Lembas wafer

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% Lembas wafer.png
Name lembas wafer
Base price 45 zm
Nutrition 800 (1000 for elves and 600 for orcs)
Turns to eat 2
Weight 5
Conduct vegan

A lembas wafer is a type of veggy comestible that appears in NetHack, and is suitable for vegans.

Generation

Elven Rangers start the game with a stack of 4-8 lembas wafers in place of the role's standard cram rations.[1][2] Tourists will sometimes start with lembas wafers among their initial stacks of food.[3]

In addition to random generation, general stores, delicatessens and health food stores can sell lembas wafers.

Description

When eaten, a lembas wafer provides 800 base nutrition and takes two turns to consume; they provide 1000 nutrition for elven characters, and only 600 nutrition for orcish characters.[4] Non-cursed lembas wafers are never rotten.[5]

Lembas wafers can also be used to tame domestic cats and dogs.

Strategy

Lembas wafers have the highest nutrition-to-weight ratio of all comestibles at 800 nutrition to 5 units. They also have the highest nutrition-per-turn at 400/turn: for all characters excluding elves or orcs, they are tied for the highest with K-rations. Orcs still gain 120 nutrition per aum (300/turn), making them worthwhile enough for orc characters to stock up on. Lembas is also a safe option for characters to eat in the midst of combat or while fleeing.

The combination of their high nutrition/weight and nutrition/turn makes them highly suitable for use in ascension kits, especially as a precaution for Famine. They are usually combined with a supply of K-rations for this purpose, and it is not an uncommon strategy to polypile other food items for more lembas.

History

The lembas wafer is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0. From this version to NetHack 3.4.3, including variants based on those versions, lembas wafers can be rotten just the same as other food; in NetHack 3.6.0, non-cursed lembas is made exempt from being rotten. The differing nutrition values for elves and orcs are added in NetHack 3.6.1.

From NetHack 3.3.0 (which introduces starting races) to NetHack 3.6.1, including variants based on those versions, orcish non-Wizard characters can start the game with lembas among their random extra food items.[6] There is intended to be a substitution for an orcish character's initial inventory that gives them tripe rations in place of cram rations and lembas wafers, and the code is properly implemented in NetHack 3.6.2.[7][8]

Origin

In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien set in Middle-Earth, lembas is a lightweight and extremely nourishing food made by the elves. Lembas (or "waybread", as in the quoted excerpt used for the encyclopedia entry) was reputedly capable of keeping whoever ate it "on his feet for a day of long labour", and is given to the Fellowship to feed them on their journey.

Messages

A little goes a long way.
You ate a non-cursed lembas wafer as an elf.[9]
!#?&* elf kibble!
You ate a non-cursed lembas wafer as an orc.[10]

Encyclopedia entry

In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for their journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of a meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream. Gimli took up one of the cakes and looked at it with a doubtful eye.
'Cram,' he said under his breath, as he broke off a crisp corner and nibbled at it. His expression quickly changed, and he ate all the rest of the cake with relish.
'No more, no more!' cried the Elves laughing. 'You have eaten enough already for a long day's march.'
'I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dalemen make for journeys in the wild,' said the Dwarf.
'So it is,' they answered. 'But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any foods made by Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.'

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]

References