Tools, their properties, and the invocation items in NetHack 3.4

tool-341.txt Last edited 2003-08-14 for NetHack 3.4.1
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.1 by Dylan O'Donnell <>.
Converted to HTML by Kate Nepveu <>.


sack $2 15 35   bag
large box 8 350 40   --
chest 16 600 35   --
ice box 42 900 5   --
bag of holding 100 15 20   bag
bag of tricks 100 15 20 20 bag
oilskin sack 100 15 5   bag
Unlocking tools
credit card * 10 1 15   --
lock pick (osaku) 20 4 60   --
skeleton key 10 3 80   key
Light sources
tallow candle 10 2 20   candle
wax candle 20 2 5   candle
brass lantern 12 30 30 1499 --
oil lamp 10 20 45 1499 lamp
magic lamp 50 20 15   lamp
Candelabrum of Invocation 5000 10 0   candelabrum
tin whistle 10 3 100   whistle
magic whistle 10 3 30   whistle
bugle 15 10 4   --
wooden flute 12 5 4   flute
magic flute 36 5 2 8 flute
tooled horn 15 18 5   horn
frost horn 50 18 2 8 horn
fire horn 50 18 2 8 horn
horn of plenty 50 18 2 20 horn
leather drum 25 25 4   drum
drum of earthquake 25 25 2 8 drum
wooden harp (koto) 50 30 4   harp
magic harp 50 30 2 8 harp
bell 50 30 2   --
Bell of Opening 5000 10 0 3 silver bell
beartrap 60 200 0   --
land mine 180 300 0   --
pick-axe 50 100 20   --
grappling hook 50 30 5   iron hook
unicorn horn 100 20 0   --
Other tools
expensive camera * 200 12 15 99 --
mirror 10 13 45   looking glass
crystal ball 60 150 15 5 glass orb
lenses 80 3 5   --
blindfold 20 2 50   --
towel 50 2 50   --
saddle * 150 200 5   --
leash 20 12 65   --
stethoscope 75 4 25   --
tinning kit 30 100 15 99 --
tin opener 30 4 35   --
can of grease 20 15 15 25 --
figurine 80 50 25   --
magic marker 50 2 15 99! --

Tools are listed above by category. The COST field denotes the base price of each item. WGT specifies the weight (100 zorkmids weighs 1). The existence of some items depends on options chosen when the program was compiled; they are noted with an asterisk (*).

Tools comprise 8% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 0% in containers, 0% on the Rogue level, and 12% in hell. PROB is the relative probability of each subtype. See below for more details on item generation.

If the CHG field is not blank, then the tool can be charged by a scroll of charging or the Platinum Yendorian Express Card. The number shows the maximum number of initial charges. An exclamation mark (!) indicates that the tool can only be recharged once.

Finally, some items have a different APPEARANCE until they are identified. Note that many tools share the same appearance with other types of tools.

Using containers

Containers are generated uncursed, with the CONTENTS described below. Containers will not be generated containing tools, weapons, armour or rocks. Containers in your initial inventory will be empty. If the container can be LOCKED, then there is an 80% chance that it will be generated locked and a different 10% chance that it will be trapped. Not all containers FIT into other containers. Some containers have special EFFECTS. All of the containers except ice boxes can be eaten by gelatinous cubes; the contents will be engulfed but unharmed.

sack 0-1 items No Yes --
large box 0-3 items Yes No --
chest 0-5 items Yes No --
ice box 0-20 corpses No No Suspends rotting of corpses.
bag of holding 0-1 items No Yes May reduce weight.
bag of tricks 1-20 charges No Yes Bites you / creates monsters.
oilskin sack 0-1 items No Yes May prevent water damage.

Quantum mechanics may carry a large box containing either a live or dead housecat named Schroedinger's Cat. The state of the cat is not determined until the box is opened. There is nothing special about this cat; it is just a silly physics joke.

