Abandonware DOS title

NetHack manual - guidebook

                           A Guide to the Mazes of Menace
                               (Guidebook for NetHack)

                                   Eric S. Raymond
                      (Extensively edited and expanded for 3.4)

          1.  Introduction

          Recently, you have begun to find yourself unfulfilled and distant
          in your daily occupation.  Strange dreams of prospecting,  steal-
          ing,  crusading,  and  combat  have haunted you in your sleep for
          many months, but you aren't  sure  of  the  reason.   You  wonder
          whether  you have in fact been having those dreams all your life,
          and somehow managed to forget about them until now.  Some  nights
          you awaken suddenly and cry out, terrified at the vivid recollec-
          tion of the strange and powerful creatures that seem to be  lurk-
          ing  behind  every  corner  of  the dungeon in your dream.  Could
          these details haunting your dreams be real?  As each night  pass-
          es,  you feel the desire to enter the mysterious caverns near the
          ruins grow stronger.  Each morning, however, you quickly put  the
          idea  out  of  your head as you recall the tales of those who en-
          tered the caverns before you and did not return.  Eventually  you
          can  resist  the yearning to seek out the fantastic place in your
          dreams no longer.  After all, when other  adventurers  came  back
          this  way after spending time in the caverns, they usually seemed
          better off than when they passed through the first time.  And who
          was to say that all of those who did not return had not just kept

               Asking around, you hear about a bauble, called the Amulet of
          Yendor  by  some, which, if you can find it, will bring you great
          wealth.  One legend you were told even mentioned that the one who
          finds  the  amulet  will be granted immortality by the gods.  The
          amulet is rumored to be somewhere beyond the Valley of  Gehennom,
          deep  within  the Mazes of Menace.  Upon hearing the legends, you
          immediately realize that there is some profound and  undiscovered
          reason that you are to descend into the caverns and seek out that
          amulet of which they spoke.  Even if the rumors of  the  amulet's
          powers are untrue, you decide that you should at least be able to
          sell the tales of your adventures to the local  minstrels  for  a
          tidy  sum,  especially if you encounter any of the terrifying and
          magical creatures of your dreams along the way.   You  spend  one
          last  night  fortifying  yourself at the local inn, becoming more
          and more depressed as you watch the odds of  your  success  being
          posted on the inn's walls getting lower and lower.

          NetHack Guidebook                                               1

          NetHack Guidebook                                               2

                 In the morning you awake, collect your belongings, and set
          off for the dungeon.  After several days  of  uneventful  travel,
          you  see the ancient ruins that mark the entrance to the Mazes of
          Menace.  It is late at night, so you make camp  at  the  entrance
          and  spend the night sleeping under the open skies.  In the morn-
          ing, you gather your gear, eat what may be your  last  meal  out-
          side, and enter the dungeon...

          2.  What is going on here?

               You have just begun a game of NetHack.  Your goal is to grab
          as much treasure as you can, retrieve the Amulet of  Yendor,  and
          escape the Mazes of Menace alive.

               Your abilities and strengths for dealing with the hazards of
          adventure will vary with your background and training:

               Archeologists understand dungeons pretty well; this  enables
          them  to  move  quickly  and sneak up on the local nasties.  They
          start equipped with the tools for a proper scientific expedition.

               Barbarians  are  warriors out of the hinterland, hardened to
          battle.   They  begin  their  quests  with  naught  but  uncommon
          strength, a trusty hauberk, and a great two-handed sword.

               Cavemen  and  Cavewomen start with exceptional strength but,
          unfortunately, with neolithic weapons.

               Healers are wise in medicine and apothecary.  They know  the
          herbs  and  simples  that  can restore vitality, ease pain, anes-
          thetize, and neutralize poisons; and with their instruments, they
          can  divine a being's state of health or sickness.  Their medical
          practice earns them quite reasonable amounts of money, with which
          they enter the dungeon.

               Knights  are  distinguished  from  the  common skirmisher by
          their devotion to the ideals of chivalry and  by  the  surpassing
          excellence of their armor.

               Monks are ascetics, who by rigorous practice of physical and
          mental disciplines have become capable of fighting as effectively
          without  weapons  as with.  They wear no armor but make up for it
          with increased mobility.

               Priests and Priestesses are clerics militant, crusaders  ad-
          vancing  the  cause  of  righteousness with arms, armor, and arts
          thaumaturgic.  Their ability to commune with deities  via  prayer
          occasionally extricates them from peril, but can also put them in

               Rangers are most at home in the woods, and some say slightly
          out of place in a dungeon.  They are, however, experts in archery
          as well as tracking and stealthy movement.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               3

               Rogues are agile and stealthy  thieves,  with  knowledge  of
          locks,  traps,  and  poisons.   Their advantage lies in surprise,
          which they employ to great advantage.

               Samurai are the elite warriors of feudal Nippon.   They  are
          lightly  armored  and  quick, and wear the dai-sho, two swords of
          the deadliest keenness.

               Tourists start out with lots of gold (suitable for  shopping
          with),  a  credit card, lots of food, some maps, and an expensive
          camera.  Most monsters don't like being photographed.

               Valkyries are hardy warrior women.  Their upbringing in  the
          harsh  Northlands  makes  them strong, inures them to extremes of
          cold, and instills in them stealth and cunning.

               Wizards start out with a knowledge of magic, a selection  of
          magical  items,  and a particular affinity for dweomercraft.  Al-
          though seemingly weak and easy to overcome at first sight, an ex-
          perienced Wizard is a deadly foe.

               You may also choose the race of your character:

               Dwarves are smaller than humans or elves, but are stocky and
          solid individuals.  Dwarves' most notable trait  is  their  great
          expertise  in mining and metalwork.  Dwarvish armor is said to be
          second in quality not even to the mithril armor of the Elves.

               Elves are agile, quick, and perceptive; very little of  what
          goes  on  will escape an Elf.  The quality of Elven craftsmanship
          often gives them an advantage in arms and armor.

               Gnomes are smaller than but generally  similar  to  dwarves.
          Gnomes  are known to be expert miners, and it is known that a se-
          cret underground mine complex built by this  race  exists  within
          the Mazes of Menace, filled with both riches and danger.

               Humans are by far the most common race of the surface world,
          and are thus the norm by which other races  are  often  compared.
          Although  they have no special abilities, they can succeed in any

               Orcs are a cruel and barbaric race that  hate  every  living
          thing  (including other orcs).  Above all others, Orcs hate Elves
          with a passion unequalled, and will go out of their way  to  kill
          one  at  any opportunity.  The armor and weapons fashioned by the
          Orcs are typically of inferior quality.

          3.  What do all those things on the screen mean?

               On the screen is kept a map of where you have been and  what
          you  have  seen on the current dungeon level; as you explore more
          of the level, it appears on the screen in front of you.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               4

               When NetHack's ancestor rogue  first  appeared,  its  screen
          orientation  was  almost  unique  among  computer  fantasy games.
          Since then, screen orientation has become the  norm  rather  than
          the  exception;  NetHack  continues  this fine tradition.  Unlike
          text adventure games that accept commands in pseudo-English  sen-
          tences and explain the results in words, NetHack commands are all
          one or two keystrokes and the results are  displayed  graphically
          on  the  screen.  A minimum screen size of 24 lines by 80 columns
          is recommended; if the screen is larger,  only  a  21x80  section
          will be used for the map.

               NetHack can even be played by blind players, with the assis-
          tance of Braille readers or  speech  synthesisers.   Instructions
          for  configuring NetHack for the blind are included later in this

               NetHack generates a new dungeon every time you play it; even
          the  authors  still find it an entertaining and exciting game de-
          spite having won several times.

               NetHack offers a variety of display  options.   The  options
          available  to  you  will vary from port to port, depending on the
          capabilities of your hardware and software, and  whether  various
          compile-time options were enabled when your executable was creat-
          ed.  The three possible display options are: a monochrome charac-
          ter  interface,  a color character interface, and a graphical in-
          terface using small pictures called tiles.  The two character in-
          terfaces allow fonts with other characters to be substituted, but
          the default assignments use standard ASCII characters  to  repre-
          sent everything.  There is no difference between the various dis-
          play options with respect to game play.  Because we cannot repro-
          duce the tiles or colors in the Guidebook, and because it is com-
          mon to all ports, we will use the default ASCII  characters  from
          the  monochrome  character  display  when referring to things you
          might see on the screen during your game.

               In order to understand what is going on  in  NetHack,  first
          you  must  understand what NetHack is doing with the screen.  The
          NetHack screen replaces the ``You see ...'' descriptions of  text
          adventure  games.   Figure 1 is a sample of what a NetHack screen
          might look like.  The way the screen looks  for  you  depends  on
          your platform.

           The bat bites!

               |....|    ----------
               |....-#   |...B....+
               |....|    |.d......|
               ------    -------|--

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               5

           Player the Rambler     St:12 Dx:7 Co:18 In:11 Wi:9 Ch:15  Neutral
           Dlvl:1 $:0  HP:9(12) Pw:3(3) AC:10 Exp:1/19 T:257 Weak

                                      Figure 1

          3.1.  The status lines (bottom)

               The  bottom  two lines of the screen contain several cryptic
          pieces of information describing your current status.  If  either
          status  line  becomes  longer  than  the width of the screen, you
          might not see all of it.  Here are explanations of what the vari-
          ous status items mean (though your configuration may not have all
          the status items listed below):

               Your character's name and professional ranking (based on the
               experience level, see below).

               A  measure of your character's strength; one of your six ba-
               sic attributes.  A human character's  attributes  can  range
               from  3  to 18 inclusive; non-humans may exceed these limits
               (occasionally you may get super-strengths of the form 18/xx,
               and  magic  can  also  cause attributes to exceed the normal
               limits).  The higher your strength, the  stronger  you  are.
               Strength  affects  how  successfully  you  perform  physical
               tasks, how much damage you do in combat, and how  much  loot
               you can carry.

               Dexterity  affects  your  chances to hit in combat, to avoid
               traps, and do other tasks requiring agility or  manipulation
               of objects.

               Constitution  affects  your ability to recover from injuries
               and other strains on your stamina.

               Intelligence affects your ability to cast  spells  and  read

               Wisdom comes from your practical experience (especially when
               dealing with magic).  It affects your magical energy.

               Charisma affects how certain creatures react toward you.  In
               particular,  it can affect the prices shopkeepers offer you.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               6

               Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic.  Often, Lawful is taken as good
               and Chaotic as evil, but legal and ethical do not always co-
               incide.  Your alignment influences how other monsters  react
               toward you.  Monsters of a like alignment are more likely to
               be non-aggressive, while those of an opposing alignment  are
               more likely to be seriously offended at your presence.

          Dungeon Level
               How deep you are in the dungeon.  You start at level one and
               the number increases as you  go  deeper  into  the  dungeon.
               Some  levels  are  special, and are identified by a name and
               not a number.  The Amulet of Yendor is reputed to  be  some-
               where beneath the twentieth level.

               The  number  of  gold  pieces you are openly carrying.  Gold
               which you have concealed in containers is not counted.

          Hit Points
               Your current and maximum hit points.   Hit  points  indicate
               how  much  damage you can take before you die.  The more you
               get hit in a fight, the lower they get.  You can regain  hit
               points  by  resting,  or  by  using certain magical items or
               spells.  The number in parentheses  is  the  maximum  number
               your hit points can reach.

               Spell  points.  This tells you how much mystic energy (mana)
               you have available for spell casting.  Again,  resting  will
               regenerate the amount available.

          Armor Class
               A measure of how effectively your armor stops blows from un-
               friendly creatures.  The lower this number is, the more  ef-
               fective the armor; it is quite possible to have negative ar-
               mor class.

               Your current experience level and experience points.  As you
               adventure,  you  gain experience points.  At certain experi-
               ence point totals, you gain an experience level.   The  more
               experienced you are, the better you fight and withstand mag-
               ical attacks.  Many dungeons show only your experience level

               The  number  of  turns elapsed so far, displayed if you have
               the time option set.

          Hunger status
               Your current hunger status, ranging from  Satiated  down  to
               Fainting.   If  your hunger status is normal, it is not dis-

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               7

               Additional status flags may appear after the hunger  status:
          Conf  when you're confused, FoodPois or Ill when sick, Blind when
          you can't see, Stun when stunned, and Hallu when hallucinating.

          3.2.  The message line (top)

               The top line of the screen is reserved for messages that de-
          scribe  things that are impossible to represent visually.  If you
          see a ``--More--'' on the top line, this means that  NetHack  has
          another  message  to  display on the screen, but it wants to make
          certain that you've read the one that is there  first.   To  read
          the next message, just press the space bar.

          3.3.  The map (rest of the screen)

               The  rest  of the screen is the map of the level as you have
          explored it so far.  Each symbol on the screen  represents  some-
          thing.   You  can  set various graphics options to change some of
          the symbols the game uses; otherwise, the game will  use  default
          symbols.  Here is a list of what the default symbols mean:

          - and |
               The walls of a room, or an open door.  Or a grave (|).

          .    The floor of a room, ice, or a doorless doorway.

          #    A  corridor,  or iron bars, or a tree, or possibly a kitchen
               sink (if your dungeon has sinks), or a drawbridge.

          >    Stairs down: a way to the next level.

          <    Stairs up: a way to the previous level.

          +    A closed door, or a spellbook containing a spell you may  be
               able to learn.

          @    Your character or a human.

          $    A pile of gold.

