Lightning occurs in NetHack in several places.


Lightning may occur either as a ray or as a localized attack on a single square. Lightning rays can come from:

Localized lightning attacks can come from:


Lightning attacks can cause trouble in three ways:

  • Substantial direct damage
  • The victim is blinded (if the attack was in ray form)
  • There is a small chance that wands and rings in your inventory will be destroyed (except for thrones, passive attacks, and divine wrath).

The two properties that will protect you are shock resistance, which prevents the damage, and reflection, which prevents the damage and protects your inventory. Neither of these things prevents blindness.

The destruction of wands and rings very rarely happens unless the lightning attack was in ray form. It never results from sitting on a throne, a passive monster attack, or divine wrath. The wand of lightning and ring of shock resistance are immune to this.

Divine wrath is different in that it will cause Instadeath rather than a finite number of damage unless one is resistant.


SLASH'EM has a spell of lightning that produces a lightning ray when cast. SLASH'EM also has several more monsters with electrical attacks:

This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title.

A user has suggested this page be merged with "Shock - shock is the canonical nethack term. This page should redirect there."

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