Cults are a feature in dNethack involving sacrifice to lesser or less involved deities. Theoretically they can be all be joined regardless of alignment, but each cult has an alignment of deities that accept worship of the cult god alongside them; gods of mismatched alignments regard it the same way as sacrificing to a rival deity. There are currently two cults, one chaotic and one lawful.
Cults differ from a normal religion in a few key ways
- All cults do not give out their boons at random. Instead, they have a unique holy symbol that acts as your point of contact with the cult mechanics. These holy symbols may be (a)pplied to access a menu where you can select boons, so long as you have the favor for it.
- Rather than giving gifts randomly when the conditions are met, valid sacrifices to a cult deity build up Favor, which functions similarly to piety from FIQhack. Using the holy symbol to acquire a boon spends accumulated favor.
- There are two types of boons: major and minor. Minor boons only require sufficient favor to be granted; major boons require an amount of lifetime favor to be earned before they are eligible for selection, using up favor just like a minor boon.
- Favor is accumulated more slowly while you have existing favor; good cultists claim their gifts as soon as possible, and eventually greater gifts will come to them.
- All boons are very taxing on sanity. Expect to be insane for a good while if you go all in on occultism.
- A helm of opposite alignment will allow you to sacrifice to a cross-aligned cult god, but the most essential boons from each cult will sacrifice enemies as part of their function, which limits the functionality of this. However, Binders, Anachrononauts, and Madpeople that follow the path of detestation can freely interact with all cults as they wish, as they will never suffer the effects of cross-aligned sacrifice.
The Black Mother
The Black Mother is a chaotic aligned cult deity.
The Silver Flame
The Silver Flame is a lawful aligned cult deity.