|" Amulets||[ Armor|
|% Comestibles||$ Coins|
|* Gems||! Potions|
|= Rings||? Scrolls|
|+ Spellbooks||` Statues|
|( Tools||` Boulders|
|) Weapons||/ Wands|
Armor is an important concern for the hero entering the dungeon and is one of the primary things between you and death. Wearing armor will improve your armor class, reducing it by the amount shown in the "AC" column in the table below. Some types of armor may also provide "magic cancellation", as shown in the "MC" column below. There are 7 slots for armor: helm, cloak, body armor, shirt, shield, gloves/gauntlets, and boots. Some armor items reduce your ability to cast spells successfully, particularly shields and metal suits.
If you put on cursed armor, or if it is cursed while you are wearing it, you will be unable to take it off (the item will be identified as cursed when you try to remove it). Cursed gloves will also prevent you from putting on or removing rings. A cursed suit of body armor prevents you from unequipping shirts, and a cursed cloak prevents you from unequipping suits and shirts.
The inconvenience of cursed armor is amplified by the fact that armor generated cursed often also has negative enchantment. This is why it is a good idea to check the BUC of a piece of armor before wearing it.
The effects of blessed armor are minor. Blessed armor is more resistant to curses, because it must be made unblessed before it can become cursed. Blessed armor also has a chance of resisting some sources of erosion. Further, armor generated blessed has a higher chance of an enchantment.
Blessings and curses do not affect the magical abilities of most pieces of armor. A notable exception is a cursed oilskin cloak, which will only protect you from grabbing attacks 2/3 of the time. Similarly, any grease present on cursed armor will only prevent grabbing or mind-flaying attacks 2/3 of the time.
Most randomly generated armor is generated 12.31% cursed, 78.96% uncursed, 8.72% blessed. Four items (helm of opposite alignment, gauntlets of fumbling, fumble boots, and levitation boots) are generated 90.45% cursed, 8.6% uncursed, 0.95% blessed.
The following table shows with what probability a piece of armor (not one of the above mentioned) with a given BUC status has a certain enchantment level. Levels 6 through 10 are unlocked as one's experience level rises, but anything exceeding 4 is rare.
Monsters (pets) and armor
- Extrinsic player-type magic resistance is also conveyed to monsters in addition to intrinsic monster magic resistance. Note its scope is smaller than intrinsic magic resistance, e.g. you can retame monsters in gray dragon scale mail.
- Reflection works the same way for monsters as for you.
- Magic cancellation works as for the player.
- Speed boots make a monster only "fast", not "very fast". Same effect as a wand of speed monster.
- Resistances from dragon scale (mail) work as for you, but not acid resistance from an alchemy smock (poison resistance from a smock does apply for monsters).
- If a monster is polymorphed while wearing dragon scale (mail), it will always turn into the appropriately colored dragon. Since polymorphing is permanent in NetHack, the armor is lost.
- Monster spellcasting does not seem to be penalized by shields and metal items, in contrast to player spellcasting.
- A (master) mind flayer's attack will be deflected by helmets as for you.
- Autocursing headgear does not become cursed on wearing.
- Levitation and fumbling from worn items are not implemented.
- Jumping boots are wasted, as monsters will not jump.
- Gauntlets of power have no effect on damage calculation in inter-monster combat.
Monsters know armor enchantment and will switch to maximize total armor value, taking into account the base AC an item confers, the enchantment, and erosion, but not the BUC status. Non-fast monsters will prefer speed boots to any other boots.. However, tame monsters do not pick up any cursed objects.
Table of Armor and Properties
|Name||Cost||Weight||AC||Weight per AC||Material||Effect||MC||Magical||Appearance|
|orcish ring mail||80||250||2||125||iron||1||crude ring mail|
|studded leather armor||15||200||3||67||leather||1||--|
|orcish chain mail||75||300||4||75||iron||1||crude chain mail|
|bronze plate mail||400||450||6||75||copper||1||--|
|plate mail (tanko)||600||450||7||64||iron||2||--|
|crystal plate mail||820||450||7||64||glass||2||--|
|dragon scale mail||900||40||9||4||dragon||Resist%||Yes||--|
|orcish cloak||40||10||0||Infinite||cloth||1||coarse mantelet|
|dwarvish cloak||50||10||0||Infinite||cloth||1||hooded cloak|
|cloak of displacement||50||10||1||10||cloth||Displ||1||Yes||*piece of cloth|
|oilskin cloak||50||10||1||10||cloth||Water||2||slippery cloak|
|cloak of invisibility||60||10||1||10||cloth||Invis||1||Yes||*opera cloak|
|cloak of magic resistance||60||10||1||10||cloth||Magic||1||Yes||*ornamental cope|
|elven cloak||60||10||1||10||cloth||Stealth||1||Yes||faded pall|
|cloak of protection||50||10||3||3||cloth||Prot||3||Yes||*tattered cape|
|dunce cap||1||4||0||Infinite||cloth||Stupid||Yes||conical hat|
|elven leather helm||8||3||1||3||leather||leather hat|
|helmet (kabuto)||10||30||1||30||iron||*plumed helmet|
|orcish helm||10||30||1||30||iron||iron skull cap|
|helm of brilliance||50||50||1||50||iron||Int+Wis||Yes||*etched helmet|
|helm of opposite alignment||50||50||1||50||iron||Align||Yes||*crested helmet|
|helm of telepathy||50||50||1||50||iron||ESP||Yes||*visored helmet|
|dwarvish iron helm||20||40||2||20||iron||hard hat|
|leather gloves (yugake)||8||10||1||10||leather||*old gloves|
|gauntlets of dexterity||50||10||1||10||leather||Dex||Yes||*padded gloves|
|gauntlets of fumbling||50||10||1||10||leather||Fumble||Yes||*riding gloves|
|gauntlets of power||50||30||1||30||iron||Str||Yes||*fencing gloves|
|elven shield||7||40||2||20||wood||blue and green|
|dwarvish roundshield||10||100||2||50||iron||large round|
|shield of reflection||50||50||2||25||silver||Reflect||Yes||polished silver|
|low boots||8||10||1||10||leather||walking shoes|
|elven boots||8||15||1||15||leather||Stlth||Yes||*mud boots|
|kicking boots||8||50||1||50||iron||Kick||Yes||*buckled boots|
|fumble boots||30||20||1||20||leather||Fumble||Yes||*riding boots|
|levitation boots||30||15||1||15||leather||Lev||Yes||*snow boots|
|jumping boots||50||20||1||20||leather||Jump||Yes||*hiking boots|
|speed boots||50||20||1||20||leather||Speed||Yes||*combat boots|
|water walking boots||50||20||1||20||leather||WWalk||Yes||*jungle boots|
|iron shoes||16||50||2||25||iron||hard shoes|
Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, the kicking boots had a weight of 15.
