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[   robe   Robe.png
Appearance robe
Slot cloak
AC 2
Base price 50 zm
Weight 15
Material cloth

A robe is a type of magical cloak that appears in NetHack. It is made of cloth.


Monks start the game with a +1 robe, and Priests start the game with a +0 robe.[1][2]

Aligned priests, high priests and the Arch Priest each have a 67 chance of generating with a robe.[3] The Grand Master and Master Kaen have a 1011 chance of generating with a robe.[4]

Player monsters that are not monks, including those generated on the Astral Plane, have an effective ~4.45% chance of generating with a robe as their initial cloak before role-based replacements, while monks will always force a robe regardless of their initial cloak.[5][6] Priests have a 34 chance of forcing a robe, increasing their effective chance to ~62.29%, while wizards have a 12 chance of forcing a cloak of magic resistance instead, reducing their effective chance to ~2.22%.[7][8]

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 Arch Priest, the Priest quest leader, is generated with a +4 robe, and the Grand Master, the Monk quest leader, is generated with a +6 robe.


While worn, a robe grants 2 base AC and MC2, and confers a spellcasting bonus: it decreases penalty for any worn metal body armor by 12 or, if no metal armor is being worn, decreases spellcasting difficulty by the full penalty amount for that role.[9]


As robes tend to be fairly rare, one of the easier methods to obtain one is to sic a sufficiently strong pet on an aligned priest you do not plan on donating to - you can also kill the priest yourself if you are willing to accept possible murder penalties, which wishless and/or polypileless conduct players may favor. Lucky players that have not disabled bones may also find one atop the grave of a dead Monk or Priest. Monks that can defeat Master Kaen and Priests that can deal with the hostile priest in their respective quests can also obtain a spare robe.

Characters planning to dabble in lower-level spells - particularly utility spells like identify, remove curse, and drain life - may want to stash a spare robe for that purpose; when paired with a helm of brilliance, they may even gain access to stronger spells in restricted schools depending on the role in question. If the robe is not your primary cloak, you may need to temporarily swap it for said primary cloak (e.g., a cloak of magic resistance).

Wizards in particular may want a robe to offset the spellcasting penalty from gauntlets of power, which some Wizard builds may wear to offset low strength and constitution (and thus carrying capacity). Robe-clad wizards generally use Magicbane and/or The Eye of the Aethiopica as their source of magic resistance.

For character builds that do not plan to rely on the cloak slot for magic resistance, a robe is usually a solid choice for long-term casters - see GDSM versus SDSM for some examples of these builds, including ascension kits.


The robe first appears in NetHack Plus, a variant of the NetHack 3.1.0 series of releases and an ancestor of SLASH'EM. It makes its vanilla NetHack debut in NetHack 3.3.0. Prior to this version, the Priest role started with +0 chain mail.

The robe that originates in NetHack Plus and its descended variants (particularly SLASH'EM) has significant differences in function from the later NetHack robe: it acts as body armor that provides 1 AC rather than a cloak, and does not block spellcasting - it also does not impede a Monk's martial arts, and is the only suitable type of body armor for the role.

From NetHack 3.3.0 to NetHack 3.4.3, including some variants that use the vanilla-style robe and are based on those versions, the robe grants MC3 when worn.


As explained above, the robe that appears in SLASH'EM and its variants is body armor that works very different from the robe of NetHack. With the exception of SLASH'EM, the sections below cover variants that use NetHack-style robes.


Main article: Robe (SLASH'EM)

In SLASH'EM, SlashTHEM and Hack'EM, there are four types of body armor robe available:

These robes can be found on monsters such as wraiths, aligned priests and mind flayers.


In UnNetHack, the second level of the Ruins of Moria always generates a burnt robe atop the wizard corpse on the narrow land bridge.


In dNetHack, a robe grants 0 base AC, 2 DR and MC3 while worn, and is normally always made of cloth.

Incantifier characters will have the standard body armor of most roles replaced with a robe: the roles that do not replace body armor with a robe for Incantifiers are Binders, Healers, Knights, Nobles, Tourists and Troubadours.

A robe is always generated in minor spires that appear within the Outlands of the Neutral Quest.

Some monsters generate with a robe:

  • The adventuring wizard of the rebel leader party that serves as the default Noble quest nemesis always generates with a robe.
  • Center of All generates with a +0 large-sized concordant robe.
  • Xorn monks have a 4950 chance of generating with an orange-colored robe, which will have its enchantment increased by 1-4 points after creation.
  • Uvuudaums always generate with a robe.

In addition to the standard robe, dNetHacks adds three types of very rare robes - the white faceless robe, black faceless robe and the smoky violet faceless robe. dNetHack also adds a few artifact robes:

  • The Robe of Closed Eyes is a neutral robe that is made of leather, favors drow Healers and acts as their first sacrifice gift. It grants invisibility and gaze resistance while worn, and can be enchanted to +7.
  • The Grandmaster's Robe is a neutral robe that can also be named by a character at experience level 30 that has reached Grand Master in martial arts - being gifted the Grandmaster's Robe unrestricts the martial arts skill if applicable. While worn, it grants double the spellcasting bonuses of a normal robe and gives martial arts attacks exploding dice, with a 12 chance of +1d4 bonus damage on each hit. The Grandmaster's Robe can be enchanted to +7.
  • The Robe of the Archmagi is an unaligned intelligent robe that favors Wizards. It grants warning and magic resistance while worn, and can be enchanted to +7. Invoking the Robe of the Archmagi restores energy.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Balaam is generated with a large-sized robe when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.


In EvilHack, giants and tortles that play as Monks or Priests will have their starting robes replaced: giants are given high boots, and tortles are given toques.

The Dark One always generates with a robe, as does the Wizard of Yendor. Vecna always generates with a cursed, rotted robe of drain resistance; this is one of the only instances in which a robe can generate with an object property, which is otherwise not possible for magical items and extremely rare for non-magical items that have an object property.

Encyclopedia entry

Robes are the only garments, apart from Shirts, ever to have sleeves. They have three uses:
1. As the official uniform of Priests, Priestesses, Monks, Nuns (see Nunnery), and Wizards. The OMT [ Official Management Term ] prescribed for the Robes of Priests and Nuns is that they _fall in severe folds_; of Priestesses that they _float_; and of Wizards that they _swirl_. You can thus see who you are dealing with.
2. For Kings. The OMT here is _falling in stately folds_.
3. As the garb of Desert Nomads. [...]

[ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones ]