Figurine

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( Figurine.png
Name figurine
Appearance figurine
Base price 80 zm
Weight 50
Material mineral
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The figurine is an item that appears in NetHack. It is a magical tool that is vaguely similar to a miniature statue. Figurines weigh a fair amount, but are much easier to carry and animate than statues; they cannot be created by petrification, and cannot be destroyed with a pick-axe or wand of striking.

Generation

Figurines are generated as a random monster, based upon a combination of your level at the time of its creation and the dungeon level; they are severely biased towards non-human monsters.[1] Figurines are generated 75% uncursed, 12.5% blessed, and 12.5% cursed. Monsters brought to life from figurines will not have their starting inventory.

Effects

Applying a figurine of a monster or casting stone to flesh at it will bring it to life; the former method will prompt the player for a direction and generate it on the square closest to them in that direction, while the latter method will cause it to animate on its current square (or next to the player if in their inventory).

If a figurine is applied to a square with a monster on it, the figurine will be lost and nothing will be spawned. Attempting to apply a figurine onto solid rock or a square containing a boulder will not succeed if the monster cannot walk through walls, but this will not waste the figurine. Applying a figurine > or < will always succeed, even if you are surrounded by monsters, unless the entire level is filled. Applying a figurine does not respect extinction, except for monsters with special limits such as erinyes and Nazgul.

A monster created from a figurine is most likely to be tame if the figurine was blessed, peaceful if it was uncursed, and hostile if it was cursed; however, even a blessed figurine may create a hostile monster, or a cursed figurine a tame monster. The odds are as follows:

tame peaceful hostile
blessed 80% 10% 10%
uncursed 10% 80% 10%
cursed 10% 10% 80%

A cursed figurine will automatically transform anywhere between 200 to 9200 turns[2] after it is cursed or placed into an inventory; dropping[3] or uncursing[4][5] it will stop the timer (until it's picked up or cursed again, respectively). The transformation occurs as if you applied the figurine yourself, so there is still a 20% chance that the monster won't be hostile. If the transformation fails for any reason, it will try again after 1-5000 turns[6]

Strategy

Randomly found figurines might be less use to you blessed; a peaceful or hostile creature can be used to block the path of more dangerous foes, whereas a tame creature is more likely to be rolled over by the same enemy. However, as magical tools they make ideal polypile fodder unless the monster in question makes a good pet, and they also have a more mundane use as a means of generating corpses for sacrifice.

Some players wish for a blessed figurine of an Archon (or Solar in SLASH'EM) in the hopes of gaining a powerful pet; as noted above, this may backfire and leave the player in a nasty situation should the angel turn out to be hostile! It can be a good idea to stand two squares from the stairs when applying it so you can #jump to escape a bad outcome.

History

In NetHack 3.4.3 and prior versions, as well as variants based on them, applying a figurine would generate the monster with its starting inventory.[7]

Messages

You set the figurine beside you and it transforms.
You applied a figurine.
You set the figurine beside you and it transforms.
...into a pile of dust.
You applied a figurine of a Nazgul or erinys after they were extinct.[8]
You get a bad feeling about this.[9]
The monster generated was hostile.
The figurine writhes and then shatters into pieces!
You applied the figurine to a square with a monster on it or applied a figurine of a genocided monster. The figurine is lost and unrecoverable.
You see a <monster> drop out of your pack!
You were carrying a cursed figurine, which spontaneously transformed.
You suddenly see a figurine transform into <monster>.
A cursed figurine on the ground suddenly transformed.

Encyclopedia entry

Then it appeared in Paris at just about the time that Paris
was full of Carlists who had to get out of Spain. One of
them must have brought it with him, but, whoever he was, it's
likely he knew nothing about its real value. It had been --
no doubt as a precaution during the Carlist trouble in Spain
-- painted or enameled over to look like nothing more than a
fairly interesting black statuette. And in that disguise,
sir, it was, you might say, kicked around Paris for seventy
years by private owners and dealers too stupid to see what
it was under the skin.

[ The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett ]

References