- Those listed with an asterisk (*) are randomized within their armor category.
- Boots with the appearance "snow boots" make ice act like normal terrain (but the Fumble armor property still happens at its normal rate).
- Gloves and boots with the appearance "riding gloves" and "riding boots" give a (non-cumulative) bonus to the chance of successfully saddling a steed.
- Helmets with the appearance "visored helmet" provide defence against the blinding attack of ravens and the spitting attack of cobras.
|Acd||Gives acid resistance.|
|Align||Changes your alignment, removes protection, and auto-curses.|
|Clair||A wizard gets clairvoyance and +1 charisma, but other characters have existing clairvoyance blocked and get -1 charisma.|
|Dex||Adds armor's enchantment to your dexterity.|
|Fumble||You will occasionally fumble.|
|Int+Wis||Adds armor's enchantment to your intelligence and wisdom.|
|Jump||Gives jumping at will. The special restrictions for Knights do not apply while this item is worn.|
|Kick||Kicking does additional damage, and grants martial arts bonuses.|
|Lev||Causes levitation. Does NOT prevent you being drowned by monsters.|
|Magic||Gives magic resistance. Does NOT affect magic cancellation.|
|Poison||Gives poison resistance.|
|Resist%||Dragon scales provide resistance according to the color of the dragon:|
|Shop||If not covered by body armor or cloak, shopkeepers buy and sell at the same rate as inexperienced (level < 15) tourists (buy at 1/3 of and sell at 4/3 of the normal price).|
|Sleep||Gives sleep resistance.|
|Speed||Gives you the speed extrinsic, the same as a potion of speed or spell of haste self.|
|Spell||Player spellcasting is more likely to succeed, and reduces the penalty for metallic armor.|
|Str||Increases your strength to 25.|
|Stupid||Your intelligence and wisdom are fixed at 6; auto-curses; shopkeepers buy and sell at the inexperienced Tourist rate.|
|Vis||Overrides invisibility so you are again visible.|
|Water||Protects metal body armor from rusting/corroding (1/3 chance of protection if cursed) and prevents grabbing attacks.|
|WWalk||Allows you to walk on water. Does NOT prevent you being drowned by monsters.|
The "magical" property some armor has is only important to polypiling: non-magical armor will tend to stay non-magical, and vice-versa.
Modifying armor class
Enchantment increases (or decreases) the effective armor class (AC) bonus from wearing armor. Most armor will not be destroyed when enchanted beginning from +3. If a blessed scroll of enchant armor is used, then the new enchantment may reach +5. If only +4 is reached, the armor can be degraded to +3 with drain life magic or a disenchanter attack, and then an attempt made to enchant it again. Elven armor may be safely enchanted from +5, reaching up to +7. A wizard may also safely enchant a cornuthaum from +5. Attempting to enchant from higher enchantments has a high chance of destroying the item.
Eroded only affects the base AC and armor will still keep the full AC bonus from enchantment. Thus if enchantment scrolls are scarce, it is often better to use them to add enchantment than to erodeproof items, especially for items with low base AC.
- See also: Ascension kit
A careful selection of armor is part of the typical ascension kit. NetHack players may choose a combination of armor that conveys magic resistance, high magic cancellation, reflection, various intrinsics and bonuses, and, of course, high AC.
- Helm of telepathy/brilliance or elven leather helm.
- Cloak of magic resistance, displacement, or robe; oilskin cloak in sack. CoD is used if and only if you already have magic resistance from some other source.
- Either gray or silver dragon scale mail.
- Either shirt; no great difference.
- Shield of reflection, possibly, if you don't wish to (or can't) two-weapon and don't mind the spell failure penalty.
- Gauntlets of power for combat; gauntlets of dexterity for spellcaster.
- Speed boots or jumping boots; water walking boots in a bag.
- Striped shirt - starting armor for the Convict role, cursed. Shopkeepers will refuse to serve a player wearing this shirt, unless it is covered by other armor (as with the other shirts).
- Tin foil hat - made of metal, protects against a mind flayer's psychic blast attack, but nullifies any form of telepathy.
- Chromatic dragon scale mail - dropped by rare chromatic dragons, confers the extrinsic resistances of every color of dragon scale mail, including reflection and stone resistance, but not magic resistance.
Racial armor tracking is implemented. The number of pieces of equipment worn that are associated with your starting race is tracked as a conduct. Also, every worn piece of racial armor gives an extra point of AC.
SporkHack adds, including:
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:
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