Yellow dragon scales

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[   yellow dragon scales   Yellow dragon scales.png
Appearance yellow dragon scales
Slot body armor
AC 3
Base price 500 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide

Yellow dragon scales are a type of body armor that appear in NetHack. They are made of dragon hide like all dragon scales.


Yellow dragon scales are not randomly generated, though they can be wished for or found in bones.

A yellow dragon that leaves a corpse behind on death (i.e. always, unless killed by disintegration) has a 13 chance of leaving behind dragon scales, while a dragon revived by the wand of undead turning or spell of turn undead only has a 120 chance to leave behind scales.[1] Yellow dragon scales dropped this way are always generated +0 and uncursed.[2]


While worn, yellow dragon scales confer 3 base AC and acid resistance. Reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant armor that targets worn yellow dragon scales will convert them into yellow dragon scale mail, with a blessed scroll adding a point of enchantment.

Uncontrolled polymorph while wearing yellow dragon scales will turn the wearer into a yellow dragon, and doing so while wearing the scale mail will additionally revert them to scales.[3][4][5]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Per commit 9942b65d, extrinsic sources of an elemental resistance now has a 99100 chance of protecting your inventory from that type of damage. Per commit ef1eeed7, both the scales and scale mail also provide stoning resistance.


Yellow dragon scales are perhaps the least likely to be sought out: acid resistance cannot be obtained intrinsically without polymorph, and acid damage can be annoying to deal with (especially in terms of inventory damage), but many acidic monsters are either non-threatening and/or can be dealt with at range. The biggest acidic threats are the yellow dragon, whose breath can be blocked with reflection, and the Chromatic Dragon, who has several breath weapons that are more immediately dangerous than acid. Even for characters that have constant trouble with acid, an alchemy smock will suffice if they have an open cloak slot.

Mind flayer pets and others with multiple attacks will most appreciate yellow scales, and characters opting to stick to a polyform with multiple attacks (e.g. speed ascension play as a master mind flayer) may also consider wearing the scales to make into mail.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Yellow dragon scales are somewhat more likely to be considered for some characters since it confers extrinsic acid resistance and stoning resistance: they provide a source of acid damage protection for the inventory, and stoning resistance allows easier disposal of threats such as cockatrices without worrying about their stoning touch or their corpses.Vegetarian, vegan and foodless Monks that opt for body armor and cover magic resistance and reflection via other means may consider yellow scales to avoid breaking the conducts.


Yellow dragon scales first appear with most other colors of dragon scales in NetHack 3.1.0.


Main article: Dragon-scaled armor

In some variants, dragon scale mail is phased out in favor of dragon-scaled armor, whose implementation is based on a proposal by dtsund - instead of being made into mail of its own, dragon scales are treated as a cloak, and reading a scroll of enchant armor melds them onto a worn set of body armor, generally augmenting that armor by adding its AC and conferred extrinsic properties to it. Dragon-scaled armor is implemented in NetHack Fourk, xNetHack, EvilHack, and Hack'EM.

Several variants also give yellow dragon scales additional properties while worn, and variants that implement partial intrinsics and/or object properties may also make yellow dragon scales and other colors more worthwhile.


In SLASH'EM, acid damage is much more of a threat in the mid- and late-game due to the introduction of new jellies and the dreaded shoggoth and giant shoggoth, making yellow dragon scales more desirable to seek out and make into mail for a character that has reflection, magic resistance, and drain resistance covered.


In SporkHack, worn yellow dragon scales additionally confer stun resistance and confusion resistance.


In UnNetHack, dragon scales and dragon scale mail have randomized powers and appearances in each game - to wish for dragon armor or scales by its corresponding power, either type of armor must be formally identified first, e.g. by using a scroll of identify on dropped dragon scales (which identifies the matching scale mail along with it) or by witnessing the dragon use its breath weapon.

Yellow dragon scales are effectively replaced by acid dragon scales, which confer only 1 base AC like all dragon scales in UnNetHack.


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, worn yellow dragon scales additionally confer stoning resistance. Dragon scales also weigh 150 aum.


In FIQHack, worn yellow dragon scales additionally confer stoning resistance, and weigh 300 aum like all dragon scales in FIQHack (which is halved while worn).