Armour, its erosion and enchantment, and magic cancellation in NetHack 3.4

armr-343.html Last edited 2004-05-11 for NetHack 3.4.3
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.3 by Dylan O'Donnell <>.
Converted to HTML by Kate Nepveu <>; HTML re-synchronized 2005-08-29 by Dan Fabulich.


Hawaiian shirt $ 3 5 8 0 C Shops --
T-shirt 2 5 2 0 C Shops --
leather jacket 10 30 12 1 L   --
leather armor 5 150 82 2 L   --
orcish ring mail 80 250 20 2 I # crude ring mail
studded leather armor 15 200 72 3 L # --
ring mail 100 250 72 3 I   --
scale mail 45 250 72 4 I   --
orcish chain mail 75 300 20 4 I # crude chain mail
chain mail 75 300 72 5 I # --
elven mithril coat 240 150 15 5 M ### --
splint mail 80 400 62 6 I # --
banded mail 90 350 72 6 I   --
dwarvish mithril coat 240 150 10 6 M ### --
bronze plate mail 400 450 25 6 B   --
plate mail (tanko) 600 450 44 7 I ## --
crystal plate mail 820 450 10 7 G ## --
red dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Fire --
white dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Cold --
orange dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Sleep --
blue dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Elec --
green dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Poison --
yellow dragon scales 500 40 0 3 D Acd --
black dragon scales 700 40 0 3 D Disint --
silver dragon scales 700 40 0 3 D Reflect --
gray dragon scales 700 40 0 3 D Magic --
red dragon scale mail 900 40 0 9 D Fire --
white dragon scale mail 900 40 0 9 D Cold --
orange dragon scale mail: 900 40 0 9 D Sleep --
blue dragon scale mail 900 40 0 9 D Elec --
green dragon scale mail 900 40 0 9 D Poison --
yellow dragon scale mail 900 40 0 9 D Acd --
black dragon scale mail 1200 40 0 9 D Disint --
silver dragon scale mail 1200 40 0 9 D Reflect --
gray dragon scale mail 1200 40 0 9 D Magic --
mummy wrapping 2 3 0 0 C #Vis --
orcish cloak 40 10 8 0 C ## coarse mantelet
dwarvish cloak 50 10 8 0 C ## hooded cloak
leather cloak 40 15 8 1 L # --
cloak of displacement 50 10 10 1 C ##Displ *piece of cloth
oilskin cloak 50 10 10 1 C ###Water slippery cloak
alchemy smock 50 10 9 1 C #Poi+Acd apron
cloak of invisibility 60 10 10 1 C ##Invis *opera cloak
clk of magic resistance 60 10 2 1 C ###Magic *ornamental cope
elven cloak 60 10 8 1 C ###Stlth faded pall
robe 50 15 3 2 C ###Spell --
cloak of protection 50 10 9 3 C ###Prot *tattered cape
fedora 1 3 0 0 C   --
dunce cap 1 4 3 0 C Stupid conical hat
cornuthaum 80 4 3 0 C ##Clair conical hat
dented pot 8 10 2 1 I   --
elven leather helm 8 3 6 1 L   leather hat
helmet (kabuto) 10 30 10 1 I   *plumed helmet
orcish helm 10 30 6 1 I   iron skull cap
helm of brilliance 50 50 6 1 I Int+Wis *etched helmet
hm of opposite alignment 50 50 6c 1 I Align *crested helmet
helm of telepathy 50 50 2 1 I ESP *visored helmet
dwarvish iron helm 20 40 6 2 I   hard hat
leather gloves (yugake) 8 10 16 1 L   *old gloves
gauntlets of dexterity 50 10 8 1 L Dex *padded gloves
gauntlets of fumbling 50 10 8c 1 L Fumble *riding gloves
gauntlets of power 50 30 8 1 I Str *fencing gloves
small shield 3 30 6 1 W   --
orcish shield 7 50 2 1 I   red-eyed
Uruk-hai shield 7 50 2 1 I   white-handed
elven shield 7 40 2 2 W   blue and green
dwarvish roundshield 10 100 4 2 I   large round
large shield 10 100 7 2 I   --
shield of reflection 50 50 3 2 S Reflect polished silver
low boots 8 10 25 1 L   walking shoes
elven boots 8 15 12 1 L Stlth *mud boots
kicking boots 8 15 12 1 I Kick *buckled boots
fumble boots 30 20 12c 1 L Fumble *riding boots
levitation boots 30 15 12c 1 L Lev *snow boots
jumping boots 50 20 12 1 L Jump *hiking boots
speed boots 50 20 12 1 L Speed *combat boots
water walking boots 50 20 12 1 L WWalk *jungle boots
high boots 12 20 15 2 L   jackboots
iron shoes 16 50 7 2 I   hard shoes

Armor is listed above by category, then by increasing armor class, and finally by increasing price. Alternative Japanese names for items are given in parentheses (). The COST field denotes the base price of each item. WGT specifies the weight (100 zorkmids weighs 1).

