Potion of polymorph

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! Pink potion.png
Name polymorph
Appearance random
Base price 200 zm
Weight 20
Monster use May be used by monsters as misc items.

The potion of polymorph can be used to polymorph items, monsters or the player.


Quaffing, throwing and wielding

Main article: polymorph

Quaffing this potion will make you polymorph. Monsters can also quaff this potion; mercifully, this will not generate out-of-depth monsters.[1] Throwing this potion at a monster will cause it to polymorph, as will wielding the potion and smashing it on them.


Main article: polypiling

Dipping an item into this potion may polymorph the item. Invocation items, the Amulet of Yendor, and spellbooks/wands/potions of polymorph will never be polymorphed. Other artifacts have a 95% chance of resisting, and other items 5%[2]. The usual checks for golem creation, items vanishing, artifacts resisting, etc. are skipped, but large stacks still merge to small ones[3]. Dipping this potion into another one (except water) will similarly polymorph the other potion, rather than resulting in random alchemy.

Items may resist polymorph (signified by the message "Nothing happens."); this doesn't use up the potion and doesn't break polypileless conduct. When an item accidentally polymorphs into itself, you receive the message "Nothing seems to happen"; this uses up the potion and breaks polypileless. In both cases, the potion isn't formally identified, but you can #name it, since both messages are different from the "Interesting..." that usually appears when nothing actually happens after dipping.


Most players can easily identify the potion by dipping an item into it. However, trying to use-test or dip-test potions may result in the loss of the polyselfless or polypileless conduct. Because of this, some conduct players try to price-id identify the 200zm potions via price and other methods. If you polymorph yourself, it may also destroy some of your armor. Here are a few other methods that do not require magical identification:

  • Dipping a resistant item, such as a wand of polymorph or the Bell of Opening, is always safe and doesn’t use up the tested potions.
  • Quaffing while wearing an amulet of unchanging uses up the potion, but prevents it from taking effect; fortunately, all the other 200 zm potions are safe to drink as well (although you may want to bless them first).
  • Monsters with difficulty 5 or less are occasionally generated with one as their miscellaneous item, and watching one drink the potion will identify it. You could also try leaving 200 zm potions in the path of intelligent monsters.


Wielding the potion and hitting a monster is not advised because if by an unlucky chance that monster becomes a cockatrice, you will be petrified.

Dip-testing with a unicorn horn is a suitable method, provided you are not using your only unicorn horn; using a spare horn can also yield a magical tool.


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.1. Information on this page may be out of date.

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