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Sacrifice is a means whereby you can reduce your prayer timeout, increase your luck, and gain powerful artifact weapons. Alternatively, you can also change your alignment by sacrificing to another god when you have negative luck. To sacrifice, you stand on an altar,[1] use the #offer command, and select a fresh corpse from your inventory or one that is lying on the altar. Unsurprisingly, this breaks the atheist conduct. The greater the monster's difficulty, the more your god will appreciate it.

If the corpse is a cockatrice and your hands are bare, you suffer the effects of touching it, even if it wasn't in your inventory.[2]

Further effects depend on the details of the sacrifice.

Ordinary sacrifice[edit]

This applies to sacrifices made on your own god's altar that are not of your own race, not a pet, not a unicorn, and not made in the endgame.

If the creature is not an acid blob and is more than 50 turns old or more than 50 turns out of an icebox, it is rejected: "Nothing happens."[3][4] (Acid blobs never expire for sacrifices, although they will eventually rot away.) Otherwise, the sacrifice is accepted and you get "Your sacrifice is consumed in a burst of flame" if neutral or chaotic, and "Your sacrifice is consumed in a flash of light" if lawful.[5] If you are lawful and blind, you will instead get the message "Your sacrifice disappears".[6] If you are hallucinating you get one of the following messages: "Your sacrifice sprouts wings and a propeller and roars away!",[7] "Your sacrifice puffs up, swelling bigger and bigger, and pops!",[8] or "Your sacrifice collapses into a cloud of dancing particles and fades away!"[9]

Creatures have a particular sacrifice value depending generally on their toughness. In some special cases, the value may be negative if the offering displeases your god; see below. Partly eaten corpses normally have their value decreased by roughly the percentage that's been eaten.[10][11] For lawful or neutral characters, undead have an extra point of value,[12] but this is only relevant to wraiths, since other undead corpses are automatically aged too much to sacrifice them.

If your god is angry at you:[13]
Their anger is decreased by 1/8 the value of the sacrifice, or if you're chaotic by 1/12 the value of the sacrifice (chaotic gods are harder to appease).[14][15] The decrease in anger is always rounded down. High-difficulty monsters can be hard to find early in the game, but a black pudding from a sink will work. For non-chaotic players, a cross-aligned unicorn will also work.
If this reduces your god's anger to zero,[16][17][18] you'll receive the message that your god "seems mollified" (if hallucinating, "seems cosmic (not a new fact)"),[19] and your base Luck will be increased to zero if negative.[20]
If anger is reduced but not to zero,[17] your god "seems slightly mollified" ("seems groovy" if hallucinating),[21] and your base Luck will be increased by one point if negative.[22]
If anger has not been reduced at all, "You have a feeling of inadequacy" (if hallucinating, "The gods seem tall").[23]
If your god is not angry at you, but your alignment is negative:[24]
Your alignment is increased by the value of the sacrifice,[25] up to a maximum of 0 alignment[26] or 24 points,[27][15] and "You feel partially absolved."[28]
If your god is not angry and your alignment is positive but your prayer timeout is greater than zero:[29]
Your prayer timeout is decreased by 12.5 times the sacrifice's value if you are lawful or neutral, or 125/6 (about 20.8) times its value if you're chaotic, to a minimum of zero.[30]
If this decreases your prayer timeout to 0,[31][32] then "You have a feeling of reconciliation"[33] (if hallucinating, "Overall, there is a smell of fried onions"[34]) and your base Luck is increased to zero if negative.[35]
If your prayer timeout is not yet zero,[32] "You have a hopeful feeling"[36] (if hallucinating, "You realize the gods are not like you and I"[37]), your base Luck is increased by one if negative,[38] and it is not yet safe to pray.
If none of the above cases applied (i.e. your prayer timeout is zero, your god is not angry and your alignment record is positive):[39]
If your base Luck is nonnegative and you are at least at experience level 3, you may receive a gift.[40]
If you did not receive a gift (or were not eligible for one at all),[41] your base Luck will be increased by about a fifth of the sacrifice value (specifically, 10/48), rounded down.[42][43][15] If your base Luck is still negative after this, it will be set to 0.[44] If your Luck was changed by this, you will see the message "You glimpse a four-leaf clover at your <feet>."[45] ("You think something brushed your <feet>." if blind;[46] "You see crabgrass at your <feet>. A funny thing in a dungeon." if hallucinating and not blind[47]).

