|" Amulets||[ Armor|
|% Comestibles||$ Coins|
|* Gems||! Potions|
|= Rings||? Scrolls|
|+ Spellbooks||` Statues|
|( Tools||` Boulders|
|) Weapons||/ Wands|
Some types of armor may also provide "magic cancellation" on top of their AC bonus, as shown in the table 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.
- 1 BUC
- 2 Monsters, pets, and armor
- 3 Table of armor and properties
- 4 Modifying armor class
- 5 Strategy
- 6 Losing your armor
- 7 UnNetHack
- 8 SporkHack
- 9 References
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 with the following odds: 12.31% cursed, 78.96% uncursed, and 8.72% blessed. Four items (helm of opposite alignment, gauntlets of fumbling, fumble boots, and levitation boots) use generation odds of 90.45% cursed, 8.6% uncursed, and 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
- 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 monster polymorphing is permanent in NetHack, the armor is lost.
- 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", with the same effect as a wand of speed monster.
- As of NetHack 3.6.1, gauntlets of power add 3-6 damage to the monster's weapon attacks. They have no effect for monsters that can't wield weapons.
- 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.
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 (+0)||Weight per AC (+5)||Material||Effect||MC||Prob (‰)||Magical||Appearance|
|orcish ring mail||80||250||2||125||36||iron||1||20||crude ring mail|
|studded leather armor||15||200||3||67||25||leather||1||72||--|
|orcish chain mail||75||300||4||75||iron||1||20||crude chain mail|
|bronze plate mail||400||450||6||75||copper||1||25||--|
|plate mail (tanko)||600||450||7||64||iron||2||44||--|
|crystal plate mail||820||450||7||64||glass||2||10||--|
|dragon scale mail||900||40||9||4||dragon||Resist%||--||Yes||--|
|orcish cloak||40||10||0||Infinite||cloth||1||8||coarse mantelet|
|dwarvish cloak||50||10||0||Infinite||cloth||1||8||hooded cloak|
|cloak of displacement||50||10||1||10||cloth||Displ||1||10||Yes||*piece of cloth|
|oilskin cloak||50||10||1||10||cloth||Water||2||8||slippery cloak|
|cloak of invisibility||60||10||1||10||cloth||Invis||1||10||Yes||*opera cloak|
|cloak of magic resistance||60||10||1||10||cloth||Magic||1||2||Yes||*ornamental cope|
|elven cloak||60||10||1||10||cloth||Stealth||1||8||Yes||faded pall|
|cloak of protection||50||10||3||3||cloth||Prot||3||9||Yes||*tattered cape|
|dunce cap||1||4||0||Infinite||cloth||Stupid||3||Yes||conical hat|
|elven leather helm||8||3||1||3||leather||6||leather hat|
|helmet (kabuto)||10||30||1||30||iron||10||*plumed helmet|
|orcish helm||10||30||1||30||iron||6||iron skull cap|
|helm of brilliance||50||50||1||50||iron||Int+Wis||6||Yes||*etched helmet|
|helm of opposite alignment||50||50||1||50||iron||Align||6||Yes||*crested helmet|
|helm of telepathy||50||50||1||50||iron||ESP||2||Yes||*visored helmet|
|dwarvish iron helm||20||40||2||20||iron||6||hard hat|
|leather gloves (yugake)||8||10||1||10||leather||16||*old gloves|
|gauntlets of dexterity||50||10||1||10||leather||Dex||8||Yes||*padded gloves|
|gauntlets of fumbling||50||10||1||10||leather||Fumble||8||Yes||*riding gloves|
|gauntlets of power||50||30||1||30||iron||Str||8||Yes||*fencing gloves|
|elven shield||7||40||2||20||wood||2||blue and green|
|dwarvish roundshield||10||100||2||50||iron||4||large round|
|shield of reflection||50||50||2||25||silver||Reflect||3||Yes||polished silver|
|low boots||8||10||1||10||leather||25||walking shoes|
|elven boots||8||15||1||15||leather||Stlth||12||Yes||*mud boots|
|kicking boots||8||50||1||50||iron||Kick||12||Yes||*buckled boots|
|fumble boots||30||20||1||20||leather||Fumble||12||Yes||*riding boots|
|levitation boots||30||15||1||15||leather||Lev||12||Yes||*snow boots|
|jumping boots||50||20||1||20||leather||Jump||12||Yes||*hiking boots|
|speed boots||50||20||1||20||leather||Speed||12||Yes||*combat boots|
|water walking boots||50||20||1||20||leather||WWalk||12||Yes||*jungle boots|
|iron shoes||16||50||2||25||iron||7||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 or dexterity if you have them, otherwise leather gloves.
- Speed boots or jumping boots; water walking boots in a bag.
Losing your armor
Since armor is neccessary for survival, and it takes lot of efforts to obtain a good armor, losing it can be very painful. There are several ways you can lose your armor.
If you change shape through any means into any form that is Large or bigger (Medium or bigger for non-humanoid forms), a winged gargoyle or marilith (wings and extra arms don't fit), your torso armor (body armor, a shirt and/or a cloak) will burst apart, destroying the items.
