Chain mail

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[   chain mail   Chain mail.png
Appearance chain mail
Slot body armor
AC 5
Base price 75 zm
Weight 300
Material iron

Chain mail is a type of body armor that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron, and provides MC1 and 5 base AC when worn.


Player monster Barbarians, Knights, Priests, and Valkyries have a 12 chance to force a random suit of body armor instead of dragon scale mail, and a 18 chance for that body armor to be chain mail - effectively a 7128 or ~5.47% chance to be generated with one.[1][2][3][4]


Chain mail is a decent set of armor, but additionally blocks spellcasting and is heavy as well. Roles looking to shore up their AC early can make good use of a set of chain mail until they find options that are lighter (e.g., mithril-coats) and/or more conducive to spell casting (e.g., studded leather armor or dragon scale mail).


Chain mail has been present in the game since Hack 1.21, one of the first variants of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


Chain mail is made of small metal rings interlocked to form a mesh, and was widely used in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, from pre-Roman times until as late as the 19th century. In medieval sources, this type of armor was described simply as "mail" - the use of the term to describe other types of armor (and the invention of "chain mail" to distinguish it from those ) began in 19th-century historical fiction.

The stats for chain mail are derived from its appearance in Dungeons & Dragons.



In SLASH'EM, the Undead Slayer has a 14 chance to start with chain mail as their body armor. A chain mail can also be found in the lawful temple within the goal level of the Yeoman quest.


In xNetHack, Croesus has a 78 chance to generate wearing gold chain mail.


In dNetHack, dwarven Binders always start with a thoroughly rusty chain mail. Dwarven and female half-dragon Nobles will always start with standard chain mail, as do all non-Incantifier Knights.

Any orcish player that would start with chain mail receives orcish chain mail instead.