Used for calculating chance to hit. ranges from 3(-3 to hit) to 25(+11)
  24.         Co = Constitution. Used for HP regeneration, calculating bonus to HP upon leveling and plays a part with how much weight you can carry, too.
  25.         In = Intelligence. Used for learning (and casting) spells from spellbooks (unless you're a Healer, Valkyrie, Knight, Priest or Monk, when its rolled from wisdom).
  26.         Wi = Wisdom. Determines power regeneration and is used for casting spells for certain classes (see above).
  27.         Ch = Charisma. Used only for getting better prices at shops. Females usually start with +1-2 bonus over men.
  29. 0d. Races: Your race will affect your alignment, your characteristics (the ones your start with and the ones you gain as you level) and starting equipment. Profession is restricted by race: Gnomes, for example, can never be barbarians, unless the player polymorphs into one.
  31. Humans are the average by which all races are judged. They are the only race withouth infravision. They can suceed at any role (some roles can only be human) and can choose alignment. Elves will be peaceful to chaotic humans, and dwarves to lawful ones. Gnomes will always hate you, regardless of your alignment.
  33. Dwarves are a strong, tough race. Highest dexterity and constitution of all races, and equal to humans in strrenght. They use digging implements at double the speed. They are always lawful in alignment, and both gnomes and dwarves will usually be peaceful to them. This makes them good for a new player. The downside is that they have the lowest mental stats, making them pretty bad spellcasters. Dwarves can be Archaeologists, Cavemen or Valkyries (recommended for a new player).
  35. Elves are a magically attuned race. They have the highest mental stats, but the lowest strenght and constitution. As a consequence, they don't have a lot of carrying capacity. Elven characters get sleep resistance at level 4. They are always chaotic, and elves will generally be peaceful to you. Elves can be Rangers, Wizards or Priests.
  37. Gnomes are pretty similar to humans, with a little lower strength and higher intelligence. They can use uncursed touchstones (type gray stone that can be used to ID gems) as blessed. Gnomish characters are always neutral, and other gnomes will be peaceful to them. Gnomes can be Archaeologists, Rangers, Wizards, Cavemen and Healers.
  39. Orcs are a bit weaker than humans, and share the low intelligence, wisdom and charisma of dwarves. However, they start with poison resistance, and don't suffer the penalties for cannibalism, or eating domestic animals. Orcs are always chaotic, and orcs will sometimes be peaceful to them. Elves, while having a matching alignment, will never be friendly to an orc.
  41. 0e. Roles. You should play each role at least once. All of them teach you about some aspect of the game.
  42. To expand on the Guidebook:
  44.         Archaeologists start with a pick axe and a whip, and can use uncursed touchstone as blessed, like a gnome. They have the stealth and speed intrinsics from level 1, and gain searching at level 10. They can advance their two weapon combat skill to basic level. They suffer a small penalty for digging up graves if they are lawful. and breaking historical statues as any alignment.
  46.         Barbarians start with poison resistance. They gain speed at level 7 and stealth at level 15. Barbarians can advance their two weapon combat skill to basic level.
  48.         Cavemen don't suffer penalties for cannibalism or eating dogs or cats. They gain speed at level 7 and warning at level 15. They can't use two weapon combat.
  50.         Healers start with the healing potions identified, some healing spellbooks, a stethoscope and poison resistance. Like Cavemen, they gain warning at level 15. They can't use two weapon combat.
  52.         Knights start with a mount and a lance, suitable for pounding. You shouldn't mount your pony outright, you can slip, falling to the ground and opening your head in two. Knights have a code of conduct: Don't eat while satiated, don't attack with poison don't attack fleeing or incapacitated creatures, and don't steal. Knights can #jump like the knight chess piece, and #turn undead. They gain intrinsic speed at level 7. They can advance their two weapon combat skill to skilled level. Some text will be replaced by an "Old English" style.