          ^    A trap (once you have detected it).

          )    A weapon.

          [    A suit or piece of armor.

          %    Something edible (not necessarily healthy).

          ?    A scroll.

          /    A wand.

          =    A ring.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               8

          !    A potion.

          (    A useful item (pick-axe, key, lamp...).

          "    An amulet or a spider web.

          *    A gem or rock (possibly valuable, possibly worthless).

          `    A boulder or statue.

          0    An iron ball.

          _    An altar, or an iron chain.

          {    A fountain.

          }    A pool of water or moat or a pool of lava.

          \    An opulent throne.

          a-zA-Z and other symbols
               Letters  and certain other symbols represent the various in-
               habitants of the Mazes of Menace.  Watch out,  they  can  be
               nasty and vicious.  Sometimes, however, they can be helpful.

          I    This marks the last known location of an invisible or other-
               wise  unseen  monster.   Note  that  the  monster could have
               moved.  The 'F' and 'm' commands may be useful here.

               You need not memorize all these symbols;  you  can  ask  the
          game  what  any  symbol  represents with the `/' command (see the
          next section for more info).

          4.  Commands

               Commands are initiated by  typing  one  or  two  characters.
          Some  commands, like ``search'', do not require that any more in-
          formation be collected by NetHack.  Other commands might  require
          additional  information, for example a direction, or an object to
          be used.  For those commands that require additional information,
          NetHack  will present you with either a menu of choices or with a
          command line prompt requesting information.  Which you  are  pre-
          sented with will depend chiefly on how you have set the menustyle

               For example, a common question, in the form  ``What  do  you
          want  to use? [a-zA-Z ?*]'', asks you to choose an object you are
          carrying.  Here, ``a-zA-Z'' are the  inventory  letters  of  your
          possible  choices.   Typing  `?'  gives  you an inventory list of
          these items, so you can see what each letter refers to.  In  this
          example,  there  is  also a `*' indicating that you may choose an
          object not on the list, if you wanted to use something  unexpect-
          ed.  Typing a `*' lists your entire inventory, so you can see the

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                               9

          inventory letters of every object you're carrying.   Finally,  if
          you change your mind and decide you don't want to do this command
          after all, you can press the ESC key to abort the command.

               You can put a number before some  commands  to  repeat  them
          that  many times; for example, ``10s'' will search ten times.  If
          you have the number_pad option set, you must type `n' to prefix a
          count,  so  the  example  above  would be typed ``n10s'' instead.
          Commands for which counts make no sense ignore  them.   In  addi-
          tion,  movement commands can be prefixed for greater control (see
          below).  To cancel a count or a prefix, press the ESC key.

               The list of commands is rather long, but it can be  read  at
          any  time during the game through the `?' command, which accesses
          a menu of helpful texts.  Here are the commands for  your  refer-

          ?    Help menu:  display one of several help texts available.

          /    Tell  what a symbol represents.  You may choose to specify a
               location or type a symbol (or even a whole word) to explain.
               Specifying a location is done by moving the cursor to a par-
               ticular spot on the map and then pressing one of  `.',  `,',
               `;',  or `:'.  `.' will explain the symbol at the chosen lo-
               cation, conditionally check for ``More info?'' depending up-
               on whether the help option is on, and then you will be asked
               to pick another location; `,' will explain  the  symbol  but
               skip  any  additional  information; `;' will skip additional
               info and also not bother asking you to choose another  loca-
               tion  to  examine;  `:'  will  show additional info, if any,
               without asking for confirmation.  When picking  a  location,
               pressing  the ESC key will terminate this command, or press-
               ing `?'  will give a brief reminder about how it works.

               Specifying a name rather than a location  always  gives  any
          additional information available about that name.

          &    Tell what a command does.

          <    Go  up  to  the previous level (if you are on a staircase or

          >    Go down to the next level (if you are on a staircase or lad-

               Go  one  step in the direction indicated (see Figure 2).  If
               you sense or remember a monster there, you  will  fight  the
               monster  instead.   Only  these  one-step  movement commands
               cause  you  to  fight  monsters;  the  others  (below)   are

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              10

                                    y  k  u          7  8  9
                                     \ | /            \ | /
                                    h- . -l          4- . -6
                                     / | \            / | \
                                    b  j  n          1  2  3
                                              (if number_pad is set)

                                         Figure 2

               Go  in that direction until you hit a wall or run into some-

               Prefix:  move without picking up objects or  fighting  (even
               if you remember a monster there)

               Prefix:   fight  a  monster  (even  if you only guess one is

               Prefix:  move far, no pickup.

               Prefix:  move until something interesting is found.

          G[yuhjklbn] or [yuhjklbn]
               Prefix:  same as `g', but forking of corridors is  not  con-
               sidered interesting.

          _    Travel to a map location via a shortest-path algorithm.  The
               shortest path is computed over map locations the hero  knows
               about  (e.g.  seen or previously traversed).  If there is no
               known path, a guess is made instead.  Stops on most  of  the
               same  conditions  as the `G' command, but without picking up
               objects, similar to the `M' command.  For ports  with  mouse
               support,  the  command  is  also  invoked when a mouse-click
               takes place on a location other than the current position.

          .    Rest, do nothing for one turn.

          a    Apply (use) a tool (pick-axe, key, lamp...).

          A    Remove one or more worn items, such as armor.  Use `T' (take
               off)  to take off only one piece of armor or `R' (remove) to
               take off only one accessory.

          ^A   Redo the previous command.

          c    Close a door.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              11

          C    Call (name) an individual monster.

          ^C   Panic button.  Quit the game.

          d    Drop something.  Ex. ``d7a'' means drop seven items  of  ob-
               ject a.

          D    Drop several things.  In answer to the question ``What kinds
               of things do you want to drop? [!%= BUCXaium]''  you  should
               type  zero  or  more object symbols possibly followed by `a'
               and/or `i' and/or `u' and/or `m'.  In addition, one or  more
               of the blessed/uncursed/cursed groups may be typed.

                    DB  - drop all objects known to be blessed.
                    DU  - drop all objects known to be uncursed.
                    DC  - drop all objects known to be cursed.
                    DX  - drop all objects of unknown B/U/C status.
                    Da  - drop all objects, without asking for confirmation.
                    Di  - examine your inventory before dropping anything.
                    Du  - drop only unpaid objects (when in a shop).
                    Dm  - use a menu to pick which object(s) to drop.
                    D%u - drop only unpaid food.

          ^D   Kick something (usually a door).

          e    Eat food.

          E    Engrave   a  message  on  the  floor.   Engraving  the  word
               ``Elbereth'' will cause most  monsters  to  not  attack  you
               hand-to-hand  (but if you attack, you will rub it out); this
               is often useful to give yourself a breather.  (This  feature
               may  be  compiled out of the game, so your version might not
               have it.)

                    E- - write in the dust with your fingers.

          f    Fire one of the objects placed in your quiver.  You may  se-
               lect ammunition with a previous `Q' command, or let the com-
               puter pick something appropriate if autoquiver is true.

          i    List your inventory (everything you're carrying).

          I    List selected parts of your inventory.

                    I* - list all gems in inventory;
                    Iu - list all unpaid items;
                    Ix - list all used up items that are on your shopping bill;
                    I$ - count your money.

          o    Open a door.

          O    Set options.  A menu showing the current option values  will
               be  displayed.  You can change most values simply by select-
               ing the menu entry for the given option (ie, by  typing  its

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              12

               letter  or  clicking  upon it, depending on your user inter-
               face).  For the  non-boolean  choices,  a  further  menu  or
               prompt will appear once you've closed this menu.  The avail-
               able options are listed later in  this  Guidebook.   Options
               are  usually  set  before  the game rather than with the `O'
               command; see the section on options below.

          p    Pay your shopping bill.

          P    Put on a ring or other accessory (amulet, blindfold).

          ^P   Repeat previous message.   Subsequent  ^P's  repeat  earlier
               messages.  The behavior can be varied via the msg_window op-

          q    Quaff (drink) something (potion, water, etc).

          Q    Select an object for your quiver.  You can then  throw  this
               using  the  `f' command.  (In versions prior to 3.3 this was
               the command to quit the game, which has now  been  moved  to

          r    Read a scroll or spellbook.

          R    Remove an accessory (ring, amulet, etc).

          ^R   Redraw the screen.

          s    Search  for  secret  doors and traps around you.  It usually
               takes several tries to find something.

          S    Save (and suspend) the game.  The game will be restored  au-
               tomatically the next time you play.

          t    Throw an object or shoot a projectile.

          T    Take off armor.

          ^T   Teleport, if you have the ability.

          v    Display version number.

          V    Display the game history.

          w    Wield weapon.

                    w- - wield nothing, use your bare hands.

          W    Wear armor.

          x    Exchange your wielded weapon with the item in your alternate
               weapon slot.  The latter is used as  your  secondary  weapon
               when  engaging  in  two-weapon  combat.  Note that if one of
               these slots is empty, the exchange still takes place.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              13

          X    Enter explore (discovery) mode, explained in its own section

          ^X   Display your name, role, race, gender, and alignment as well
               as the various deities in your game.

          z    Zap a wand.  To aim at yourself, use `.' for the  direction.

          Z    Zap  (cast)  a  spell.  To cast at yourself, use `.' for the

          ^Z   Suspend the game (UNIX(R) versions with job control only).

          :    Look at what is here.

          ;    Show what type of thing a visible symbol corresponds to.

          ,    Pick up some things. May be preceded by `m' to force  a  se-
               lection menu.

          @    Toggle the autopickup option on and off.

          ^    Ask for the type of a trap you found earlier.

          )    Tell what weapon you are wielding.

          [    Tell what armor you are wearing.

          =    Tell what rings you are wearing.

          "    Tell what amulet you are wearing.

          (    Tell what tools you are using.

          *    Tell  what  equipment  you are using; combines the preceding
               five type-specific commands into one.

          $    Count your gold pieces.

          +    List the spells you know.  Using this command, you can  also
               rearrange  the  order in which your spells are listed.  They
               are shown via a menu, and if you  select  a  spell  in  that
               menu, you'll be re-prompted for another spell to swap places
               with it, and then  have  opportunity  to  make  further  ex-

          \    Show what types of objects have been discovered.

          !    Escape to a shell.

          (R)UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              14

          #    Perform an extended command.  As you can see, the authors of
               NetHack used up all the letters, so this is a way to  intro-
               duce  the less frequently used commands.  What extended com-
               mands are available depends on what features  the  game  was
               compiled with.

               Adjust inventory letters (most useful when the fixinv option
               is ``on'').

               Talk to someone.

               List which challenges you have adhered to.  See the  section
               below entitled ``Conduct'' for details.

          #dip Dip an object into something.

               Advance or check weapons and spell skills.

               Force a lock.

               Invoke an object's special powers.

               Jump to another location.

               Loot  a  box  or bag on the floor beneath you, or the saddle
               from a horse standing next to you.

               Use a monster's special ability (when polymorphed into  mon-
               ster form).

               Name an item or type of object.

               Offer a sacrifice to the gods.

               Pray to the gods for help.

               Quit the program without saving your game.

               Ride (or stop riding) a monster.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              15

          #rub Rub a lamp or a stone.

          #sit Sit down.

               Turn undead.

               Toggle  two-weapon combat on or off.  Note that you must use
               suitable weapons for this type of combat, or it will be  au-
               tomatically turned off.

               Untrap something (trap, door, or chest).

               Print compile time options for this version of NetHack.

               Wipe off your face.

          #?   Help menu:  get the list of available extended commands.

               If your keyboard has a meta key (which, when pressed in com-
          bination with another key, modifies  it  by  setting  the  `meta'
          [8th,  or  `high'] bit), you can invoke many extended commands by
          meta-ing the first letter of the command.  In NT,  OS/2,  and  PC
          NetHack, the `Alt' key can be used in this fashion.

          M-?  #? (not supported by all platforms)

          M-2  #twoweapon (unless the number_pad option is enabled)

          M-a  #adjust

          M-c  #chat

          M-d  #dip

          M-e  #enhance

          M-f  #force

          M-i  #invoke

          M-j  #jump

          M-l  #loot

          M-m  #monster

          M-n  #name

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              16

          M-o  #offer

          M-p  #pray

          M-q  #quit

          M-r  #rub

          M-s  #sit

          M-t  #turn

          M-u  #untrap

          M-v  #version

          M-w  #wipe

               If  the number_pad option is on, some additional letter com-
          mands are available:

          h    Help menu:  display one of  several  help  texts  available,
               like ``?''.

          j    Jump to another location.  Same as ``#jump'' or ``M-j''.

          k    Kick something (usually a door).  Same as `^D'.

          l    Loot  a  box  or bag on the floor beneath you, or the saddle
               from a horse standing next to you.   Same  as  ``#loot''  or

          N    Name  an  item or type of object.  Same as ``#name'' or ``M-

          u    Untrap a trap, door, or chest.  Same as ``#untrap'' or  ``M-

          5.  Rooms and corridors

               Rooms  and  corridors in the dungeon are either lit or dark.
          Any lit areas within your line of sight will be  displayed;  dark
          areas  are  only  displayed  if they are within one space of you.
          Walls and corridors remain on the map as you explore them.

               Secret corridors are hidden.  You can find them with the `s'
          (search) command.

