Monster spell spoiler

Compiled for NetHack 3.4.2 by David Corbett
Last updated for 3.4.3 on 27 March, 2006.

This spoiler details the spells cast by monsters, and minion summoning.


Casting magical or clerical spells

The type of spell cast depends on the circumstance.

A number from 0 to ML-1 is selected, where ML is the monster's level.
A spell is chosen according to the number picked: Magical spells, Clerical spells.

The following spells will not be used:

The spell always fails if the monster is cancelled.
When a monster successfully casts a magical or clerical spell, it is prevented from casting spells for 10-ML or 2 turns, whichever is larger. Any spell attempted by the monster in this time will fail.
The spell is fumbled (has no effect) if d(10*ML) <= 20 (100 if confused).
"The air crackles around <monster>."

Messages for failed spells:

"<monster> points all around, then curses." (undirected spell)
"<monster> points at you, then curses." (directed spell)
"<monster> points and curses in your general direction." (invisible)
"<monster> points and curses at your displaced image." (displaced)
"You hear a mumbled curse." (monster is unseen by you)

Messages for misdirected spells:

"<monster> casts a spell at thin air!" (directed spell cast at the wrong place)
"<monster> casts a spell at empty water!" (if the monster aimed over water)
"<monster> casts a spell at a spot near you!" (invisible)
"<monster> casts a spell at your displaced image!" (displaced)
"Something" if you can't see the monster.

Note on monster levels:

The base level is the normal level of the monster when generated. The actual level may be higher or lower depending on the dungeon level and your experience level. The Wizard of Yendor gains one level each time he is generated, up to a maximum of 49.

Monsters can normally reach a maximum level of 3/2 times their base level but by drinking potions of gain level or eating wraith corpses, a monster may reach level 49. Demon lords and princes may reach level 50.

Magical spells

NumberMagical spell
0, 23+ (!)Psi Bolt
1Cure Self
2Haste Self
3 (!)Stun
6-7 (!)Drain Strength
8-9 (!)Destroy Armor
10-12 (!)Curse Items
15-17Summon Nasties
20-22 (!)Touch of Death

Directed spells are marked with (!).

The following monsters can cast magical spells:

Monster nameBase level Monster nameBase level Monster nameBase level
kobold shaman2 titan16 Ixoth15
orc shaman3 master lich17 Minion of Huhetotl16
gnomish wizard3 Archon19 Thoth Amon16
barrow wight3 arch-lich25 Chromatic Dragon16
golden naga10 Wizard of Yendor30 Nalzok16
nalfeshnee11 Orcus30 Neferet the Green20
lich11 Dispater36 guide5
demilich14 Demogorgon50 apprentice5
ki-rin16 Dark One15  

Spell effects:

Psi Bolt

Cure Self

Haste Self



Drain Strength

Destroy Armor

Curse Items


Summon Nasties


Touch of Death

NOTE: Death's touch attack is not magical and is unrelated.

Clerical spells

NumberClerical spell
0, 14+ (!)Open Wounds
1Cure Self
2-3 (!)Confusion
4-5 (!)Paralyze
6-7 (!)Blind
8Summon Insects
9-10 (!)Curse Items
11 (!)Lightning
12 (!)Pillar of Fire
13 (!)Geyser

Directed spells are marked with (!).

Clerical spells may be cast by:

Monster nameBase level
aligned priest12
high priest25
Master Kaen25
Arch Priest25
Grand Master25

Spell effects:

Open Wounds

Cure Self




Summon Insects

Curse Items


Pillar of Fire


Other magic attacks:


Cast by Asmodeus (base level 49).

Normal attack:

Distance attack:

Magic missiles:

Cast by Angels (base level 14), Yeenoghu (base level 25).

Normal attack:

Distance attack: Reflection does not protect you from this attack.

There is a 2/3 chance a monster with a cold or magic missile magic attack will attack you from distance if in line with you.
They will not use such attacks if cancelled.

The Wizard of Yendor:

If you have killed the Wizard of Yendor, or have performed the invocation ritual, every 51 to 250 turns one of the following will happen:
There is a one-third chance of the message "You feel vaguely nervous." This has no game effect.
Otherwise, one of the following happens, with equal probability:

If on the Astral Plane, one of the following will occur, with equal probability:

Minion summoning:

Demons (except balrogs, incubi and succubi) have a 1-in-13 chance of summoning a minion each turn, unless they are cancelled. All demons summoned will be of the same alignment as the summoner.
When spellcasters, including the Wizard of Yendor, summon minions with the Summon Nasties spell, they do so as demon princes, except that they may summon demons of any alignment.

(+) There is a 25% chance that two will be summoned instead of one.

Half spell damage:

For several spells, having half spell damage reduces the spell's effects. Half spell damage is obtained by carrying one of the following artifacts:


Dylan O'Donnell's spoilers
J. Ali Harlow's Monster Manual
Kate Nepveu's Demogorgon FAQ

Correction and clarifications provided by David Gale, Dylan O'Donnell, Martin Read, Seraphim.