A C-ration is a kind of comestible. C-rations are not normally generated, but soldiers (of all ranks) have a 1/2 chance of starting with one, so they are commonly found while assaulting the castle or Fort Ludios. K-rations and C-rations are effectively identical, except that K-rations have a higher nutrition value.
C-rations can be eaten in one move, making them valuable for nutritional purposes when you are in desperate situations. They are shunned for the Astral Plane, however, in favour of K-Rations (which provide more nutrition).
C-rations are suitable for vegans.
This C-ration is bland. (on eating)
C-rations are a real-world ration type issued to U.S. military soldiers from 1938–1958 (the current issue is the MRE ration), most notably during World War II. They were very simple fare to say the least, and quickly gained a reputation for being monotonous; thus the NetHack message “This C-ration is bland” is quite appropriate. The first version of C-rations would contain one of the selections of:
- “Breakfast”: Meat Can of Ham, Fruit Bar, Powdered Coffee
- “Dinner”: Chicken, Caramels, Bouillon
- “Supper”: Turkey, Chocolate Bar, Lemon
in addition to a package of biscuits, a package of graham crackers, a package of sugar tablets, one piece of chewing gum, a 4-pack of cigarettes, a package of toilet paper, a wooden spoon, and matches. Later versions of the ration introduced a good deal more variety, though the reputation of monotony remained.
The later (introduced early 1944) version came in two types, a “B” (for “bread and dessert”) unit and an “M” (for “meat”) unit. The “B” unit would contain strictly vegan components, so presumably, the C-Rations in the game are of this variety. A “B”-type C-ration contained: 5 hardtack crackers, 3 sugar tablets, 3 Dextrose energy tablets, and a packet of beverage mix (instant coffee, powdered lemon drink, boullion soup powder, orange drink powder, sweetened cocoa powder, or grape drink powder).
- makemon.c#line553 (soldiers starting with C-rations)