Certain monsters can be bribed.
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).
- If you have no gold in open inventory 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.
Soldiers can be bribed by by throwing a suitable quantity of gold at them. Bribed soldiers become peaceful. (On the Castle level, it is occasionally helpful to bribe a soldier to block a corridor for you. This can be helpful because monsters don't route past peaceful monsters. In this case, you would not care about the soldier himself, but about the other monsters in the level beyond him.)
where X 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
- (charisma * X + 4*level + (gold before throwing)) / (1 + charisma) + charisma
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 throwing gold at peaceful shopkeepers: they have a chance of becoming hostile.
Bribery always requires that the gold to be used is in open inventory; gold in containers cannot be accessed during the transaction.
- monmove.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 399: The amount requested is always smaller than 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