Amulet

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An amulet is an item that a character can put on around his or her neck. It usually confers magical powers on the wearer, but amulets such as the amulet of strangulation can also be hazardous. Amulets are represented by a double quotation mark: ". This is also the command to display which amulet you are currently wearing.

Wearing any amulet will increase the rate at which you get hungry, by an extra 1 nutrition per 20 turns.[1] Carrying the Amulet of Yendor consumes an additional 1 nutrition per 20 turns, regardless of whether you are wearing it.

All amulets have a weight of 20, are made of iron, and have a base price of 150 zorkmids, with three exceptions: The Eye of the Aethiopica has a base price of 4000 zorkmids, the Amulet of Yendor is made of mithril and has a base price of 30000 zorkmids, and the cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor is made of plastic and is worth 0 zorkmids.

Table of amulets

Amulet Relative probability Notes
amulet of change 13% 90.5% generated cursed, EAT (changes gender)
amulet of ESP 17.5% EAT
amulet of life saving 7.5%
amulet of magical breathing 6.5% EAT
amulet of reflection 7.5%
amulet of restful sleep 13.5% 90.5% generated cursed, EAT (bad idea)
amulet of strangulation 13.5% 90.5% generated cursed
amulet of unchanging 4.5%
amulet versus poison 16.5% EAT
cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor 0
Amulet of Yendor 0 will not fit in a container
The Eye of the Aethiopica - Wizard quest artifact

Amulets marked EAT can be eaten for a 1/5 chance of obtaining their effect permanently (providing you are polymorphed into a metallivore). Eating an amulet of unchanging will return you to your normal form. Eating an amulet of strangulation will cause you to immediately choke, which is fatal without unbreathing. Other amulets can be eaten (except the fake Amulet which is made of plastic, and the real Amulet which is indestructible), but do not confer their effect.

Generation

Amulets comprise 1% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 1% in containers, and 4% in Gehennom. The second column above is the relative probability of each subtype.

The ones generated 90.5% cursed are 9% uncursed and 0.5% blessed. All others are generated 5% cursed, 90% uncursed, 5% blessed.

The Amulet of Yendor is a unique item found only in Gehennom. Its fake counterpart is found only on the Rogue level, in the inventories of certain high-level monsters, and in the bones files of people who had a real or fake amulet themselves, where the real amulet is replaced with a fake one.

Identification

All amulets cost 150zm and weigh 20, so they cannot be distinguished using price identification. The appearance of the first 9 types of amulet in the table are randomized from the following descriptions:

circular    spherical   oval       
triangular  pyramidal   square 
concave     hexagonal   octagonal

Non-cursed amulets are safe to try on; the effect may become obvious after a while, such as for the amulet of ESP, and you can always remove it if it is strangulation or restful sleep. The only risk is a small chance of changing genders, which is not a debilitating issue for the most part. Once strangulation and restful sleep are ruled out, even cursed amulets can be worn safely and beneficially as long as you don't have another amulet you'd rather be wearing instead.

Amulets of change and strangulation always formally identify themselves when worn. Every other amulet (other than the real and fake Amulets of Yendor) adds a line to the enlightenment screen, although some lines can have other sources:

Amulet of... produces the line... Other sources
ESP "You are telepathic." Helm of telepathy, some quest artifacts, intrinsic
life saving "Your life will be saved." none
magical breathing "You can survive without air." none
reflection "You have reflection." silver dragon scale mail, shield of reflection, wielded Longbow of Diana
restful sleep "You fall asleep." none
unchanging "You can not change from your current form." none
versus poison "You are poison resistant." green dragon scale mail, ring of poison resistance, alchemy smock, intrinsic

In addition, intelligent monsters will only pick up and put on life saving (if living) and reflection.

Amulets of ESP can be identified using the artifact naming trick, because they cannot be named “The Eye of the Aethiopica”. In NetHack 3.6.0, no amulet can be named "The Eye of the Aethiopica," so this method is ineffective at identifying amulets of ESP. Note that it is exploiting a bug that may be fixed in variants - including NAO version of NetHack. Additionally it may be considered cheating.

The real Amulet of Yendor, unlike the fakes, cannot be placed in a container ("The Amulet of Yendor cannot be confined in such trappings.")

Probabilities and use-testing

Usually, formal identification or enlightenment are better techniques to identify an amulet, but sometimes conducts or scarce resources make you rely on relative probabilities, pet testing, and indirect clues.

Amulet of... Prob. when not cursed, non-ESP when cursed, non-ESP Ways to identify, wear-testing
Change 1.6% 30.7% Autoidentifies
ESP Artifact naming trick or wear-test for ESP by far-looking at a nearby brainy monster
Life saving 16.8% 1.0% Monster use, Vlad's Tower
Magical breathing 14.5% 0.8% Go into water, e.g. after digging on fountain
Reflection 16.8% 1.0% Bounce a ray onto yourself, Sokoban prize, monster use
Restful sleep 1.7% 31.9% Wear for 100 turns unless sleep resistant
Strangulation 1.7% 31.9% Vlad's Tower, autoidentifies
Unchanging 10.1% 0.6% Eat a mimic, attempt controlled polyself, or get slimed.
Versus poison 36.9% 2.2% Elimination. Unless resistant, eat poisonous corpse. Non-healers quaff sickness even if resistant.

Above are the probabilities for the various types of amulet, on condition its cursedness is known and it is not ESP. The latter is excluded because ESP can be tested for, instantly, even before curse-testing in versions with unfixed Artifact naming trick. 27.3% of all non-cursed and 2.2% of all cursed amulets are ESP.

Strategy

Amulets cannot be destroyed by electric shocks, so unless stolen by a nymph or monkey they are reliable at conferring their effect.

SLASH'EM

SLASH'EM adds some more amulets.

Item Symbol Base type Notes
Amulet of flying " Randomized Grants flight.
Amulet of drain resistance " Randomized Grants level drain resistance.
Amulet versus stone " Randomized Saves your life if you're turned to stone, then alters its BUC status or disintegrates.

Encyclopaedia entry

"The complete Amulet can keep off all the things that make
people unhappy -- jealousy, bad temper, pride, disagreeableness,
greediness, selfishness, laziness. Evil spirits, people called
them when the Amulet was made. Don't you think it would be nice
to have it?"
"Very," said the children, quite without enthusiasm.
"And it can give you strength and courage."
"That's better," said Cyril.
"And virtue."
"I suppose it's nice to have that," said Jane, but not with much
interest.
"And it can give you your heart's desire."
"Now you're talking," said Robert.

[ The Story of the Amulet, by Edith Nesbit ]

References

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.