There are 5 ways to get a wish:
Tip #1: If you don't have the means to recharge it, make sure you use your first wish on something to do this with. Blessed scrolls of charging are the most obvious way, but if you've already seen one of those, wish for a magic marker instead.
Tip #2: If your luck is d5 or more below zero, you will not get a wish (``Unfortunately, nothing happens'').
Other than the wand, these methods have a possibility of a hazardous outcome.
If you do get a wish, remember that you are not always given an artifact when you wish for it (``For a moment, you feel something in your body part, but it disappears!'') and that only your god can unrestrict weapon skills (by crowning or when granting you a weapon).
The odds for getting an artifact are inversely proportional to the number of artifacts already created in the game. The following table is from the artifacts spoiler by Kevin Hugo and Dylan O'Donnell:
|Number of artifacts||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||n|
There is no reliable way to wish for another wish. Don't waste a wish on another wand of wishing or a magic lamp. The only possible way is to wish for blessed smoky potions, which have a possibility of giving you a wish.
Note that NetHack accepts both British and American English, so you can wish for ``a blessed can of grey dragon meat''. Samurai can also use the English names, and other classes may use the Japanese ones.
When wishing for a ``stackable'' item, you should always ask for more than one. The random number generator may only give you one, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Similarly, you should specify an enchantment, since you'll get +0 if it fails. Asking for it to be blessed (or cursed) and/or fooproof doesn't hurt and is guaranteed to work if your luck is non-negative.
Asking for a specific number of charges using ``(x:y)'' or ``+x'' is possible, but for anything except rings, the lower of a random value and your number is chosen. Ring charges are treated as enchantments below.
Opinions differ on whether it is better to wish for quantities of 2 or 3 and enchantments of +2 or +3. A summary of the odds (thanks to Dylan O'Donnell) follows:
The exceptions to the above table are candles (up to 7 are guaranteed), missile weapons (up to 20), and gold pieces (up to 5000).
As with everything else, this is situation dependent. For example, if you really need two charging scrolls, play it safe and only ask for two.
Answer: It depends. It depends on your character class, on your playing style, on your game situation, on your NetHack ethics (eg. polypiling, wishing for artifacts), the number of wishes, and your current inventory.
The general consensus for an early wish is gray or silver dragon scale mail, since they provide important intrinsics you can't easily get elsewhere-you eventually want both magic resistance and reflection, and these are good ways to get them. Gray dragon scale mail is considered better for most classes as magic resistance protects from some potentially nasty traps. Also, an amulet of reflection could be waiting in Sokoban.
One of the most powerful tools you can wish for is a magic marker. It can be used to write scrolls or spellbooks. This is reliable only if the resulting object is already known. The base chance of writing an unknown scroll or spellbook is 1/15 (1/3 for wizards). This will improve with higher luck and reach about 32% (98% for wizards) at maxed-out luck.
Many useful spellbooks are low-level, and that means cheap. A spellbook of magic missile, for example, costs maximum 19 charges and is thus not worth wishing for, if you are a wizard.
Speed boots are also a popular choice, especially for characters without intrinsic speed. But even these are situation dependent:
Remember that you need to consider your situation before you can pick the best item.
