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NetHack Brass

Re the Nethack Brass section: I believe that converting altars can summon a minion in vanilla Nethack too, and I'm certain that it can in Slash'EM. I haven't time to research the details right now, and I've never played Nethack Brass, but in Nethack/Slash'EM you may be able to kill the minion rather than fleeing from it, or if you do flee you could come back and kill it later. Ekaterin 10:31, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I never saw a minion before my first game of NetHack brass, in which at experience level 1, I converted an altar and the lawful god summoned a couatl against me, at which point I chose to run away! I tend to keep my luck up, which might help explain why I never encountered minions while converting altars in vanilla or SLASH'EM. --Kernigh 19:52, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

A message not here

I got "You think something brushed your foot" while sacrificing, and that's not listed here. I was blind at the time, so it could be the four-leaf clover message for when you're blind, but I'm not sure. Could I get confirmation? --Someone Else 10:31, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

That's correct. I added some more messages to the article. --Jayt 13:10, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe the following is also missing: "Your sacrifice is consumed in a flash of light!" It was unclear to me if this is intended to be a derivative of "Your sacrifice is consumed..." or not Yidda 02:10, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Another possible message is missing: "You feel appropriately lawful." instead of "You feel you are thoroughly on the right path." after sacrificing a cross-aligned unicorn on a co-aligned altar. Is that better or worse? 16:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

"Sacrificing one of your own alignment on someone else's altar is a good way to change alignments. Sacrificing one of a different color on your own altar makes you feel "appropriately [lawful/neutral/chaotic]" (+5 alignment) or "thoroughly on the right path" (alignment already maximized)." attributed to tsuteiuQ

converting to the altar

Can someone talk about how to convert to an opposing altar? I was playing as a samurai (I think I wasn't doing well [dog died, nymph stole from me, it was like a damn blues song] so I said "eff 'dis and killed some watchmen in gnome town, then sacrificed at the chaotic altar) and I converted [I SAW THE LIGHT!] and sacrificed some more humans and got some great demon pets.

It was my best game ever. --Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 3 November 2006

The article does discuss this. Under Danger in sacrificing it says:
  • Sacrificing at an altar not of your alignment type (ie. Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic) when your alignment is negative.
    • This may convert you to the altar's alignment, you lose 3 luck, and your prayer timeout increases by 300.
Also read the Sacrificing unicorns section. By the way, the demons that are sent in when you sacrifice your own race when chaotic do not become your pets, just peaceful monsters that hang around and, in my opinion, just cause trouble by blocking your way. --ZeroOne 09:52, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

If I sacrifice a unicorn of my own alignment on an unaligned altar, do I turn unaligned?-- 15:46, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

No, unaligned altars cannot be converted to. pray.c#1348 seems to indicate trying this is the same as trying to convert a second time. --Bcode 16:16, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Identifying High Altars

It would be nice to mention that the altars on the astral plane cannot be IDed from afar (except maybe fear I don't know). The command someone told me for this that I didn't know was look : This is much better than trying to engrave on the altar or celestial disgrace.

I added some info about IDing the high altar with the :look command

Another note on high altars is if you try to sacrifice your own race to convert the altar it will be covered in blood and disappear along with the other noted effects.

Other stuff

Things like kicking and siting on altars should be noted here.

Also, the effects of stacking on corpse age should probably be discussed too. (I haven't figured out the details yet, or I'd put in the information myself). For example, if there're several *coughcough* puddings that are too old on an altar, and a fresh one is added, if they all have the same name, none (not even the fresh one) can be sacrificed. (naming the new creature something different using the C command before killing it will make it into a separate pile and thus sacrificeable).

[need help]What's the real case when you sacrifice zombies?

It writes here in the article "For lawful or neutral characters, zombies have an extra point of value."[1]

But it writes in article zombie "Zombies leave corpses that are already old, so they are unfit for sacrificing,..."[2]

So which one is correct?

