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wan2-343.txt  Last edited 2006-03-28 for NetHack 3.4.3
Breaking wands, cancelling, and polymorphing in NetHack 3.4
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.3 by Dylan O'Donnell <psmith@spod-central.org>.

Breaking wands
(Adapted from a spoiler by Jeffrey Robertson.)

You can destroy a wand by (a)pplying it.  You will be prompted for
confirmation, and you must have hands and a strength of at least 10.
Wands with no charges and some wands listed below have no effect ("But
nothing else happens...").

Most wands will produce an explosion when broken.  The explosion causes
damage to yourself and any monsters that were in the adjacent squares
when you broke the wand.  This damage can be reduced or eliminated if
you (or the monster) has an appropriate resistance.  Damage is also
reduced to 1/2 for Healers and Knights and to 1/5 for Monks, Priests,
and Wizards.  Further effects can occur as if you had zapped yourself
with the wand.  The explosion can also affect objects in your inventory,
on your square, and on adjacent squares, and affect locations as if they
were zapped.  Finally, some types of wands have explosions that make you
identify the wand.

Specific effects are detailed below.  In any case, you destroy the wand
and owe the cost if it was unpaid.

WAND                   EFFECTS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~
cancellation           There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       Monsters and objects in the affected squares are

cold                   There is an explosion of cold with (8 * charges)
                       Potions may freeze.
                       You identify the wand.

create monster         There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You are surrounded by monsters.

death                  There is an explosion of death with (16 * charges)
                       damage. Non-living monsters and demons resist this
                       You identify the wand.

digging                There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You are surrounded by pits and holes.

enlightenment          No effects.

fire                   There is an explosion of fire with (8 * charges)
                       Armor, scrolls and spellbooks may burn.
                       Potions may boil.
                       Burns away slime.
                       You identify the wand.

light                  There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You are blinded for (charges+1)d25 turns;
                       surrounding monsters may also be blinded, and
                       gremlins take damage.
                       The room is lit.

lightning              There is an explosion of lightning with (16 *
                       charges) damage.
                       Rings and other wands may explode.
                       You are blinded.
                       You identify the wand.

locking                No effects.

magic missile          There is an explosion of magic missiles with
                       (4 * charges) damage.
                       You identify the wand.

make invisible         There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You and surrounding monsters are made invisible (in
                       your case, a 10% chance of its being permanent, a 90%
                       chance of it lasting for (charges) to (250*charges)
                       (more) turns).

nothing                No effects.

opening                No effects.

polymorph              There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       Monsters and objects in the affected squares are

probing                No effects.

secret door detection  No effects.

sleep                  There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You and surrounding monsters may be put to sleep.

slow monster           There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You and surrounding monsters are slowed.

speed monster          There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       You and surrounding monsters are sped up.

striking               "A wall of force smashes down around you!"
                       There is an explosion from 1 to (charges+1)d6
                       You and surrounding monsters are hit by a force
                       Fragile objects in your and adjacent squares may
                       be destroyed.

teleportation          There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       Monsters and objects in the affected squares are

undead turning         There is an explosion from 1 to (4*charges) damage.
                       Monsters and objects in the affected squares are

wishing                No effects.  Not really a good idea.

(Adapted from the spoiler "cancel", by Boudewijn Waijers.)

Monsters (including you) can be cancelled when hit by wands or spells of
cancellation, and sometimes by Magicbane.  The monster may resist.  Also,
when a gremlin (including you) manages to steal an intrinsic from a
monster, the monster is automatically cancelled as well.  Cancelled
monsters cannot use most of their special attacks against you:
  Blind you with light
  Cast spells at you
  Charm you
  Confuse you
  Drain your constitution
  Drain your dexterity
  Explode in your face
  Paralyse you
  Poison you
  Put you to sleep
  Rust, rot or disenchant something, offensive or defensive
  Seduce you
  Slime you
  Slow you down
  Spit at you
  Steal an item (other than the Unique Items)
  Steal intrinsics
  Steal your gold
  Stick to you
  Stun you
  Teleport you away
  Use acid offensively against you
  Use its breath weapon
  Use its cold attack, offensive or defensive
  Use its electricity attack, offensive or defensive
  Use its fire attack or gaze, offensive or defensive
  Wrap itself around you
Many monsters also lose abilities specific to their species as well:
  Medusa's gaze cannot turn you to stone
  Medusa cannot be turned to stone with a reflecting item
  A black or brown pudding cannot divide
  A clay golem will die
  A chickatrice or cockatrice can't turn you to stone by hissing
  A demon cannot summon other demons
  A floating eye cannot be paralysed with a mirror
  A lycanthrope cannot change you into another one
  A lycanthrope cannot summon help
  A lycanthrope cannot polymorph into their wereform by attacking
  A mimic cannot revert to mimicking an object
  A nurse won't heal you with its attack
  A nymph or succubus won't steal your mirror if you apply it
  A tengu cannot teleport
  An umber hulk cannot be confused with a mirror
  A xan's prick doesn't weaken you

