Orange dragon scales

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[   orange dragon scales   Orange dragon scales.png
Appearance orange dragon scales
Slot body armor
AC 3
Base price 500 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide

Orange dragon scales are a type of body armor that appear in NetHack. They are made of dragon hide like all dragon scales.


Orange dragon scales are not randomly generated, though they can be wished for or found in bones.

A orange dragon that leaves a corpse behind on death (i.e. always, unless killed by disintegration) have a 13 chance of leaving behind dragon scales, while a dragon revived by the wand of undead turning or spell of turn undead only has a 120 chance to leave behind scales.[1] Orange dragon scales dropped this way are always generated +0 and uncursed.[2]


While worn, orange dragon scales confer 3 base AC and sleep resistance. Reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant armor that targets worn orange dragon scales will convert them into orange dragon scale mail, with a blessed scroll adding a point of enchantment.

Uncontrolled polymorph while wearing orange dragon scales will turn the wearer into a orange dragon, and doing so while wearing the scale mail will additionally revert them to scales.[3][4][5]

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.

Per commit ef1eeed7, both the scales and scale mail also provide free action.


Orange dragon scales may seem somewhat more useful at a glance compared to other colors: most sources of sleep cannot be countered by reflection other than the breath weapon and wand of sleep, falling asleep in combat is frequently lethal, and there are few other extrinsic sources of the resistance - a ring of free action only protects against the potion of sleeping and its vapors. However, there are plenty of intrinsic sources in the form of corpses, particularly those of elven monsters, and elven characters obtain the intrinsic at experience level 4 - obtaining the intrinsic renders orange scales useless.

One potential use case for orange dragon scales is a non-elven foodless atheist character, who has fewer means of obtaining the property and is at particularly high risk from sleeping gas traps.

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.

Orange dragon scales are more likely to be considered for free action, which may free up a ring slot for a character not reliant on body armor to cover reflection or magic resistance.


Orange dragon scales first appear with most other colors of dragon scales in NetHack 3.1.0.


Main article: Dragon-scaled armor

In some variants, dragon scale mail is phased out in favor of dragon-scaled armor, whose implementation is based on a proposal by dtsund. Instead of being made into mail of its own, dragon scales are treated as a cloak, and reading a scroll of enchant armor melds them onto a worn set of body armor, generally augmenting that armor by adding its AC and conferred extrinsic properties to it. Dragon-scaled armor is implemented in NetHack Fourk, xNetHack, EvilHack, and Hack'EM.

Several variants also give orange dragon scales additional properties while worn, and may even introduce other forms of orange dragon scale armor. Variants that implement partial intrinsics and/or object properties may also make orange dragon scales and other colors more worthwhile.


In SporkHack, worn orange dragon scales passively inflict slowing on attackers.


In UnNetHack, dragon scales and dragon scale mail have randomized powers and appearances in each game - to wish for dragon armor or scales by its corresponding power, either type of armor must be formally identified first, e.g. by using a scroll of identify on dropped dragon scales (which identifies the matching scale mail along with it) or by witnessing the dragon use its breath weapon.

Orange dragon scales are effectively replaced by sleep dragon scales, which confer only 1 base AC like all dragon scales in UnNetHack.


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, worn orange dragon scales additionally confer free action and hallucination resistance.


In FIQHack, worn orange dragon scales additionally confer free action. They also weigh 300 aum like all dragon scales in FIQHack (which is halved while worn).