From my own experience, I got rejected quite a few times when I try to sacrifice zombies. And through logic one may infer that since there is no 'zombie corpses', the system would only treat corpses zombies left like they are named, old human or dwarven or whatever corpses. So does [1] actually mean that sacrificing 'alive' and kicking zombies are different from sacrificing the corpses that zombies left?

Plus, what if the zombie in question is of the same race as you are? Does 'same race rule' rule over other rules?


As a chaotic elf I was recently able to sacrifice the corpses left by two elf zombies. I've never really tried, before or since, but I got them to the altar pretty fast. They summoned Juiblex and Yeenoghu too. --Andronikus 14:05, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
same race sacrafices skip the age check.--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 25 Jan 2008
Yep, to me it looks like the same-race check is done before the corpse age check in the code, so perhaps that is why. As a human I once tried to use a wand of turn undead to revive a dwarf mummy corpse on the altar, but it came back as another mummy and was too old even 1 turn later. BTW, the code checks for is_undead status, not zombie specifically. MysterX 12:57, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Similarly, though, I (as a hobbit yeoman in SLASH'EM) was able to sacrifice a recently created ghoul. Are the mechanics different in SLASH'EM, are ghouls immune, or was it because I disturbed the undead? --MrGuy 11:46, October 17, 2009 (UTC)
Playing SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F3, was able to sacrifice a ghast just now. Remember from my last game that I could sacrifice wights and probably also barrow wights. Special undead? Feature in SLASH'EM? Bug in SLASH'EM? --AileTheAlien 17:08, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Accuracy of Sacrificing Unicorn table?

As a neutral barbarian, I have recently sacrificed a White Unicorn on a Chaotic altar and "something bad happened". But according to the table, the altar should have been converted. Is there only a chance to convert the altar, or is the table wrong? Or was there some other factor that made my altar conversion fail? Luck? Alignment? — Qwip 15:38, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Ok, that's twice now it's failed, but with different characters. I don't have a co-aligned altar and my neutral valkyrie tried to convert a chaotic Minetown altar using a white unicorn corpse.
"Unluckily, you feel the power of Odin decrease."
What did I do wrong? — Qwip 02:38, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Been doing some code diving — dangerous for a non-techie like me — but it seems that sacrificing an unicorn to convert an altar is no more likely than any other monster scacrifice...
And there's a random number calculation I'm not sure I've interpreted correctly:
if (rn2(8 + u.ulevel) > 5) pray.c#line1380
I think that says, if a random number between 1 and (8 + your XL) is greater than five, then... in the next program lines you convert the altar.
So if I'm experience level 15 right now, that means take a random number between 1 and 23. If that number is 5 or lower, you're down on your luck. Which I was. So I ought to just keep trying with any monsters, not just unicorns... despite what the table implies. — Qwip 02:54, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
He's right. The code that handles unicorns doesn't do altar conversions, and the code for altar conversions doesn't check for unicornness. 12:20, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm just wondering why sacrificing a non-aligned unicorn on an alter of its own alignment is bad and what it does(ie: Im Chaotic and theyre lawful)? Thanks, NerdLord 18:12, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

It's bad enough, in the eyes of a lawful god, that you killed a lawful unicorn; now you're offering it to him? "Such an act is an insult to Law!" The god zaps you with lightning. OTOH, offer your own god a unicorn of a rival alignment and that's very pleasing.--Ray Chason 20:55, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I think it is worth noting that there are different levels of "Bad" on this chart. I was just disintegrated by a wide-angle disintegration-ray by Loki for trying to sacrifice a chaotic unicorn on his altar a second time. I was ready to take a couple of lightning bolts and a couple of demons. EAKugler 01:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Since the page says you should never perform this action, I don't think it's reasonable to assume Bad is always the same. If it were always the same, there would be no need to be so vague. For your information, here's how it works - when you sacrifice a unicorn on an altar of its alignment, you get the same effect as praying to an angry god. Assuming you weren't chaotic and your alignment record was good, you have a 1/3 chance of being disintegrated. If you were chaotic (priest, monk or previous conversion), your god's anger is incremented by the sacrifice. I think you have to have at least 4 anger to be disintegrated by your own god.
Why did you want to do this anyway?
--Rogerb-on-NAO 15:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I updated the article to reflect the above info. --Rogerb-on-NAO 10:45, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Own-race sacrifice

