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Reading is done by pressing the "r" button under normal control schemes, and is primarily used for viewing or using scrolls.
It should be noted that the encrypted scroll cannot be read under normal circumstances, and is used for the completion of the first quest.

To be able to read a scroll or book, a number of requirements must be met:

  • You must be able to read. The player character can read by default, but a number of monsters or NPCs that the player may polymorph into cannot.
  • You must be able to see the item you're trying to read:
    • There must be enough light for you to be able to see your character on the screen, otherwise the game will state that it's too dark.
    • If you are confused, you can still attempt to read but it will fail and consume the item.
    • If you do not have a head, you cannot read.
    • Many kinds of monsters cannot read, and thus neither can you if polymorphed into one of them.

Reading an item takes a varying amount of time depending on the item being read. In general, a book will take longer to read than a scroll.

It is strongly recommended to make sure you are in a safe location before attempting to read something.


  • Attempting to read a book or scroll in a dimly lit room will hurt your eyes.
  • The various guardsmen found around the world cannot read.