Note that some attacks aren't susceptible to cancellation:
  Defensive acid splashing
  Disease attacks
  Famine's hunger attack
  Mind-flaying attacks
  Physical blinding attacks
  Physical damage attacks
  The Oracle's magic defences
  Touch of Death
  Wizard or Quest Nemesis stealing the Amulet, Bell, Book or Candelabrum

When a monster cannot use a certain attack on you, it normally cannot
use it on another monster either.

A wand or spell of cancellation will also affect objects on the floor, or
objects in your inventory if you zap yourself.  However, it does not
affect other monster's inventories or the contents of containers.
Affected objects will always become uncursed.  Specific effects are
described below:
  OBJECT                     RESULT
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~
  weapon                     uncursed +0 weapon, same erodeproofing
  armor                      uncursed +0 armor, same erodeproofing
  scroll of mail             uncursed scroll of mail
  other scrolls              uncursed scroll of blank paper
  spellbook of cancellation  uncursed spellbook of cancellation
  Book of the Dead           uncursed Book of the Dead
  other spellbooks           uncursed spellbook of blank paper
  potion of sickness         uncursed potion of fruit juice, same dilution
  potion of see invisible    uncursed potion of fruit juice, same dilution
  potion of fruit juice      uncursed potion of fruit juice, same dilution
  potion of booze            uncursed potion of booze, same dilution
  potion of oil              uncursed potion of oil, same dilution
  other potions              uncursed potion of water
  charged ring               uncursed +0 ring
  wand of cancellation       uncursed, still charged
  other wands                uncursed, uncharged, can't wrest last charge
  Bell of Opening            uncursed Bell of Opening (0)
  Candelabrum of Invocation  uncursed, same number of candles attached
  charged magic tools        uncursed, uncharged
  charged non-magic tools    uncursed, still charged
  uncharged tools            uncursed, unaltered
  containers                 uncursed, still same type, contents unchanged

Note that cancellation won't work on corpses; if it is resurrected, the
monster will still function exactly the same as if the monster had
not been cancelled when it was still alive.

You can use a wand or spell of polymorph on both monsters and objects.
The beam acts over a maximum distance of 6 to 13 squares, and cannot be
reflected.  Polymorph traps may also affect monsters, but not objects.
Potions of polymorph can be quaffed to polymorph yourself, thrown at
a target, or used to dip an object into. Quaffing from a sink has a
1/20 chance of polymorphing you.

When a monster (including you) is affected, the monster may change into a
different species.  Magic resistance will prevent a monster from
polymorphing, unless the monster zapped itself (or yourself).  Some
monsters may also resist the attack, as well.  A polymorphing monster has
a 1/25 chance of dying of system shock, unless it is a natural
shapeshifter.  Objects in the monster's or your inventory are not affected,
nor are objects dropped as a result of the polymorph.

There are several special cases when you are polymorphed.  If you are
wearing an amulet of unchanging, you will not polymorph.  If you have
polymorph control, you can choose the creature you wish to be polymorphed
into.  If you are wearing dragon armour, you will become that type of
dragon (unless you have polymorph control) and will lose your cloak and
shirt; the armour will merge with your skin and be unharmed if not
broken by a further polymorph.  If you have lycanthropy, you turn into
that were-creature (or vice versa); if you are a vampire, you become a
vampire bat (or vice versa).  If you have none of the above, you have
a (19 - Constitution) in 20 chance of getting system shock ("You shudder
for a moment", lose 1 to 30 HP, and abuse your constitution); if this
does not occur, there is a 1/5 chance (which also applies to controlled
polymorphs) that you become a "new man/woman/<race>" rather than a
different monster, and your level, hit points, energy, and statistics will
be randomly adjusted.

How long you are polymorphed depends on your experience level and the
level of the monster you became (this prevents abuse by low-level
characters); you will not revert while you have unchanging.  You can
always return to your natural form by losing all of your hit points
(in a pinch by throwing objects upwards (<) and letting them hit you)
unless you have unchanging; in this case, you will simply die.  Other
monsters remain the same species indefinitely (except true shapeshifters).

