Nemelex Xobeh

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Version 0.14: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Nemelex altar.png "It's all in the cards!"
Nemelex is a strange and unpredictable trickster god, whose powers are invoked through magical packs of cards painted in the ichor of demons. Followers are expected to explore the world, and will receive decks of cards in return. Followers are encouraged to trust in the cards and use them as much as possible. However, the Trickster can ensure that fortune favours the bold.

The Trickster's followers gain various ways to influence fate when playing cards. They will quickly gain the ability to draw from decks without needing to wield them, and to peek at the contents of decks in order to identify them. Later, followers will gain much more powerful abilities to manipulate the cards, allowing them to choose one of three drawn cards, to gain the effects of multiple cards at once, and finally to stack decks and re-order their contents.

Nemelex Xobeh likes it when you explore the world.



  • Exploring the world.

Pre Version .15

  • Offering a corpse (by praying while on a tile with corpses on the floor): 1 chance in (2 + Piety/50) of +1 piety.
  • Offering items other than decks (by praying while on a tile with items on the floor): chance depends on the item's value of +1 piety (+2 for artifacts).
  • Drawing a card from a deck: about 40% for an unknown (unmarked) card, +30% for the last card in a deck (even marked).

Nemelex gives the following messages when offering items by praying.

"<item> disappears without additional glow." (No piety gain)
"<item> glows slightly and disappears." (Piety +1)
"<item> glows with a rainbow of weird colours and disappears." (Piety +2)


  • You'll lose on average 1 piety every 700 turns.


Nemelex gives card decks as gifts. If you are eligible for a gift, there's a Piety×2% chance to gain the first deck; after that it will be a Piety/6% chance. The Gift Timeout for each gift is between 6 and 14, but receiving a deck will also set a separate "decks" timeout at 10, which must also be 0 before you get another deck. The deck timeout is reduced by:

  • Drawing cards from decks, especially if the card is unidentified/unmarked/the last card in the deck.
  • Offering items (preferably high value) to Nemelex.

Note that you can disable your ability to sacrifice categories of items on the religion status screen (accessed by pressing ^, then !). You can also inscribe the item with !p in order to receive warining message while trying to sacrifice inscribed item.

The strength of a gift deck is chosen as follows:

  • Legendary Deck: 0.18 × Piety%
    • 36% at max Piety
  • Ornate Deck: 5 + (0.27 × Piety)%
    • 59% at max Piety
  • Plain Deck: 95 - (0.45 × Piety)%
    • 5% at max Piety

Possible gift decks are deck of destruction, deck of escape, deck of summoning and deck of wonders. The probability of getting the given type of deck is the following:

  • Destruction: 40%
  • Summoning: 30%
  • Escape: 20%
  • Wonders: 10%

Given Abilities

All of Nemelex's abilities deal with manipulating or controlling decks.

Piety level -: "Pannier"

  • Card power improvement: The power of any card you draw is increased by (Piety × (Evocation + 25) / 27) (see card power ). This improves your chances to get improved effects from Ornate or Legendary decks. In addition, when drawing the Damnation card, you'll have a slightly improved number of targets (about Piety/5% chance to get one more target). (Passive)

Piety level *: "Jester"

  • Draw One: You can draw the first card from a deck in your inventory (instead of having to wield the deck in your hand). (Costs 2 MP)

Piety level **: "Fortune-Teller"

  • Peek at Two: You can look at the two first cards of any deck in your inventory. This will identify the type of the deck if you didn't know it already (unless both revealed cards are the same). After the cards are seen, they are shuffled back into the deck. One card at random (other than the two you just peeked at) will be removed from the deck during the process, unless there were 2 cards or less remaining in the deck. Using this ability takes no time. (Costs 3 MP and 1-2 Piety.)

Piety level ***: "Soothsayer"

  • Triple Draw: Look at the first three cards of any deck in your inventory and draw one of them. Decks with fewer than three cards will be fully revealed. The remaining cards will be removed from the deck. Even if all viewed cards are undesirable, you must draw one of them; there is no way to back out once you've seen them. (Costs 2 MP, 100-200 Food, and 2-3 Piety)

Piety level ****: "Magus"

  • Deal Four: Select a non-stacked deck in your inventory and draw four cards from it in a single turn. If the deck has insufficient cards, you draw the missing cards from a deck of punishment. If any cards remain, the deck is destroyed. (Costs 8 MP, 200-400 Food, and 10-15 Piety)

Piety level *****: "Cardsharp"

  • Stack Five: View the first five cards of any deck in your inventory and order them however you want. All other cards are removed from the deck. You can stack a deck only once. (Costs 5 MP, 250-500 Food, and 10-15 Piety)

Piety level ******: "Hand of Fortune"

  • No new abilities.


If you leave (voluntarily or not) Nemelex Xobeh, your penance counter will be set to 150 (seems quite high, but that's because only 1/3 of the penance is active, so the main part is just as high as for the other gods) and all decks (whether in your inventory or loose) will be shuffled.

While your penance counter is above 100, Nemelex Xobeh will punish you about once every 2000 turns by drawing one of the following cards from the deck of punishments (equal chances):

  • The Wraith: Suffer a draining effect, and lose one experience level. The latter affects undead as well as living characters. This is the only card unique to the deck of punishments.
  • Torment: Symbol of Torment is cast at your location.
  • Wild Magic: You suffer a random miscast effect.
  • Wrath: You suffer the divine anger from a random god (not Nemelex).
  • Xom: You suffer a random bad Xom action.
  • Famine: Your hunger state is set to 500 (starving).
  • The Curse: Curse several items in your inventory (including potions, which turn into potions of decay).
  • The Tomb: Each unoccupied tile around you is replaced by a rock wall. You'll probably need a way to dig or teleport to get out.
  • Damnation: A monster in your LOS is banished to the Abyss. If there's no monster, you are banished instead.
  • The Portal: You are teleported (sometimes controlled or instant).
  • The Minefield: Randomly replaces several non-walls tiles around you with lava or deep water.

As with any deck, there's a 1% chance to draw from the deck of oddities instead (which contains the cards Genie, Bargain, Wrath, Xom, Feast, Famine, and Curse).

In addition, the power of any cards you actually draw will be reduced by your penance, and there's a penance/30% chance when you draw any card from a deck (penance/10% if it's a marked or seen card) that the card will be replaced by one from a deck of Punishment.



  • Prior to 0.10, letting time pass used to reduce the gift timeout.
  • In 0.11, Mark Four was replaced with Deal Four.
  • Prior to 0.14, the type of decks provided were dependent on the type of items you were sacrificing. Also, deck of dungeons was available as a possible gift type.