The weight of a bag of holding (wgt) -- including the 15 for the bag itself -- depends on the weight of its contents (cwgt) and its blessed status:

blessed wgt = 15 + cwgt/4 + 1
uncursed wgt = 15 + cwgt/2 + 1
cursed wgt = 15 + cwgt*2

You may also lose items when you use a cursed bag of holding; each item in the bag has a 1/13 chance of disappearing each time you apply or loot the bag.

Putting any of the following (and ONLY the following) items into any bag of holding will cause it to explode:

It is sometimes possible to put one of these items into nested sacks and/or oilskin sacks and then place them safely inside a bag of holding. The chance of an explosion occurring then depends on the amount of nesting:

sacks 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 n
odds 1/1 2/2 3/4 4/8 5/16 6/32 7/64 8/128 9/128 n+1/128

When a bag of tricks is #looted, it will bite you (1 to 10 hit points damage) and become identified. If you (a)pply it and it has charges left, it will create one monster 22 out of 23 times, and create 2 to 8 monsters 1 out of 23 times. "Nothing happens" when you apply a bag with zero charges. Bags of tricks are generated with 1 to 20 charges. If the bag has more than 10 charges, a blessed scroll of charging will add 5 to 10 charges, otherwise it will add 10 to 15 charges; an uncursed scroll will always add 1 to 5 charges. Cannot be charged higher than 50 charges.

When ungreased bags get wet, their contents may also get wet. A non-cursed oilskin sack will prevent this; if the oilskin sack is cursed, there is a 1/3 chance that the contents can get wet. Boxes and chests are all waterproof.

Using unlocking tools

Each of the tools, wands, and spells listed below can be used for locking and unlocking doors, large boxes, and chests. Not all methods can LOCK or UNLOCK. DOOR and BOX represent the probability (in percent) of succeeding each turn when attempting to unlock doors and large boxes or chests respectively; it may be based on your Dexterity and you will fail after 50 turns. ROGUEs may get an additional percentile bonus for using an implement (the numbers before and after the slash being added to DOOR/BOX respectively). The per-turn probability of picking the lock is halved if you use a cursed credit card, lock pick, or skeleton key. All unlocking tools are generated uncursed.

credit card No Yes 2*Dex Dex 20/20
lock pick Yes Yes 3*Dex 4*Dex 30/25
skeleton key Yes Yes 70+Dex 75+Dex 0/0
wand/spell open No Yes 100 100 0/0
wand spell lock Yes No 100 100 0/0

Using any of the first three types will exercise your dexterity, even if you don't succeed. Please note that a credit card has no special effects in shops, although you can unlock a shop "Closed for inventory" and you can buy and sell it like any other item. If a watchman or watch captain sees you pick a door with any tool, he may get upset; if he warns you off, a trap is automatically added to the door in question.

Wands of opening and locking and the spells of knock and wizard lock always work in one turn and can be performed from a distance. Zapped opening will also unlock doors in the same turn, will lower drawbridges, and can remove a ball and chain (as will ringing the blessed Bell of Opening). Zapped closing will close a door in the same turn (if there are no objects in the way; creating one if necessary) and will raise drawbridges.

You can also attempt to break a lock on a large box or chest by #forcing it with a suitable weapon or kicking it open. This may EXERCISE your dexterity or strength, but may also destroy any WEAPON you use, the CONTAINER and/or some of the CONTENTS (possibly restricted to fragile ones, namely glass items (other than worthless glass) and eggs):

Blunt weapon No Yes Yes STR
Edged weapon Yes No No DEX
Kicking -- No Fragile No

Using light sources

Light sources are generated to stay lit for the number of TURNS noted below. They are GENERATED in the quantity and blessed state shown. Cursed light sources will sometimes not light.

tallow candle 200 1 to 7; 10% blessed, 80% uncursed, 10%
wax candle 400 1 to 7; 10% blessed, 80% uncursed, 10%
brass lantern 1000 to 1499 10% blessed, 80% uncursed, 10% cursed
oil lamp 1000 to 1499 10% blessed, 80% uncursed, 10% cursed
magic lamp Infinite 25% blessed, 50% uncursed, 25% cursed
potion of oil 400 1/8 blessed, 3/4 uncursed, 1/8 cursed
Sunsword Infinite 10% blessed, 80% uncursed, 10% cursed