You can also polymorph objects.  Many people call this "polypiling",
because they painstakingly collect items, line them up into several
piles, and polymorph them all at once.  Each item may become a new item
in the same object class.  The objects retain their blessed/cursed state,
erosion, erosionproofing, traps, and poisoning.  Wands keep their number
of charges, whereas weapons and armor keep their enchantment.  Worn items
are removed on polymorphing.  Magical objects (see the next section) will
tend not to polymorph into non-magical ones, and vice versa; the
probabilities of this for the object classes that have members of each
kind are as below.

class       magical -> non-magical  non-magical -> magical
~~~~~     : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
armour    :        54%                        0.6%
gem       :        92%                      negligible
potion    :       1.7%                         41%
scroll    :     negligible                     92%
spellbook :     negligible                     95%
tool      :        60%                        0.3%
wand      :     negligible                     93%

You will eventually lose some objects.  Items appearing in quantities of
2 or more have a (quantity in 1000) chance of merging into one object.
Items also have a probability of "shuddering": 1/3 if a wand or cursed,
1/8 if uncursed, 1/12 if blessed (if in quantities greater than 4, 100%,
1/4, and 1/6, respectively).  This will decrease the quantity of the item
randomly, cause any remainder not to be polymorphed, and has a one in
(luck + 45) chance per object of creating a golem from the material of
the shuddered item (provided at least two items total remain in the pile).
Scrolls of mail will never merge or shudder.

There are some limitations to polypiling.  You can't change scrolls of
mail, wands of polymorph, potions of polymorph, spellbooks of polymorph,
Rider corpses, the invocation items, or the Amulet of Yendor.  Artifacts
have a much higher chance of resisting polymorph than non-artifacts; the
result of a polymorph will never be an artifact.  Eggs laid by you become
other types of eggs, still laid by you.  Spellbooks will become more faded,
wands have their recharge count incremented.  Magic markers will be
considered to have been recharged once.  Crocodile corpses become
non-cursed fireproof +0 low boots.  Containers lose all of their contents.
There are limits to converting stones (e.g. rocks and luckstones) into
gems and glass; you won't get more than four.  Note that balls and chains
become (surprise!) balls and chains.  You can never create the following
objects through polypiling:
  magic lamps           wands of wishing         wands of polymorph
  potions of polymorph  spellbooks of polymorph
and, since the probabilities of the new item are the same as for random
generation of that object class, you'll never get anything you wouldn't
find randomly created in the dungeon either.

Magical objects
(Adapted from a spoiler by Peter Snelling)

To maximise the results from polymorphing objects, it's useful to know
which objects the game considers "magical" and which not.

Magical armour (all other being non-magical):
  cloak of displacement          dunce cap
  alchemy smock                  cornuthaum
  cloak of invisibility          helm of brilliance
  cloak of magic resistance      helm of opposite alignment
  elven cloak                    helm of telepathy
  cloak of protection            elven boots
                                 kicking boots
  gauntlets of dexterity         fumble boots
  gauntlets of fumbling          levitation boots
  gauntlets of power             jumping boots
                                 speed boots
  shield of reflection           water walking boots

  all dragon scale mail (but not dragon scales)

Magical tools (all other being non-magical):
  bag of holding                 magic whistle     
  bag of tricks                  magic flute       
  magic lamp                     frost horn	       
  crystal ball                   fire horn	       
  unicorn horn                   horn of plenty    
  figurine                       magic harp	       
  magic marker                   drum of earthquake

Magical stones (the remaining gems and stones are non-magical):

Non-magical potions (all other being magical):
  fruit juice

No weapon, food, boulder, or statue is magical.
All non-blank scrolls are magical (except non-polyable scrolls of mail).
All non-blank spellbooks are magical.
All wands except nothing are magical.
All rings (except meat rings, which are food) are magical.
All non-fake amulets are magical.
All Unique Items are magical, but can't be polymorphed anyway.

Thanks to Bruce Cox for proofreading the original version of this file.
Further corrections and clarifications provided by Joe Bednorz,
Roger Breitenstein, David Corbett, Kent Paul Dolan, Michael Deutschmann,
David Gale, Wes Irby, Toni Keskitalo, Bruce Labbate, Oberon, Jason Parker,
Pat Rankin, Irina Rempt, Stanislav Traykov, and Jeremy Turner.

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

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.