This page is an incomplete collection of character specific nethack ascension notes for a chaotic female elven wizard.

Patched Game

I’ve modified the source of nethack to print all window messages to stdout, which you can then capture with a file. This makes it possible to record your games for later analysis, or to try to ascertain what intrinsics you might have obtained.

To do this, add the following two lines to the beginning of the function X11_putstr in ./win/X11/winX.c in the base nethack distribution (3.4.3):




High Priority

Medium Priority

Low Priority







Successfully completing Sokoban is fairly straightforward. Be careful of monsters getting in the path of your boulder pushing, because breaking boulders or reading on of the two guaranteed scrolls of earth (on the first level) carry luck penalties. If you’ve gained telepathy (say by eating a floating eye corpse), you can put on a towel/blindfold to see monsters with brains which could block the path. But don’t rely on this too much! Monsters without brains such as mummies and lichens won’t reveal themselves using this.

If you haven’t found some specific rings, Sokoban might provide them. At the end there is either an amulet of reflection or a bag of holding. If you’ve already received enough divine protection or already obtained a bag of holding, there’s no real reason to complete the last level.


Minetown should be your first major destination in the game. Upon arriving, first proceed to the temple. If the altar is aligned, sacrifice corpses until your god grants you magicbane. Monsters will flee the temple in this case, giving you sanctuary to regenerate your HP.

Many times I’ve encountered problems doing this, because all of a sudden it seems that many relatively powerful monsters will show up outside and force you to starve. It is often enough if you don’t have a ring of slow digestion to buy out the food shop and stash some food in the temple in case this happens. Or, if you have learned magic missile this most likely won’t be an issue.

Regardless of the alignment of the priest, you’ll want repeatedly donate (1+400*XL) zorkmids to obtain divine protection and lower your AC. Shoot for a naked AC of 0, though if you have enough gold you can lower this even further. The easiest source of gold at this point in the game are Minetown’s own shopkeepers, thought you can alternately search for Fort Ludios or vaults in the main dungeon. If you’ve learned magic missile and can cast it 5 or so times, this will take down most shopkeepers. Otherwise a wand of fire/lightning will do the trick. Use utmost caution when doing this, as it’s easy to be overpowered at this point in the game. Shopkeepers are very fast and will usually wield two wands. They will zap these wands at you before entering into melee. Being a wizard and wearing a cloak of magic resistance (or wielding magicbane) means that these wand attacks will be useless, giving you time to kill him, but you can only survive two or three turns at most of a melee attack. If you don’t need your scroll of stinking cloud, it is the safest way to kill shopkeepers.

If you have encountered an altar previously in the game or once you have all the divine protection you want, dispatching the priest is usually a good idea. You will obtain a robe, which you can wear instead of your cloak of magic resistance, and hopefully some good spellbooks. The most reliable way of doing this is with a blessed scroll of stinking cloud. Stand outside of the temple and cast the spell centered on the altar.

It’s also not too unlikely that you will find a magic lamp in Izchak’s lighting store. You’ll know it’s a magic lamp because it will cost more than a regular lamp. Bless before rubbing to obtain a useful early wish.

The monsters from Minetown to Mine’s End are comparably more powerful than the ones encountered thusfar, so make sure you’re ready before proceeding.

Sacrificing monsters of your own race will summon one of two peaceful demon lords: Yeenoghu or Juiblex. Being summoned here means you won’t have to deal with a hostile one later. If you have the opportunity to do this, take advantage of it. The demon lords will pester you in minetown, mostly by standing in your way, but you can leave them on the level when moving on.


I recommend spending wishes on either armor, a magic marker, or a blessed figurine of an archon.

A blessed figurine of an archon can be applied to give you an archon as a pet. This is perhaps one of the most powerful monsters in the game, and will pretty much keep you out of trouble wherever you go. However, if you don’t have a magic whistle, don’t bother wishing for this because there’s no way I know of of increasing the tameness of an archon, and you’ll spend many frustrating turns waiting on the upstair/downstair for your archon to follow you.

Magic markers will allow you to write scrolls and spellbooks. Once you have a spellbook of polymorph and can cast it, you can pretty much have every item in the game.

Early on however you will not be able to cast polymorph, so wishing for armor is probably the most useful. Wish for “blessed +2 silver dragon scale mail” first. Next I would suggest a “blessed +2 fireproof pair of speed boots” or “blessed +2 greased helm of brilliance”. Boots and helms are easier to obtain by polymorph.


It’s essential that you gain all intrinsics that you do not have some form of protection from. The list is as follows:

intrinsic message
fire “You feel a momentary chill.”
cold “You feel full of hot air.”
shock “Your health currently feels amplified!”
poison “You feel healthy.”
sleep “You feel wide awake.”
disintegration “You feel very firm.”
telepathy “You feel a strange mental acuity.”
teleport control “You feel in control of yourself.”
invisibility (no message)
speed “You speed up!”

I have created a script which can help ascertain which ones you have and which ones you need without using a wand/potion of enlightenment.

Ascention Kit


Use magicbane as main weapon. Provides magic resistance. Do not enchant above +3.