None of the possible effects will guarantee that you can safely pray; this is because they only affect base Luck, so a cursed luckstone may still cause your actual Luck to be negative.


If your prayer timeout is 0, you have positive alignment, and your god is not angry, you generally have a chance of getting an artifact. Your experience level must be at least 3, and your base Luck must be nonnegative.[40] If those conditions are met, the chances of your getting an artifact are 1 / (10 + 2 × Number of existing artifacts × Number of gifts granted by your god).[48]

If you receive an artifact, you get the message "An object appears at your feet!",[49] and your god will tell you to "use my gift wisely!"[50] Your wisdom is exercised,[51] your prayer timeout is set to rnz(300 + 50 × Number of existing artifacts),[52] and your skill in using the artifact's type of weapon becomes unrestricted.[53] The artifact will also be made erodeproof[54] and set to at least +0;[55] it will not be cursed.[56]

Your first gift will be a co-aligned artifact[57] that does not hate your current form.[58] Some roles have a guaranteed first sacrifice gift,[59] which is noted below; its alignment will be adjusted to your starting alignment at the beginning of the game if necessary.[60] Excalibur,[61] quest artifacts,[61] and cross-aligned artifacts cannot be gifted.[57]

Once a co-aligned artifact has already been given, then unaligned ones also become eligible.[62]

Lawful gifts: Demonbane, Grayswandir, Snickersnee (Samurai), Sunsword

Neutral gifts: Cleaver (Barbarian), Giantslayer, Magicbane (Wizard), Mjollnir (Valkyrie), Vorpal Blade

Chaotic gifts: Grimtooth, Orcrist, Sting, Stormbringer

Unaligned gifts: Dragonbane, Fire Brand, Frost Brand, Ogresmasher, Trollsbane, Werebane

Sacrificing creatures of own race[edit]

If the creature you sacrifice is of your own race, you get good effects if you're chaotic and bad effects otherwise.

If you are chaotic:
You gain five points of alignment.[63]
If the altar is chaotic, you gain two points of Luck, and if the altar is unaligned, you lose two points of Luck.[64] Your Luck is unaffected if the altar is cross-aligned (but the altar will be converted as noted in the cross-aligned altars section below).
If you are non-chaotic:
Your wisdom is abused unless you are polymorphed into a demon.[65] ("You'll regret this infamous offense!")
You lose five points of alignment.[66]
Your god's anger increases by three.[67]
Your Luck decreases by 5.[68]
You lose one point of wisdom.[69] This can be cured with a unicorn horn.
Outside of Gehennom, your god will punish you as for praying too much (depending on the level of anger).[70]
If the altar is chaotic, you'll destroy it and anger any attendant priest.[71]
Whether or not you are chaotic:
If the altar is chaotic or unaligned, a demon may be summoned. The demon will be peaceful if you are chaotic and hostile otherwise. The first two demons will be Juiblex and Yeenoghu in any order, followed by foocubi.[72]
If you are polymorphed into a demon, "You find the idea very satisfying."; your wisdom is exercised.[73]
If the altar is lawful or neutral, it will immediately be converted to chaotic (except on the Astral Plane),[74] independent of your alignment; if there is a priest tending the altar, they will be angered.[75]

The check for same race is done before the check for a former pet and ignores the check for age, so same-race corpses are always fit for sacrifice until they rot away completely. This is just about the only time an undead creature is a valid sacrifice.

Keep in mind that werecreatures are considered human, so sacrificing them if you're human will have the consequences described above.

Sacrificing pets[edit]

Sacrificing creatures that died while tame[76] will generally cause you to lose three points of alignment[77] and gain the aggravate monster intrinsic.[78] The pet will have a sacrificial value of -1,[79] so this will only result in the god of the altar being angered;[80][81] the corpse will not be consumed. Former pets that have gone feral no longer count as pets, and may be killed and sacrificed as usual.