It appears (from debug mode) that a demon appears even if the altar is lawful or neutral, contrary to what the article currently says. A chaotic demon is still summoned - my first attempt was on a lawful altar with a lawful human priest sacrificing a human corpse, and got Yeenoghu. The altar became chaotic, as predicted. My second attempt was on a chaotic altar as the same priest, and the altar vanished, as predicted. (I got Juiblex that time.) My third attempt was on a chaotic altar with a chaotic human priest and a chaotic corpse (same debug-mode game) and got a peaceful hezrou. With a chaotic human priest and an unaligned altar, I got a hostile horned devil, and the altar wasn't converted or destroyed. Zonohedron 23:56, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, I can't seem to replicate those results. Zonohedron 00:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

"The altar is covered with blood! You have summoned Yeenoghu! You are terrified and unable to move!"

There appears to be no discussion of the following: As a low-level character there appears an altar and an icebox on the same level. If you can get the icebox close to the altar, you can start sacrificing the goods inside. After repeated sacrifices, you get the message "The Altar is covered with blood! You have summoned Yeenoghu! You are terrified and unable to move! You can move again," You gain peaceful Yeenoghu. If you have enough inside the icebox to repeat the process, you will also gain peaceful Jubilex. Here's the problem: Although they block your way many times (a form of protection?), they will not fight alongside you. They will absorb attacks from other monsters without response. What do you do with them to make them fight for you?

Korgie 15:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)KorgieKorgie 15:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

  • In this case, they are summoned as peaceful (will not attack you), rather than as tame (follow you closely, highlighted if hilite_pet is on, attacks enemies within 2 levels etc.) The general consensus is that they become annoying rather than useful as they often teleport to your location, and can be safely lured to another level and abandoned. One documented useful side-effect is that as they are summoned, they will not appear in their normal lairs after the Castle. -- Kalon 04:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

cosmic (not a new fact but a new message)

I was hallucinating, my god was angry and the sacrifice produced a message not on this page: "Your sacrifice puffs up, swelling bigger and bigger, and pops! Shan Lai Ching seems cosmic (not a new fact). Everything looks SO boring now."

Is it the same as "seems astral" mentioned for slightly reduced anger? I assume it's just coincidence that the hallucinations timded out that moment, nothing caused by my offer. 18:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

According to a quick source dive, the "puffs up" part is just a Hallu replacement for the usual "burst of flame" message, and the "cosmic" is a replacement for "mollified". I'm pretty sure the timeout is coincidence. -- Killian 21:56, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Killian, that samurai is already rotting with his many companions, but I appreciate your help, source diving is usually way over my head. 00:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Burst of Flame

I sacrificed a jackal at an altar to Hutehotl (chaotic Archaeologist god) on DL 1, and instead of being merely consumed, it was "consumed in a burst of flame". Do all chaotic altars do this, or just altars to Hutehotl? --MrGuy 13:51, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The message is based on your alignment. Corpses disappear in "a flash of light" if you are lawful, or "a burst of flame" if you're neutral or chaotic. 19:03, 2 January 2009 (UTC) said...

 (Document: Positive luck, alignment, no prayer timeout, sacrificed own race(Elf), summoned Juiblex peaceful. Follows me around, is he my pet?)

The person with that IP added the text to the article making it look very ugly (in the middle of a paragraph!), so I moved it here. Apparently they want to know why they got Jubilex after sacrificing an elf. @ If you were an elf and sacrificed another elf on a chaotic altar, you can get a peaceful, *not tame* demon lord.