  54.         Monks start with the intrinsics see invisible, sleep resistance and speed. Monks gain intrinsics at these experience levels:
  55.                 Level 3 : Poison resistance
  56.                 Level 5 : Stealth
  57.                 Level 7 : Warning
  58.                 Level 9 : Searching
  59.                 Level 11: Fire resistance
  60.                 Level 13: Cold resistance
  61.                 Level 15: Shock resistance
  62.                 Level 17: Teleport control
  63. Monks feel guilty when eating meat, and suffer great to-hit penalties while wearing armor. Monks can reach grand master level on their martial arts (unarmed) skill. Monk start with a healing or clerical spellbook. They can't use two weapon combat (no, your two fists don't count.)
  65.         Priests can detect the beatitude (b/u/c status) of items, withouth the need for altars. Priests start with holy water, and two spellbooks of the clerical or healing schools. They gain warning at level 15 and fire resistance at level 20. They can't use two weapon combat. Priests cannot gain skill with edged weapons.
  67.         Rangers get extra shots when using ranged weapons. They start with a cloak of displacement, and a suitable ranged weapon. They get searching at level 1, stealth at level 7 and see invisible at level 15. They can't use two weapon combat. Rangers are good at casting divinations-type spells.
  69.         Rogues start with a stack of daggers, suitable for throwing. They start with stealth, and gain searching at level 10. The potion of sickness they get when starting out can be used to poison projectiles, by #dip ing them into the potion. You can't poison your daggers, sadly. Rogues can advance their two weapon combat skill to expert level.
  71.         Samurais start with speed, and get stealth at level 15. They are a good beginner class. They adhere to the bushido, a code of honor: Don't attack with poisoned weapons, don't dig up graves and don't attack peaceful or tame creatures. Samurais can advance their two weapon combat skill to expert level.
  73.         Tourists are one the harder roles. They start with food, a good amount of gold, a credit card and some magic mapping scrolls. They get searching at level 10 and poison resistance at level 20. Some text will be replaced by a Hawaii style one. Tourists can advance their two weapon combat skill to skilled level.
  75.         Valkyries, especially dwarven ones, are the best beginner role. They begin the game with stealth and cold resistance, and they get speed at level 7. Some text will be replaced by a "northern" style one. Valkyries can advance their two weapon combat skill to skilled level.
  77.         Wizards start with the force bolt spell, and a random second one. They also get some magic goodies at the start. They get teleport at will at level 8 if you have teleportitis, warning at 15 and teleport control at level 17.
  79. 1. The most important tip: NEVER, EVER wear an unidentified amulet.
  81. 1b. NEVER, EVER read an unidentified scroll unless it sells for $17-23 in a shop.
  83. 2. Scrolls of ID sell for 17-23$ in a shop. Always.
  85. 3. Never eat kobold corpses as a new player. They are poisonous, and will reduce your strength. Orcs, Healers and Barbarians start with poison resistance, so they can eat them with safety.
  87. 4. Never polymorph at level 1.
  89. 5. Starting as female has some advantages, you generally have a bit higher charisma, and  you can lay                       eggs while polymorphed. Some people advice always starting as female, however this doesn't have a lot of impact in gameplay and can be ignored.
  91. 6. If possible, start as a Dwarf. If not (depending on class), go Elf>Human>Orc.
  93. 7. Food rations give you 800 'turns' of movement, tins give you -50 to 100 (to memory, depending on content), lichen corpses give 300.
  95. 8. Lichen corpses never rot, are safe to eat and are really, really light. Lichens will drop corpses only 50% of the time, however.
  97. 8b. If you're a DCSS player getting into NetHack, remember that in NetHack you can eat fresh corpses whenever you want; even if you're full. You usually don't want to do that, though.
  99. 9. Never fuck a foocubi at level 1 (yes, you can do that).
  101. 9b. Never trust a nymph.
  103. 10. If you have more than 0 AC and you see ants, FUCKING RUN!
  105. 10b. If the ants happen to be soldier ants, run even faster. You don't fuck with soldier ants.
  107. 11. You can tame carnivorous animals with a tripe ration. Tripe rations should not be eaten, unless you're an orc. Orcs like tripe, too.
  109. 11b. 'Wild' animals, such as jackals and tigers, don't like tripe. Trying to tame such animals with tripe is futile.