Candles can also be applied to the Candelabrum of Invocation. Brass lanterns and oil lamps can be refilled by a scroll of charging; a blessed scroll will refill them to 1500 turns, an uncursed scroll will add 750 turns to a maximum of 1500. Oil lamps can also be refilled with potions of oil, getting twice of the remaining turns in the potion of oil. No lamp can be filled beyond 1500 turns.

The artifact weapon Sunsword will act as a light source whenever wielded, either by you or by a monster.

If you wish for a magic lamp, you will instead get an ordinary oil lamp.

Magic lamps never run out of power, and may summon a djinni and lead to a wish when #rubbed. Each time you rub the lamp, there is a 1/3 chance that "You see a puff of smoke" and another 1/3 chance that "Nothing happens"; in either case, just try again.

The remaining 1/3 of the time a djinni appears, the lamp is identified and turned into an oil lamp, and one of five outcomes can occur. The relative chance of these outcomes depends on whether the lamp was blessed, uncursed, or cursed:

80% 20% 5% Grants one wish, then disappears.
"I am in your debt. I will grant one wish!"
5% 20% 5% Remains as a pet.
"Thank you for freeing me!"
5% 20% 5% Remains as a peaceful monster.
"You freed me!"
5% 20% 5% Speaks, then vanishes.
"It is about time!"
5% 20% 80% Remains as a hostile monster.
"You disturbed me, fool!"

NOTE: There is no way to get a wish from the djinni other than the first outcome above.

There is a limit of 120 djinn per game. Beyond this limit, they are extinct and no more can be created.

Using instruments

All instruments are generated uncursed. In this section, "nearby" means within some distance from you that depends on your experience level. Depending on your system, configuration, and options, sounds may also be produced on your system's speaker.

tin whistle

Wakes nearby monsters and calls nearby pets.

"You produce a high whistling sound." (non-cursed)
"You produce a shrill whistling sound." (cursed)

magic whistle

Teleports pets next to you.

"You produce a strange whistling sound." (not hallucinating)
"You produce a normal whistling sound." (hallucinating)

50% chance of acting as non-cursed; otherwise, wakes nearby monsters and calls nearby pets.

"You produce a high-pitched humming noise."

horn of plenty

Created with 1 to 20 charges. If more than 10 charges, blessed scrolls of charging add 5 to 10 charges, otherwise 10 to 15 charges. Uncursed scrolls of charging add 1 to 5 charges. Cannot be charged higher than 50 charges.

No effect if no charges.

Creates some food (including royal jelly) or a potion of water, fruit juice, booze, acid, sickness, or oil.

The blessed/uncursed/cursed state of the object produced is the same as the horn.

leather drum

Awakens and may scare nearby monsters. Abuses wisdom.

"You beat a deafening row!"

drum of earthquake

Created with 3 to 8 charges. Blessed scrolls of charging add 4 to 8 charges; uncursed scrolls 1 to 4 charges. Drums cannot have more than 20 charges.

Creates several pits around you, and angers peaceful monsters in the vicinity. Awakens and may scare all monsters on the level.

"You produce a heavy, thunderous rolling! The entire dungeon is shaking around you!"


Doesn't work under water or when swallowed.

Wakes nearby monsters and calls nearby pets.

There is a 1/4 chance of summoning a nymph (with no inventory), if they aren't already genocided or extinct. There is a further chance that the bell breaks, and/or that you are paralyzed or the nymph is made fast. Wakes nearby monsters and calls nearby pets.