          5.1.  Doorways

               Doorways connect rooms and corridors.  Some doorways have no
          doors; you can walk right through.  Others have  doors  in  them,
          which may be open, closed, or locked.  To open a closed door, use

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              17

          the `o' (open) command; to close it again, use  the  `c'  (close)

               You  can  get  through a locked door by using a tool to pick
          the lock with the `a' (apply) command, or by kicking it open with
          the `^D' (kick) command.

               Open  doors  cannot be entered diagonally; you must approach
          them straight on, horizontally or vertically.   Doorways  without
          doors are not restricted in this fashion.

               Doors  can  be  useful for shutting out monsters.  Most mon-
          sters cannot open doors, although a few don't need to (ex. ghosts
          can walk through doors).

               Secret  doors  are  hidden.   You can find them with the `s'
          (search) command.  Once found they are in all ways equivalent  to
          normal doors.

          5.2.  Traps (`^')

               There  are  traps throughout the dungeon to snare the unwary
          delver.  For example, you may suddenly fall into  a  pit  and  be
          stuck for a few turns trying to climb out.  Traps don't appear on
          your map until you see one triggered by moving onto it, see some-
          thing fall into it, or you discover it with the `s' (search) com-
          mand.  Monsters can fall prey to traps, too, which can be a  very
          useful defensive strategy.

               There is a special pre-mapped branch of the dungeon based on
          the classic computer game ``Sokoban.''  The goal is to  push  the
          boulders  into  the pits or holes.  With careful foresight, it is
          possible to complete all of the levels according  to  the  tradi-
          tional  rules  of Sokoban.  Some allowances are permitted in case
          the player gets stuck; however, they will lower your luck.

          5.3.  Stairs (`<', `>')

               In general, each level in the dungeon will have a  staircase
          going up (`<') to the previous level and another going down (`>')
          to the next level.  There are some exceptions  though.   For  in-
          stance,  fairly  early  in the dungeon you will find a level with
          two down staircases, one continuing into the dungeon and the oth-
          er  branching  into  an  area  known as the Gnomish Mines.  Those
          mines eventually hit a dead end, so after exploring them (if  you
          choose  to  do so), you'll need to climb back up to the main dun-

               When you traverse a set of stairs, or trigger a  trap  which
          sends  you to another level, the level you're leaving will be de-
          activated and stored in a file on disk.  If you're  moving  to  a
          previously visited level, it will be loaded from its file on disk
          and reactivated.  If you're moving to a level which has  not  yet
          been  visited,  it  will be created (from scratch for most random

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              18

          levels, from a template for some ``special''  levels,  or  loaded
          from  the  remains  of  an  earlier game for a ``bones'' level as
          briefly described below).  Monsters are only active on  the  cur-
          rent  level;  those  on  other levels are essentially placed into

               Ordinarily when you climb a set of stairs, you  will  arrive
          on  the  corresponding  staircase  at your destination.  However,
          pets (see below) and some other monsters  will  follow  along  if
          they're close enough when you travel up or down stairs, and occa-
          sionally one of these creatures  will  displace  you  during  the
          climb.  When that occurs, the pet or other monster will arrive on
          the staircase and you will end up nearby.

          5.4.  Ladders (`<', `>')

               Ladders serve the same purpose as staircases,  and  the  two
          types  of  inter-level  connections  are nearly indistinguishable
          during game play.

          5.5.  Shops and shopping

               Occasionally you will run across a room  with  a  shopkeeper
          near  the  door  and  many items lying on the floor.  You can buy
          items by picking them up and then using the `p' command.  You can
          inquire  about the price of an item prior to picking it up by us-
          ing the ``#chat'' command while standing on it.   Using  an  item
          prior  to  paying  for it will incur a charge, and the shopkeeper
          won't allow you to leave the shop until you have  paid  any  debt
          you owe.

               You  can  sell items to a shopkeeper by dropping them to the
          floor while inside a shop.  You will either be offered an  amount
          of  gold  and  asked whether you're willing to sell, or you'll be
          told that the shopkeeper isn't interested (generally,  your  item
          needs  to  be  compatible with the type of merchandise carried by
          the shop).

               If you drop something in a shop by accident, the  shopkeeper
          will  usually  claim ownership without offering any compensation.
          You'll have to buy it back if you want to reclaim it.

               Shopkeepers sometimes run out of money.  When that  happens,
          you'll  be  offered  credit  instead of gold when you try to sell
          something.  Credit can be used to pay for purchases,  but  it  is
          only  good  in  the shop where it was obtained; other shopkeepers
          won't honor it.  (If you happen to find a "credit  card"  in  the
          dungeon, don't bother trying to use it in shops; shopkeepers will
          not accept it.)

               The `$' command, which reports the amount of  gold  you  are
          carrying (in inventory, not inside bags or boxes), will also show
          current shop debt or credit, if any.  The `Iu' command lists  un-
          paid  items  (those  which  still  belong to the shop) if you are

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              19

          carrying any.  The `Ix' command shows an  inventory-like  display
          of  any  unpaid  items  which have been used up, along with other
          shop fees, if any.

          5.5.1.  Shop idiosyncracies

               Several aspects of shop behavior might be unexpected.

          * The price of a given item can vary due to a variety of factors.

          * A  shopkeeper treats the spot immediately inside the door as if
            it were outside the shop.

          * While the shopkeeper watches you like a hawk, he will generally
            ignore any other customers.

          * If  a  shop  is "closed for inventory", it will not open of its
            own accord.

          * Shops do not get restocked with new items, regardless of inven-
            tory depletion.

          6.  Monsters

               Monsters  you  cannot  see  are not displayed on the screen.
          Beware!  You may suddenly come upon one in a  dark  place.   Some
          magic  items  can  help  you  locate  them before they locate you
          (which some monsters can do very well).

               The commands `/' and `;' may be used to  obtain  information
          about  those  monsters who are displayed on the screen.  The com-
          mand `C' allows you to assign a name to a monster, which  may  be
          useful  to  help  distinguish one from another when multiple mon-
          sters are present.  Assigning a name which is just a  space  will
          remove any prior name.

               The  extended command ``#chat'' can be used to interact with
          an adjacent monster.  There is no actual dialog (in other  words,
          you  don't get to choose what you'll say), but chatting with some
          monsters such as a shopkeeper or the Oracle of Delphi can produce
          useful results.

          6.1.  Fighting

               If  you see a monster and you wish to fight it, just attempt
          to walk into it.  Many monsters you  find  will  mind  their  own
          business unless you attack them.  Some of them are very dangerous
          when angered.  Remember:  discretion is the better part of valor.

               If  you  can't  see a monster (if it is invisible, or if you
          are blinded), the symbol `I' will be shown when you learn of  its
          presence.   If you attempt to walk into it, you will try to fight
          it just like a monster that  you  can  see;  of  course,  if  the

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              20

          monster  has moved, you will attack empty air.  If you guess that
          the monster has moved and you don't wish to fight,  you  can  use
          the  `m' command to move without fighting; likewise, if you don't
          remember a monster but want to try fighting anyway, you  can  use
          the `F' command.

          6.2.  Your pet

               You  start  the  game with a little dog (`d'), cat (`f'), or
          pony (`u'), which follows you about the dungeon and  fights  mon-
          sters  with  you.   Like you, your pet needs food to survive.  It
          usually feeds itself on fresh carrion and other meats.  If you're
          worried  about  it  or want to train it, you can feed it, too, by
          throwing it food.  A properly trained pet can be very useful  un-
          der certain circumstances.

               Your  pet  also  gains experience from killing monsters, and
          can grow over time, gaining hit points  and  doing  more  damage.
          Initially,  your  pet  may  even be better at killing things than
          you, which makes pets useful for low-level characters.

               Your pet will follow you up and down  staircases  if  it  is
          next  to  you when you move.  Otherwise your pet will be stranded
          and may become wild.  Similarly, when you trigger  certain  types
          of  traps  which  alter  your location (for instance, a trap door
          which drops you to a lower dungeon level), any adjacent pet  will
          accompany you and any non-adjacent pet will be left behind.  Your
          pet may trigger such traps itself; you will not be carried  along
          with it even if adjacent at the time.

          6.3.  Steeds

               Some  types of creatures in the dungeon can actually be rid-
          den if you have the right equipment and skill.  Convincing a wild
          beast  to  let  you  saddle  it up is difficult to say the least.
          Many a dungeoneer has had to resort to magic and wizardry in  or-
          der to forge the alliance.  Once you do have the beast under your
          control however, you can easily climb in and out  of  the  saddle
          with the `#ride' command.  Lead the beast around the dungeon when
          riding, in the same manner as you would move yourself.  It is the
          beast that you will see displayed on the map.

               Riding  skill is managed by the `#enhance' command.  See the
          section on Weapon proficiency for more information about that.

          6.4.  Bones levels

               You may encounter the shades and corpses of other  adventur-
          ers (or even former incarnations of yourself!) and their personal
          effects.  Ghosts are hard to  kill,  but  easy  to  avoid,  since
          they're  slow and do little damage.  You can plunder the deceased
          adventurer's possessions; however, they are likely to be  cursed.
          Beware of whatever killed the former player; it is probably still
          lurking around, gloating over its last victory.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              21

          7.  Objects

               When you find something in the dungeon, it is common to want
          to pick it up.  In NetHack, this is accomplished automatically by
          walking over the object (unless you turn off the  autopickup  op-
          tion  (see  below),  or move with the `m' prefix (see above)), or
          manually by using the `,' command.

               If you're carrying too many items, NetHack will tell you  so
          and  you  won't  be able to pick up anything more.  Otherwise, it
          will add the object(s) to your pack and tell you  what  you  just
          picked up.

               As  you add items to your inventory, you also add the weight
          of that object to your load.  The amount that you can  carry  de-
          pends  on  your strength and your constitution.  The stronger you
          are, the less the additional load will affect you.  There comes a
          point,  though, when the weight of all of that stuff you are car-
          rying around with you through  the  dungeon  will  encumber  you.
          Your  reactions  will get slower and you'll burn calories faster,
          requiring food more frequently  to  cope  with  it.   Eventually,
          you'll  be  so overloaded that you'll either have to discard some
          of what you're carrying or collapse under its weight.

               NetHack will tell you how badly you  have  loaded  yourself.
          The  symbols  `Burdened', `Stressed', `Strained', `Overtaxed' and
          `Overloaded' are displayed on the bottom line display to indicate
          your condition.

               When you pick up an object, it is assigned an inventory let-
          ter.  Many commands that operate on objects must ask you to  find
          out  which  object  you  want  to  use.  When NetHack asks you to
          choose a particular object you are carrying, you are usually pre-
          sented  with a list of inventory letters to choose from (see Com-
          mands, above).

               Some objects, such as weapons,  are  easily  differentiated.
          Others,  like  scrolls  and potions, are given descriptions which
          vary according to type.  During a game, any two objects with  the
          same  description  are  the same type.  However, the descriptions
          will vary from game to game.

               When you use one of these objects, if its effect is obvious,
          NetHack  will  remember  what it is for you.  If its effect isn't
          extremely obvious, you will be asked what you want to  call  this
          type  of object so you will recognize it later.  You can also use
          the ``#name'' command for the same purpose at any time,  to  name
          all  objects  of  a particular type or just an individual object.
          When you use ``#name'' on an object which has already been named,
          specifying  a  space  as the value will remove the prior name in-
          stead of assigning a new one.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              22

          7.1.  Curses and Blessings

               Any object that you find may be cursed, even if  the  object
          is otherwise helpful.  The most common effect of a curse is being
          stuck with (and to) the item.  Cursed weapons weld themselves  to
          your  hand  when wielded, so you cannot unwield them.  Any cursed
          item you wear is not removable by ordinary means.   In  addition,
          cursed  arms and armor usually, but not always, bear negative en-
          chantments that make them less effective in combat.  Other cursed
          objects may act poorly or detrimentally in other ways.

               Objects  can  also  be  blessed.  Blessed items usually work
          better or more beneficially than normal uncursed items.  For  ex-
          ample, a blessed weapon will do more damage against demons.

               There are magical means of bestowing or removing curses upon
          objects, so even if you are stuck with one, you  can  still  have
          the  curse  lifted and the item removed.  Priests and Priestesses
          have an innate sensitivity to this property  in  any  object,  so
          they  can  more  easily avoid cursed objects than other character

               An item with unknown status will be reported in your  inven-
          tory with no prefix.  An item which you know the state of will be
          distinguished in your inventory  by  the  presence  of  the  word
          ``cursed'', ``uncursed'' or ``blessed'' in the description of the

          7.2.  Weapons (`)')

               Given a chance, most monsters in the Mazes  of  Menace  will
          gratuitously  try to kill you.  You need weapons for self-defense
          (killing them first).  Without a weapon,  you  do  only  1-2  hit
          points  of damage (plus bonuses, if any).  Monk characters are an
          exception; they normally do much more damage with bare hands than
          they do with weapons.

               There are wielded weapons, like maces and swords, and thrown
          weapons, like arrows and spears.  To hit monsters with a  weapon,
          you  must wield it and attack them, or throw it at them.  You can
          simply elect to throw a spear.  To shoot  an  arrow,  you  should
          first  wield a bow, then throw the arrow.  Crossbows shoot cross-
          bow bolts.  Slings hurl rocks and (other) stones (like gems).

               Enchanted weapons have a ``plus'' (or ``to hit enhancement''
          which  can  be  either  positive  or  negative) that adds to your
          chance to hit and the damage you do to a monster.  The  only  way
          to determine a weapon's enchantment is to have it magically iden-
          tified somehow.  Most weapons are subject to some type of  damage
          like rust.  Such ``erosion'' damage can be repaired.

