After finishing the Quest (Valkyrie), I noticed that when I am blinded monsters no longer appear as monsters...instead they show up as colorful question marks.

I'm not sure exactly what the correlation was, other than that is the last thing that I really did. I did some searching of the Wiki and couldn't find an explanation, so I pose the question here. Using the telepathy intrinsic has figured pretty heavily into my game plan, and to have it going away makes me have a sad.

  • 1
    Warning should not "overwrite" the telepathy effect. If you would see something through telepathy and warning, you should get the (more detailed) telepathy description. Either these monsters are mindless (not visible through telepathy), or you lost your telepathy, or you had extrinsic telepathy, which has limited range.
    – sjohnston
    May 12, 2011 at 20:02
  • @sjohnston Extrinsic doesn't require blindness, however, so my understanding is that espais probably just lost the telepathy (or perhaps indeed is looking at mindless foes).
    – Grace Note
    May 12, 2011 at 20:08
  • i ate a floating eye corpse probably around dungeon level 3 or 4...it had been working just fine up until now
    – erik
    May 13, 2011 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


What you've got is an attribute called warning, which the Valkyrie Quest Artifact, the Orb of Fate, provides as an extrinsic while carried.

Warning lets you know about dangerous foes that you may face, when you cannot see them directly (such as through walls, or blinded in your case). The color of the warning is related to the relative strength - dark red means it's a low danger, while bright pink means it's among the most dangerous of the denizens of the labyrinth. The more basic creatures that you met from the start are too weak to even be detected by warning.

In the ASCII version, these are actually shown as numbers, 1-5, which correspond to the actual threat level. However, according to Nethackwiki, the graphical interface uses question marks instead, making color the only way to distinguish the threat levels. And, on a second look, apparently the color of the question marks is different than how it is in the ASCII version, so apparently orange is the weak color instead of dark red.

  • Does this override telepathy?
    – erik
    May 13, 2011 at 12:56
  • 1
    @espais It has longer range than Telepathy but it should not override it, as sjohnston mentions in a comment to your question. You probably haven't run into Gremlins yet, but perhaps, have you committed Murder?
    – Grace Note
    May 13, 2011 at 12:57
  • i did kill a vault guard...and actually yes i've seen a gremlin or two
    – erik
    May 13, 2011 at 13:15
  • ahh, read the wiki on gremlins...didn't realize they could steal intrinsics....knowledge++!
    – erik
    May 13, 2011 at 19:21

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