  111. 12. If a lamp buys for $60-ish, buy it. That shit's magic, yo. save for altar B/U/C (blessed/uncursed/cursed) status identification. (see tip 16.)
  113. 12b. #rub a magic lamp to summon a djinni. Only works once per magic lamp, after that it turns into a regular one.
  115. 12c. Never #rub a cursed or uncursed lamp.
  117. 13. Save your lamps until you're of decent strength or defence, sicne the djinni always has a chance to come hostile.
  119. 14. Magic lamps also work as an unlimited supply of light.
  121. 15. Dropping an item on an altar (regardless of alignment), when not blind, will show its B/U/C status. (black flash = Cursed, no flash = Uncursed, amber flash = Blessed). Items inside bags will not be checked. Some variants change that (NitroHack, for example). Remember that dropping potions while levitating will break them!
  123. 15b. An alternate way to identify an item's B/U/C status is to let your pet walk over it. If your pet refuses to do it, or does so "reluctantly", the item is cursed.
  125. 16. Don't B/U/C altar identify while hallucinating.
  127. 17. You can bless or uncurse any item by dipping it in holy water. If you don't have holy water, you can make it by dropping your potions of water on an alligned altar and #pray. Note that the rules for praying still aplly, so don't pray if your god isn't happy with you. Try to bless as many potions at once as possible. You can get more potions of water by diluting potions in fountains or pools of water, but don't use the ones in the minetown! If they dry up you will anger the guards.
  129. 18. Never kick, or engrave an altar. Never kick a sink (as a new character).
  131. 18a. Your first wish will be for 'blessed +2 gray dragon scale mail' (yes, must be spelt 'gray' or you'll get nothing) (magic resistance) or for Wizards, 'blessed +2 silver dragon scale mail' (reflection). Your second wish will be for a 'blessed greased bag of holding'. This can change depending on the prize you get at Sokoban, or if you are a Monk.
  133. 18c. Wishing for positive enchantments on armor or weapons can fail; more than +3 is REALLY unlikely to succeed. The rule of the thumb is that +2 is nearly guaranteed to work; try +3 or more only if you're feeling ballsy.
  135. 19. #offer a freshly (within 50-75 turns) killed corpse in your inventory to appease your merciful god. Repeat donators will gain gifts in the form of artefacts (unique, and usually powerful weapons).
  137. 19b. You can also #offer a corpse that is laying on the altar. This is very helpful, as you can't lift all corpses; some are too large/heavy for your character.
  139. 20. Never drink from a fountain when starting off.
  141. 21. If the game asks you for confirmation when attacking something, you probably shouldn't hurt it.
  143. 21b. If you're not using numpad, be especially careful when moving north-west.
  145. 22. Keep your pet with you for as long as possible when starting. If it's standing next to you when going down stairs, it will follow you down a level.
  147. 23. If you have access to a pick axe or you can cast the spell 'force bolt' (Wizards always start with a spellbook of force bolt), destroy every statue you see; it may contain a random spellbook.
  149. 23b. Burly fighter roles should sell the books instead of reading them. Reading a spellbook that is too difficult for your barbaric brain can have some devastating effects.
  151. 24. Eating certain items can give you permanent or temporary intrinsic properties.
  153. 25. Eating a floating eye corpse gives you telepathy.
  155. 26. Eating a newt corpse at full power (Pw) gives you a 1/3 chance of increasing your max Pw by between 1 to 3 points.
  157. 27. Quaffing potions of healing, extra healing or full healing at full HP will increase your maximum HP by 1-3, 2-5 and 4-9 respectively.
  159. 28. Attempting to wish for more wishes (by any means) doesn't work and you'll lose your wish. Wishing for loads of money doesn't work either (maximum amount you can wish for that works 100% of the time is 4999 gold, which really isn't a lot. After that your chance of success goes down at a pretty fast rate to about 6500-7000 for 0%.)
  161. 29. Canned food has all the same properties as a fresh corpse.
  163. 29b. Poisonous corpses (such as a kobold's) however, will lose their poison if they're tinned.
