Scroll of enchant armor

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? Scroll.png
Name enchant armor
Appearance random
Base price 80 zm
Weight 5
Ink to write 8-15
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The scroll of enchant armor is a scroll that alters the enchantment on armor worn by the reader. The scroll chooses at random which piece of armor will be affected. If any armor is worn on the torso, only the outermost worn layer of cloak, body armor, or shirt is eligible.[1]


All of the possible effects of reading the scroll under different circumstances are documented in the following sections. If the armor's enchantment is altered as a result of any of the effects listed below, then you have identified the scroll.


One worn piece of armor is randomly selected, enchanted by +1, and, if it is cursed, made uncursed:

  • "Your <armor> glows silver for a moment." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> vibrates for a moment." (blind)

For armor that is already silver-colored, including silver dragon scale mail and the shield of reflection, the word "silver" is omitted.

In NetHack 3.6.0, due to a bug, cursed armor will not be made uncursed by this scroll. The bug was fixed in 3.6.1.

If the armor is a set of dragon scales, it will become a dragon scale mail of the same color:

  • "Your set of <color> dragon scales merges and hardens!"

The level of enchantment will remain unchanged.


One piece of currently worn armor is randomly selected, enchanted and blessed.

Dragon scales become dragon scale mail of the same color, and their enchantment increases by 1.

Other armor has a chance of gaining multiple degrees of enchantment:

Current enchantment −3 to −1 0 to +2 +3 to +5 +6 to +8 +9 or more
Additional possible 1 to 4 1 to 3 1 to 2 1 0 or 1

The enchantment gain is determined as follows:

If the current enchantment is +9 or higher, there is a 1 in (current enchantment) chance of gaining one additional point of enchantment, as with an uncursed scroll.[2]

If the current enchantment is below +9, the armor gains 1 point of enchantment, plus a random number from 0 to 3 − current enchantment3.[3] This means a +3 piece of armor has a 50% chance of being enchanted to +5 by a blessed scroll.

If the enchantment on the armor increased by more than one point, the message printed is modified:

  • "Your <armor> glows silver for a while." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> vibrates for a while." (blind)

The scroll otherwise behaves exactly as an uncursed scroll.


One worn item of armor is randomly selected, cursed, and loses one point of enchantment:

  • "Your <armor> glows black for a moment." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> vibrates for a moment." (blind)


If the enchantment of the armor is already above +3, the armor may be destroyed when a non-cursed scroll is read:

  • "Your <armor> violently glows silver for a while, then evaporates." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> violently vibrates for a while, then evaporates." (blind)

The probability that the armor will survive is equal to 1 divided by the current enchantment.

The armor may be safely enchanted with a current enchantment of +5 or lower if:

If the armor is successfully enchanted beyond the safe limit, it may vibrate:

  • "Your <armor> suddenly vibrates unexpectedly." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> suddenly vibrates again." (blind)

There is a chance of vaporizing negatively-enchanted armor with a cursed scroll, with exactly the same probability as using a noncursed scroll to vaporize a positively enchanted piece of armor.

  • "Your <armor> violently glows black for a while, then evaporates." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> violently vibrates for a while, then evaporates." (blind)


In the highly unlikely event that a piece of armor at an enchantment +9 or higher does not evaporate, there is then another check, with the same probability as the previous one. If this check is failed, the scroll fails to take entirely:

  • "Your <armor> violently glows silver for a moment." (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> violently vibrates for a moment." (blind)

When confused

Reading a noncursed scroll while confused will repair erosion on one piece of armor, and make the armor erodeproof.[4] As this does not increase the enchantment of the armor, it also does not risk vaporization.

  • "Your <armor> is covered by a shimmering golden shield!" (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> feels warm for a moment." (blind)

For shields, the word "shield" in the unblind message is replaced with "layer".

If the armor was damaged, the following message is also displayed:

  • "Your <armor> looks as good as new!" (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> feels as good as new!" (blind)

Cursed scrolls will not repair damaged armor and will remove, instead of applying, erodeproofing:

  • "Your <armor> is covered by a mottled black glow!" (unblind)
  • "Your <armor> feels warm for a moment." (blind)

When naked

If the player reads the scroll with no armor worn, their strength and constitution are exercised, or abused if the scroll is cursed:

  • "You have a strange feeling for a moment, then it passes." (beginner not hallucinating)
  • "You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes." (beginner hallucinating)
  • "Your skin glows then fades." (unblind)
  • "Your skin feels warm for a moment." (blind)


Because the piece to be enchanted is selected at random among all the armor worn, most players normally remove all but the desired armor before reading the scroll.

As with scrolls of enchant weapon, you may want to save them until you have enough of them to enchant a piece of armor up to its desired maximum enchantment, in anticipation of any set of armor with a better base AC down the road. You don't want to bother hoarding any more scrolls than that, because you can't dump them all on a single item.

A spare scroll of enchant armor may save you a wish for dragon scale mail when putting together an ascension kit. This may make it difficult to get the color of scale mail you want, but if you take sufficient precautions, you can reverse-genocide the desired color of dragon.

A cursed scroll may be useful if you just have to have that +5 armor, but don't want to risk vaporization. However, it's usually better to reduce armor enchantment using the spell of drain life, since that doesn't use up a scroll.

See also


  1. some_armor in do_wear.c
  2. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1054
  3. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1055: To be precise, when the current enchantment is negative, the integer division by 3 could result in platform-dependent behavior: the integer expression −1 / 3 may be rounded to −1 or 0. The former case makes it possible to gain 4 enchantments from a blessed scroll on that platform. However, gcc and C99-compliant compilers always treat the result of integer division as an arithmetic quotient (that is, the quotient is truncated or "rounded towards zero"). In that case, only a −3 piece of armor is eligible for a 25% chance of gaining 4 enchantments from a blessed scroll, while a −2 to +2 piece gains 1 to 3 points.
  4. read.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 998

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