--Gneek 20:40, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Altar Generation Probabilities

What are the probabilities of altars being generated? Do they ever appear randomly outside the main dungeon? Is there a bias against co-aligned gods? (What if you are wearing a helmet of opposite alignment - which alignment counts for bias?) Tjr 16:42, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

This seems to have been answered, but here's another related issue:

"There is an independent 1 in 60 chance of each non-special room containing an altar, which gives a 93% chance of at least one."

Does this mean a 93% chance of at least one somewhere in the Dungeons of Doom? It's not very specific. Scorchgeek (talk) 02:45, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but ignoring altars on special levels (Mine town, wizard quest end, Valley, Orcus, Sanctum, Astral Plane) and in randomly-generated temples. --Tjr (talk) 06:32, 25 February 2013 (UTC)


I'm not sure where to include it but the prayer/holy water thing should be mentioned on this page somewhere I should think. --Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 3 February 2009

Making holy water is mentioned in this section. —Shijun 20:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Non-player Use

Is such a thing possible? I seem to remember having been sacrificed by an orc or kobold shaman or something. I was standing on an altar and it said that the monster began to pray... Aeronflux 20:33, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

  • No, it is completely impossible in Nethack Bulwersator (talk) 00:44, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

sacrifice partly eaten corpses

In the text is says partly eaten corpses count less. I have never been able to sacrifice such corpses at all (nor tin them). Perhaps this is a remnant of some previous version of nethack? If nobody speaks up what sense this makes, I will remove it in 1-2 weeks. Tjr 20:59, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Update: it is possible in carefully arranged circumstances (wizmode) but has never succeeded in any real game I played. -Tjr 18:23, October 17, 2009 (UTC)

Generation probability

Either I missed something or generation probability of an altar is not mentioned. As far as I know it's d60 per room, but it needs to be checked. --Lukky513 14:34, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Generation probability should be mentioned, but d60 per room Source:Mklev.c#line785 should definitely be improved. For one, it doesn't account for the altars in temples ( 1/5 chance from level 9 on, unless there is already another special room, and the probability for the last part involved). Next point, the probability per level is more useful, but I do not the distribution of rooms per level. Finally, what alignment does the altar get? How does that interact with player and dungeon branch alignment? There is code to prefer dungeon branch alignment, but I'm not sure what it really does, see Special_room#Frequency_and_alignment for pointers. -Tjr 17:21, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Gifts and dungeon levels

It says in the article that you must be at least level 3 (that appears to mean xlvl 3), but does dlvl have anything to do with it? I've gotten an altar (converted or generated) on the first dlvl a couple of times, and each time (after leveling up and returning), don't get a gift after tens of sacrifices. Rezecib 20:38, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Update: on my third such scenario I got a gift after about 25 sacrifices.

identifying w/out sacraficing

I've never even gotten to level 10. Heres my obviouse question: Can you identify an altar w/out sacrificing on it thereby risking "you sence a conflict between" (foo and bar)?

Either use far-look or stand on it and use close look. ; and :, respectively. -- Qazmlpok 00:30, April 24, 2010 (UTC)

is it me or nh mobile?

  • your skill in using the artifact's type of weapon becomes unrestricted just doesn't happen in nh mobile. as bar-orc-fem got magicbane (woohoo!) as a sacrifice gift but dagger skill remained maxed out at basic. what's going on? --Newskinsucks 20:37, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
That's not what unrestricted means. 'Restricted' refers to being completely unable to put skill points into the skill; for example, barbarians are restricted in lance; they can never place skill points into lance and will always wield a lance as unskilled. If an artifact lance existed and you received the artifact, you would then be able to advance to basic skill. There is no effect on skills that were not restricted, so your barbarian will never surpass basic in dagger, nor basic in any skill that was restricted. -- Qazmlpok 21:24, October 25, 2010 (UTC)

Gifts of intrinsics

I just got the gift of stealth from an altar for the first time. I can't find much in the wiki about getting intrinsics from altars except for a brief mention on the stealth article.