Cross-aligned altars[edit]

(Level + 2) / (Level + 8)

You can convert cross-aligned altars (but not high altars[82]) by sacrificing at them if they're not unaligned altars in Gehennom.[83][84] If you fail, you will lose 1 Luck[85] and abuse wisdom.[86] If you succeed then you gain 1 Luck[87] and the altar becomes coaligned. The chances to convert an altar go up with character level. Converting an altar with a priest present will cause the priest to attack you.[88]

The probability to convert an altar is (Your level + 2) / (your level + 8).[89]

In any case, minions may be summoned to protect the altar.[90][91]

When attempting to convert an altar, you will get the message "You sense a conflict between <your god> and <the god of the altar>." A successful conversion will produce the message "You feel the power of <your god> increase." A failed one will result in "Unluckily, you feel the power of <your god> decrease."

A sacrifice with negative value, such as a former pet, will not cause an attempted conversion. Instead, it will anger the altar's god, which will actually decrease your own god's anger by one.[80][81] You will still suffer the usual effects of angering a god, including the loss of any divine protection and being smitten by the angry god. The pet corpse is not consumed, so you can cure as much anger as you like.

Attempting to convert an altar while your alignment is negative[92] (or using a unicorn of your alignment; see below for details) may convert your alignment to that of the altar,[93] take away 3 of your Luck[94] and increase your prayer timeout by 300[95] ("You have a sudden sense of a new direction").

This can only be done once per game on a non-unaligned altar;[96] if this happens before you have been admitted to the quest, the game will be unwinnable. If you try to convert yourself a second time, the sacrifice is rejected by the altar's deity (-5 to Luck[97] and alignment score,[98] -2 to wisdom[99]) and you will gain three points of anger[100] and (unless in Gehennom) be punished by your current deity.[101]

As with coaligned altars, if you get a message saying "Nothing happens", then the corpse was too old and, indeed, nothing happened.

Sacrificing unicorns[edit]

Sacrificing unicorns is complicated because the altar's alignment, your alignment, and the unicorn's alignment all factor into the outcome.[102] A unicorn's alignment is represented by its color. The white is lawful, grey neutral, and black chaotic. The points to remember are:

  • Never sacrifice a unicorn on an altar of its own alignment. You lose one point of wisdom[103] and the altar's god becomes angry, with the same effect as angering that god through prayer.[104][80] If the altar is not of your alignment, your god's anger is reduced by one.[81]
  • Never sacrifice a unicorn of your own alignment. This acts as above if the altar is also of your alignment.[105] If the altar is cross-aligned, this will set your alignment score to -1,[106] which makes your sacrifice convert you instead of the altar.

Each time you sacrifice a unicorn of a different alignment on your own altar, you get a +5 boost to your alignment[107] and the message "You feel appropriately {lawful | neutral | chaotic}",[108] or "You feel you are thoroughly on the right path" if alignment is at maximum.[109]

The rest of the effects are summarized in the following table:

You Unicorn Altar Effect
Lawful.pngLawful Lawful.pngWhite Lawful.pngLawful Bad
Lawful.pngLawful Lawful.pngWhite Neutral.pngNeutral You become neutral
Lawful.pngLawful Lawful.pngWhite Chaotic.pngChaotic You become chaotic
Lawful.pngLawful Neutral.pngGrey Lawful.pngLawful Good
Lawful.pngLawful Neutral.pngGrey Neutral.pngNeutral Bad
Lawful.pngLawful Neutral.pngGrey Chaotic.pngChaotic Attempt to convert altar
Lawful.pngLawful Chaotic.pngBlack Lawful.pngLawful Good
Lawful.pngLawful Chaotic.pngBlack Neutral.pngNeutral Attempt to convert altar
Lawful.pngLawful Chaotic.pngBlack Chaotic.pngChaotic Bad
Neutral.pngNeutral Lawful.pngWhite Lawful.pngLawful Bad
Neutral.pngNeutral Lawful.pngWhite Neutral.pngNeutral Good
Neutral.pngNeutral Lawful.pngWhite Chaotic.pngChaotic Attempt to convert altar
Neutral.pngNeutral Neutral.pngGrey Lawful.pngLawful You become lawful
Neutral.pngNeutral Neutral.pngGrey Neutral.pngNeutral Bad
Neutral.pngNeutral Neutral.pngGrey Chaotic.pngChaotic You become chaotic
Neutral.pngNeutral Chaotic.pngBlack Lawful.pngLawful Attempt to convert altar
Neutral.pngNeutral Chaotic.pngBlack Neutral.pngNeutral Good
Neutral.pngNeutral Chaotic.pngBlack Chaotic.pngChaotic Bad
Chaotic.pngChaotic Lawful.pngWhite Lawful.pngLawful Bad
Chaotic.pngChaotic Lawful.pngWhite Neutral.pngNeutral Attempt to convert altar
Chaotic.pngChaotic Lawful.pngWhite Chaotic.pngChaotic Good
Chaotic.pngChaotic Neutral.pngGrey Lawful.pngLawful Attempt to convert altar
Chaotic.pngChaotic Neutral.pngGrey Neutral.pngNeutral Bad
Chaotic.pngChaotic Neutral.pngGrey Chaotic.pngChaotic Good
Chaotic.pngChaotic Chaotic.pngBlack Lawful.pngLawful You become lawful
Chaotic.pngChaotic Chaotic.pngBlack Neutral.pngNeutral You become neutral
Chaotic.pngChaotic Chaotic.pngBlack Chaotic.pngChaotic Bad

