Certain monsters in Nethack can be bribed. Bribery always requires that the gold to be used is in open inventory; gold in containers cannot be accessed during the transaction.
Bribing in Gehennom
Demon princes will ask you for a bribe when they first notice you, if you have gold in open inventory; refusing to bribe them will turn them hostile and they will never ask for a bribe again, whereas bribing them will prompt them to disappear for good, along with their entire inventory (except the invocation items).
- The amount asked is normally 21-100% of your visible gold. If the demon is not in hell, or if it is a chameleon in a form of demon, it will instead ask only 1-80% of your visible gold. If your alighnment is the same as demon's, the amount will be half of this. The amount is always rounded down.
- If you have no gold in open inventory, or have so little that the amount above is zero, the demon prince will be hostile and will not ask for a bribe.
- If you are polymorphed into a demon, the demon prince will remain peaceful without requiring a bribe and will attempt to teleport away.
- If the prince is carrying the Amulet of Yendor, he will ask for more gold than you have, thus ensuring that he won't disappear from the game with the Amulet.
- If you are carrying the Amulet of Yendor at creation time, the demon cannot be bribed. Carrying the amulet at the time you meet the demon has no effect.
- Wielding Excalibur at demon creation time or near the demon prevents bribing.
- Chaotic demons cannot be bribed. Orcus is the only one waiting in a lair.
Bribing the Yendorian Army
Soldiers can be bribed by by throwing a suitable amount of gold at them, turning them peaceful. On the Castle level, it is occasionally helpful to bribe a soldier to block a corridor for you, as hostile monsters will not route past peaceful ones. The required amount is:
here represents the amount of gold you have in your open inventory; is 150 for soldiers, 250 for sergeants, 500 for lieutenants, and 750 for captains. They only have a two in three chance of accepting the offer.
If you can't bag or drop your extra gold, the optimal amount to throw is:
Angry shopkeepers will also accept bribes via the #chat command, or by throwing the necessary amount of gold at them. If you can afford the asking price, the shopkeeper will become peaceful again.
- Pacifying a shopkeeper this way will also pacify any watchmen or watch captains on the level (usually Minetown, but also some variants' shopping mall).
- Beware of throwing gold at peaceful shopkeepers: they have a chance of becoming hostile.
- monmove.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 399: The amount requested never exceeds the amount in your wallet; you may offer less than the requested amount, but in this case the bribe may fail.
- sounds.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 761
- minion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 161
- minion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 183
- mongone in mon.c
- makemon.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1050: check at level generation time
- minion.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 147: check at meeting time
- dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 319
- dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 299
- dokick.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 281
- shk.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1299