The following instruments can be used to play notes to open the Castle drawbridge. You will hear one "gear turn" for each correct note in the right position and one "tumbler click" for each correct note in the wrong position. However, if you improvise, you will get the EFFECT shown; some monsters may resist. Charged instruments are created with 3 to 8 charges. Blessed scrolls of charging add 4 to 8 charges; uncursed scrolls 1 to 4 charges. They can never have more than 20 charges.

bugle Awaken and anger nearby soldiers on level, abuse wisdom.
wooden flute Make nearby snakes peaceful (if enough dexterity and experience), exercise dexterity.
magic flute May put nearby monsters to sleep, exercise dexterity.
tooled horn Awaken and may scare nearby monsters, abuse wisdom.
frost horn Same as a wand of cold.
fire horn Same as a wand of fire.
wooden harp (koto) Make nearby nymphs peaceful (if enough dexterity and experience), exercise dexterity.
magic harp May tame nearby monsters, exercise dexterity.

Using other tools

Unless noted, all items in this section are generated uncursed. Not all of them are actual tools; a few items of other object types can also be a)pplied.

beartrap or land mine

If you successfully #untrap one of these traps, the trap becomes a tool. You can pick up the tool and later re-arm the trap at your current location by (a)pplying the tool.


This weapon can also be applied to get yourself out of a pit, unwield or steal another monster's weapon, hit a monster, whip your steed into a gallop, or grab objects off the floor while levitating.


You can dig by (a)pplying a pick-axe or dwarvish mattock. Specify > to dig downward (first makes a pit, then a hole), or a direction to dig through rock, walls, or doors, or to smash up statues or boulders.

axe or battle-axe

These weapons can also be applied to chop down doors or trees.

cream pie

You can apply this food item to blind yourself for 1 to 25 turns.

eucalyptus leaf

Acts like a tin whistle (see instruments, above).

Acts like a blessed magic whistle (see instruments, above). Each use has a 1/49 chance of unblessing the leaf.

grappling hook

You can apply this tool to grab an object at a distance, hit a monster (or, if small, drag it towards you), drag yourself in a direction, or hit yourself for 10 to 19 points of damage. If you are at least skilled in flail, you can attempt to choose between the first three options (with a 50% chance of accuracy if skilled, 95% if expert); otherwise, the effect will be randomly chosen.

unicorn horn

Randomly fixes one or more of the following troubles: sickness, blindness, hallucination, vomiting, confusion, stunning, and loss of an attribute. The approximate chances of fixing a certain number of troubles are shown here:

# Troub 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
blessed 22.70% 22.70% 19.50% 15.40% 10.70% 5.70% 2.60% 0.80%
uncursed 35.40% 35.40% 22.90% 6.30% 0 0 0 0

You get one of the following: illness, blindness, confusion, stunning, hallucination, or a decremented attribute.

Unicorn horns don't fix stoning, sliming, strangulation, or wounded legs. #dipping a unicorn horn in a potion of blindness, confusion, or hallucination turns the potion into uncursed water. Dipping it in a potion of sickness produces non-blessed fruit juice.

Unicorn horns also make a fairly good weapon. They are two-handed.

expensive camera

Generated with 29 to 99 charges. An uncursed scroll of charging will add 5 to 14 charges, and then bring the camera to a minimum of 50 charges. A blessed scroll of charging will add 10 to 25 charges, and then bring the camera to a minimum of 50 charges (75 if between 51 and 74). A camera may never have more than 127 charges.

You can get several humorous messages by applying it in certain situations.

A cursed camera has a 50% chance of blinding you when applied.

Otherwise, you can blind monsters.


Cursed mirrors only work half of the time.

You can get several humorous messages by applying it in certain situations (especially hallucinating; try underwater or at yourself while polymorphed into a floating eye).

You can use a mirror to make a monster's gaze attacks work against itself (if the monster isn't cancelled):

vampire or ghost No reflection
Medusa Turns to stone
floating eye Paralyzed, if it is not invisible
umber hulk Confused
nymph or succubus Steals the mirror, if she is not invisible

Otherwise, you have a 4 out of 5 chance of scaring the monster in that direction for 2 to 8 turns. The monster cannot be a unicorn or humanoid, must have eyes and be unblind, and must be able to see invisible if it is invisible.

