The game tracks whether your life has been saved by an amulet of life saving (or choosing not to die in explore and wizard modes). If you manage to ascend without being saved, you get "You survived" in the attributes list, otherwise game states how many times you have been killed.
Nudism means not wearing any armor throughout the game, except for the first turns during which you remove any starting armor.
The zen conduct is one of the most difficult conducts. It means wearing a blindfold through out the whole game. Only a handful of people are known to have ascended zen games and most of them have been zen samurai; this post to RGRN announces the first known ascended zen tourist. Roles that can start with a blindfold or towel and therefore attempt zen conduct are the Samurai, Rogue, Wizard and Tourist; João Santos is the only person known to have completed zen ascensions in all four of these roles. Start scumming for the purpose of acquiring a blindfold or towel for zen conduct is considered acceptable.
The difficulty in zen comes in that it is like a mixture of other conducts with additional twists to make it even harder. While blind, you may not read, though you may still use scrolls after you get the shopkeepers to name them to you (you only need to know those magic words). You cannot use altars to find the BUC status of an object because you do not see if the objects glow and in what color. You also do not see what your objects look like by their material or color, so all potions are only shown as "a potion", wands as "a wand" and so on.
The zen conduct makes an exception for reading the Book of the Dead, as you cannot win the game without doing so.
You may not engrave Elbereth nor use the word to scare off monsters where it's already engraved (Sokoban, Castle). There are no restrictions on other methods of scaring monsters though, such as Scroll of scare monster.
Also known as Mass killing machine: Kill every monster in all the levels until none spawn any more. On NAO, the amount of monsters created and killed of each type and therefore this conduct is tracked, but not in vanilla Nethack.
This is where users can post their own conducts. You must give some description to the ways the conduct makes NetHack harder, as well as your signature without a timestamp(~~~).
Go through the entire game with your starting equipment. This is a difficult task, due to the fact that you cannot use any rings, amulets, weapons, spellbooks, or items other than the ones with which you started. This is nearly impossible for the Tourist, due to the class's nature of buying items to start.
Exceptions are allowed for the Amulet of Yendor, the Bell of Opening, and any of the items absolutely necessary to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor or the quest artifact that you earn through the quest. --Edrobot
Racial ascensions require the player to make use of weapons and armor appropriate for the character's race. "Soft" racial conducts require the player to use racial armour and weapons whenever possible (thus allowing any race to use a T-shirt or Hawaiian shirt, because there are no race-specific items for the shirt slot). "Hard" racial conducts require the player only use race-specific items in the weapon and armor slots (thus making shirts and gloves completely unavailable).
It is generally acceptable to use items that are not technically race-specific, but have a strong association with that race (such as the aklys for gnomes). Thus, the acceptable items for each race are as follows:
- Dwarf: Dwarvish mattock, dwarvish short sword, dwarvish spear, dwarvish cloak, dwarvish iron helm, dwarvish mithril-coat, dwarvish roundshield, iron shoes.
- Elf: Elven dagger, elven short sword, elven spear, elven broadsword, elven bow, elven arrow, elven mithril-coat, elven cloak, elven boots, elven shield, elven leather helm.
- Gnome: Aklys, crossbow, crossbow bolt.
- Orc: Orcish dagger, orcish short sword, orcish spear, orcish bow, orcish arrow, orcish chain mail, orcish ring mail, orcish cloak, orcish helm, orcish shield, Uruk-hai shield.
There are no restrictions on items that are neither weapons nor armor.
Racial ascensions obviously vary in difficulty depending on the race. A hard racial elf suffers from little more than a lack of access to dragon mail or powerful artifacts, while a hard racial gnome is playing a nude conduct with a substandard weapon.
- A page of racial ascensions can be found here: 
- A racial orc, combined with the illiterate conduct: 
Humans are generally not used for racial ascensions. --Snikers
(Some people play Humans counting the equipment from Keystone Kops and Minetown Guards as racial) -LL
One may not pick up or use any tools, with the exception of one's quest artifact (if applicable) and the Bell of Opening. At the beginning, one should drop all of one's tools on the starting square before proceeding.
This restriction has many consequences:
- You cannot use bags or containers. Multiple stashes scattered throughout the dungeon will probably be necessary.
- You cannot use unicorn horns, so you need a different source of curing and cannot dip-test.
- You will have a hard time keeping more than one or two pets, since you cannot use whistles or leashes.
- You will be forced to stumble around in the dark unless you manage to obtain a Sunsword or spend a lot of time casting light spells. This can be alleviated through monster detection and magic mapping.
- You cannot write extra scrolls or spellbooks.
- You will not be able to easily blind yourself for telepathy purposes, because you cannot use towels or blindfolds.
- You will not be able to ride, except on your starting horse or pony if you have one.
- You will also have to make do without many moderately useful items like grease, a tinning kit, a stethoscope, figurines, a camera or all varieties of instrument (which in turn means that you cannot control the drawbridge at the Castle). --Brickman
You cannot wear amulets or rings; whether you can eat them for their effect is a matter of opinion.
Inventoryless conduct requires you to not pick up or carry any items (with limited exceptions made only for actions required to win the game).
On turn one, remove all your armor and drop all inventory on the ground. You may not pick up any more items for the rest of the game, with the following exceptions:
- You may take your quest artifact to your quest leader. Since you won't be using it, you should just leave it with him. You should not wield, wear, apply, or invoke any properties of the artifact other than those it grants merely by being carried. Do not carry it any longer than necessary.
- You may take the Bell of Opening, the Candelabrum of Invocation, and the Book of the Dead from their previous owners' locations to the Vibrating Square. Again, do not use any of their powers except to perform the Invocation, and do not carry them any longer than necessary. Locating the Vibrating Square before collecting the items and bringing them straight down is an acceptable course of action.
- You may pick up candles. You should attach them to the Candelabrum at the first available opportunity.
- You may carry the Amulet of Yendor from Moloch's Sanctum to the Astral Plane.
You may not displease or anger your god, and you may not lower your alignment. That means you cannot anger peaceful monsters or pray for unholy water. It is a matter of taste if you may (re)set your divine protection by using a helm of opposite alignment.
You may not read a scroll of identify, cast the spell, or take advantage of an insight granted by a throne. More specific methods, such as price identification or enlightenment techniques are acceptable.
You may only use wands to cause damage and otherwise affect the dungeon. No use of weapons is allowed to #force locks or attack. You should rely on powerful pets. The wizard, a role with some of the best damage potential from spells, is one of the best roles for this conduct. -- Kalon 01:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
You must discover every single square of dungeon on every map and leave all doors open. The idea is that the entire world is now accessible to any future travelers. This adds a lot of time, and there is no closed door protection. Some people do this already on accident, and of course, once you have mapping spells it is trivial. For added headache, also make sure all dungeon tiles are physically connected. -- Funkopedia
You can't move diagonally, but you can jump. This is challenging because you will need to spend in most cases two turns to perform a movement. Another, more difficult version is that you can't even perform directional actions diagonally, such as kick, fight, zap wands or spells, throw ecc. --Orl
Starting equipment decides
You must decide the first turn on one conduct your random starting equipment is particularily good for. This makes the game much more varied and less adapted to the player's developed skill set. Some examples for a wizard:
- Ring of slow digestion: foodless or vegetarian
- Ring of conflict: pacifist or petless
- Spellbook of stone to flesh: pacifist
- Scroll of amnesia or punishment: illiterate
- Ring of polymorph control: foodless or exploit all monster classes' special abilities
- Blindfold: zen
- Ring of regeneration: pacifist or speed run
- powerful wands: weaponless or stick user
- bell or wand of opening / locking: toolless
- Scroll of scare monster: elberethless
- Wand of enlighentment: no identification
- Water, scroll of remove curse or ring of protection: atheist
- Polymorph (wand, book or potion): wishless
- Spellbook of create monster: nudist
Classes that do not get much random equipment decide by level 1 loot instead before going down. --Tjr 09:42, 7 July 2009 (UTC)