Donating to priests in NetHack 3.4

prst-343.html Last edited 2003-12-17 for NetHack 3.4.3
Compiled by Dylan O'Donnell <>
HTML Conversion by Kate Nepveu; HTML re-synchronized 2005-08-29 by Dan Fabulich.


Chatting to priests

Priests will only be willing to chat if they are still peaceful, in their own aligned temple, and have freedom of action; trying to talk to a priest otherwise will arouse his wrath.

If the priest is talkative, #chatting to him can have various results:

If you have no visible money, the priest will not ask for a donation; if additionally you are co-aligned with him, and your alignment is non-negative, your wisdom is exercised, and he will give you "two bits for an ale" (2 zorkmids; just one if that's all he has, or if he has no money he will "preach the virtues of poverty.)

Otherwise, you will be asked "for a contribution to the temple". The outcome depends on how much you donate (in relation to your experience level), and what proportion of your visible gold this represents.

0 zorkmids "Thou shalt regret thine action!" -1 to alignment if co-aligned, otherwise no effect.
1 zorkmid to (200*XL)-1 If donation less than one-third of current visible gold, "Cheapskate"; otherwise "I thank thee for thy contribution" and exercise wisdom.
200*XL to (400*XL)-1 "Thou art indeed a pious individual." If donation one-third of current visible gold or less, no further effect. Otherwise, "I bestow on thee a blessing" and gain clairvoyance for 500 to 999 (more) turns; additionally, if co-aligned and alignment -4 or worse, +1 to alignment.
400*XL to (600*XL)-1 A possibility of receiving protection, as detailed below; if protection not granted, same effects as next case.
600*XL or greater "Thy selfless generosity is deeply appreciated." If co-aligned and donation greater than one-third of current visible gold, +2 to alignment (or, if alignment negative and more than 5000 turns since this effect last occurred, alignment instead restored to 0); otherwise, no effect.

Protection from priests

If you donate between 400 times your experience level in gold and 1 less than 600 times your experience level to any temple priest (regardless of alignment), you may receive divine protection as a result, which manifests as an improvement in your armour class. This depends on your intrinsic (naked, ringless and spell-less) AC as follows:

10 AC reduced by 2 to 4.
2 to 9 AC reduced by 1.
-9 to 1 1/(10-(AC)) chance of AC being reduced by 1.
-10 or less No reduction in AC.

So, intrinsic AC can (with enough money) be easily reduced to 1; reductions below this point immediately become increasingly unlikely; and -10 is a hard limit for AC improvement by this method. (Other means of gaining intrinsic protection, such as divine gift from prayer or eating rings of protection, will still be available.)

If AC is reduced by donation, "Thy devotion has been rewarded"; otherwise, "Thy selfless generosity is deeply appreciated", and alignment may be improved as detailed above.


Corrections and clarifications provided by Jason Short.

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