Chromatic dragon scale mail

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[   chromatic dragon scale mail  
Appearance chromatic dragon scale mail
Slot body armor
AC 5
Base price 2400 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide
[   chromatic dragon scales  
Appearance chromatic dragon scales
Slot body armor
AC 1
Base price 1500 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide

This article is about the non-unique item added in UnNetHack. For the artifact in dNetHack, see dNetHack Artifacts#Chromatic Dragon Scales.

Chromatic dragon scale mail is one of two new dragon scale mails added in UnNetHack. The scales are dropped by generic chromatic dragons. Tiamat, (the Caveman quest nemesis, and a unique chromatic dragon) also drops chromatic dragon scales.

Chromatic dragon scale armor confers the extrinsic resistances of almost all dragon scale armors: fire, cold, sleep, disintegration, shock, poison, acid, stone, and even the reflection conferred by silver dragon scale mail. It does not confer magic resistance[1].

In spite of this limitation, chromatic dragon scale armor is a valuable find, even for a player who has already acquired all intrinsic resistances. It provides reflection and two resistances that cannot be obtained intrinsically, petrification and acid. Having these extrinsics supplied by a single piece of equipment frees up other slots, such as the off-hand (shield of reflection), neck (amulet of reflection), and cloak (alchemy smock), for other items.

Balancing chromatic dragon scale's utility is its scarcity. Neither the scales nor the armor can be wished for, so they can only be obtained from chromatic dragons, which are only generated in the new Dragon Caves branch off Gehennom. Even then those dragons are not guaranteed to leave scales, so no player is guaranteed to get this armor in any game.

Before commit r1580 it was possible to bypass the prohibition on wishing for chromatic dragon scale armor by wishing for one or more chromatic dragon eggs, which would hatch into full-grown chromatic dragons. Since this version, however, chromatic dragon eggs have also been made non-wishable. Wishing for a statue (or figurine) of a chromatic dragon, however, is allowed.

Other variants

dNetHack adds "chromatic dragon scales" as an unaligned artifact armor, with base item black dragon scales. It grants resistance to fire, cold, shock, disintegration, poison, drain, sickness, acid and stoning. Note that it doesn't give reflection or magic resistance. It is also 50% heavier than standard scales, 225 vs 150. It can be made into a shield or mail as usual. Note that it doesn't give the extra bonuses associated with DSM in dNethack.

They drop from The Chromatic Dragon (the caveman quest nemesis), who also appears in Gehennom in 1/8 of non-caveman games.