Alignment record

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Your alignment record refers to your standing with your god. It is often simply called alignment, but it is not the same as lawful/neutral/chaotic status. Its initial value is 0 for Cave(wo)men, Priests, Tourists, Valkyries and Wizards, and 10 for Archeologists, Barbarians, Healers, Knights, Monks, Rogues, Rangers, and Samurai. Its maximum is initially 10, and its upper bound increases by 1 for every 200 game turns. It has no lower bound. The value cannot be found precisely (except in wizard mode), but enlightenment or a stethoscope can give you a clue. Additionally, your quest leader will not permit you to go on your quest if your alignment record is below 20. This means you cannot enter the quest before turn 2000, which places an absolute lower limit on speed ascensions.

Your alignment record gradually increases as you kill monsters, and decreases when you do actions your god disapproves of. As such, it is usually not difficult to keep your record at the highest possible value, unless you have killed multiple peaceful monsters or are adhering to the pacifist conduct.

Effects of alignment record

Your alignment record factors into various important aspects of any given game:

  • You cannot go on the quest if your alignment record is less than 20.
  • The effect of a successful prayer depends on your alignment record:
    • You cannot safely pray if your alignment record is negative; your god will smite you.
    • If you pray with 0 alignment record, you have a Luck-dependent chance (see rnl) of your god either fixing one major problem or doing nothing.
    • If your alignment record is positive and less than 4, your god will only fix one major problem.
    • If your alignment record is at least 4, your god may, with a chance depending on your Luck and whether you are on a co-aligned altar, fix more problems and possibly grant a favor.
    • If you have no major or minor problems and your alignment record is at least 14, your god will grant a favor. The set of possible favors (including "no favor") depends on your Luck.
    • Crowning is a possible favor when your alignment record is at least 20 and you have at least 10 Luck.
  • If you are smited by an opposing god, you are more likely to receive worse effects the higher your alignment record is.
  • Co-aligned monsters are more likely to be generated peaceful when your alignment record is high.
  • If you attempt to convert a cross-aligned altar by sacrifice when you have negative alignment record, you will be permanently converted to the altar's alignment (if you have not already permanently converted yourself).
  • Co-aligned artifacts will blast you if you have negative alignment record.

Checking your alignment

Enlightenment by a wand or potion includes a statement of your alignment. You can also apply a stethoscope or zap a wand of probing at yourself.

Alignment statement Alignment range
"You have transgressed." −9 or lower
"You have sinned." −8 to −4
"You have strayed." −3 to −1
"You are nominally aligned." 0
"You are haltingly aligned." 1 to 2
"You are aligned." 3
"You are stridently aligned." 4 to 8
"You are fervently aligned." 9 to 13
"You are devoutly aligned." 14 to 19
"You are piously aligned." 20 or higher

If you have a negative alignment record and you probe yourself with a wand or a stethoscope, it will say you are "insufficiently" aligned without further subdivisions.

Ways to alter your alignment

In this table, MAX means your maximum alignment, which is 10 + turns200. This chart does not include the (large number of) monsters that you will get one or more alignment points for killing. Many of the following can have other effects as well, such as on luck or your god's anger, but for brevity these are not shown here.

Generally, for a character not attempting a pacifist conduct, alignment will be very close to the maximum.