               The  chance  that an attack will successfully hit a monster,
          and the amount of damage such a hit will do,  depends  upon  many
          factors.   Among  them  are:  type  of  weapon, quality of weapon

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              23

          (enchantment and/or erosion), experience level, strength, dexter-
          ity, encumbrance, and proficiency (see below).  The monster's ar-
          mor class - a general defense  rating,  not  necessarily  due  to
          wearing  of armor - is a factor too; also, some monsters are par-
          ticularly vulnerable to certain types of weapons.

               Many weapons can be wielded in one hand; some  require  both
          hands.   When  wielding  a  two-handed weapon, you can not wear a
          shield, and vice versa.  When wielding a one-handed  weapon,  you
          can  have  another  weapon ready to use by setting things up with
          the `x' command, which exchanges  your  primary  (the  one  being
          wielded)  and  alternate weapons.  And if you have proficiency in
          the ``two weapon combat'' skill, you may wield both  weapons  si-
          multaneously  as  primary and secondary; use the `#twoweapon' ex-
          tended command to engage or disengage that.  Only some  types  of
          characters  (barbarians,  for  instance) have the necessary skill
          available.  Even with that skill, using two weapons at  once  in-
          curs a penalty in the chance to hit your target compared to using
          just one weapon at a time.

               There might be times when you'd rather not wield any  weapon
          at  all.  To accomplish that, wield `-', or else use the `A' com-
          mand which allows you to unwield the current weapon  in  addition
          to taking off other worn items.

               Those  of you in the audience who are AD&D players, be aware
          that each weapon which existed in AD&D does roughly the same dam-
          age  to  monsters  in  NetHack.  Some of the more obscure weapons
          (such as the aklys, lucern hammer, and bec-de-corbin) are defined
          in an appendix to Unearthed Arcana, an AD&D supplement.

               The  commands  to  use weapons are `w' (wield), `t' (throw),
          `f' (fire, an alternative way of  throwing),  `Q'  (quiver),  `x'
          (exchange), `#twoweapon', and `#enhance' (see below).

          7.2.1.  Throwing and shooting

               You  can  throw just about anything via the `t' command.  It
          will prompt for the item to throw; picking `?' will  list  things
          in  your  inventory  which are considered likely to be thrown, or
          picking `*' will list your entire inventory.  After you've chosen
          what  to  throw, you will be prompted for a direction rather than
          for a specific target.  The distance something can be thrown  de-
          pends mainly on the type of object and your strength.  Arrows can
          be thrown by hand, but can be thrown much  farther  and  will  be
          more likely to hit when thrown while you are wielding a bow.

               You  can  simplify  the  throwing operation by using the `Q'
          command to select your preferred ``missile'', then using the  `f'
          command  to  throw  it.   You'll  be  prompted for a direction as
          above, but you don't have to specify which  item  to  throw  each
          time you use `f'.  There is also an option, autoquiver, which has
          NetHack choose another item to  automatically  fill  your  quiver
          when the inventory slot used for `Q' runs out.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              24

               Some  characters have the ability to fire a volley of multi-
          ple items in a single turn.  Knowing how to load  several  rounds
          of ammunition at once -- or hold several missiles in your hand --
          and still hit a target is not an easy task.   Rangers  are  among
          those  who are adept at this task, as are those with a high level
          of proficiency in the relevant weapon  skill  (in  bow  skill  if
          you're  wielding one to shoot arrows, in crossbow skill if you're
          wielding one to shoot bolts, or in sling skill if you're wielding
          one to shoot stones).  The number of items that the character has
          a chance to fire varies from turn to turn.   You  can  explicitly
          limit  the  number  of shots by using a numeric prefix before the
          `t' or `f' command.  For example, ``2f''  (or  ``n2f''  if  using
          number_pad mode) would ensure that at most 2 arrows are shot even
          if you could have fired 3.  If you specify a larger  number  than
          would have been shot (``4f'' in this example), you'll just end up
          shooting the same number (3, here) as if no limit had been speci-
          fied.  Once the volley is in motion, all of the items will travel
          in the same direction; if the first ones kill a monster, the oth-
          ers can still continue beyond that spot.

          7.2.2.  Weapon proficiency

               You will have varying degrees of skill in the weapons avail-
          able.  Weapon proficiency, or weapon skills, affect how well  you
          can  use  particular  types of weapons, and you'll be able to im-
          prove your skills as you progress through a  game,  depending  on
          your role, your experience level, and use of the weapons.

               For  the  purposes of proficiency, weapons have been divided
          up  into  various  groups  such  as  daggers,  broadswords,   and
          polearms.   Each  role has a limit on what level of proficiency a
          character can achieve for each group.  For instance, wizards  can
          become  highly  skilled in daggers or staves but not in swords or

               The `#enhance' extended command is used  to  review  current
          weapons  proficiency (also spell proficiency) and to choose which
          skill(s) to improve when you've used one or more skills enough to
          become eligible to do so.  The skill rankings are ``none'' (some-
          times also referred to as ``restricted'', because  you  won't  be
          able  to  advance),  ``unskilled'',  ``basic'',  ``skilled'', and
          ``expert''.  Restricted skills simply will not appear in the list
          shown  by  `#enhance'.   (Divine  intervention might unrestrict a
          particular skill, in which case it will start at unskilled and be
          limited  to basic.)  Some characters can enhance their barehanded
          combat or martial arts  skill  beyond  expert  to  ``master''  or
          ``grand master''.

               Use of a weapon in which you're restricted or unskilled will
          incur a modest penalty in the chance to hit a monster and also in
          the  amount of damage done when you do hit; at basic level, there
          is no penalty or bonus; at skilled level, you  receive  a  modest
          bonus  in  the chance to hit and amount of damage done; at expert
          level, the bonus is higher.  A successful hit  has  a  chance  to

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              25

          boost  your  training towards the next skill level (unless you've
          already reached the limit for this skill).   Once  such  training
          reaches  the  threshold  for that next level, you'll be told that
          you feel more confident in your skills.  At that  point  you  can
          use  `#enhance'  to increase one or more skills.  Such skills are
          not increased automatically because there is a limit to your  to-
          tal  overall  skills, so you need to actively choose which skills
          to enhance and which to ignore.

          7.3.  Armor (`[')

               Lots of unfriendly things lurk about; you need armor to pro-
          tect yourself from their blows.  Some types of armor offer better
          protection than others.  Your armor class is a  measure  of  this
          protection.  Armor class (AC) is measured as in AD&D, with 10 be-
          ing the equivalent of no armor, and lower numbers meaning  better
          armor.   Each  suit  of armor which exists in AD&D gives the same
          protection in NetHack.  Here is an (incomplete) list of the armor
          classes provided by various suits of armor:

                             dragon scale mail         1
                             plate mail                3
                             crystal plate mail        3
                             bronze plate mail         4
                             splint mail               4
                             banded mail               4
                             dwarvish mithril-coat     4
                             elven mithril-coat        5
                             chain mail                5
                             orcish chain mail         6
                             scale mail                6
                             studded leather armor     7
                             ring mail                 7
                             orcish ring mail          8
                             leather armor             8
                             leather jacket            9
                             no armor                 10

               You can also wear other pieces of armor (ex. helmets, boots,
          shields, cloaks) to lower your armor class even further, but  you
          can  only  wear one item of each category (one suit of armor, one
          cloak, one helmet, one shield, and so on) at a time.

               If a piece of armor is enchanted, its armor protection  will
          be  better  (or  worse)  than normal, and its ``plus'' (or minus)
          will subtract from your armor class.  For  example,  a  +1  chain
          mail  would  give  you  better protection than normal chain mail,
          lowering your armor class one unit further to 4.  When you put on
          a  piece  of  armor, you immediately find out the armor class and
          any ``plusses'' it provides.  Cursed pieces of armor usually have
          negative enchantments (minuses) in addition to being unremovable.

               Many types of armor are subject to some kind of damage  like
          rust.   Such  damage  can  be  repaired.  Some types of armor may

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              26

          inhibit spell casting.

               The commands to use armor are `W' (wear) and `T' (take off).
          The  `A'  command  can  also be used to take off armor as well as
          other worn items.

          7.4.  Food (`%')

               Food is necessary to survive.  If you go  too  long  without
          eating  you  will  faint, and eventually die of starvation.  Some
          types of food will spoil, and become unhealthy  to  eat,  if  not
          protected.  Food stored in ice boxes or tins (``cans'') will usu-
          ally stay fresh, but ice boxes are heavy, and tins take  a  while
          to open.

               When you kill monsters, they usually leave corpses which are
          also ``food.''  Many, but not all, of these are edible; some also
          give  you special powers when you eat them.  A good rule of thumb
          is ``you are what you eat.''

               Some character roles and some monsters are vegetarian.  Veg-
          etarian  monsters  will typically never eat animal corpses, while
          vegetarian players can, but with some rather unpleasant  side-ef-

               You  can  name one food item after something you like to eat
          with the fruit option.

               The command to eat food is `e'.

          7.5.  Scrolls (`?')

               Scrolls are labeled with various titles, probably chosen  by
          ancient  wizards  for  their amusement value (ex. ``READ ME,'' or
          ``THANX MAUD'' backwards).  Scrolls disappear after you read them
          (except for blank ones, without magic spells on them).

               One  of  the most useful of these is the scroll of identify,
          which can be used to determine what another object is, whether it
          is  cursed  or  blessed, and how many uses it has left.  Some ob-
          jects of subtle enchantment are  difficult  to  identify  without

               A mail daemon may run up and deliver mail to you as a scroll
          of mail (on versions compiled with this feature).   To  use  this
          feature  on  versions where NetHack mail delivery is triggered by
          electronic mail appearing in your system mailbox,  you  must  let
          NetHack  know  where to look for new mail by setting the ``MAIL''
          environment variable to the file name of your mailbox.   You  may
          also  want  to set the ``MAILREADER'' environment variable to the
          file name of your favorite reader, so NetHack  can  shell  to  it
          when  you  read the scroll.  On versions of NetHack where mail is
          randomly generated internal to the game, these environment  vari-
          ables  are  ignored.   You can disable the mail daemon by turning

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              27

          off the mail option.

               The command to read a scroll is `r'.

          7.6.  Potions (`!')

               Potions are distinguished by the color of the liquid  inside
          the flask.  They disappear after you quaff them.

               Clear  potions  are  potions  of water.  Sometimes these are
          blessed or cursed, resulting in holy or unholy water.  Holy water
          is  the  bane  of  the  undead, so potions of holy water are good
          things to throw (`t') at them.  It is also sometimes very  useful
          to dip (``#dip'') an object into a potion.

               The command to drink a potion is `q' (quaff).

          7.7.  Wands (`/')

               Magic  wands  usually  have  multiple magical charges.  Some
          wands are directional--you must give a direction in which to  zap
          them.   You can also zap them at yourself (just give a `.' or `s'
          for the direction). Be warned, however, for this is often unwise.
          Other  wands  are nondirectional--they don't require a direction.
          The number of charges in a wand is random and  decreases  by  one
          whenever you use it.

               When  the number of charges left in a wand becomes zero, at-
          tempts to use the wand will usually result in nothing  happening.
          Occasionally, however, it may be possible to squeeze the last few
          mana points from an otherwise spent wand, destroying  it  in  the
          process.   A  wand  may be recharged by using suitable magic, but
          doing so runs the risk of causing it to explode.  The chance  for
          such  an  explosion starts out very small and increases each time
          the wand is recharged.

               In a truly desperate situation, when your back is up against
          the  wall,  you might decide to go for broke and break your wand.
          This is not for the faint of heart.  Doing so  will  almost  cer-
          tainly cause a catastrophic release of magical energies.

               When  you have fully identified a particular wand, inventory
          display will include additional information in  parentheses:  the
          number  of  times  it  has been recharged followed by a colon and
          then by its current number of charges.  A current charge count of
          -1 is a special case indicating that the wand has been cancelled.

               The command to use a wand is `z' (zap).  To break  one,  use
          the `a' (apply) command.

          7.8.  Rings (`=')

               Rings  are very useful items, since they are relatively per-
          manent magic, unlike the usually  fleeting  effects  of  potions,

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              28

          scrolls, and wands.

               Putting  on  a  ring activates its magic.  You can wear only
          two rings, one on each ring finger.

               Most rings also cause you to grow hungry more  rapidly,  the
          rate varying with the type of ring.

               The commands to use rings are `P' (put on) and `R' (remove).

          7.9.  Spellbooks (`+')

               Spellbooks are tomes of mighty magic.  When studied with the
          `r'  (read) command, they transfer to the reader the knowledge of
          a spell (and therefore eventually become  unreadable)  --  unless
          the  attempt  backfires.   Reading a cursed spellbook or one with
          mystic runes beyond your ken can be harmful to your health!

               A spell (even when learned) can also backfire when you  cast
          it.   If  you  attempt to cast a spell well above your experience
          level, or if you have little skill  with  the  appropriate  spell
          type,  or  cast  it at a time when your luck is particularly bad,
          you can end up wasting both the energy and the time  required  in

               Casting  a  spell  calls  forth magical energies and focuses
          them with your naked mind.  Some of the magical  energy  released
          comes  from  within  you, and casting several spells in a row may
          tire you.  Casting of spells also requires practice.  With  prac-
          tice,  your skill in each category of spell casting will improve.
          Over time, however, your memory of each spell will dim,  and  you
          will need to relearn it.