|2 blessed scrolls of charging||if it's from a wand|
|blessed +2 gray dragon scale mail||magic resistance|
|blessed +2 silver dragon scale mail||if magic-protected|
|blessed greased fireproof +2 cloak of magic resistance||if you have SDSM|
|blessed fireproof +2 pair of speed boots||makes you very fast|
|blessed rustproof +2 gauntlets of power||esp. for a Valkyrie|
|uncursed magic marker||for b/u/c scrolls|
|blessed amulet of life saving||there's one at Vlad's|
|blessed wand of polymorph||zap at a pile of junk|
|blessed spellbook of polymorph||high-level wizards|
|blessed tinning kit||for getting resistances, Str|
|blessed greased rustproof +2 helm of brilliance||for spellcasters|
|blessed +2 Grayswandir||sears demons & undead. Law|
|blessed rustproof +2 Frost Brand||Few monsters resist cold|
|blessed rustproof +2 Mjollnir||Few monsters resist shock. Neu|
|blessed rustproof +2 Magicbane||absorbs curses, Neu|
|blessed rustproof +2 Stormbringer||tough to control, Cha|
|blessed ring of levitation||usually found before endgame|
|blessed ring of polymorph control||Poly into a Xorn or Vamp Lord|
|2 blessed scrolls of genocide||genocide races|
|blessed ring of free action||prevents paralysis|
|blessed ring of conflict|
|blessed greased rustproof +2 helm of telepathy||extrinsic telepathy|
|rustproof +2 helm of opposite alignment||protection loss!|
|blessed fireproof +2 gauntlets of dexterity||won't hinder spell-casting|
|blessed greased fireproof +2 robe||for challenged spellcasters|
|blessed greased fireproof +2 oilskin cloak||prevents grabbing, drowning|
|blessed greased fireproof +2 cloak of displacement||cancellation of 2|
|blessed fireproof +2 T-shirt||enchant & wear for extra AC|
|blessed amulet of magical breathing||no choking, allows swimming|
|2 cursed scrolls of genocide||Caution is advised|
|blessed spellbook of identify||wizards should write one|
|2 blessed potions of gain ability||increases all stats|
|blessed ring of slow digestion||hungry situations|
|blessed cockatrice corpse||Gloves and lots of caution are advised|
|blessed ring of teleport control||if you got teleport without control|
|blessed magic marker||if holy water is very scarce|
|blessed greased bag of holding||usually found in Soko or the Mines|
|blessed figurine of an Archon||still the best pet|
|blessed luckstone||One is at mine bottom|
|7 blessed wax candles||Mine town usually has enough|
|blessed fireproof +2 levitation boots||in 1/4 of Perseus statues|
|blessed +2 shield of reflection||in 3/4 of Perseus statues|
|blessed amulet of reflection||could be at last Sokoban level|
|blessed fireproof +2 water walking boots||in Vlad's Tower|
|blessed rustproof +2 Excalibur||for lawful characters|
|blessed spellbook of magic missile||wizards can write one|
Note that Valkyries and wizards have guaranteed first sacrifice gifts-Mjollnir and Magicbane. Additionally, praying can result in being crowned, which can give you Excalibur (Law), Vorpal Blade (Neu), or Stormbringer (Cha). Be sure to wield a long sword while praying to get Excalibur. Creating it by dipping a long sword into a fountain is easier still.
Also, obtaining a dragon scale mail is sometimes possible before getting the first wish opportunity. If you find dragon scales, you can create your own mail by wearing the scales as your only armor and reading a noncursed scroll of enchant armor. Blessed scrolls will additionally bless the new armor and increase it's enchantment by one (scales enchantment is preserved otherwise).
You cannot wish for your own quest artifact. However, it is possible to wish for the quest artifacts of other classes. As with any artifacts, your odds are inversely proportional to the number of artifacts already created.
Quest artifacts may not be as powerful for other classes and will blast you with their power when picked up, worn, or wielded. If you are not of their alignment, they will evade your grasp and you will not be able to use them at all (your own quest artifact's alignment will be adjusted to yours).
|Wish for||Align||Cl||Only for intended class|
|blessed Orb of Detection||Law||A|
|blessed rustproof +2 Sceptre of Might||Law||C|
|blessed Magic Mirror of Merlin||Law||K||2x damage with some spells|
|blessed rustproof +2 Mitre of Holiness||Law||P||1/2 dmg from undead&demons|
|blessed +2 Tsurugi of Muramasa||Law||S|
|blessed Platinum Yendorian Express Card||Neu||T||blessed charging|
|blessed Orb of Fate||Neu||V|
|blessed Eye of the Aethiopica||Neu||W|
|blessed Heart of Ahriman||Neu||B|
|blessed fireproof +2 Staff of Aesculapius||Neu||H|
|blessed Eyes of the Overworld||Neu||M|
|blessed fireproof +2 Longbow of Diana||Cha||Ra|
|blessed Master Key of Thievery||Cha||Ro|
Quest artifact weapons are usually a poor choice, though the Staff or the Sceptre might be practical with some roles, especially in situations where you cannot unrestrict skills.
There are few cases where lawful or chaotic characters will wish for others' quest artifacts at all (unless they intend to change alignment). The Tsurugi loses much of its appeal, because it needs both hands. The others in the lawful section just lack power compared to other wishes. The Key is sometimes chosen when you need teleport control and warning.
Neutral quest artifacts are much more powerful. Depending on role, you may wish for any one of them, except the pretty useless Heart. Consult an artifacts spoiler for their effects.
This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2002 (1.62)
The command line arguments were:
latex2html -split 0 -nonavigation -noaddress wish.tex
The translation was initiated on 2004-03-03
You may find newer versions at http://nh.gmuf.com/
Distribution of modified versions of this document is permitted only if all contributors and changes are credited. This version may be freely used/copied.