  1. Can any other intrinsics be gained from prayer other than stealth?
  2. Should the ability to earn intrinsics through prayer be added to this article?


--DreamTheEndless 19:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

See prayer -Tjr 20:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Does it only happen if you are praying on an altar? If so, should it also be added to this article? Thanks again, DTE --DreamTheEndless 17:17, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a result of the prayer, not of the alter. It belongs in prayer, not in altar. At most there should be a section linking to prayer. -- Qazmlpok 17:41, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Prayer timeout and number of existing artifacts

"If you do receive an artifact, you'll get the message "An object appears at your feet!", and your god will tell you to "use my gift wisely!" You exercise your wisdom, your prayer timeout is set to 300 + 50×the number of artifacts that exist" Does this count include the artifact that you have just received? I.E. Is it counted before or after the gift's creation? -- 15:09, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

No. pray.c, line 1464 and pray.c, line 1480. --Tjr 15:57, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Problems displaying this page on Opera Mini (Android)

Am I the only one not getting to the Altar page using Opera Mini on an Android smartphone (Orange San Francisco)? The page keeps loading and loading but never seems to finish. If I press Stop at any point, it won't even display the page partially, like on other websites. 12:17, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

[Slash'EM] No Magicbane ?

--User 05:22, 13 March 2012 (UTC) Slash'EM Vampire Wizard. I have sacrificed many many times, only receiving luck. After 10-15 more sacrifices I received two minions. 10-15 more, I get crowned. About ~60 sacrifices total. I never received Magicbane -- I thought this was guaranteed? Never encountered not receiving first sac gift ever. Serpent's Tongue was generated (in Sokoban lvl 4) prior to sacfest in Mine Town -- but do not think this would affect Magicbane generation?--User 05:22, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

You're probably just unlucky - in real life, that is. I just tried this in wizard mode, both with and without having already generated Magicbane (for example, in a bones pile) - you eventually get a gift. It's likely that you're overestimating the number of sacrifices you've made - waiting around an altar is an incredibly tedious activity, and it feels like a lot more sacrifices than it usually is. Not to mention that sacrifices made while you have a non-zero prayer timeout ("You have a hopeful feeling") don't count. With that in mind, assuming 30-40 qualifying sacrifices, you get a chance of *not* getting a gift of between 1.5% and 4%. Not likely, but certainly possible. Even the full 60 gives a .17% chance of not getting a gift - unlikely but possible. -Ion frigate 08:51, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Does sacrificing in Slash'EM really cause crowning? If so, that should be mentioned either here or on the Crowning page. If not, you're praying instead of sacrificing, and won't get a gift. Wooble 11:42, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Well he was definitely sacrificing, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten minions (only lawfuls get them through prayer, and then only when in trouble); I'm guessing the OP was just mentioning the crowning because he thought it affects chances of a sacrifice gift (it doesn't, other than requiring you to sacrifice more to reduce prayer timeout). Sacrificing doesn't cause crowning in SLASH'EM, I'm certain. -Ion frigate 03:58, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Crowning does affect artifact weapon chances. The chance of getting a artifact on sacrifice is 1 in (10 + 2 * artifacts * gifts). A crowned wizard will receive a spellbook which counts as a gift (but not an artifact). Serpent's tongue exists at least, lowering the chance to 1 in 12. If there are other artifacts in existence, and the alignment keys and quest rewards are considered artifacts the chances of getting magicbane will quickly drop. SLASH'EM tends to have a lot more artifacts in game than vanilla, not only because of the guaranteed artifacts in the quests and One Eyed Sam, but also a lot more base item types that can become artifacts. -- Qazmlpok 13:29, 14 March 2012 (UTC)