               Some  spells  are  directional--you must give a direction in
          which to cast them.  You can also cast  them  at  yourself  (just
          give  a  `.'  or  `s' for the direction). Be warned, however, for
          this is often  unwise.   Other  spells  are  nondirectional--they
          don't require a direction.

               Just as weapons are divided into groups in which a character
          can become proficient (to varying degrees), spells are  similarly
          grouped.  Successfully casting a spell exercises the skill group;
          sufficient skill may increase the potency of the spell and reduce
          the  risk  of spell failure.  Skill slots are shared with weapons
          skills.  (See also the section on ``Weapon proficiency''.)

               Casting a spell also requires flexible movement, and wearing
          various types of armor may interfere with that.

               The  command to read a spellbook is the same as for scrolls,
          `r' (read).  The `+' command lists  your  current  spells,  their
          levels, categories, and chances for failure.  The `Z' (cast) com-
          mand casts a spell.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              29

          7.10.  Tools (`(')

               Tools are miscellaneous objects with various purposes.  Some
          tools  have  a limited number of uses, akin to wand charges.  For
          example, lamps burn out after a while.  Other tools are  contain-
          ers, which objects can be placed into or taken out of.

               The command to use tools is `a' (apply).

          7.10.1.  Containers

               You  may  encounter bags, boxes, and chests in your travels.
          A tool of this sort can be opened  with  the  ``#loot''  extended
          command  when you are standing on top of it (that is, on the same
          floor spot), or with the `a' (apply) command when you are  carry-
          ing  it.   However,  chests are often locked, and are in any case
          unwieldy objects.  You must set one down before unlocking  it  by
          using a key or lock-picking tool with the `a' (apply) command, by
          kicking it with the `^D' command, or by using a weapon  to  force
          the lock with the ``#force'' extended command.

               Some chests are trapped, causing nasty things to happen when
          you unlock or open them.  You can check for and try to deactivate
          traps with the ``#untrap'' extended command.

          7.11.  Amulets (`"')

               Amulets  are very similar to rings, and often more powerful.
          Like rings, amulets have various magical properties, some benefi-
          cial, some harmful, which are activated by putting them on.

               Only one amulet may be worn at a time, around your neck.

               The  commands  to use amulets are the same as for rings, `P'
          (put on) and `R' (remove).

          7.12.  Gems (`*')

               Some gems are valuable, and can be sold for a lot  of  gold.
          They  are  also a far more efficient way of carrying your riches.
          Valuable gems increase your score if you bring them with you when
          you exit.

               Other small rocks are also categorized as gems, but they are
          much less valuable.  All rocks, however, can be used  as  projec-
          tile  weapons  (if  you  have a sling).  In the most desperate of
          cases, you can still throw them by hand.

          7.13.  Large rocks (``')

               Statues and boulders are not particularly  useful,  and  are
          generally  heavy.   It  is rumored that some statues are not what
          they seem.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              30

               Very large humanoids (giants and their ilk) have been  known
          to use boulders as weapons.

          7.14.  Gold (`$')

               Gold  adds  to  your  score, and you can buy things in shops
          with it.  There are a number of monsters in the dungeon that  may
          be influenced by the amount of gold you are carrying (shopkeepers

          8.  Conduct

               As if winning NetHack were  not  difficult  enough,  certain
          players  seek to challenge themselves by imposing restrictions on
          the way they play the game.  The game automatically  tracks  some
          of  these  challenges,  which can be checked at any time with the
          #conduct command or at the end of the game.  When you perform  an
          action  which  breaks  a  challenge, it will no longer be listed.
          This gives players extra ``bragging rights'' for winning the game
          with  these  challenges.  Note that it is perfectly acceptable to
          win the game without resorting to these restrictions and that  it
          is  unusual  for  players  to adhere to challenges the first time
          they win the game.

               Several of the challenges are related  to  eating  behavior.
          The  most difficult of these is the foodless challenge.  Although
          creatures can survive long periods of time without food, there is
          a  physiological  need for water; thus there is no restriction on
          drinking beverages, even if they provide some  minor  food  bene-
          fits.   Calling  upon  your god for help with starvation does not
          violate any food challenges either.

               A strict vegan diet is one which  avoids  any  food  derived
          from animals.  The primary source of nutrition is fruits and veg-
          etables.  The corpses and tins of blobs (`b'), jellies (`j'), and
          fungi  (`F') are also considered to be vegetable matter.  Certain
          human food is prepared without animal  products;  namely,  lembas
          wafers,  cram  rations, food rations (gunyoki), K-rations, and C-
          rations.  Metal or another normally indigestible  material  eaten
          while polymorphed into a creature that can digest it is also con-
          sidered vegan food.  Note however that eating  such  items  still
          counts against foodless conduct.

               Vegetarians  do  not eat animals; however, they are less se-
          lective about eating animal byproducts than vegans.  In  addition
          to the vegan items listed above, they may eat any kind of pudding
          (`P') other than the black puddings, eggs and food made from eggs
          (fortune  cookies  and pancakes), food made with milk (cream pies
          and candy bars), and lumps of royal jelly.  Monks are expected to
          observe a vegetarian diet.

               Eating  any kind of meat violates the vegetarian, vegan, and
          foodless conducts.  This includes tripe rations, the  corpses  or

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              31

          tins  of  any monsters not mentioned above, and the various other
          chunks of meat found in the dungeon.  Swallowing and digesting  a
          monster while polymorphed is treated as if you ate the creature's
          corpse.  Eating leather, dragon hide, or bone items  while  poly-
          morphed  into  a  creature  that can digest it, or eating monster
          brains while polymorphed into a mind flayer, is considered eating
          an animal, although wax is only an animal byproduct.

               Regardless  of  conduct,  there will be some items which are
          indigestible, and others which are hazardous  to  eat.   Using  a
          swallow-and-digest attack against a monster is equivalent to eat-
          ing the monster's corpse.  Please note that the term ``vegan'' is
          used  here  only  in  the context of diet.  You are still free to
          choose not to use  or  wear  items  derived  from  animals  (e.g.
          leather,  dragon hide, bone, horns, coral), but the game will not
          keep track of this for you.  Also note that ``milky'' potions may
          be a translucent white, but they do not contain milk, so they are
          compatible with a vegan  diet.   Slime  molds  or  player-defined
          ``fruits'',  although they could be anything from ``cherries'' to
          ``pork chops'', are also assumed to be vegan.

               An atheist is one who rejects religion.  This means that you
          cannot  #pray,  #offer  sacrifices  to  any god, #turn undead, or
          #chat with a priest.  Particularly selective  readers  may  argue
          that  playing  Monk or Priest characters should violate this con-
          duct; that is a choice left to the player.  Offering  the  Amulet
          of  Yendor  to  your  god is necessary to win the game and is not
          counted against this conduct.  You are also not penalized for be-
          ing  spoken  to  by an angry god, priest(ess), or other religious
          figure; a true atheist would hear the words but attach no special
          meaning to them.

               Most  players  fight with a wielded weapon (or tool intended
          to be wielded as a weapon).  Another challenge is to win the game
          without  using such a wielded weapon.  You are still permitted to
          throw, fire, and kick weapons; use a wand, spell, or  other  type
          of item; or fight with your hands and feet.

               In  NetHack,  a  pacifist  refuses to cause the death of any
          other monster (i.e. if you would get experience for  the  death).
          This  is a particularly difficult challenge, although it is still
          possible to gain experience by other means.

               An illiterate character cannot read or write.  This includes
          reading  a scroll, spellbook, fortune cookie message, or t-shirt;
          writing a scroll; or making an engraving of anything other than a
          single ``x'' (the traditional signature of an illiterate person).
          Reading an engraving, or any item that is absolutely necessary to
          win  the game, is not counted against this conduct.  The identity
          of scrolls and spellbooks  (and  knowledge  of  spells)  in  your
          starting  inventory  is  assumed to be learned from your teachers
          prior to the start of the game and isn't counted.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              32

               There are several other challenges tracked by the game.   It
          is possible to eliminate one or more species of monsters by geno-
          cide; playing without this feature  is  considered  a  challenge.
          When the game offers you an opportunity to genocide monsters, you
          may respond with the monster type ``none'' if  you  want  to  de-
          cline.   You  can change the form of an item into another item of
          the same type (``polypiling'') or the form of your own body  into
          another  creature  (``polyself'')  by  wand,  spell, or potion of
          polymorph; avoiding these effects are each considered challenges.
          Polymorphing  monsters,  including pets, does not break either of
          these challenges.  Finally, you may sometimes receive  wishes;  a
          game  without an attempt to wish for any items is a challenge, as
          is a game without wishing for an artifact (even if  the  artifact
          immediately disappears).  When the game offers you an opportunity
          to make a wish for an item, you may  choose  ``nothing''  if  you
          want to decline.

          9.  Options

               Due  to variations in personal tastes and conceptions of how
          NetHack should do things, there are options you can set to change
          how NetHack behaves.

          9.1.  Setting the options

               Options  may  be  set in a number of ways.  Within the game,
          the `O' command allows you to view all options and change most of
          them.   You can also set options automatically by placing them in
          the NETHACKOPTIONS environment variable  or  in  a  configuration
          file.  Some versions of NetHack also have front-end programs that
          allow you to set options before starting the game.

          9.2.  Using the NETHACKOPTIONS environment variable

               The NETHACKOPTIONS variable is  a  comma-separated  list  of
          initial  values for the various options.  Some can only be turned
          on or off.  You turn one of these on by adding the  name  of  the
          option to the list, and turn it off by typing a `!' or ``no'' be-
          fore the name.  Others take a character string as a  value.   You
          can  set  string  options  by  typing the option name, a colon or
          equals sign, and then the value of the string.  The value is ter-
          minated by the next comma or the end of string.

               For example, to set up an environment variable so that ``au-
          toquiver'' is on, ``autopickup'' is  off,  the  name  is  set  to
          ``Blue  Meanie'',  and  the fruit is set to ``papaya'', you would
          enter the command

               % setenv NETHACKOPTIONS "autoquiver,\!autopickup,name:Blue Meanie,fruit:papaya"

          in csh (note the need to escape the ! since it's special  to  the
          shell), or

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              33

               $ NETHACKOPTIONS="autoquiver,!autopickup,name:Blue Meanie,fruit:papaya"
               $ export NETHACKOPTIONS

          in sh or ksh.

          9.3.  Using a configuration file

               Any  line  in  the  configuration  file starting with `#' is
          treated as a comment.  Any line in the configuration file  start-
          ing  with ``OPTIONS='' may be filled out with options in the same
          syntax as in  NETHACKOPTIONS.   Any  line  starting  with  ``DUN-
          GEON='',  ``EFFECTS='',  ``MONSTERS='', ``OBJECTS='', ``TRAPS='',
          or ``BOULDER='' is taken as defining the  corresponding  dungeon,
          effects, monsters, objects traps or boulder option in a different
          syntax, a sequence of decimal numbers giving the character  posi-
          tion  in the current font to be used in displaying each entry.  A
          zero in any entry in such a sequence leaves the display  of  that
          entry  unchanged;  this feature is not available using the option
          syntax.  Such a sequence can be continued to  multiple  lines  by
          putting a `\' at the end of each line to be continued.

               If your copy of the game included the compile time AUTOPICK-
          UP_EXCEPTIONS option, then any  line  starting  with  ``AUTOPICK-
          UP_EXCEPTION=''  is  taken  as defining an exception to the pick-
          up_types option.  There is a section of this Guidebook that  dis-
          cusses that.

               The default name of the configuration file varies on differ-
          ent operating systems, but NETHACKOPTIONS can also be set to  the
          full  name  of  a  file  you want to use (possibly preceded by an

          9.4.  Customization options

               Here are explanations of what the various options do.  Char-
          acter  strings  that  are too long may be truncated.  Some of the
          options listed may be inactive in your dungeon.

            Your  starting  alignment  (align:lawful,   align:neutral,   or
            align:chaotic).   You  may  specify just the first letter.  The
            default is to randomly pick an appropriate  alignment.   Cannot
            be set with the `O' command.

            Automatically dig if you are wielding a digging tool and moving
            into a place that can be dug (default false).

            Automatically pick up things onto which you move (default  on).
            See pickup_types to refine the behavior.

            This  option  controls  what  happens  when you attempt the `f'

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              34

            (fire) command with an empty quiver.  When true,  the  computer
            will  fill your quiver with some suitable weapon.  Note that it
            will not take into account the blessed/cursed status,  enchant-
            ment, damage, or quality of the weapon; you are free to manual-
            ly fill your quiver with the `Q' command instead.  If no weapon
            is found or the option is false, the `t' (throw) command is ex-
            ecuted instead.  (default false)

            Set the character used to display  boulders  (default  is  rock
            class symbol).

            Name your starting cat (ex. ``catname:Morris'').  Cannot be set
            with the `O' command.

            Pick your type of character (ex.  ``character:Monk'');  synonym
            for ``role''.  See ``name'' for an alternate method of specify-
            ing your role.  Normally only the first letter of the value  is
            examined; the string ``random'' is an exception.

            Save  game state after each level change, for possible recovery
            after program crash (default on).

            Check free disk space before writing  files  to  disk  (default
            on).   You may have to turn this off if you have more than 2 GB
            free space on the partition used for your save and level files.
            Only applies when MFLOPPY was defined during compilation.