Breaking any mirror (except by kicking a container) carries a -2 penalty to luck.

crystal ball

Generated 1/4 blessed, 1/2 uncursed, 1/4 cursed.

Generated with 1 to 5 charges. (If your Quest Artifact is a crystal ball,it is always generated with 5 charges. Blessed scrolls of charging set the ball to 6 charges. Uncursed scrolls of charging add one charge, to a maximum of 5.

Applying a crystal ball will cause you to be immobile (in a trance) for 1 to 10 turns.

There are several humorous messages if used when hallucinating.

You may look for an object, monster or symbol (including traps and portals, ^, but not stairs or other dungeon features). There is an (intelligence in 20) chance of success; otherwise, you suffer the same effects as a cursed crystal ball.

One of the following happens: nothing, you are confused, you are blinded, you hallucinate, or the ball explodes (not if an artifact).


These protect you from being blinded by ravens, spat venom or thrown cream pies. They increase the effectiveness of searching, and reduce the failure rate and time taken to learn spells from spellbooks.


You can controllably blind yourself by (a)pplying it or (P)utting it on. A cursed blindfold cannot be removed by yourself.


You can controllably blind yourself (like a blindfold) by (P)utting it on. A cursed towel cannot be removed by yourself.

When (a)pplied, a towel can clean greasy hands (e.g., from a tin of greasy food) or clean a cream pie off your face. A cursed towel has a 1/3 chance of causing each of these problems, or else it works normally.

If you (E)ngrave with a towel, you can rub out writing in the dust.


You can (a)pply it to a monster (equines, quadrupeds, dragons, jabberwocks, ki-rin or couatls) in order to be able to ride it in future. Chance of successfully saddling depends on dexterity, charisma, tameness of monster and riding skill; Knights receive a bonus, as does wearing riding boots or gloves.


You can (a)pply it to a tame monster to keep it nearby. Once you have leashed a monster, you can release it by re-(a)pplying the leash. A cursed leash can't be removed by yourself, and moving too far from your pet may cause it to be choked and take damage.


A stethoscope can be (a)pplied once each turn without taking any time. If you use it more than that, each application takes one turn.

You can get several humorous messages by applying it in certain situations.

A cursed stethoscope has a 50% chance of only hearing your own heartbeat.

Otherwise, you can use it to find the status of adjacent monsters or of yourself or your steed, and find secret doors and passages.

tinning kit

Created with 29 to 99 charges. An uncursed scroll of charging will add 5 to 14 charges, and then bring the kit to a minimum of 50 charges. A blessed scroll of charging will add 10 to 25 charges, and then bring the kit to a minimum of 50 charges (75 if between 51 and 74). A tinning kit may never have more than 127 charges.

You can convert corpses into tins. The corpse must be uneaten and have non-zero nutrition. The resulting tin is blessed/uncursed/cursed the same way as the tinning kit that produced it. Blessed tins are not poisonous or rotten, and can be opened in one turn. Cursed tins always contain rotten food. Tins have the same chance of giving an intrinsic as the equivalent corpse; the blessed/cursed status of the tin does NOT affect the chance.

Some people tin unique monsters as souvenirs. You cannot tin the endgame Riders.

tin opener

Mostly useless. Wield the tin opener and you can e)at a tin in one turn.

can of grease

Generated 5% blessed, 90% uncursed, 5% cursed.

Created with 1 to 25 charges. If more than 10 charges, blessed scrolls of charging add 5 to 10 charges, otherwise 10 to 15 charges. Uncursed scrolls of charging add 1 to 5 charges. Cannot be charged higher than 50 charges.

When a)pplying a can of grease, you have a 50% chance of dropping it if it is cursed or you have fumbling. Otherwise, you can grease an item to prevent it from rusting or corroding. If the can of grease is cursed or you specify no object, you get your fingers greasy.

Greased outer body armour will protect against grabbing attacks, and greased helmets will protect against (master) mind flayer's tentacles; however, the grease has a 50% chance of wearing off after each attack against which it protects, and grease on cursed armour will only be effective 1/3 of the time.

