A wacky item included in NetHack by the DevTeam specifically to make reading unidentified scrolls a dangerous way to pass the time and an even-riskier-than-it-already-was way to try to escape from certain death. This is another one of those items that is inherently cursed -- that is, it's bad no matter how blessed it is.

Reading a cursed scroll of punishment will create a very heavy iron ball near you and chain you to it. If the scroll was uncursed, the ball isn't quite as heavy. A blessed scroll of punishment, as befits its paradoxical nature, has no effect other than not being the scroll you actually wanted.

This item is basically a scroll-ified version of a popular punishment handed down by the gods upon misbehaving or blasphemous players. The iron ball can be used as a weapon if you're desperate, but don't throw it if it's still chained to you (*ouch*) and don't try to go downstairs (*crunch*).

So, you've read that ill fated scroll
You are being punished for your misbehavior! --More--
and now you are dragging that ball and chain all around. What you really want to know is - How do I get rid if this blasted thing?


  • Remove Curse:
  • Polymorph:
    • Something amorphous - you slip out of it
    • Something metallivorous - you eat it
    • A nymph - you remove it (#monster)
  • Open
    • Zap a wand of opening at the chain
    • cast knock at the chain
  • 'Friends'
    • Get a nymph to steal it from you
    • Get a monkey to steal it from you
    • Get a metallivore to eat it
  • Rube Goldberg
    • Use a pit near a boulder:
      1. push the boulder next to the pit
      2. get into the pit with the ball (note: full HP to avoid having it fall on you and kill you)
      3. get out of the pit with ball still in the pit
      4. push the boulder into the pit on top of the ball
    • Close the a drawbridge on the ball
  • Luck
    • Pray if it's the only thing wrong
    • Step onto a magic trap and hope for the remove curse effect

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