Luck

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Your luck affects many aspects of the game (see below) and is actually the sum of two components: regular luck and bonus luck. Regular luck, which is always from -10 to 10, changes with events in the game, and may slowly return to a baseline level. Bonus luck, on the other hand, may be -3, 0, or +3 and is determined by what kind of luckstone (and certain artifacts) you are carrying. Only a rough idea of your total luck is given in the enlightenment list; the meaning of the messages is as follows:

Total Luck Message
<= -10 extremely unlucky
-9 to -5 very unlucky
-4 to -1 unlucky
0 luck is zero (wizard mode only)
1 to 4 lucky
5 to 9 very lucky
>= 10 extremely lucky

Your bonus luck -- and whether your regular luck will return to its baseline level -- is controlled by luckstones and certain Quest Artifacts. The effect of these "luckitems" depends on the number in your main inventory that are blessed, uncursed, and cursed (see table below). Note that you can't do any better than one blessed luckitem, so you might as well keep any others in a bag (where they have no effect) as spares in case your main one is cursed.

Number of luckitems Bad Luck Good Luck Bonus Luck
None Times out Times out 0 (no message)
More cursed than blessed No timeout Times out
Equal cursed and blessed No timeout No timeout
More blessed than cursed Times out No timeout
More cursed than non-cursed -3 "reduced luck"
Equal cursed and non-cursed +3 "extra luck"
More non-cursed than cursed +3 "extra luck"

Luck timeout[edit]

If your luck is timing out, it is done at a rate of one point per 600 moves (300 if you are carrying the Amulet of Yendor, or if your god is angry).[1] This is counted from the beginning of the game; for example, if you lose one point of Luck on turn 590, you will regain it on turn 600, not on turn 1190.

Ways to change your Luck[edit]

Regular Luck is adjusted by each of the events described below. It cannot be reduced below -10 or increased above +10. In addition, every 600 turns (or 300 if you have the Amulet of Yendor or have angered your god), your Luck will increase by one if it is less than your baseline Luck and bad Luck times out, and your Luck will decrease by one if your Luck is greater than your baseline Luck and good Luck times out. Your baseline Luck is +1 if you started or restored the game during a full moon, -1 if started/restored on Friday the 13th, and 0 if neither or both. For example, if you started your game during a full moon, the maximum possible Luck is still 13, but without any luckitems it will slowly time out to +1.

Baseline Luck Adjustment Event
+1 Starting or restoring a game during a full moon.
0 Starting or restoring a game during any time that isn't a full moon/Friday the 13th. This includes a new moon.
-1 Starting or restoring a game on Friday the 13th.
Regular Luck Adjustment Event
-2 Break a mirror. (Other glass items have no effect on Luck.)
-n Breaking n eggs laid by you (at worst -5).
+1 Sitting on a throne (sometimes).
0 Throwing a worthless gem at a unicorn[2].
-1 to +1 (averages to 0) Throwing unknown valuable gem at cross-aligned unicorn[3].
-3 to +3 (averages to 0) Throwing known valuable gem at cross-aligned unicorn[4].
+1 Throwing unknown valuable gem at co-aligned unicorn[5].
+2 Throwing named valuable gem at co-aligned unicorn[6].
+5 Throwing identified valuable gem at co-aligned unicorn[7].
-1 Hitting a blind floating eye (1 in 500 chance).
-1 Jumping in Sokoban.
-1 Breaking a boulder in Sokoban.
-1 Casting stone-to-flesh on a Sokoban boulder.
-1 Polymorphing a Sokoban boulder.
-1 Reading a scroll of earth in Sokoban.
-1 Being pulled by a thrown iron ball in Sokoban.
-1 Hurtling through the air in Sokoban due to Newton's 3rd Law. (i.e. throwing something while levitating)
-1 Squeezing past a boulder in Sokoban (or walking over one when polymorphed into a giant)
-1 Killing a tame monster.
-1 Killing a peaceful monster (sometimes). See note below.
-2 Killing a peaceful human when you are not chaotic. ("You murderer!")
-5 Killing a co-aligned unicorn.
-5 to -2 Cannibalism (eating your own species), unless an orc or a caveman.
Set to 0 Praying with negative regular luck (sometimes: "golden glow" boon).
-3 Praying on wrong altar.
-3 Praying before your prayer timeout has expired.
-5 A sacrifice (not your own race) on Moloch's altars in Gehennom.
-3 Being converted by trying to convert an altar.
-1 Otherwise unsuccessful at converting altar.
+1 Successfully converting an altar.
-1 Sacrificing at another god's altar.
-1 Kicking another god's altar ("Thou shalt pay, infidel!")
-1 Trying to engrave something on another god's altar (also gives "Thou shalt pay, infidel!")
+2 Sacrificing your own race on your own chaotic altar.
-2 Sacrificing your own race on Moloch's altar.
-5 Sacrificing your own race when you aren't chaotic.
-1 Sacrificing an unidentified fake Amulet of Yendor.
-3 Sacrificing an identified fake Amulet of Yendor.
+1 Sacrificing, slightly mollifying your god, negative luck.
Set to 0 Sacrificing, mollifying your god, negative luck.
+1 Sacrificing, having a hopeful feeling, negative luck.
Set to 0 Sacrificing, reconciling, negative luck.
0 to +5 Sacrificing, god happy.

