There are three unlocking tools in NetHack: the skeleton key, the lock pick (osaku to Samurai) and the credit card. The skeleton key and the lock pick allow you to lock and unlock doors and chests, while the credit card can only unlock them. Credit cards have nothing to do with money in NetHack; they appear as unlocking devices because of their popularity in films for jimmying open door locks.
The chance of successfully locking or unlocking a door depends on which tool you use, your dexterity, the type of lock, and whether or not you are a Rogue. The per-turn probabilities of success are listed in the table below.
|Tool||For Rogues||For non-Rogues|
|lock pick||(3*Dex + 30)%||(4*Dex + 25)%||(3*Dex)%||(4*Dex)%|
|credit card||(2*Dex + 20)%||(Dex + 20)%||(2*Dex)%||(Dex)%|
"Box" includes chests and large boxes.
If you have not succeeded after 50 turns, you give up.
All unlocking tools are generated uncursed.
If a watchman sees you picking a lock, he may warn you or get hostile. If a warning is given, a trap is automatically added to the door in question.
Attempting to apply a credit card at a shopkeeper or the Oracle will produce the message "No checks, no credit, no problem.". Attempting to apply an unlocking tool on a visible monster (other than a disguised mimic) in any other situation will produce the message "I don't think Monster would appreciate that.".
Credit cards are the lightest unlocking tool, but also the slowest, and they won't lock. Lock picks are the heaviest and most expensive, and for a Rogue with 18 dexterity give a 97% chance of (un)locking a box in one turn. However, in all other circumstances, skeleton keys are faster, as well as cheaper and lighter.
Rust does not impede the operation of any unlocking tool, however cursed tools have only half the chance to unlock versus uncursed tools.
Beginners frequently kick down doors (or do other loud actions). Reasons to use an unlocking tool instead are:
- Kicking wakes up nearby monsters. This includes the fabled invisible nymph.
- You cannot close and/or lock doors to partition out spawned monsters if you have kicked them down.
- Kicking takes longer, unless wearing kicking boots or some corner cases.
- The door might be attached to a shop closed for inventory.
All the unlocking tools first appear in NetHack 3.0.0.
In addition, the NetHack 3.0 Series had special shaped keys that fit specific locks on chests and large boxes. You might see "a chest (triangular keyhole)", for example, and a "triangular key" would open its lock much more quickly than a skeleton key; but a "square key" would not fit.
Doors did not have locks of any specific shape, and the shaped keys could not open them; you had to use one of the other unlocking tools.
Keys, and the locks that they fit, were as follows in NetHack 3.0.10:
In time, the shaped keys were felt to add nothing of value to the game, and in NetHack 3.1.0 they were removed.
- wand of opening
- wand of locking
- spellbook of knock
- spellbook of wizard lock
- The Master Key of Thievery, an artifact skeleton key
- The Platinum Yendorian Express Card, an artifact credit card
|This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:
Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: