From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

You may be crowned as a result of prayer if you are at least piously aligned and extremely lucky. Crowning[1] involves receiving a title, an additional skill slot, several intrinsic resistances, and possibly a gift, at the cost of a greatly increased prayer timeout.


Which title you receive depends on your current alignment:

Alignment Title
Lawful Hand of Elbereth
Neutral Envoy of Balance
Chaotic Glory of Arioch


The following intrinsics are granted[2]:

  • cold resistance
  • fire resistance
  • poison resistance
  • sleep resistance
  • shock resistance
  • see invisible

Crowning gift

Regardless of anything else that happens, you will always unrestrict the skill slot for either long sword (if lawful or neutral) or broadsword (if chaotic). Then, the crowning gift is chosen according to either your role (if Wizard or Monk) or your alignment:

Afterwards, the gift (if a weapon) is blessed, increased to +1 if below that, and made unrusted and rustproof. If no gift is given, or the gift is a spellbook for a known spell,[8] these bonuses are applied to your wielded weapon instead, and the corresponding skill is unrestricted.


If you already have the crowning gift or it was an artifact that has already been generated in your game, then you do not receive a gift object. The message depends on what you are wielding: "You feel unworthy" if nothing,[9] "Your Vorpal Blade goes snicker-snack!"[10] for neutrals wielding Vorpal Blade, or your weapon "hums ominously!"[11] for chaotics wielding Stormbringer.

If you want to use crowning to unrestrict an arbitrary weapon skill, you must wield your weapon of choice and your alignment gift must already exist. If you are a Monk or Wizard, you can also unrestrict your wielded weapon skill if you are given a spellbook as a gift and you already know the spell. Note, however, that a monk wielding an artifact will not receive a spellbook as a gift, and instead receive their alignment-based gift (if possible). This also applies to a wizard wielding Stormbringer or Vorpal Blade, but as you always unrestrict the skill for your alignment's standard gift, it is less likely to be an issue.

For characters who already have the crowning weapon and that proficiency, crowning is usually a bad deal. But firstly, foodless heroes might want the intrinsics. Secondly, you can unrestrict any weapon of your choice if you are wielding it and arrange not to get a crowning gift (or already know the spellbook). Elven non-wizards don't need the gift because they can force Stormbringer to be their first sacrifice gift.

Unrestricting weapon skills

If your character class is restricted from using #enhance for a skill in a chosen weapon class, crowning can be a way to "unrestrict" that skill, allowing you to #enhance the skill from Unskilled to Basic. This would allow any class (e.g. Wizard) to use a saber like Grayswandir without the -4 to-hit penalty of being unskilled.

To unrestrict a skill, you must carefully prepare before crowning, including obtaining any possible crowning gifts. For example, lawful characters must ensure Excalibur already exists, while neutrals must procure Vorpal Blade, and chaotics must obtain Stormbringer. In addition, Wizards must have the spellbook of finger of death, and monks must have the spellbook of restore ability for Monks. If your god sees that you already have the gifts they otherwise would give AND you are wielding a weapon from a class you are restricted in, you will be unrestricted in that weapon's class; such skills cannot be unrestricted further than Basic.

Avoiding crowning

There are three ways to avoid being crowned:

Prayer timeout

The downside of getting crowned is that the player's prayer timeout is greatly increased, permanently. Players that depend heavily on prayer may find themselves crowned earlier than those that do not, by sheer statistics. Unfortunately, it is these players that are hurt by being crowned, as the increased prayer timeout means they must go longer without praying. If the player does not need the benefits listed above, being crowned is not necessary, though ascending with a title is a nice aesthetic bonus.

It is possible to compensate for the increased prayer timeout by making a large number of sacrifices.


"I crown thee... The Hand of Elbereth!"
You, a lawful character, were crowned.
"Thou shalt be my Envoy of Balance!"
You, a neutral character, were crowned.
"Thou art chosen to steal souls for My Glory!"
You, a chaotic character, were crowned and were gifted Stormbringer or already wielding it.
"Thou art chosen to take lives for My Glory!"
You, a chaotic character, were crowned but not gifted Stormbringer and not wielding it.


Crowning is introduced in NetHack 1.3d.

The additional skill slot granted for crowning was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.[12]


Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, no additional skill slot was granted upon crowning. By extension, this is also the case in most variants based on NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions.


In SLASH'EM, if a lawful character is crowned, their wielded weapon is enchanted to +3 instead of +1, or given additional +1 if already at +3 or above. The item is not at risk of being destroyed.


In dNetHack, the player's Luck stat needs to be at least 11 for crowning to happen. Because this requires a non-cursed luckstone in open inventory, players can avoid crowning by putting the luckstone away before praying. Also, crowning will happen as soon as the player has fulfilled all of the requirements and has completed the quest by presenting the artifact to the quest leader. There are also quite a few more titles the player may receive.


Crowning also grants intrinsic acid resistance and permanent knowledge of your role's special spell. Since this would make the crowning gift redundant for a monk, their crowning gift is now a magic marker.