Note: You will lose any intrinsic protection whenever your alignment changes.


You have a hopeful feeling.
You may not pray yet because your prayer timeout hasn't expired.
You have a feeling of reconciliation.
Your sacrifice reduced your prayer timeout to zero. Unless you have a cursed luckstone, you may pray.
An object appears at your feet!
You may not pray because you received a gift and your prayer timeout has been increased.
You have a feeling of inadequacy.
You may not pray. Your god is still angry at you; your sacrifice did nothing to reduce his anger.
<Deity> seems slightly mollified.
You may not pray. Your god's anger has been reduced but it is not yet zero.
<Deity> seems mollified.
Your god's anger has been reduced to zero. Sacrifice again to find if it's safe to pray.
You feel partially absolved.
You may not pray because your alignment was negative, and has been increased by the level of the corpse, to a maximum of zero. Sacrifice again to find if it's safe to pray.
You glimpse a four-leaf clover at your feet.
Your base Luck was increased and is at least 0. Unless you have a cursed luckstone, you may pray.
You think something brushed your foot.
As above, while blind..
You see crabgrass at your feet. A funny thing in a dungeon.
As above, while hallucinating.
Your sacrifice is consumed...
If not followed by another message, you may pray.
You have a sudden sense of a new direction.
You have been permanently converted to a new alignment.


In SLASH'EM, in addition to the usual benefits of sacrifice, you may have wielded and worn items blessed by your god, or minions granted as pets. Additionally, due to the many new artifacts in SLASH'EM, there is much more variation in the types of artifacts you may receive.

Sacrifice gifts in SLASH'EM[edit]

Lawful gifts: Demonbane, Firewall (Flame mage 1st gift), Grayswandir, Holy Spear of Light, Orcrist, Quick Blade, Reaper (Yeoman 2nd gift), Skullcrusher (Caveman 1st gift), Snickersnee (Samurai 1st gift), Sting, Sunsword, Sword of Justice (Yeoman 1st gift)

Neutral gifts: Cleaver (Barbarian 1st gift), Deluder (Wizard 2nd gift), Disrupter (Priest 1st gift), Gauntlets of Defense (Monk 1st gift), Giantkiller, Luckblade, Magicbane (Wizard 1st gift), Mirrorbright (Healer 1st gift), Mjollnir (Valkyrie 1st gift), Sword of Balance, Vorpal Blade, Whisperfeet (Tourist 1st gift)

Chaotic gifts: Bat from Hell (Rogue 1st gift), Deathsword (Barbarian 2nd gift), Deep Freeze (Ice Mage 1st gift), Doomblade, Elfrist, Grimtooth, Hellfire, Houchou, Plague, Serpent's Tongue (Necromancer 1st gift), Stormbringer

Unaligned gifts: Dragonbane, Fire Brand, Frost Brand, Ogresmasher, Trollsbane, Wallet of Perseus, Werebane

Slash'EM Extended[edit]

All of the above SLASH'EM rules also apply to Slash'EM Extended, but offering any corpse on an altar also carries a 1% risk of the altar disappearing permanently.


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