Armor comprises 10% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 0% in containers, 12% on the Rogue level, and 20% in hell. PR is the relative probability of each subtype; the suffix specifies the chance of blessed/cursed:

c Roughly 90% cursed, 9% uncursed, 1% blessed
otherwise 13.18% cursed, 78.18% uncursed, 8.64% blessed

Initial enchantment depends on whether the item was blessed or cursed, and is exponentially distributed. Armor is never generated erodeproof except for: splint mail at the start of the game for a Samurai, or on the Samurai Quest; as equipment for certain monsters; and sometimes in Rogue level bones piles. Dragon armor is sometimes randomly generated for player-monsters on the Astral Plane, but is otherwise never randomly generated.

The base amount that your armor class is reduced (disregarding enchantment or damage) is shown in the AC field. The material of each piece of armor, described by M, affects whether the item can be damaged. In addition, metallic armor may increase your spell failure rate (see spl1-343.html, and iron helmets protect from falling rock traps. The materials are as follows:

B Bronze or copper Corrodes Yes
C Cloth Burns/Rots No
D Dragon hide No No
G Glass No No
I Iron Rusts/Corrodes Yes
L Leather Burns/Rots No
M Mithril No Yes
S Silver No Yes
W Wood Burns/Rots No

(All shields hinder spellcasting to an extent based on their size, regardless of their material; helms of brilliance do not, despite being metal.)

Some armors have EFFECTS. The number of hash signs (#) in this column describes the degree of magic cancellation (see below). Other effects are also possible:

Acd Gives acid resistance
Align Changes your alignment, removes protection, and auto-curses.
Clair Wizards get clairvoyance and +1 charisma, others block clairvoyance and get -1 charisma.
Cold Gives cold resistance.
Dex Adds armor's enchantment to your dexterity.
Disint Gives disintegration resistance.
Displ Gives displacement.
Elec Gives electric shock resistance.
ESP Gives telepathy.
Fire Gives fire resistance.
Fumble You will occasionally fumble.
Int+Wis Adds armor's enchantment to your intelligence and wisdom.
Invis Gives invisibility.
Jump Gives jumping at will. The special restrictions for Knights do not apply while this item is worn. In the figures below, you (@) can jump to the places marked 'X':
      Knights without boots    Anyone with boots
         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
             X.X                   XXXXX
            X...X                  XXXXX
            ..@..                 XXX@XXX
            X...X                  XXXXX
             X.X                   XXXXX

Kick Kicking does additional damage, and grants martial arts bonuses.
Lev Causes levitation. Does NOT prevent your being drowned by monsters.
Magic Gives magic resistance. Does NOT affect magic cancellation.
Poison Gives poison resistance.
Prot An armor with good AC adjustment and magic cancellation. The protection intrinsic it confers doesn't have any effect beyond this.
Reflect Gives reflection.
Shops If not covered by body armor or cloak, shopkeepers buy and sell at the same rate as inexperienced (level < 15) Tourists: buy at 1/3 of and sell at 4/3 of the normal price.
Sleep Gives sleep resistance.
Speed Makes you very fast, the same as a potion of speed or spell of haste self. This is better than a wand of speed or eating a quantum mechanic.
Spell Spellcasting is more likely to succeed, and reduces the penalty for metallic armour.
Stlth Gives stealth.
Str Increases your strength to 25.
Stupid Your intelligence and wisdom are fixed at 6; auto-curses; shopkeepers buy and sell at the inexperienced Tourist rate.
Vis Overrides invisibility so you are again visible.
Water Protects metal body armor from rusting/corroding of protection if cursed) and prevents grabbing attacks. If cursed, only 2/3 chance of being effective.
WWalk Allows you to walk on water. Does NOT prevent your being drowned by monsters.

