Ring of free action

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name free action
Appearance random
Base price 200 zm
Weight 3

A ring of free action is a type of ring that appears in NetHack. The default randomized appearance associated with it is "a twisted ring".[1]


When worn, the ring confers the free action property, which protects you from most forms of paralysis; this includes:

The ring does not protect you from:

Eating the ring and successfully absorbing its magic will grant intrinsic sleep resistance.[13] Monsters will not wear this ring.


A ring of free action is often considered essential for endgame areas such as Moloch's Sanctum and the Astral Plane, which are always full of hostile aligned priests that can end your run with a single ill-timed paralyze spell - a thrown potion of paralysis is also not uncommon, and depending on the location can also easily result in your death if one hits you. Some players will wish or polypile for one if they have not found it by the time they are ready to retrieve the Book of the Dead for the Invocation.

Even so, it is more than possible to do without the ring by taking other precautions: conflict in particular is useful to prevent paralyzing monsters from engaging you at melee range, and a powerful ranged option can kill most paralyzing monsters before they can reach you, leaving thrown potions to contend with. If you elect to enter the Sanctum or the Astral Plane without the ring of free action, avoid being surrounded if at all possible and have an amulet of life saving and/or some potions of full healing ready to use at a moment's notice.

Players will often combine a ring of free action with a thrown or wielded potion of paralysis to immobilize and dispose of difficult (and usually covetous) monsters such as the quest nemeses, Vlad the Impaler, and demon lords and princes with much less risk to themselves.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (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 and orange-scaled mail grant free action when worn, making the property more accessible without the ring.


Informally identifying a ring of free action without a sink can be difficult, since most forms of paralysis can result in a helpless player's demise. In terms of price identification, free action is among the 200zm rings - the ring of levitation is the only 200zm ring that will auto-identify when worn, and the effects of some others (e.g. fire resistance or slow digestion) may not be immediately obvious.

For the paranoid player, one of the safest methods is to lock yourself in a closet and quaff a potion of paralysis while standing on a semi-permanent Elbereth engraving or a scroll of scare monster. Paralysis from a gelatinous cube lasts for a much shorter duration compared to other forms, making it relatively safe to test a ring with, and especially cautious players can use this to set up similar circumstances for testing a ring - keep in mind that attacking any creature while on an Elbereth engraving will cause it to fade away.


The ring of free action first appears in NetHack 3.3.0.


You momentarily stiffen.
The ring of free action prevented a paralyzing attack or a chest trap from paralyzing you.
You stiffen momentarily.
The ring prevented a potion of paralysis or its vapors from paralyzing you.
You momentarily stiffen under <monster>'s gaze!
The ring prevented a floating eye's passive gaze from paralyzing you.[10]
You stiffen momentarily under <monster>'s gaze.
As above, while you are polymorphed into a monster with a gaze attack that you used on the floating eye.[11]
You stiffen momentarily under your gaze.
As above, but you were polymorphed into a floating eye and applied a mirror on yourself.[14]
You stiffen briefly.
Free action prevented the paralyze monster spell from paralyzing you.
You see the ring slide right down the drain!
You dropped a ring of free action onto a sink.



In SLASH'EM, the ring of free action also confers additional protection against holding attacks, including the drowning attacks used often by sea monsters and mind flayer tentacle attacks. The chance is dependent on your Luck, ranging from a 12 chance at 0 Luck to 910 at maximum Luck.

The ring of free action is even more valuable in SLASH'EM due to holding protection and can also be a lifesaver against rhaumbusuns, which are not as dangerous on their own but can prove lethal if their paralyzing gaze freezes you in the midst of freshly-summoned nasties.


<foo> grabs you, but you quickly free yourself!
Free action prevented a monster from grabbing you with a holding attack.


In EvilHack, monsters will wear the ring of free action if possible.

The Barbarian quest artifact is changed to The Ring of P'hul, an artifact ring of free action that confers immunity to sickness when carried and grants magic resistance when worn.