            Have  the  game  provide some additional command assistance for
            new players if it detects some  anticipated  mistakes  (default

            Have  user  confirm  attacks  on  pets,  shopkeepers, and other
            peaceable creatures (default on).

            Use a predefined selection  of  characters  from  the  DEC  VT-
            xxx/DEC  Rainbow/ANSI line-drawing character set to display the
            dungeon/effects/traps instead of having to define a full graph-
            ics set yourself (default off).  This option also sets up prop-
            er handling of graphics characters for such terminals,  so  you
            should specify it when appropriate even if you override the se-
            lections with your own graphics strings.

            Controls options for disclosing various  information  when  the
            game ends (defaults to all possibilities being disclosed).  The
            possibilities are:

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              35

                 i - disclose your inventory.
                 a - disclose your attributes.
                 v - summarize monsters that have been vanquished.
                 g - list monster species that have been genocided.
                 c - display your conduct.

            Each disclosure possibility can optionally  be  preceded  by  a
            prefix  which let you refine how it behaves. Here are the valid

                 y - prompt you and default to yes on the prompt.
                 n - prompt you and default to no on the prompt.
                 + - disclose it without prompting.
                 - - do not disclose it and do not prompt.

            (ex. ``disclose:yi na +v -g -c'') The example sets inventory to
            prompt  and default to yes, attributes to prompt and default to
            no, vanquished to disclose without prompting, genocided to  not
            disclose  and not to prompt, conduct to not disclose and not to
            prompt.  Note that the vanquished monsters  list  includes  all
            monsters killed by traps and each other as well as by you.

            Name  your  starting dog (ex. ``dogname:Fang'').  Cannot be set
            with the `O' command.

            Set the graphics symbols for displaying  the  dungeon  (default
            `` |--------||.-|++##.##<><>_|\\#{}.}..## #}'').   The  dungeon
            option should be followed by a string of 1-41 characters to  be
            used  instead  of the default map-drawing characters.  The dun-
            geon map will use the characters you specify instead of the de-
            fault  symbols, and default symbols for any you do not specify.
            Remember that you may need to escape some of  these  characters
            on a command line if they are special to your shell.

            Note  that  NetHack escape-processes this option string in con-
            ventional C fashion.  This means that `\' is a prefix  to  take
            the following character literally.  Thus `\' needs to be repre-
            sented as `\\'.  The special escape form `\m' switches  on  the
            meta  bit in the following character, and the `^' prefix causes
            the following character to be treated as a control character.

            The order of the symbols is:  solid rock, vertical wall,  hori-
            zontal  wall, upper left corner, upper right corner, lower left
            corner, lower right corner, cross wall, upward T wall, downward
            T  wall,  leftward  T wall, rightward T wall, no door, vertical
            open door, horizontal open door, vertical closed door, horizon-
            tal  closed door, iron bars, tree, floor of a room, dark corri-
            dor, lit corridor, stairs up, stairs down,  ladder  up,  ladder
            down,  altar,  grave,  throne,  kitchen sink, fountain, pool or
            moat, ice, lava, vertical lowered drawbridge,  horizontal  low-
            ered  drawbridge, vertical raised drawbridge, horizontal raised
            drawbridge, air, cloud, under water.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              36

            You might want to use `+' for the corners and  T  walls  for  a
            more aesthetic, boxier display.  Note that in the next release,
            new symbols may be added, or the present ones rearranged.

            Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Set the graphics symbols for displaying  special  effects  (de-
            fault ``|-\\/*!)(0#@*/-\\||\\-//-\\| |\\-/'').  The effects op-
            tion should be followed by a string of 1-29  characters  to  be
            used  instead  of the default special-effects characters.  This
            string is subjected to the same processing as the  dungeon  op-

            The  order  of the symbols is:  vertical beam, horizontal beam,
            left slant, right slant, digging beam, camera flash beam,  left
            boomerang, right boomerang, four glyphs giving the sequence for
            magic resistance displays, the  eight  surrounding  glyphs  for
            swallowed  display,  nine  glyphs for explosions.  An explosion
            consists of three rows (top, middle, and bottom) of three char-
            acters.  The explosion is centered in the center of this 3 by 3

            Note that in the next release, new symbols may be added, or the
            present ones rearranged.

            Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Changes  the  extended  commands  interface to pop-up a menu of
            available commands.  It is keystroke compatible with the tradi-
            tional  interface  except that it does not require that you hit
            Enter. It is implemented only by the tty  port  (default  off),
            when the game has been compiled to support tty graphics.

            An  obsolete synonym for ``gender:female''.  Cannot be set with
            the `O' command.

            An object's inventory letter sticks to  it  when  it's  dropped
            (default  on).   If  this is off, dropping an object shifts all
            the remaining inventory letters.

            Name a fruit after something you enjoy eating (ex. ``fruit:man-
            go'')  (default  ``slime mold'').  Basically a nostalgic whimsy
            that NetHack uses from time to time.  You should  set  this  to
            something  you  find  more appetizing than slime mold.  Apples,
            oranges, pears, bananas, and melons already exist  in  NetHack,
            so don't use those.

            Your  starting  gender (gender:male or gender:female).  You may

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              37

            specify just the first letter.  Although you can  still  denote
            your  gender  using  the  ``male''  and ``female'' options, the
            ``gender'' option will take precedence.  The default is to ran-
            domly  pick  an appropriate gender.  Cannot be set with the `O'

            If more information is available for an object looked  at  with
            the  `/' command, ask if you want to see it (default on). Turn-
            ing help off makes just looking at  things  faster,  since  you
            aren't  interrupted with the ``More info?'' prompt, but it also
            means that you might miss some interesting and/or important in-

            Name  your  starting horse (ex. ``horsename:Trigger'').  Cannot
            be set with the `O' command.

            Use a predefined selection of IBM extended ASCII characters  to
            display the dungeon/effects/traps instead of having to define a
            full graphics set yourself (default  off).   This  option  also
            sets  up proper handling of graphics characters for such termi-
            nals, so you should specify it when  appropriate  even  if  you
            override the selections with your own graphics strings.

            Ignore interrupt signals, including breaks (default off).

            Display an introductory message when starting the game (default

            Show corridor squares seen by night vision or  a  light  source
            held by your character as lit (default off).

            Use  the old `a', `b', and `c' keyboard shortcuts when looting,
            rather than the mnemonics `o', `i', and `b' (default off).

            Enable mail delivery during the game (default on).

            An obsolete synonym for ``gender:male''.  Cannot  be  set  with
            the `O' command.

            Controls the interface used when you need to choose various ob-
            jects (in response to the Drop  command,  for  instance).   The
            value  specified  should be the first letter of one of the fol-
            lowing:  traditional, combination, partial,  or  full.   Tradi-
            tional  was  the only interface available for earlier versions;

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              38

            it consists of a prompt for object class  characters,  followed
            by  an  object-by-object  prompt for all items matching the se-
            lected object class(es).  Combination starts with a prompt  for
            object  class(es)  of  interest,  but  then  displays a menu of
            matching objects rather  than  prompting  one-by-one.   Partial
            skips  the  object  class  filtering and immediately displays a
            menu of all objects.  Full displays a menu  of  object  classes
            rather than a character prompt, and then a menu of matching ob-
            jects for selection.

            Menu character accelerator to deselect all  items  in  a  menu.
            Implemented by the Amiga, Gem, X11 and tty ports.  Default '-'.

            Menu character accelerator to deselect all items on  this  page
            of  a  menu.  Implemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  De-
            fault '\'.

            Menu character accelerator to jump to the first page in a menu.
            Implemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  Default '^'.

            Controls  how  the  headings in a menu are highlighted.  Values
            are 'bold', 'inverse', or 'underline'.  Not all ports can actu-
            ally display all three types.

            Menu  character accelerator to invert all items in a menu.  Im-
            plemented by the Amiga, Gem, X11 and tty ports.  Default '@'.

            Menu character accelerator to invert all items on this page  of
            a  menu.  Implemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  Default

            Menu character accelerator to jump to the last page in a  menu.
            Implemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  Default '|'.

            Menu  character accelerator to goto the next menu page.  Imple-
            mented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  Default '>'.

            Menu character accelerator to goto the previous menu page.  Im-
            plemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.  Default '<'.

            Menu  character  accelerator to search for a menu item.  Imple-
            mented by the Amiga, Gem and X11 ports.  Default ':'.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              39

            Menu character accelerator to select all items in a menu.   Im-
            plemented by the Amiga, Gem, X11 and tty ports.  Default '.'.

            Menu  character accelerator to select all items on this page of
            a menu.  Implemented by the Amiga, Gem and tty ports.   Default

            Set  the  characters  used  to display monster classes (default
            VWXYZ@ '&;:~]'').   This  string  is subjected to the same pro-
            cessing as the dungeon option.  The order of the symbols is ant
            or  other insect, blob, cockatrice, dog or other canine, eye or
            sphere, feline, gremlin, humanoid, imp or minor  demon,  jelly,
            kobold,  leprechaun, mimic, nymph, orc, piercer, quadruped, ro-
            dent, arachnid or centipede, trapper or lurker above, horse  or
            unicorn,  vortex, worm, xan or other mythical/fantastic insect,
            light, zruty, angelic being, bat or bird, centaur, dragon, ele-
            mental,  fungus  or mold, gnome, giant humanoid, invisible mon-
            ster, jabberwock, Keystone Kop, lich, mummy, naga,  ogre,  pud-
            ding or ooze, quantum mechanic, rust monster, snake, troll, um-
            ber hulk, vampire, wraith, xorn, apelike creature, zombie,  hu-
            man,  ghost, golem, demon, sea monster, lizard, long worm tail,
            and mimic.  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            The number of top line messages to save (and  recall  with  ^P)
            (default 20).  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Allows  you  to change the way recalled messages are displayed.
            (It is currently implemented for tty only.)  The possible  val-
            ues are:

                 s - single message (default, this was the behavior before 3.4.0).
                 c - combination, two messages as `single', then as `full'.
                 f - full window, oldest message first.
                 r - full window, newest message first.

            For  backward  compatibility,  no  value  needs to be specified
            (which defaults to `full'), or it can  be  negated  (which  de-
            faults to `single').

            Set  your  character's  name (defaults to your user name).  You
            can also set your character's role by appending a dash and  one
            or more letters of the role (that is, by suffixing one of -A -B
            -C -H -K -M -P -Ra -Ro -S -T -V -W).  If -@  is  used  for  the
            role,  then  a random one will be automatically chosen.  Cannot
            be set with the `O' command.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              40

            Read the NetHack news file, if present (default on).  Since the
            news is shown at the beginning of the game, there's no point in
            setting this with the `O' command.

            Send padding nulls to the terminal (default off).

            Use the number keys to move instead of [yuhjklbn] (default 0 or
            off).   (number_pad:2  invokes  the  old DOS behavior where `5'
            means `g', meta-`5' means `G',  and meta-`0' means `I'.)

            Set the characters used  to  display  object  classes  (default
            ``])[="(%!?+/$*`0_.'').   This  string is subjected to the same
            processing as the dungeon option.  The order of the symbols  is
            illegal-object  (should  never  be  seen), weapon, armor, ring,
            amulet, tool, food, potion, scroll, spellbook, wand, gold,  gem
            or  rock, boulder or statue, iron ball, chain, and venom.  Can-
            not be set with the `O' command.

            Specify  the  order  to   list   object   types   in   (default
            ``")[%?+!=/(*`0_'').   The  value  of  this  option should be a
            string containing the symbols for  the  various  object  types.
            Any  omitted  types  are filled in at the end from the previous

            If true, always display your current  inventory  in  a  window.
            This  only makes sense for windowing system interfaces that im-
            plement this feature.

            Specify the type of your initial pet,  if  you  are  playing  a
            character  class that uses multiple types of pets; or choose to
            have no initial pet  at  all.   Possible  values  are  ``cat'',
            ``dog'' and ``none''.  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            When  you  pick  up  an item that would exceed this encumbrance
            level (Unburdened, Burdened, streSsed, straiNed, overTaxed,  or
            overLoaded),  you  will be asked if you want to continue.  (De-
            fault `S').

            Specify the object types to be picked up when autopickup is on.
            Default is all types.  If your copy of the game has the experi-
            mental compile time option AUTOPICKUP_EXCEPTIONS included,  you
            may  be  able  to  use  autopickup_exception configuration file
            lines to further refine autopickup behavior.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              41

            Prompt for confirmation before praying (default on).

            Using the `w' (wield) command when already  wielding  something
            pushes  the  old  item into your alternate weapon slot (default

            Selects your race (for example,  ``race:human'').   Default  is
            random.  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Make  the  space  bar a synonym for the `.' (rest) command (de-
            fault off).

            Pick your type of character (ex. ``role:Samurai''); synonym for
            ``character''.   See ``name'' for an alternate method of speci-
            fying your role.  Normally only the first letter of  the  value
            is  examined;  `r'  is an exception with ``Rogue'', ``Ranger'',
            and ``random'' values.

            Controls the amount of screen updating for the map window  when
            engaged  in multi-turn movement (running via shift+direction or
            control+direction and so forth, or via the  travel  command  or
            mouse click).  The possible values are:

                 teleport - update the map after movement has finished;
                 run - update the map after every seven or so steps;
                 walk - update the map after each step;
                 crawl - like walk, but pause briefly after each step.