Alignment Role Adjustment Cause
Any Any MAX8 Killing a friendly quest guardian ("That was probably a bad idea..."; "Whoopsie-daisy!" if hallucinating.)[1]
Any Any −99 Offering the Amulet of Yendor on the high altar of another god (besides Moloch)[2]
Any Any −15 Killing a peaceful monster of a type which is "always peaceful" (see § Alignment gains from killing monsters)
Any Any −15 Killing your pet (stacks with −3 for displacing into trap)
Any Any −5 Killing a peaceful creature without angering it. (Killing a peaceful creature with one attack usually angers it before it dies, so this penalty is not normally incurred. However, killing an enemy with a beam attack such as force bolt will not. Monsters crushed by a drawbridge are also killed before they can become angry.)
Any Any −5 Angering a coaligned priest
Non-Chaotic Any −5 As a non-chaotic, sacrificing a member of your own race[3]
Any Any −5 Attempting to change alignment at an altar a second time
Any Any −5 Attacking while standing on an Elbereth engraving, unless your attack damages the engraving. The engraving also disappears.
Non-Chaotic Archeologist −3 As a non-chaotic Archeologist, digging up a grave ("You feel like a despicable grave-robber!")
Any Any −3 Displacing your pet into a damaging trap (stacks with −15 for killing)
Any Any −3 Sacrificing your pet (if it died tame)[4]
Any Any −2 Killing a coaligned priest
Any Any −1 Praying on a non-coaligned altar, at a time when praying does not annoy your god[5]
Lawful Any −1 As a lawful non-Archeologist, digging up a grave
Any Knight −1 As a Knight, attacking a fleeing or sleeping monsters ("You caitiff!")
Any Knight −1 As a Knight, eating while satiated ("You feel like a glutton!")
Any Knight −1 As a Knight, digging down in a shop ("You feel like a common thief.")
Any Samurai −1 As a Samurai, attacking a peaceful creature ("You dishonorably attack the innocent!")
Lawful Samurai −1 As a lawful or a Samurai, attacking with a poisoned weapon
Any Monk −1 As a Monk, eating meat ("You feel guilty.")
Any Archeologist −1 As an Archeologist, breaking a historic statue ("You feel guilty about damaging such a historic statue.")
Any Any −1 Sacrificing an identified cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor
Lawful Any −1 As a lawful, genociding a single human species[6]
Any Any −1 While riding, having your steed drown in water or lava
Any Any −1 Angering a peaceful creature
Any Any −1 Contributing 0 gold to a coaligned priest ("Thou shalt regret thine action!")[7]
Lawful Any −1 As a lawful, stealing from a shop (reversed if shopkeeper is later made peaceful)
Lawful Any −1 As a lawful, choosing not to pay for damage to a shop
Lawful Any −1 As a lawful, lying when asked your name by a vault guard
Chaotic Non-healer −1 As a chaotic non-Healer, casting a healing spell on a pet or peaceful creature, per creature.
Chaotic Any +1 As a chaotic, being seduced by a foocubus
Chaotic Any +1 As a chaotic, genociding a single human species[6]
Any Any +1 Praying successfully, with alignment 1 or less and none or a minor trouble[8]
Any Any +1 With alignment below −5, contributing at least 200 times your experience (but less than 400 times your level) to a priest, getting clairvoyance[9]
Chaotic Non-rogue +1 As a chaotic non-Rogue, stealing from a shop (reversed if shopkeeper is later made peaceful)
Chaotic Any +1 As a chaotic, choosing not to pay for damage to a shop
Lawful Any +1 As a lawful, untrapping a monster (probability about 5–15%, depending on luck)
Lawful Healer +1 As a lawful or a Healer, casting a healing spell on a pet or peaceful creature, per creature
Any Any +2 Angering a non-coaligned priest
Any Any +2 Killing a non-coaligned priest
Any Any +2 With alignment positive, donating at least 600 times your experience level to a coaligned priest, if this is more than half your visible gold[10]
Chaotic Archeologist +3 As a chaotic Archeologist, digging up a grave
Any Wizard, Tourist +3 Freeing a prisoner during your quest
Chaotic Any +5 As a chaotic, sacrificing a member of your own race[11]
Any Any +5 Sacrificing a non-coaligned unicorn on a coaligned altar
Any Any +10 Offering the Amulet of Yendor on your god's high altar and ascending[12]
Any Any up to +15 Killing a hostile monster of a type which is "always peaceful" (see § Alignment gains from killing monsters)
Any Any +MAX4 Killing your quest nemesis
Any Any +MAX4 Killing a priest of Moloch
Any Any set to −99 Offering the Amulet of Yendor on Moloch's high altar in the Sanctum[13]
Any Any set to −MAX2 Killing your quest leader
Any Any set to −1 Sacrificing a coaligned unicorn on a non-coaligned altar (a conversion is likely to follow)
Any Any set to 0 With alignment negative, donating at least 600 times your experience level to a coaligned priest, if this is more than half your visible gold and this hasn't happened in the past 5000 turns[14]
Any Any set to 0 Changing alignment by wearing or removing a helm of opposite alignment or converting[15]
You feel partially absolved.

If your god is not angry at you, but your alignment is negative, sacrificing monsters on a coaligned altar generally increases your alignment by the value of the sacrifice, up to a maximum of 0 alignment. See Sacrifice § Ordinary sacrifice for details.

This page is based on a spoiler by Matthew Lahut, available at http://www.steelypips.org/nethack/pray.html

Alignment gains from killing monsters

Normal alignment changes from killing monster are determined by the function set_malign(mtmp). This is applied after the above modifiers. So if you kill your quest leader, your alignment is actually set to −MAX2 − 20.

Monster alignment is defined for each monster in monst.c. It is largely independent of monster difficulty. In the table below, malign refers to the absolute value of the monster's alignment.

The alignment gain is calculated when a monster is generated.[16] It is recalculated whenever a monster is tamed[17] or becomes peaceful.[17][18] It is not recalculated when peaceful or tame monsters become hostile,[19] with the exception of the high priest of Moloch if he is angered when entering the temple in Moloch's Sanctum.[20] It is also not recalculated if you change alignment, so the alignment values below are based on whether the monster was co-aligned at the time of its generation.

who change
quest leader −20
unaligned monsters (Wizard of Yendor, priests of Moloch) +20 if generated hostile; 0 if generated peaceful (the Valley of the Dead priest)
"always peaceful"[21] (shopkeepers, aligned priests) −3 × max(5, malign) if generated peaceful, +3 × max(5, malign) if generated hostile (hostile priests on the Astral Plane)
"always hostile"[22] monsters (a very large list) 0 if co-aligned; max(5, malign) otherwise.
co-aligned monsters −3 × max(3, malign) if generated peaceful, max(3, malign) if generated hostile
all other monsters malign

Examples

  • Vlad the Impaler: 0 if you're chaotic (co-aligned, always hostile); +10 otherwise (Vlad's alignment is −10[23])
  • A lichen, a newt, or Death: +5 if you are lawful or chaotic (neutral, always hostile); 0 if you are neutral
  • A gnome or a air elemental: 0 if you are lawful or chaotic (neutral, can be peaceful); -9 if you are neutral and it was generated peaceful (−3 × 3, from max(3, malign)), or +3 if it was generated hostile (from max(3, malign))
  • The Minetown priest: −15 (always peaceful, priest alignments are 5, 0, −5)
  • A peaceful golden naga, and you are lawful: −16 (−1 for attacking a peaceful monster, −3 × the naga's alignment of 5[24])
  • A hostile golden naga, and you are lawful: +5 (the absolute value of the monster's alignment)
  • A peaceful golden naga, and you are not lawful: +4 (−1 for peaceful, +5 for the naga's alignment)
  • A hostile golden naga, and you are not lawful: +5 (naga's alignment)

As long as you are killing monsters and commit no major violations (killing quest leader, pet, priest), you can safely assume that your alignment is positive. If you need to raise your alignment quickly, kill easy always-hostile monsters, such as fungi, insects, or non-pet canines and felines.

FIQHack

Alignment penalties are calculated slightly differently in FIQHack. If you receive a penalty, your alignment is first set to 0, and then the penalty is subtracted[25].

References


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

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