Amulet of unchanging

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" Circular amulet.png
Name amulet of unchanging
Appearance random
Base price 150 zm
Weight 20

An amulet of unchanging is a type of amulet that appears in NetHack.


There is a 4.5% chance that a randomly-generated amulet will be an amulet of unchanging, making it the least generated amulet.


Wearing an amulet of unchanging confers unchanging and prevents polymorphing and other means of changing form, including sliming but not stoning; if you put one on while afflicted with sliming, it is aborted and cured.

If you die while polymorphed (which would normally return you to your normal form) and are wearing an amulet of unchanging, you will instead die as normal in most cases. The exceptions are as follows, and will return you to normal form even if you are wearing the amulet:

Wearing a cursed amulet of unchanging while in the form of a monster with no hands is considered a major trouble by your god, and successful prayer will uncurse the amulet so you can remove it and eventually return to your base form.

If you are polymorphed into a metallivore, eating the amulet has a 15 chance of successfully absorbing its magic and "un-changing" you to your normal form.


If discovered early, the amulet of unchanging can be a good substitute for magic resistance in areas such as the Gnomish Mines beyond Minetown, where polymorph traps are a major obstacle. If you are riding and do not have magic resistance, an amulet of unchanging will also protect your steed from polymorph traps. The amulet of unchanging can also suppress unwanted polymorphing from other sources, such as lycanthropy.

Amulets of unchanging are often used to remain in a particular polymorphed form (usually a powerful one chosen via polymorph control) for various strategies, with the risk of deaths that occur being permanent where they would not be otherwise - this is especially handy if you lack a reusable source of polymorph. It can also become a literal life-saver if you accidentally genocide your role or race while polymorphed.


The amulet of unchanging is most reliably identified by wearing a given amulet while eating a mimic corpse: the mimicry effect to turn into a pile of gold (or an orange if hallucinating) will not occur if the amulet is unchanging, and otherwise will not affect armor like most forms of polymorph, though you will dismount automatically from your steed.

For polyselfless, vegan and/or vegetarian conducts, the best alternative is to polymorph yourself while wearing the suspected amulet and a ring of polymorph control, which allows you to specify a safe form if you do polymorph; if you intend to use a polytrap for this purpose, you must remove any source of magic resistance as well. If the amulet is unchanging, the polymorph trap will not disappear and you will receive the standard message for a blocked polymorph ("You feel momentarily different").

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.

As of commit 43af05a, if you improvise with a musical instrument and are not deaf, you will produce "familiar" music if you have unchanging, providing a way to identify the amulet. The blessed potion of polymorph will also give a controlled polymorph when quaffed.


The amulet of unchanging first appears in NetHack 3.3.0.


Some variants grant the amulet of unchanging further properties.


In SLASH'EM, an amulet that is polymorphed into an amulet of unchanging will not revert to its original object like other polymorphed items.


In GruntHack, monsters will zap the wand of polymorph at you, making amulets of unchanging and sources of magic resistance much more important to find.


In UnNetHack, amulets of unchanging cannot be polymorphed.


In EvilHack, monsters will zap the wand of polymorph at you as in GruntHack, and will throw the potion of polymorph at you as well. The amulet is important to identify and procure in order to prevent this if you cannot find an early source of magic resistance; unlike GruntHack, monsters will refrain from attempting to polymorph you further if they see that it has no effect.


In Hack'EM, doppelganger Convicts start each game with a cursed amulet of unchanging, which prevents them from polymorphing or liquid leaping out of the chained heavy iron ball on turn 1. Once removed and uncursed, they can also use the amulet as a means to keep themselves locked into powerful forms (usually obtained from applying a mask).

Monsters will zap the wand of polymorph and throw potions of polymorph at you, behaving the same as in EvilHack; the amulet is still a useful source of unchanging to prevent this.

See also

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

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