Smoky and milky potions

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Smoky and milky potions are two of the randomly generated colors of potion; they can be any type. However, they are noteworthy because they have a chance of summoning a monster upon quaffing: the smoky potion may summon a djinni and the milky potion may summon a ghost. If the monster appears, the potion does not have its normal effect.

Smoky potions

Quaffing a smoky potion has a 113 + 2n chance of producing a djinni, where n is the number of djinn that have been created in this game.[1][2] This djinni might grant you a wish, become tame, be peaceful, vanish instantly, or turn hostile; the chances of each outcome depend on the beatitude of the potion and are identical to the chances for magic lamps. Blessed smoky potions are the most likely to give a wish.[3]

The effect of quaffing a smoky potion does not depend on whether or not you have identified that type of potion. If you have identified smoky potions but have forgotten which ones they are, you can use \ or ` to check your current identification knowledge.

Djinn can also be summoned when a monster quaffs a smoky potion. The djinni will disappear 50% of the time; the other 50% it will be peaceful. In neither case will it grant wishes, though it does count toward the total number of djinn created.[4]

Chance of producing a djinni

Djinn already created 0 1 2 3 4 5 n
Chance of producing a djinni 7.69% 6.67% 5.88% 5.26% 4.76% 4.35% 113 + 2n
Overall chance of wish Blessed 6.15% 5.33% 4.71% 4.21% 3.81% 3.48% 465 + 10n
Uncursed 1.53% 1.33% 1.18% 1.05% 0.95% 0.87% 165 + 10n
Cursed 0.38% 0.33% 0.29% 0.26% 0.24% 0.22% 1260 + 40n

Milky potions

Milky potions have a chance of containing a hostile ghost; unless you are blind when you quaff the milky potion, you will also be rendered immobile for 3 turns, which notably ignores free action.[5] As with djinn, the probability of a milky potion generating a ghost is based on the number of ghosts already generated by any means: 113 + 2n, where n is the number of ghosts already generated. Since there will always be a large number of ghosts in the Valley of the Dead, the chance of getting a ghost from a potion decreases significantly after that point.

A monster quaffing a milky potion can also summon a ghost, paralyzing them for 3 turns.[6]


Smoky potions and wishing

Because of the possibility of a wish, it is worth blessing and quaffing all smoky potions, even if they are an otherwise useless or harmful type, especially because harmful potions are less harmful when blessed. In some cases, however, precautions must still be taken; the table below outlines these cases and what can be done to mitigate their effects:

Potion Cost Blessed result Mitigation
sickness 50 Lose 1 HP, abuse Con Quickly recovered
confusion 100 Confusion, abuse Con Unicorn horn, or just wait (it's quite short)
hallucination 100 Hallucination Unicorn horn
sleeping 100 Sleep Sleep resistance
blindness 150 Blindness Unicorn horn
invisibility 150 Permanent invisibility Wear mummy wrapping
polymorph 200 Polymorph Unchanging or polymorph control
levitation 200 Levitation Press > to float gently to the ground
acid 250 Lose 1–4 HP, abuse Con Acid resistance or recover
oil 250 Abuse Wis Quickly recovered
paralysis 300 Paralysis Free action

Probably the worst of these is the potion of polymorph, whose effect is not easily resisted and can be quite devastating without precautions. Unchanging is preferable to polymorph control for this case, since it avoids breaking polyselfless conduct and shuffling stats from polymorph into your own race.

In the case of potions of sleep and paralysis, a locked closet with a burned Elbereth square or scroll of scare monster is a reasonably secure substitute: almost all phasing, digging or door-destroying monsters respect Elbereth, although the latter two may open the way for non-Elbereth respecting monsters. A sanctuary is an even better substitute, although still not as good as free action since angelic beings may still attack you.


Another problem can occur if smoky potions are healing or extra healing, since players generally want to alchemize these to full healing. The dilemma posed is such: get more HP, or get a wish? In this case, one should go for the alchemy - on average, for the potions required to get one wish, you will get 45 extra HP if smoky potions are extra healing, and 105 extra HP if smoky potions are healing. The extra HP is pretty much always better in the latter case, and usually better in the former case, especially given that many items can be obtained without wishing.


Both of these potions can be dangerous to players in tense situations:

  • Being paralyzed for three turns from a milky potion producing a ghost can be deadly against particularly nasty monsters, though the effect can be avoided by blinding yourself.
  • The smoky potion has obvious benefits of a potential wish, but you still miss out on that potion's effect, which can be fatal if trying to quaff your only smoky potion of full healing at low health produces a tame djinni instead.



Main article: Wish#UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, wishes cannot be used on magical items unless they are from a wand of wishing.


In EvilHack, monsters can wish for items if the smoky potion they attempted to quaff produces a djinni that grants a wish.

External links


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