As an exception, if you polymorph into a dragon while wearing dragon scale mail (or dragon scales) of the same color, it will not burst apart. Instead, it will merge into your scales. When you return to your original form, you will get it back. If enchanced above +3, it may evaporate when you return to your original form. Your shirt and cloak will tear as usual. See Dragon scale mail § Polymorph for more information.
Polymorphing and prevention
While potions and wands of polymorph can be dealt with through the usual methods of testing (e.g. engraving and dipping, avoiding quaffing randomly, etc.), polymorph traps are an obstacle to any player since they may step on one unexpectedly. In addition to the usual means of checking and avoiding traps, polymorph traps can be dealt with in the following manner:
- Gray dragon scale mail, cloak of magic resistance, Magicbane, and some quest artifacts provide magic resistance, which protects you from polymorph traps.
- Wearing an amulet of unchanging prevents you from changing your current form by polymorph or other means, and also protects you from being slimed.
- Wearing a ring of polymorph control while stepping on a polymorph trap will prompt you to enter what monster you want to polymorph into. Enter the name of a monster who you know will not compromise body armor; gargoyles (not winged gargoyle) are a good choice. The usual polyself tips are also applicable.
- As mentioned above, stepping on a polymorph trap while wearing dragon scale mail or dragon scales will polymorph the player into a same-color dragon, though the scales may evaporate upon reverting to normal form if they were enchanted; while they can be restored to mail using a scroll of enchant armor, this is usually less desirable overall since the player might not have a chance to remove their other body armor before hand.
Being bitten by a werecreature will give the player lycanthropy, which causes involuntary shapeshifting into that creature's form; if bitten by a werewolf, the transformation into a wolf will destroy body armor. This cannot be prevented with magic resistance.
The lycanthropy page goes into more detail for dealing with its adverse effects. Generally, players should pay attention while fighting a werewolf to see if it bites them, and take the appropriate measures available (e.g. prayer, wolfsbane, holy water, etc.)
Scrolls of destroy armor
Reading unidentified scrolls is generally a bad idea, since you may read a scroll of destroy armor and possibly lose a vital piece of protection as a result. Price identification can partly mitigate this by at least helping a player recognize the scroll's price range and avoiding it. If a player is determined to test a random scroll for some reason, they can simply remove any armor except for common "throwaway" items such as an orcish helm before reading it. Shirt and body armor can be protected by a "throwaway" cloak, since the scroll does not destroy other torso armor if the player is wearing a cloak.
Scrolls of enchant armor
The scroll of enchant armor has the potential to vaporize a piece of armor being worn if it is enchanted above +3; elven armor may safely be enchanted at +5 or lower, and this also applies to cornuthaums if the player is a wizard.
Monsters in lower levels of the dungeon may cast the destroy armor spell on the player, with the same effect as the scroll. This includes liches and golden nagas, who may be the first such examples a player encounters. There are several ways to prevent this:
- Magic resistance (from gray dragon scale mail, cloak of magic resistance, and some quest artifacts) completely nullifies the spell effects.
- Cancelling the offender will prevent them from casting any spells.
- Liches are high on the list of genocide candidates, and thus are often removed as a threat as soon as possible.
- If a monster is confused, the spell has lower chances to succeed (see monster spell for more information).
- As with scrolls of destroy armor, wearing a "spare" cloak (such as a dwarvish cloak for non-dwarven characters) over your armor can protect it by giving the spell something else to target, though this is not as viable if the player cannot dispose of the monster quickly.
Black dragons can fire blasts of disintegration, as can the Chromatic Dragon, and a sufficiently angered god will attempt to smite a player with a wide-angle disintegration beam if the initial lightning bolt they use fails. Disintegration blasts from dragons will destroy worn shields, worn body armor including cloaks, and the player themselves (along with shirts and cloaks) in order of priority.
Reflection and disintegration resistance can protect your shield, cloak, body armor and shirt from the former; worn pieces of armor that provides either extrinsically will be protected from both and, in the case of body armor or cloaks, protects shirts worn under them. Disintegration resistance can be acquired as an intrinsic by eating the corpse of a black dragon, and may also be granted with a ~17% by eating the corpse of the Chromatic Dragon for cavemen (though note that her corpse is poisonous). Black dragon scales or scale mail can provide extrinsic disintegration resistance.
For detailed advice on dealing with an angry god and how to avoid angering one in the first place, see the article section on smiting.
- 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:
- mkobj.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 550
- update_mon_intrinsics in worn.c
- src/mhitm.c in NetHack 3.6.1, line 920
- worn.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 571
- hack.h in NetHack 3.6.0, line 396
- worn.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 939
- Probability of the object appearing when generating a random armor item. Mostly relevant for polypiling, since the majority of armor is generated as part of monster starting inventory, which does not respect these odds. Some items, notably dragon armor, cannot be generated randomly at all.
- src/zap.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 3593
- src/zap.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 3450
This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:
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