White dragon scales

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[   white dragon scales   White dragon scales.png
Appearance white dragon scales
Slot body armor
AC 3
Base price 500 zm
Weight 40
Material dragon hide

White dragon scales are a type of body armor that appear in NetHack. They are made of dragon hide like all dragon scales.


White dragon scales are not randomly generated, though they can be wished for or found in bones.

A white dragon that leaves a corpse behind on death (i.e. always, unless killed by disintegration) have a 13 chance of leaving behind dragon scales, while a dragon revived by the wand of undead turning or spell of turn undead only has a 120 chance to leave behind scales.[1] White dragon scales dropped this way are always generated +0 and uncursed.[2]


While worn, white dragon scales confer 3 base AC and cold resistance. Reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant armor that targets worn white dragon scales will convert them into white dragon scale mail, with a blessed scroll adding a point of enchantment.

Uncontrolled polymorph while wearing white dragon scales will turn the wearer into a white dragon, and doing so while wearing the scale mail will additionally revert them to scales.[3][4][5]

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.

Per commit 9942b65d, extrinsic sources of an elemental resistance now has a 99100 chance of protecting your inventory from that type of damage. Per commit ef1eeed7, both the scales and scale mail also provide slow digestion.


White dragon scales are rarely sought out by most characters: reflection protects against rays of cold, and obtaining cold resistance or avoiding melee combat (in the case of brown molds and blue jellies) can protect against most other sources of cold damage. Puddings, gray oozes and gelatinous cubes in particular may confer cold resistance to a character, as do blue jellies, winter wolves and their cubs. Valkyries in particular start with cold resistance, rendering white dragon scales almost entirely obsolete for them.

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.

White dragon scales are more likely to be considered for characters due to its extrinsic cold resistance and slow digestion: they provide both a valuable source of cold damage protection for their inventory, and may potentially free a valuable ring slot. Casters that do not plan to use body armor for magic resistance or reflection may consider turning white dragon scales into mail.


White dragon scales first appear with most other colors of dragon scales in NetHack 3.1.0.


Main article: Dragon-scaled armor

In some variants, dragon scale mail is phased out in favor of dragon-scaled armor, whose implementation is based on a proposal by dtsund. Instead of being made into mail of its own, dragon scales are treated as a cloak, and reading a scroll of enchant armor melds them onto a worn set of body armor, generally augmenting that armor by adding its AC and conferred extrinsic properties to it. Dragon-scaled armor is implemented in NetHack Fourk, xNetHack, EvilHack, and Hack'EM.

Several variants also give white dragon scales additional properties while worn, and may even introduce other forms of white dragon scale armor. Variants that implement partial intrinsics and/or object properties may also make white dragon scales and other colors more worthwhile.


In SporkHack, worn white dragon scales allow the wearer to freeze pools of water and lava underfoot.


In UnNetHack, dragon scales and dragon scale mail have randomized powers and appearances in each game - to wish for dragon armor or scales by its corresponding power, either type of armor must be formally identified first, e.g. by using a scroll of identify on dropped dragon scales (which identifies the matching scale mail along with it) or by witnessing the dragon use its breath weapon.

White dragon scales are effectively replaced by ice dragon scales, which confer only 1 base AC like all dragon scales in UnNetHack.


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, worn white dragon scales additionally confer magical breathing and swimming, and wetproofs the wearer's inventory.


In FIQHack, worn white dragon scales additionally confer automatic searching, magical breathing, and swimming, and wetproofs the wearer's inventory. They also weigh 300 aum like all dragon scales in FIQHack (which is halved while worn).