Plus sign

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plus sign
plus sign

This is a plus sign. It's about a foot tall, and about a foot wide. It's sort of heavy.

Type: usable
Cannot be traded or discarded
Quest Item

(In-game plural: plus signs)
View metadata
Item number: 818
Description ID: 79993334
View in-game: view

Obtained From

The Enormous Greater-Than Sign
Typographical Clutter (one time drop)
Obsoleted Areas/Methods
The Enormous Greater-Than Sign
Plus? Plus what?

When Used

  • From inventory, before The Oracle's major consultation:
You have no idea what this thing is for.
  • From inventory, after consultation:
Following The Oracle's advice, you treat the plus sign as a book, and read it. It describes, in great detail, a place called the Dungeons of Doom. The first chapter teaches you that the Enormous Greater-Than Sign is actually the stairway leading to these dungeons, and the rest of the book teaches you how to recognize the items and monsters contained within its halls.

After you're done reading the book, it vanishes in a puff of obsolescence.

You dig through your inventory and identify all of the crap you already picked up down there:

Lparen.gifYou acquire some small boxes
Lparen.gifYou acquire some large boxes
Lparen.gifYou acquire some magic whistles
Babya.gifYou acquire some baby killer bees
Percent.gifYou acquire some clumps of royal jelly
Percent.gifYou acquire some mind flayer corpses
Bracket.gifYou acquire some cornuthaums
Rparen.gifYou acquire some vorpal blades
Dollarsign.gifYou acquire some piles of gold coins
Equals.gifYou acquire some rings of aggravate monster


  • Grants access to The Dungeons of Doom.
  • The items given are converted from the items sourced from the Enormous Greater-Than Sign.
  • The conversion into new items is done according to some random function; a Percent-Sign that drops from a lowercase a will not automatically turn into royal jelly, for example.
  • Items from the Enormous Greater-Than Sign not in main inventory (Display Case, Hagnk's, Closet) are not converted – according to a bug report response, this is intended behavior to let players amass a collection of unconverted items if they so wish.


  • In NetHack, a plus sign represents a spellbook (or a closed door).
  • In the use text, "a puff of obsolescence" alludes to the message received in NetHack after using a throne, namely "The throne vanishes in a puff of logic", which refers in turn to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.