Finally, some types of armor have a different APPEARANCE when unidentified. Those listed with an asterisk (*) are randomized within their armor category. Boots with the appearance "snow boots" make ice act like normal terrain (but the Fumble armor property still happens at its normal rate). Gloves and boots with the appearance "riding gloves" and "riding boots" give a (non-cumulative) bonus to the chance of successfully saddling a steed. Helmets with the appearance "visored helmet" provide defence against the blinding attack of ravens and the spitting attack of cobras.

Armor erosion and enchantment

(Adapted from the spoiler "enchant.lim" by Peter Snelling and Boudewijn Waijers.)

Your armor class is reduced by the base amount shown above. However, if armor is damaged, that amount of reduction is lowered by the greatest degree of erosion (damaged = 1, very damaged = 2, and thoroughly damaged = 3), but that will not lower the AC reduction beyond zero. The armor's material determines what types of attacks can cause damage (see above).

There are several ways to prevent erosion. Samurai, Angels, lawful demons, player-monsters, and Roguelike bones piles may be generated with erodeproof armor. Specify "erodeproof","rustproof", "corrodeproof", "fireproof", or "rotproof" when wishing for an armor (any of these will do, and will be ignored if not applicable). You can temporarily prevent rust and corrosion damage by (a)pplying grease to your armor from a can of grease. An item can also be permanently erodeproofed by reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant armor while confused (also removes damage) or a cursed scroll of destroy armor while confused (does not remove damage). Blessed armour is less likely to become damaged (to an extent dependent on your luck).

Your AC is then further reduced by the enchantment (e.g., +1) of the armor. The enchantment may be changed by reading scrolls of enchant armor while wearing the armor. One piece of worn armor is randomly selected, so you should remove armor you don't want enchanted. A blessed scroll may add several enchantments, an uncursed scroll adds one enchantment, and a cursed scroll removes one enchantment. Other effects are possible -- notably, dragon scales can be converted to dragon scale mail -- please refer to the spoiler "scrl-343.html". The enchantment of armor may also be affected by wands or spells of cancellation, spell of drain life if not currently in inventory, or by a disenchanter's special attack.

If armor is enchanted above +3 (+5 for cornuthaums if you are a Wizard or for elven armor), then there is a chance of it being destroyed if it is enchanted further. Thus, the maximum safe enchantment is +5 (+7). This is obtained by reading uncursed or blessed scrolls until +3 (+5) is reached, and then reading a blessed scroll. If by chance this results in +4 (+6), you could bring the enchantment back down to +3 (+5) -- by reading a cursed scroll of enchant armor -- before trying again.

Magic cancellation

(Adapted from the spoiler "protect", by Peter Snelling, Boudewijn Waijers, and Michal Pawlak.)

Magic cancellation affects the chance of success of the following special melee attacks: fire, cold, electricity, sleep, poison, paralysis, level drain, "sticking to" ("You cannot escape from the mimic!" -- but not grab-attacks by, for example, owlbears or krakens), lycanthropy, teleport, intrinsic speed stealing (shades and skeletons), energy drain, slime and disenchanting. Note that it does NOT affect the success probability of ray attacks, nor does it help against "defensive attacks" (like a floating eye's paralysis). It does help protect monsters wearing armour with magic cancellation against these attacks by other monsters or by a polymorphed player.

The chances of any one of the above special attacks succeeding are calculated in the following way:

If all the above tests have been passed, then you suffer the effect of the special attack. For example: if you are wearing a gray dragon scale mail, and are attacked by a vampire, then 1/3 of his successful bites will end in you losing a level. If you however wear a lowly orcish cloak over your armour (MC=2), the probability will immediately drop to about 1/9 (1/3 * 52/150) and an oilskin cloak will reduce the probability to below 1%.

Note that the magical cancellation is different from intrinsic resistances for fire/cold/electricity attacks. If you are hit by a fire attack while fire resistant you get no physical damage, but there's still a chance of losing your scrolls/spellbooks/potions. If you are protected from a fire attack by cancellation, the attack fails and your equipment is safe.

Incidentally, if you wondered about the similarity between the name of this property ("magic cancellation") and the name of a certain wand and spell -- it is no accident. Zapping the attacker with the wand/spell of cancellation makes the last test always fail and you will never suffer from special attacks by this creature.

Do NOT confuse this property with magic resistance, which is obtained by something entirely different; see the spoiler drgn-343.html.


Thanks to Bruce Cox for proofreading the original version of this file.
Further corrections and clarifications provided by Mitch Gold, Topi Linkala, Moi, Pat Rankin, Adrian Rowley, Stanislav Traykov, Warrendy, Eric Wright, and Sascha Wostmann.

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