            This option only affects the game's screen display, not the ac-
            tual results of moving.  The default is `run';  versions  prior
            to  3.4.1  used  `teleport' only.  Whether or not the effect is
            noticeable will depend upon the window port used or on the type
            of terminal.

            Prevent  you from (knowingly) attacking your pets (default on).

            Control what parts of the score list you are shown at  the  end
            (ex.   ``scores:5  top  scores/4 around my score/own scores'').
            Only the first letter of each category (`t', `a',  or  `o')  is

            Show your accumulated experience points on bottom line (default

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              42

            Display yourself as the glyph for your race,  rather  than  the
            glyph  for your role (default off).  Note that this setting af-
            fects only the appearance of the display, not the way the  game
            treats you.

            Show your approximate accumulated score on bottom line (default

            Suppress terminal beeps (default on).

            Sort the pack contents by type when displaying  inventory  (de-
            fault on).

            Enable  messages  about what your character hears (default on).
            Note that this has nothing to do with your computer's audio ca-
            pabilities.   This  option is only partly under player control.
            The game toggles it off and on during and after sleep, for  ex-

            Display a sparkly effect when a monster (including yourself) is
            hit by an attack to which it is resistant (default on).

            Boldface monsters and ``--More--'' (default off).

            This option may be set to a NetHack version level  to  suppress
            alert  notification messages about feature changes for that and
            prior versions (ex. ``suppress_alert:3.3.1'').

            Show the elapsed game time in turns  on  bottom  line  (default

            When  pausing  momentarily for display effect, such as with ex-
            plosions and moving objects, use a timer  rather  than  sending
            extra  characters to the screen.  (Applies to ``tty'' interface
            only; ``X11'' interface always uses a timer based  delay.   The
            default is on if configured into the program.)

            Draw a tombstone graphic upon your death (default on).

            Put the ending display in a NetHack window instead of on stdout
            (default off).  Setting this option makes the score list  visi-
            ble  when  a  windowing version of NetHack is started without a

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              43

            parent window, but it no longer leaves the  score  list  around
            after game end on a terminal or emulating window.

            Set   the   graphics  symbols  for  displaying  traps  (default
            ``^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"^^^^'').  The traps option should  be  fol-
            lowed  by a string of 1-22 characters to be used instead of the
            default traps characters.  This string is subjected to the same
            processing as the dungeon option.

            The  order  of  the  symbols is: arrow trap, dart trap, falling
            rock trap, squeaky board, bear trap, land mine, rolling boulder
            trap, sleeping gas trap, rust trap, fire trap, pit, spiked pit,
            hole, trap door, teleportation trap,  level  teleporter,  magic
            portal,  web,  statue trap, magic trap, anti-magic field, poly-
            morph trap.

            Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Allow the travel command (default on).  Turning this option off
            will  prevent  the game from attempting unintended moves if you
            make inadvertent mouse clicks on the map window.

            Provide more commentary during the game (default on).

            Select which windowing  system  to  use,  such  as  ``tty''  or
            ``X11''  (default  depends on version).  Cannot be set with the
            `O' command.

          9.5.  Window Port Customization options

               Here are explanations of the various options that  are  used
          to  customize  and  change  the characteristics of the windowtype
          that you have chosen.  Character strings that are too long may be
          truncated.   Not  all  window  ports will adjust for all settings
          listed here.  You can safely add any of  these  options  to  your
          config  file,  and  if the window port is capable of adjusting to
          suit your preferences, it will attempt to do so. If it  can't  it
          will  silently  ignore it.  You can find out if an option is sup-
          ported by the window port that you are currently using by  check-
          ing  to see if it shows up in the Options list.  Some options are
          dynamic and can be specified during the game with  the  `O'  com-

            Where  to align or place the message window (top, bottom, left,
            or right)

            Where to align or place the status window (top,  bottom,  left,
            or right).

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              44

            NetHack should display an ascii character map if it can.

            NetHack  should display color if it can for different monsters,
            objects, and dungeon features

            NetHack should pass eight-bit character  values  (for  example,
            specified  with the traps option) straight through to your ter-
            minal (default off).

            NetHack should use a font by the chosen name for the  map  win-

            NetHack  should use a font by the chosen name for menu windows.

            NetHack should use a font by the chosen name  for  the  message

            NetHack  should  use  a  font by the chosen name for the status

            NetHack should use a font by the chosen name for text  windows.

            NetHack should use this size font for the map window.

            NetHack should use this size font for menu windows.

            NetHack should use this size font for the message window.

            NetHack should use this size font for the status window.

            NetHack should use this size font for text windows.

            NetHack should try and display on the entire screen rather than
            in a window.

            Visually distinguish pets from similar animals  (default  off).
            The  behavior  of  this option depends on the type of windowing
            you use.  In text windowing, text highlighting or inverse video
            is  often  used;  with tiles, generally displays a heart symbol

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              45

            near pets.

            NetHack should use a large font.

            NetHack should display the map in the manner specified.

            Allow use of the mouse for input and travel.

            NetHack should pop up dialog boxes, or use prompts for  charac-
            ter selection.

            NetHack should pop up dialog boxes for input.

            NetHack  should preload tiles into memory.  For example, in the
            protected mode MSDOS version, control whether  tiles  get  pre-
            loaded  into  RAM  at the start of the game.  Doing so enhances
            performance of the tile graphics, but uses  more  memory.  (de-
            fault on).  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            NetHack  should scroll the display by this number of cells when
            the hero reaches the scroll_margin.

            NetHack should scroll the display when the hero  or  cursor  is
            this number of cells away from the edge of the window.

            Display  an  onscreen  keyboard.   Handhelds are most likely to
            support this option.

            NetHack should display an opening splash screen when it  starts
            up (default yes).

            NetHack should display a tiled map if it can.

            Specify  the  name  of an alternative tile file to override the

            Specify the preferred height of each tile  in  a  tile  capable

            Specify the preferred width of each tile in a tile capable port

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              46

            NetHack should display inverse when the game specifies it.

            NetHack should display this number of messages at a time in the
            message window.

            NetHack   should  display  windows  with  the  specified  fore-
            ground/background colors if it can.

            NetHack port should wrap long lines of text if they  don't  fit
            in the visible area of the window.

          9.6.  Platform-specific Customization options

               Here  are  explanations of options that are used by specific
          platforms or ports to customize and change the port behavior.

            Select an alternate keystroke handler dll to  load  (Win32  tty
            NetHack  only).   The  name of the handler is specified without
            the .dll extension and without any path information.  Cannot be
            set with the `O' command.

            (default on, AMIGA NetHack only).

            Use BIOS calls to update the screen display quickly and to read
            the keyboard (allowing the use of arrow keys to  move)  on  ma-
            chines  with  an IBM PC compatible BIOS ROM (default off, OS/2,
            PC, and ST NetHack only).

            (default off, AMIGA NetHack only).

            (default on, Mac NetHack only).

            (default on, Mac NetHack only).

            Force raw (non-cbreak) mode for faster output and more  bullet-
            proof  input  (MS-DOS sometimes treats `^P' as a printer toggle
            without it) (default off,  OS/2,  PC,  and  ST  NetHack  only).
            Note:   DEC  Rainbows hang if this is turned on.  Cannot be set
            with the `O' command.

            (default on, PC NetHack only).  Cannot be set with the `O' com-

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              47

            (Win32  tty  NetHack  only).  May be used to alter the value of
            keystrokes that the operating system returns to NetHack to help
            compensate  for international keyboard issues.  OPTIONS=subkey-
            value:171/92 will return 92 to NetHack, if 171  was  originally
            going  to be returned.  You can use multiple subkeyvalue state-
            ments in the config file if needed.  Cannot be set with the `O'

            Set the video mode used (PC NetHack only).  Values are `autode-
            tect', `default', or `vga'.   Setting  `vga'  (or  `autodetect'
            with  vga  hardware  present)  will  cause  the game to display
            tiles.  Cannot be set with the `O' command.

            Set the color palette for PC systems  using  NO_TERMS  (default
            4-2-6-1-5-3-15-12-10-14-9-13-11,  (PC NetHack only).  The order
            of  colors  is  red,  green,  brown,   blue,   magenta,   cyan,
            bright.white,  bright.red,  bright.green,  yellow, bright.blue,
            bright.magenta, and bright.cyan.  Cannot be set  with  the  `O'

            Set the intensity level of the three gray scales available (de-
            fault dark normal light, PC NetHack only).  If the game display
            is  difficult to read, try adjusting these scales; if this does
            not correct the problem, try !color.  Cannot be  set  with  the
            `O' command.

          9.7.  Configuring autopickup exceptions

               There  is  an  experimental  compile  time option called AU-
          TOPICKUP_EXCEPTIONS.  If your copy of the  game  was  built  with
          that  option  defined, you can further refine the behavior of the
          autopickup option beyond what  is  available  through  the  pick-
          up_types option.

               By  placing autopickup_exception lines in your configuration
          file, you can define patterns to be  checked  when  the  game  is
          about to autopickup something.

            Sets  an  exception  to the pickup_types option.  The autopick-
            up_exception option should be followed  by  a  string  of  1-80
            characters  to be used as a pattern to match against the singu-
            lar form of the description of an object at your location.

               You may use the following special characters in a pattern:

                 *--- matches 0 or more characters.
                 ?--- matches any single character.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              48

               In addition, some characters are treated specially  if  they
          occur as the first character in the string pattern, specifically:

               < - always pickup an object that matches the pattern that follows.
               > - never pickup an object that matches the pattern that follows.

               Can be set with the `O' command, but the setting is not pre-
          served across saves and restores.

               Here's a couple of examples of autopickup_exceptions:

               autopickup_exception=">* cursed*"

          The  first example above will result in autopickup of any type of
          arrow.  The second example results in the exclusion of any corpse
          from  autopickup.   The  last example results in the exclusion of
          items known to be cursed from autopickup.  A `never pickup'  rule
          takes precedence over an `always pickup' rule if both match.

          9.8.  Configuring User Sounds

               Some  platforms allow you to define sound files to be played
          when a message that matches a user-defined pattern  is  delivered
          to the message window.  At this time the Qt port and the win32tty
          and win32gui ports support the use of user sounds.

               The following config file entries are  relevant  to  mapping
          user sounds to messages:

            The directory that houses the sound files to be played.

            An  entry  that  maps  a sound file to a user-specified message
            pattern.  Each SOUND entry is broken down  into  the  following

                 MESG       - message window mapping (the only one supported in 3.4).
                 pattern    - the pattern to match.
                 sound file - the sound file to play.
                 volume     - the volume to be set while playing the sound file.

               The  exact  format  for  the  pattern depends on whether the
          platform is built to use ``regular expressions'' or NetHack's own
          internal  pattern  matching facility. The ``regular expressions''
          matching can be much more sophisticated than the internal NetHack
          pattern  matching, but requires 3rd party libraries on some plat-
          forms.  There are plenty of references  available  elsewhere  for
          explaining  ``regular expressions''. You can verify which pattern
          matching is used by your port with the #version command.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              49

               NetHack's internal pattern matching routine uses the follow-
          ing special characters in its pattern matching:

                 *--- matches 0 or more characters.
                 ?--- matches any single character.

               Here's  an example of a sound mapping using NetHack's inter-
          nal pattern matching facility:

                   SOUND=MESG "*chime of a cash register*" "gong.wav" 50

          specifies that any message with "chime of a cash  register"  con-
          tained  in  it  will  trigger the playing of "gong.wav".  You can
          have multiple SOUND entries in your config file.

          9.9.  Configuring NetHack for Play by the Blind

               NetHack can be set up to use only standard ASCII  characters
          for  making  maps of the dungeons. This makes the MS-DOS versions
          of NetHack completely accessible to  the  blind  who  use  speech
          and/or  Braille access technologies.  Players will require a good
          working knowledge of their screen-reader's review  features,  and
          will  have  to  know  how to navigate horizontally and vertically
          character by character. They will also find the search  capabili-
          ties  of their screen-readers to be quite valuable. Be certain to
          examine this Guidebook before playing so you have  an  idea  what
          the  screen layout is like. You'll also need to be able to locate
          the PC cursor. It is always  where  your  character  is  located.
          Merely  searching for an @-sign will not always find your charac-
          ter since there are other humanoids represented by the same sign.
          Your  screen-reader  should  also have a function which gives you
          the row and column of your  review  cursor  and  the  PC  cursor.
          These  co-ordinates  are  often useful in giving players a better
          sense of the overall location of items on the screen.

               While it is not difficult for experienced users to edit  the
          defaults.nh  file  to accomplish this, novices may find this task
          somewhat daunting.  Included in  all  official  distributions  of
          NetHack is a file called NHAccess.nh.  Replacing defaults.nh with
          this file will cause the game to run in a  manner  accessible  to
          the  blind.  After  you have gained some experience with the game
          and with editing files, you may want to alter settings to  better
          suit your preferences. Instructions on how to do this are includ-
          ed in the NHAccess.nh file itself. The most crucial  settings  to
          make the game accessible are:

            Disable IBMgraphics by commenting out this option.

            This will assist in the interface to speech synthesizers.

            A  lot  of  speech access programs use the number-pad to review

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              50

            the screen.  If this is the case, disable the number_pad option
            and use the traditional Rogue-like commands.

          Character graphics
            Comment  out  all character graphics sets found near the bottom
            of the defaults.nh file.  Most of these replace  NetHack's  de-
            fault  representation of the dungeon using standard ASCII char-
            acters with fancier characters from  extended  character  sets,
            and these fancier characters can annoy screen-readers.