You can also use the can of grease or a potion of oil to #untrap a squeaky board.


Generated 1/8 blessed, 3/4 uncursed, and 1/8 cursed.

Applying a figurine creates that monster in an adjacent square of your choosing. It will fail if the square is occupied, or if the species is genocided. The chance of a tame or peaceful monster depends on the blessed state of the figurine:

  blessed uncursed cursed
tame 80% 10% 10%
peaceful 10% 80% 10%
hostile 10% 10% 80%

Cursed figurines can spontaneously transform when carried, after 201 to 9200 turns in inventory.

magic marker

Generated with 29 to 99 charges. Can only be recharged once.

An uncursed scroll of charging will add 5 to 14 charges, and then bring the marker to a minimum of 50 charges. A blessed scroll of charging will add 10 to 25 charges, and then bring the marker to a minimum of 50 charges (75 if between 51 and 74).

You can write scrolls and spellbooks from blank ones. See the spoilers "scrl-341.html" and "spl1-341.html" for details. The blessed/uncursed/ cursed status of the resulting item depends on the marker and scroll/spellbook:

  blessed uncursed cursed
blessed blessed blessed uncursed
uncursed blessed uncursed cursed
cursed uncursed cursed cursed

You can also (E)ngrave graffiti on the floor with a magic marker.

Invocation items

The three invocation unique invocation items (Bell, Book, and Candelabrum) cannot be placed in a container or destroyed in any way. They have special effects when (a)pplied or #invoked and you are NOT on the vibrating square:

Bell of Opening

Obtained from your Quest Nemesis. Created with 3 charges. Blessed scrolls of charging add 1 to 3 charges, uncursed scrolls of charging add 1 charge. Cannot be charged higher than 5 charges.

Acts like a regular bell. Will not break.

If you are swallowed, you are expelled.

"<monster> opens its mouth!" (if animal)

Else you unlock and open nearby containers and doors, find nearby secret passages and statue traps, open nearby drawbridges, and are unpunished. Items must be in your visual range.

If you are swallowed, you are expelled.

"<monster> opens its mouth!" (if animal)

Else same effect as a wand of secret door detection -- you find nearby secret doors, secret passages, non-statue traps, mimics, and hiding and invisible monsters.

If you are swallowed, "Nothing happens."
Else you summon undead and wake nearby monsters.

Candelabrum of Invocation

Obtained from Vlad the Impaler.

blessed or uncursed
The Candelabrum acts like an ordinary light source if at least one candle is applied to it. It will last as many turns as the first candle that was applied would have burned.

The Candelabrum won't light.

Book of the Dead

Obtained from the Wizard of Yendor.

Undead creatures in your sight are made peaceful; nearby ones sharing your alignment may be tamed, others may flee.

No effect.

"Your ancestors are annoyed with you!"
"The headstones in the cemetery begin to move!"
"Oh my! Your name appears in the book!"

You summon undead.

To complete the invocation, you must be standing on the vibrating square and have the non-cursed Candelabrum of Invocation with seven candles attached (the candles can be any type(s), and even cursed), the non-cursed Bell of Opening with at least one charge, and the non-cursed Book of the Dead. The Candelabrum burns out twice as fast when on the vibrating square. The Bell must be rung within 5 turns before the invocation. The Book must be read last. Sascha Wostmann described a good way to remember the sequence:

  1. Make some light, to read by.
  2. Ring the bell, to get the attention of an audience.
  3. Finally, read the book.

Good luck!


Thanks to Bruce Cox for proofreading the original version of this file.
Further corrections and clarifications provided by Andreas Dorn, Kieron Dunbar, Vladimir Florinski, Douglas Freyburger, David Goldfarb, David Grabiner, Kaidur Heliste, Ivan, Philipp Lucas, ManaUser, pervect, Pat Rankin, Irina Rempt, Vasilisha, David Wescott, and Yoshi348.

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