Leather armor

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[   leather armor   Leather armor.png
Appearance leather armor
Slot body armor
AC 2
Base price 5 zm
Weight 150
Material leather

Leather armor is a type of body armor that appears in NetHack. It is naturally made of leather.


Cavemen start each game with a set of +0 leather armor, while Rogues start each game with a set of +1 leather armor.[1][2]

There is a 41482 (or ~8.5%) chance that a randomly generated piece of armor will be leather armor. General stores, used armor dealerships and antique weapon outlets can sell leather armor.

Mercenaries will always generate with leather armor that counts for 2 points of their target generation AC if they do not roll any other form of body armor, though for higher-ranked mercenaries this becomes increasingly unlikely to occur.[3] Skeletons have a 14 chance of generating with leather armor.[4]

Various quest guardians can be generated with leather armor as well:

Leather golems leave behind a pile of 2-8 sets of leather armor as a special death drop instead of a corpse.[9]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As part of commit 20cbadc - which strengthens quest leaders and makes it so that killing them no longer makes the game unwinnable - the Caveman quest leader Shaman Karnov, the Ranger quest leader Orion, and the Rogue quest leader (and Tourist quest nemesis), the Master of Thieves, all generate with +5 leather armor.


While worn, leather armor confers 2 base AC and MC1.


Some characters focused on early spellcasting may utilize leather armor to boost AC without increasing spell failure rates, while the starting leather armor for most Cavemen and Rogues is usually replaced with the first better set of armor they find. In either case, the leather armor is typically exchanged for something better, whether metallic or otherwise: even studded leather armor can be more viable for spell-casting characters in some cases.

Enchanted leather armor can occasionally be found from killing leather golems.


Leather armor appears in Hack 1.21 and Hack for PDP-11, which are based on Jay Fenlason's Hack, and is included in the initial item list for Hack 1.0.

From Hack 1.0 to NetHack 3.0.10, Archeologists start the game with +0 leather armor.[10] The Ninja role that exists from NetHack 1.3d to NetHack 2.3e starts each game with +1 leather armor.[11]

In NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions, including some variants based on these versions, leather armor does not grant any magic cancellation.


Leather made from various animals has been used as a form of body armor throughout recorded history, with armor driving the development of many important technologies of the ancient world, particularly leather processing. In pre-Qin dynasty China, some leather armour was made out of more exotic animals such as the rhinoceros.

Historical leather armor was made of boiled leather, known in French as cuir bouilli: thick leather was boiled in water (or possibly oil, wax, or ammonia) to harden it, then cut into scales or plates that were then fastened together to make body armor. Boiled leather is much less effective than plate as armor, but much cheaper to make and much lighter for the infantry that wore it; it could be reinforced against slashing blows with the addition of metal bands or strips, and modern experiments on simple boiled leather have shown that it can also reduce the depth of an arrow wound considerably.

Versions of boiled leather armor have been used in many parts of the world since ancient times, though it does not survive long burial like most leather, making excavated archaeological evidence rare. Breastplates were originally made of leather, being referred to as cuirasseses (which shares the same root as the French term for boiled leather). Even in the Late Middle Ages, which is generally regarded as the heyday of plate armour, cuir bouilli continued to be used by ordinary infantry soldiers and participants in combat tournaments. Said tournaments were increasingly regulated in order to reduce life-threatening risks, with Edward I of England organizing one such tournament in 1278 where the participants wore cuir bouilli armor.


In variants with object material systems, leather armor may be referred to as light armor, or else simply armor with the object's material appended (e.g. "cloth armor" or "dragonhide armor").


In SLASH'EM, Yeomen start each game with +1 leather armor.

All forms of body armor in SLASH'EM interfere with spellcasting except for robes, making them preferable for casting roles.

Upgrading leather armor will produce studded leather armor, and upgrading a leather jacket or studded leather armor will produce leather armor.


In dNetHack, leather armor confers 0 AC and 2 DR while worn, and weighs 40 aum.

The Center of All generates with +0 large concordant leather armor. Pirate brothers, the quest guardians for the Pirate quest, are generated with leather armor. The adventuring wizard of the enemy party serving as the default Noble quest nemeses always generates with leather armor. The damned pirates that a Pirate encounters in Gehennom generate with cursed leather armor.


In xNetHack, leather armor is known as "light armor".


In EvilHack, leather armor is known as simply "armor", with the object's material appended (e.g. "cloth armor" or "dragonhide armor").

Giant Cavemen have their starting plain armor replaced with a +0 helmet. Gnolls have a 34 chance of being generated with plain armor.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, Officers start with +0 leather armor.

SlashTHEM also incorporates the Pirate and Noble roles, including the associated monsters that generate with leather armor.