Forum:Can all lost stats be recovered with unicorn horn?

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After losing attribute points, can you always recover them by applying a Unicorn Horn?

For example, can a unicorn horn recover the lost wisdom point from engraving on a co-aligned altar, from abusing an attribute, and from quaffing a potion of sickness?

Moreover, when an attribute is decreased, will the usual gain of attribute (eating a corpse, throne, etc) still increase the maximum attribute you can reach by applying the horn? Or, will attribute gains just help recover the lost attribute without increasing its maximum? -- 02:14, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

IIRC the only source of attribute loss that can't be immediately fixed by a unicorn horn is self-polymorph, which randomly adjusts stats +/- 2. If this was curable it'd be an easy way to max out your stats, of course. Everything else, e.g. wisdom loss from altars, is curable. Quick wizard mode testing is showing that if you lose a point of INT and eat a mindflayer corpse for stat gain, you can't use a unihorn again to raise it further. -- Qazmlpok 02:54, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll make sure to apply the horn before eating those mindflayer corpses.-- 03:24, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I can think of a few other sources of attribute loss that can't be fixed by a unicorn horn. The one-point strength loss that comes from becoming Weak can't be cured by a unicorn horn, but it can be cured by eating enough to get out of Weak status. Also, this is a bit more obscure, but in some cases, if one of your attributes is close but not equal to 3, and you do something that would cause it to go below 3, then your attribute will be set to 3, and the additional lost attribute points will be subtracted from your maximum attribute score. As an example, if your current Strength is 5 and your max Strength is 10, and you drink a potion of sickness, and NetHack determines that the potion does 5 points of damage to your Strength, then your Strength will be reduced by 2 points to 3, and your maximum Strength will be reduced by 3 points to 7, so the unicorn horn will only be able to restore your Strength to 7. --Erica 04:04, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Very helpful comment, especially for those hoping to temporarily reduce their constitution/wisdom for the "Drain for gain" strategy. -- 07:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
What about this case: Abuse stat twice, exercise it once. Normally exercising a stat increases it by one and sets the maximum to that new level; how does that interact with drained stats? -Ion frigate 05:54, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I tried it in wizard mode, and you can use a unicorn horn to recover one point. It seems that lines 128–130 of attrib.c only increase the maximum when the current value of the stat is greater than the old maximum. So, if you abuse the stat twice and then exercise it once, the maximum will be unchanged, which means that the unicorn horn will allow you to restore the attribute to the value it had before the first abuse. --Erica 06:29, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
The ring of sustain ability interacts oddly with unicorn horns and hunger strength drain. You can restore your attribs, but not lower them. IIRC you could even max out strength by becoming weak wearing the ring, and eating without. --Tjr 14:24, 6 December 2011 (UTC)