Chromatic dragon scale mail

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[   chromatic dragon scale mail  
Appearance chromatic dragon scale mail
Slot body armor
AC 5
Special
Base price 2400 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide
[   chromatic dragon scales  
Appearance chromatic dragon scales
Slot body armor
AC 1
Special
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 chromatic dragon statues, however, is allowed.

Other variants

dNetHack adds "chromatic dragon scales" as a chaotic artifact armor, with base item black dragon scales. It grants resistance to fire, cold, shock, disintegration, and poison, and like ordinary dragon scale mails in dNetHack, it adds an elemental damage bonus to the wearer's attacks, as well as a small (5%) chance of disintegrating the target (characteristic of black dragon scale mail in that variant). The scales can be converted into mail, which increases the damage bonus, or into a shield, at the cost of losing the bonuses. As in UnNetHack, the Caveman quest nemesis always drops these scales. However, the Chromatic Dragon (the nemesis in dNethack, functionally identical to UnNetHack chromatic dragons) can also appear in Gehennom 1/8 of the time, so it's possible for non-caveman to get the scales.

References

  1. src/do_wear.c in UnNetHack revision 1986, line 625