Cloak of magic resistance
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cloak of magic resistance
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The cloak of magic resistance (commonly abbreviated CoMR) is an item that appears in NetHack. It is made of cloth, and has a randomized appearance; the default one associated with it is an ornamental cope.
All Wizards start the game with a cloak of magic resistance.
Aligned priests - including high priests and the Arch Priest, the Priest quest leader - have a 1⁄21 chance to be generated with a cloak of magic resistance. Master Kaen, the Monk quest nemesis, has a 1⁄11 chance of being generated with a cloak of magic resistance, and will otherwise have a robe.
Most non-monk player monsters on the Astral Plane have a 87.5% chance of receiving a random magical cloak, and a further 12.5% chance of that cloak being a cloak of magic resistance, effectively ~10.94%. For priests, there is a 75% chance that the cloak will be made into a robe instead, reducing this effective chance to ~2.73%; Wizards similarly have a 1⁄2 chance of forcing a cloak of magic resistance, resulting in an effective chance of 43.75%.
The cloak of magic resistance is considered a near-ubiquitous part of many ascension kits, and is frequently paired with silver dragon scale mail (or another source of reflection) for combined protection from most of the nastier attacks that can be thrown at you (e.g., preventing the worst damage from melee-range spells such as curse items while reflecting rays fired from wands). SDSM/CoMR is also one of the more conducive combinations for certain late-game playstyles since it leaves other slots free, such as for a worn amulet of life saving, a hand free for twoweaponing and/or two-handed weapons, or a lightweight small shield for casters going without a robe or protection. It also naturally serves as a backup source of magic resistance in case a quest artifact with the property is stolen.
Monks may consider seeking out a cloak of magic resistance if they are going wishless, otherwise avoiding such artifacts, or else are simply not keen on trying body armor.
The cloak of magic resistance is the only randomized cloak that does not auto-identify on wearing or when taking effect, making it relatively trivial to informally identify. Invisible characters will want to revert to first normal in case it is a cloak of invisibility (which will not auto-identify if you are already invisible). Bones left behind by a dead Wizard very frequently have a cloak of magic resistance somewhere within the item pile.
Some of the riskier methods to identify a worn cloak of magic resistance involve removing, stashing or disabling all other sources of magic resistance, then stepping onto an anti-magic field or teleportation trap; unless you are playing a weak or early character with poor AC, giving a hostile monster a wand of striking can also work. If you have magic resistance, the effect of the trap or wand will be nullified. Using a potion or wand of enlightenment in this scenario is far safer, but less likely to be available due to item rarity.
The chance of a hostile aligned priest spawning with this cloak poses a potentially aggravating threat to players trying to avoid their melee attacks, reducing the amount of effective ranged options; pets and thrown potions are still useful.
Similarly, Master Kaen with this cloak will prove a major inconvenience to most Monks, as it nullifies the wand of death. However, it does not offer full protection against elemental attacks that Kaen lacks resistances to, and he is still vulnerable to disintegration from a polyselfed or pet black dragon.
For many players, the High Priest(ess) of Moloch generating with one is a worst-case scenario - most will save a wand of death charge for them, and being forced to fight them in melee is very risky.
In NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions, the cloak gives MC3.
In general, variants based on version 3.4.3 and earlier retain the cloak of magic resistance's MC3.
In SLASH'EM, the cloak of magic resistance is the same as it was in NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions.
Undead vampires are often generated with opera cloaks, providing a reliable source if it is randomized to be the cloak of magic resistance; however, this will also give more spellcasting-reliant characters significant trouble, especially in the case of already-powerful vampire mages.
In dNetHack, the cloak no longer grants any AC, nor does it increase your defense rating, but still provides MC3.
In EvilHack, giant Wizards no longer start with one as of v0.5 (being too large for cloaks), and are given an amulet of magic resistance instead. As of version 0.7, and like xNetHack, The Dark One will always generate wearing a cloak of magic resistance.