Sustain ability

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Sustain ability is a property that occurs in NetHack and prevents most changes to a character's attributes.

The only source of the property is wearing a ring of sustain ability.


Sustain ability prevents attribute changes from exercise or abuse, as well as blocking the parts of item effects that change attributes:

Sustain ability does not prevent changes to attributes from polymorph, including the shuffling that occurs when polymorphing into your own race.



You have fixed abilities.
You have sustain ability as viewed via enlightenment.


Some variants introduce more sources of the property.


In dNetHack, the Binder spirit Dahlver-Nar confers sustain ability while bound.


In FIQHack, sustain ability is one of the properties that can be conferred by quaffing or dipping into a potion of wonder.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, The Talisman of Buer is an artifact amulet of life saving that confers sustain ability while worn.


In Hack'EM, the sustainability object property on weapons and armor causes the item to confer sustain ability while wielded or worn. The item's enchantment cannot be magically altered, and it will not be destroyed by system shock if polymorphed.