  165. 30. For all foods: USE YOUR BRAIN, NOT YOUR STOMACH! If you wouldn't eat it in real life because it would kill you, don't eat it in game because it will hurt/kill you there too.
  167. 31. Never hit a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse without proper hand protection. Never eat it either. You can, however, wield it for 300-400 turns and be able to 1-hit almost everything if you are wearing gloves before it rots completely.
  169. 32. If you're getting stoned by a cock/chickatrice, eat a lizard corpse. Lizard corpses never rot either and are very light, but give very little nutrition (50 turns).
  171. 32b. Acidic corpses will also stop stoning. Still, lizard corpses are the best choice, so acidic corpses should only be used when you have no other options.
  173. 33. Never #pray unless you have worded confirmation that your god is happy with you. If you're about to die, though, it's worth having a shot anyway.
  175. 34. For the torso, you can wear shirt + armour + cloak. Shirts are rare and have no extrinsic properties, so disregard until mid-game for AC stacking.
  177. 35. Sokoban (blue dungeon walls for graphical interface) is a game inside a game.  If you are good at puzzle games, though, you could give it a shot. Sokoban has a great reward waiting at its end.
  179. 35b. Or, if you suck at puzzles or lack the patience, you can use guides to "cheat". The nethackwiki has some very clear instructions (
  181. 35c. Sokoban also has vast amounts of food, so hungry players should also navigate there as fast as possible.
  183. 36. Brown puddings will rot your leather armour. Black puddings will corrode your weapons and iron armour.
  185. 37. Never wear or use crystal armour. It's shit, breaks easy, heavy and the AC is bested by dragon armour anyway.
  187. 38. Rocks make good starter ammo. Get in the habit of using them. When in a bit of trouble, start throwing them to weaken your enemies. Move onto darts ASAP.
  189. 39. On that note, always carry some ranged weapon regardless of class.
  191. 40. Never pick up gray rocks until you've kicked them. If they move, then it's okay for picking up. If it goes 'THUMP!' Don't touch it, it's a loadstone and will fuck up your day.
  193. 41. Kicking a door down will wake all sleeping monsters nearby. Always use a key or a lock pick on a locked door, if you have one.
  195. 42. Identifying order: Scrolls > Tools > Helms and Gloves > Gems > Food > Armour > Weapons.
  197. 43. Aggressive playstyles will get you killed very fast. Only kill when absolutely needed to stay alive. Always kill lichens though, they can't really do anything to you.
  199. 44. Save your wands of digging until later on in the game.
  201. 45. Books, scrolls, armour, weapons and potions will be ruined by water (books & scrolls blank, potions dilute, metallic armor and weapons rust). No swimming outside or inside the yellow flags.
  203. 46. Bag all semi-useful wands and potions. If you get hit by lighting, your wands and some rings will explode. If you get hit by a fire or an ice bolt, your potions will freeze/explode. If it's the latter, you may experience their effects.
  205. 46b. Do NOT, however, put unidentified wands into your bag of holding.
  207. 47. Never #pray or #offer stuff on the altar of a god that isn't yours.
  209. 47. You will die. Accept and start again. Learn what killed you and never do it again. It's about... 90% of the learning curve in this game.
  211. For everything else: The game is very... logical. No matter how smart you think you are, the mods have already thought of it before you. This can be used to your advantage, however.
  213. This should be enough tips to get beginner players off to a better start. Keep in mind that there WILL be stuff that isn't mentioned here that will kill you. Get used to it and learn from your mistakes.
  216.                                         MORE SPOILERS
  219. The above mentioned tips are just meant to get you going through the early-mid game. For more detailed spoilers on pretty much anything about nethack, check:
  221. >
  222. A really good wiki, full of information. Use this one, the wikia one is outdated.
  224. >
  225. Also known as the Hugo/O'Donnel spoilers, they cover most of the game effects.
  227. >
  228. Intends to be a nethack spoiler index, and includes most of the Hugo/O'DonnelĀ“s, and several more from around the web.
  232.                                                                                 Love; Anonymous of the /rlg/.