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Nethack : A Wizard's Guide to Wishing

by: Gabriel Rose ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Wishes are one of the keys to completing a successful Nethack ascension. Increase your chances of victory with this definitive guide on wishing as the Wizard class! If you're unsure of how to obtain wishes then look no further, as this guide lists every possible method of obtaining wishes.

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    Finding the Best Wish for Wizard : Nethack Class Guide

    Nethack Wizard   Wishes are one of the most crucial parts of a standard Nethack ascension. Often times, they are the key to surviving the early game and making it into midgame. There are many different ways to acquire wishes, some of them more dangerous than others. The Wizard class has a few special items that are valuable to wish for in the beginning of the game. Remember though, there is no single best wish for Wizard. Nethack has a way of slapping your wrist when you blindly follow lists. However, these items could very well prevent some random act of your god from ending your descent early in Nethack.

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    Obtaining Wishes

    Nethack Throne Room   There are a few different ways to obtain wishes, some are easier than others. Take advantage of every opportunity to obtain a wish, as a good wish can propel your current game much further than anything else. Once you obtain your wishes, you'll find that when trying to find the best wish for Wizard, Nethack presents to you a couple of different options that can completely change your game around.

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    Throne Rooms

    In Nethack, sitting on a throne gives you a 1/39 chance of giving you a wish. The throne has a 1/3 chance of disappearing each time you sit on it. A single throne can be a source of multiple wishes if you are lucky.

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    Quaffing / Dipping at Fountains

    Above dungeon level 20, you have a 1/30 chance that a water demon will appear. When it appears, you have a (20-Dungeon Level) / 100 chance of being granted a wish. Otherwise, you are attacked by the water demon.

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    Smoky Potions

    Quaffing a smoky potion has a 1/(13+2*<number of djinn spawned>) chance of spawning a djinni. You’ll want this potion to be blessed, as you’ll have a better chance of it granting you a wish.

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    Magic Lamps

    Rubbing a magic lamp will give you a chance of summoning a djinni. You can rub a magic lamp until a djinni comes out of it. You’re going to want to bless your magic lamp if possible, as a blessed lamp has an 80% of giving you a wish. Negative side effects of this method include the 4% chance of the djinni being irritated and attacking you. After summoning a djinni, your lamp will become an unmagical oil lamp.

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    Wands of Wishing

    Wands of wishing are very rare but do spawn randomly. Though you might think to zap yourself with the wand, it is a smarter choice to instead Engrave with it. This has a 100% chance of succeeding without negative side effects that could come from zapping yourself.

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    Useful Items to Wish for During a Nethack Game

    Nethack Death   If you’re still in the early part of your Nethack game, what you wish for as a Wizard is going to be pretty similar to the other classes. There are a few items that pertain specifically to Wizards though, and they can give you a huge leg up.

    The three items listed below are fantastic for Wizards. Other than those listed below, you should stick to filling out your ascension kit. Following this general outline of what to wish for will make you progress much faster in a Nethack game as a Wizard. Who knows, it might even be the missing link required for you to ascend! Most of these items will stop some of the more deadly random occurrences from ending your character's journey prematurely. Unfortunately, perishing many times beforehand is almost a given, and you'll be starting many a new Nethack game each night.

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    Staff of Aesculapius

    This staff is the healer’s quest artifact. It is a quarterstaff that does double damage to monsters without level-drain resistance. It also gives your attacks the level-drain attribute, and gives you hungerless regeneration and protection from level drain. Life drain is also applied to your attacks and deals extra damage, healing you with each attack. When #invoked, it will heal half of your lost health and cures blindness, sickness, and sliming.

    Damage – 1d6 x2 + 1d8

    Alignment – Neutral

    This is one of the best items for the Wizard to wish for, as it is the weapon you will use for the rest of the game, and it’s special attributes will greatly help you survive.

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    Blessed Spellbook of Polymorph

    If you are a high level wizard, consider wishing for this. This will make your polypiling much easier, and speed up your creation of magic markers. With polymorph control, this also allows you to become a much more versatile character, transforming into any creature to fit a situation. This is invaluable for higher level wizards.

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    Blessed Greased Rustproof +2 Helm of Brilliance

    For spellcasters this is invaluable. The helm of brilliance increases your intelligence and wisdom by 1 point and by another point for each positive enchantment on it. Wishing past +2 will give you a chance of failure in your wishing, so stick to +2 for this item unless you want to take a chance.

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    Basic Ascension Kit Items

    • Nethack ASCII Inventory   Blessed +2 Gray/Silver Dragon Scale Mail
    • Blessed Greased Fireproof +2 Cloak of Magic Resistance
    • Blessed Fireproof +2 Pair of Speed Boots
    • Blessed Amulet of Life Saving
    • Blessed Ring of Polymorph Control / Levitation
    • Blessed Spellbook of Identify
    • Blessed Greased Bag of Holding
    • Blessed Figurine of an Archon

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    For more wish suggestions, look at the Nethack communities scattered across the web, or check out the Nethack Wiki.

    Wish info sourced from :