          10.  Scoring

               NetHack  maintains  a  list  of the top scores or scorers on
          your machine, depending on how it is set up.  In the latter case,
          each  account  on the machine can post only one non-winning score
          on this list.  If you score higher  than  someone  else  on  this
          list,  or better your previous score, you will be inserted in the
          proper place under your current name.  How many scores  are  kept
          can also be set up when NetHack is compiled.

               Your  score  is  chiefly  based upon how much experience you
          gained, how much loot you accumulated, how deep you explored, and
          how the game ended.  If you quit the game, you escape with all of
          your gold intact.  If, however, you get killed in  the  Mazes  of
          Menace, the guild will only hear about 90% of your gold when your
          corpse is discovered (adventurers  have  been  known  to  collect
          finder's  fees).   So, consider whether you want to take one last
          hit at that monster and possibly live,  or  quit  and  stop  with
          whatever  you  have.  If you quit, you keep all your gold, but if
          you swing and live, you might find more.

               If you just want to see what the current  top  players/games
          list is, you can type nethack -s all on most versions.

          11.  Explore mode

               NetHack  is  an intricate and difficult game.  Novices might
          falter in fear, aware of their ignorance of the means to survive.
          Well,  fear  not.   Your  dungeon may come equipped with an ``ex-
          plore'' or ``discovery'' mode that enables you to keep  old  save
          files  and  cheat death, at the paltry cost of not getting on the
          high score list.

               There are two ways of enabling  explore  mode.   One  is  to
          start the game with the -X switch.  The other is to issue the `X'
          command while already playing the game.  The  other  benefits  of
          explore mode are left for the trepid reader to discover.

          12.  Credits

               The  original  hack  game  was  modeled on the Berkeley UNIX
          rogue game.   Large  portions  of  this  paper  were  shamelessly

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              51

          cribbed  from  A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom, by Michael C. Toy
          and Kenneth C. R. C. Arnold.  Small portions  were  adapted  from
          Further Exploration of the Dungeons of Doom, by Ken Arromdee.

               NetHack is the product of literally dozens of people's work.
          Main events in the course of the game development  are  described

               Jay  Fenlason  wrote the original Hack, with help from Kenny
          Woodland, Mike Thome and Jon Payne.

               Andries Brouwer did a major re-write, transforming Hack into
          a  very  different  game, and published (at least) three versions
          (1.0.1, 1.0.2, and 1.0.3) for UNIX machines to the Usenet.

               Don G. Kneller ported Hack 1.0.3 to Microsoft C and  MS-DOS,
          producing  PC  HACK 1.01e, added support for DEC Rainbow graphics
          in version 1.03g, and went on to produce at least four more  ver-
          sions (3.0, 3.2, 3.51, and 3.6).

               R.  Black  ported  PC  HACK  3.51 to Lattice C and the Atari
          520/1040ST, producing ST Hack 1.03.

               Mike Stephenson merged these various versions back together,
          incorporating  many  of  the added features, and produced NetHack
          1.4.  He then coordinated a cast of thousands  in  enhancing  and
          debugging  NetHack 1.4 and released NetHack versions 2.2 and 2.3.

               Later, Mike coordinated a major rewrite of the game, heading
          a team which included Ken Arromdee, Jean-Christophe Collet, Steve
          Creps, Eric Hendrickson, Izchak Miller, John Rupley, Mike Threep-
          oint, and Janet Walz, to produce NetHack 3.0c.

               NetHack  3.0  was  ported  to the Atari by Eric R. Smith, to
          OS/2 by Timo Hakulinen, and to VMS by David Gentzel.   The  three
          of them and Kevin Darcy later joined the main development team to
          produce subsequent revisions of 3.0.

               Olaf Seibert ported NetHack 2.3 and 3.0 to the Amiga.   Norm
          Meluch,  Stephen  Spackman  and Pierre Martineau designed overlay
          code for PC NetHack 3.0.  Johnny Lee ported NetHack  3.0  to  the
          Macintosh.   Along with various other Dungeoneers, they continued
          to enhance the PC, Macintosh, and Amiga ports through  the  later
          revisions of 3.0.

               Headed  by  Mike Stephenson and coordinated by Izchak Miller
          and Janet Walz, the development team which now included  Ken  Ar-
          romdee,  David  Cohrs,  Jean-Christophe Collet, Kevin Darcy, Matt
          Day, Timo Hakulinen, Steve Linhart, Dean Luick, Pat Rankin,  Eric
          Raymond,  and  Eric  Smith  undertook  a radical revision of 3.0.
          They re-structured the game's design, and re-wrote major parts of
          the  code.   They added multiple dungeons, a new display, special
          individual character quests, a new endgame  and  many  other  new

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              52

          features, and produced NetHack 3.1.

               Ken  Lorber,  Gregg  Wonderly and Greg Olson, with help from
          Richard Addison, Mike Passaretti,  and  Olaf  Seibert,  developed
          NetHack 3.1 for the Amiga.

               Norm  Meluch and Kevin Smolkowski, with help from Carl Sche-
          lin, Stephen Spackman, Steve VanDevender, and Paul Winner, ported
          NetHack 3.1 to the PC.

               Jon W{tte and Hao-yang Wang, with help from Ross Brown, Mike
          Engber, David Hairston, Michael Hamel, Jonathan  Handler,  Johnny
          Lee,  Tim  Lennan, Rob Menke, and Andy Swanson, developed NetHack
          3.1 for the Macintosh, porting it for MPW.  Building on their de-
          velopment, Barton House added a Think C port.

               Timo Hakulinen ported NetHack 3.1 to OS/2.  Eric Smith port-
          ed NetHack 3.1 to the Atari.  Pat Rankin, with help  from  Joshua
          Delahunty,  was  responsible  for the VMS version of NetHack 3.1.
          Michael Allison ported NetHack 3.1 to Windows NT.

               Dean Luick, with help from David  Cohrs,  developed  NetHack
          3.1  for  X11.   Warwick Allison wrote a tiled version of NetHack
          for the Atari; he later contributed the tiles to the DevTeam  and
          tile support was then added to other platforms.

               The  3.2 development team, comprised of Michael Allison, Ken
          Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Steve Creps,  Kevin  Darcy,
          Timo  Hakulinen,  Steve  Linhart,  Dean  Luick,  Pat Rankin, Eric
          Smith, Mike Stephenson, Janet Walz,  and  Paul  Winner,  released
          version 3.2 in April of 1996.

               Version 3.2 marked the tenth anniversary of the formation of
          the development team.  In a testament to their dedication to  the
          game,  all  thirteen members of the original development team re-
          mained on the team at the start of work on that release.   During
          the  interval  between  the  release of 3.1.3 and 3.2, one of the
          founding members of the development team, Dr. Izchak Miller,  was
          diagnosed  with cancer and passed away.  That release of the game
          was dedicated to him by the development and porting teams.

               During the lifespan of NetHack 3.1 and 3.2, several enthusi-
          asts  of  the  game added their own modifications to the game and
          made these ``variants'' publicly available:

               Tom Proudfoot and Yuval Oren created  NetHack++,  which  was
          quickly  renamed NetHack--.  Working independently, Stephen White
          wrote NetHack Plus.  Tom Proudfoot later merged NetHack Plus  and
          his own NetHack-- to produce SLASH.  Larry Stewart-Zerba and War-
          wick Allison improved the spell casting system  with  the  Wizard
          Patch.   Warwick Allison also ported NetHack to use the Qt inter-

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              53

               Warren Cheung combined SLASH with the Wizard Patch  to  pro-
          duce  Slash'em,  and with the help of Kevin Hugo, added more fea-
          tures.  Kevin later joined the DevTeam and incorporated the  best
          of these ideas in NetHack 3.3.

               The final update to 3.2 was the bug fix release 3.2.3, which
          was released simultaneously with 3.3.0 in December 1999  just  in
          time for the Year 2000.

               The 3.3 development team, consisting of Michael Allison, Ken
          Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Steve Creps,  Kevin  Darcy,
          Timo  Hakulinen,  Kevin  Hugo,  Steve  Linhart,  Ken Lorber, Dean
          Luick, Pat Rankin, Eric Smith, Mike Stephenson, Janet  Walz,  and
          Paul  Winner, released 3.3.0 in December 1999 and 3.3.1 in August
          of 2000.

               Version 3.3 offered many firsts. It was the first version to
          separate  race and profession. The Elf class was removed in pref-
          erence to an elf race, and the races of dwarves, gnomes, and orcs
          made  their  first  appearance in the game alongside the familiar
          human race.  Monk and Ranger roles joined Archeologists,  Barbar-
          ians,   Cavemen,  Healers,  Knights,  Priests,  Rogues,  Samurai,
          Tourists, Valkyries and of course,  Wizards.   It  was  also  the
          first  version  to  allow  you to ride a steed, and was the first
          version to have a publicly available  web-site  listing  all  the
          bugs  that  had been discovered.  Despite that constantly growing
          bug list, 3.3 proved stable enough to last for more than  a  year
          and a half.

               The  3.4 development team initially consisted of Michael Al-
          lison, Ken Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Kevin Hugo,  Ken
          Lorber,  Dean Luick, Pat Rankin, Mike Stephenson, Janet Walz, and
          Paul Winner, with  Warwick Allison joining just  before  the  re-
          lease of NetHack 3.4.0 in March 2002.

               As  with version 3.3, various people contributed to the game
          as a whole as well as supporting ports on the different platforms
          that NetHack runs on:

               Pat Rankin maintained 3.4 for VMS.

               Michael  Allison maintained NetHack 3.4 for the MS-DOS plat-
          form.  Paul Winner and Yitzhak Sapir provided encouragement.

               Dean Luick, Mark Modrall, and Kevin Hugo maintained and  en-
          hanced the Macintosh port of 3.4.

               Michael  Allison,  David  Cohrs, Alex Kompel, Dion Nicolaas,
          and Yitzhak Sapir maintained and enhanced 3.4 for  the  Microsoft
          Windows platform.  Alex Kompel contributed a new graphical inter-
          face for the Windows port.  Alex Kompel also contributed  a  Win-
          dows CE port for 3.4.1.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              54

               Ron Van Iwaarden maintained 3.4 for OS/2.

               Janne  Salmijarvi  and  Teemu Suikki maintained and enhanced
          the Amiga port of 3.4 after Janne Salmijarvi resurrected  it  for

               Christian  ``Marvin''  Bressler maintained 3.4 for the Atari
          after he resurrected it for 3.3.1.

               There is a NetHack web site  maintained  by  Ken  Lorber  at

                    - - - - - - - - - -

               From  time  to  time,  some depraved individual out there in
          netland sends a particularly intriguing modification to help  out
          with  the  game.   The Gods of the Dungeon sometimes make note of
          the names of the worst of these miscreants in this, the  list  of

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003

          NetHack Guidebook                                              55

                    Adam Aronow            Izchak Miller         Mike Stephenson
                    Alex Kompel            J. Ali Harlow           Norm Meluch
                   Andreas Dorn              Janet Walz            Olaf Seibert
                    Andy Church           Janne Salmijarvi        Pasi Kallinen
                   Andy Swanson        Jean-Christophe Collet       Pat Rankin
                   Ari Huttunen            Jochen Erwied           Paul Winner
                   Barton House             John Kallen          Pierre Martineau
                Benson I. Margulies         John Rupley             Ralf Brown
                     Bill Dyer              John S. Bien            Ray Chason
                 Boudewijn Waijers           Johnny Lee          Richard Addison
                     Bruce Cox               Jon W{tte            Richard Beigel
                  Bruce Holloway          Jonathan Handler      Richard P. Hughey
                  Bruce Mewborne          Joshua Delahunty          Rob Menke
                   Carl Schelin            Keizo Yamamoto         Robin Johnson
                    Chris Russo              Ken Arnold         Roderick Schertler
                    David Cohrs             Ken Arromdee          Roland McGrath
                  David Damerell             Ken Lorber          Ron Van Iwaarden
                   David Gentzel           Ken Washikita          Ronnen Miller
                  David Hairston            Kevin Darcy             Ross Brown
                    Dean Luick               Kevin Hugo          Sascha Wostmann
                     Del Lamb               Kevin Sitze            Scott Bigham
                   Deron Meranda          Kevin Smolkowski       Scott R. Turner
                   Dion Nicolaas            Kevin Sweet          Stephen Spackman
                  Dylan O'Donnell           Lars Huttar           Stephen White
                    Eric Backus             Malcolm Ryan           Steve Creps
                 Eric Hendrickson          Mark Gooderum          Steve Linhart
                   Eric R. Smith            Mark Modrall        Steve VanDevender
                  Eric S. Raymond         Marvin Bressler          Teemu Suikki
                   Erik Andersen            Matthew Day             Tim Lennan
                 Frederick Roeber           Merlyn LeRoy          Timo Hakulinen
                    Gil Neiger            Michael Allison            Tom Almy
                    Greg Laskin             Michael Feir             Tom West
                    Greg Olson             Michael Hamel          Warren Cheung
                  Gregg Wonderly          Michael Sokolov        Warwick Allison
                   Hao-yang Wang            Mike Engber           Yitzhak Sapir
                   Helge Hafting            Mike Gallop
               Irina Rempt-Drijfhout      Mike Passaretti

          Brand  and  product names are trademarks or registered trademarks
          of their respective holders.

          NetHack 3.4                                      December 2, 2003