Note about luck penalty for killing peaceful monsters, from [1]:

If you manage to kill a peaceful monster without angering it, you have a 50% chance of losing one point of Luck. This is in addition to the Luck penalty for murder described above and the penalty of -5 Luck for killing a unicorn of your own alignment. However, simply killing a peaceful monster with one whack from a melee weapon will anger it before it dies, avoiding this penalty. Most wands and spells will also anger a monster even if they kill it in one zap, but "beam" attacks such as striking or polymorph have a chance of killing without angering, and incurring the additional penalty.

A drawbridge can also kill a peaceful without angering it.

Luck in-game effects[edit]

Luck has a part in:

  • Making a monster peaceful by untrapping it
  • Making a (too heavy to lift) monster peaceful by trying to untrap it ("<monster> thinks it was nice of you to try.")
  • Getting an alignment bonus for untrapping a monster
  • Accidentally setting off a landmine or beartrap that you are trying to set
  • Having monsters get mad when they are trapped by one of your traps
  • Setting off a trap you are trying to disarm
  • Disarming a shooting trap
  • Having chest traps fail to work (flame fizzles out, etc)
  • Having chest traps that do work limited to relatively minor effects (especially if you have a unicorn horn)
  • Getting any result from prayer (except upset gods—Luck < 0 causes this)
  • Getting help from your god when poorly aligned
  • Getting a good result from prayer
  • Getting the full range of bonus results from prayer
  • Being confronted by a minion of the god of the altar you converted (or tried to)
  • Causing the gods to be angry when praying in hell
  • Having angry gods being less fire and brimstone in their approach
  • Hitting a monster
  • Hitting a monster with a thrown object
  • Hitting a monster with an iron ball when it jerks you back (?)
  • Hitting something with a boomerang without it splintering
  • Getting good things from thrones (Luck < 0 is sometimes bad, Luck > 0 is sometimes good)
  • Destroying/getting gold and gems from throne (Luck >= 5 maximises number of gems)
  • Getting good things from a magic fountain (natural luck >= 0 required; natural luck >= 4 desirable)
  • Finding secret doors, corridors and traps.
  • Breaking open a door
  • Opening a door
  • Having your objects resist water damage
  • Blessed metal items resisting rust
  • Having a wand of wishing succeed (Luck >= 0 guarantees this)
  • Getting what you wish for (Luck >= 0 is pretty much essential)
  • Writing a scroll you don't know
  • Picking something off the floor by applying your whip
  • Attempting a teleport spell in need (guaranteed if Luck >= 1)
  • Getting at least 2 identifies from a blessed scroll of identify (Luck > 0)
  • Having destroyed polymorphed objects create golems
  • Having a split off long worm remain tame/peaceful

Natural Luck[edit]

Natural Luck refers to your luck without taking the bonus (or penalty) luck from carrying a luckstone into account. Most effects of luck include this bonus, but a handful do not and directly check your luck stat:

  • Effects of a magic fountain
  • Getting a wish from a throne
  • Clones of tame or peaceful monsters remaining tame or peaceful
  • Anything that checks your luck for the purpose of changing it, e.g. praying with negative luck to have it reset to 0.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. timeout.c, line 170
  2. gem_accept in dothrow.c
  3. gem_accept in dothrow.c
  4. gem_accept in dothrow.c
  5. gem_accept in dothrow.c
  6. gem_accept in dothrow.c
  7. gem_accept in dothrow.c

External Links[edit]

This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

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