Name dcss:brainstorm:item: amulets
Summary Discussion about new and old amulets, mostly new (hence in Brainstorm).
Further information2847160
Added by dpeg
Added on 2010-01-08 13:49

General Mechanics

Gourmand All Amulets

There is a proposal to make all amulets use the mechanic of Gourmand, so that you have to wear the amulet for some time before you get the full effect. This has the obvious effect to make tactical amulet-swapping impossible (or harder, which might mean more annoying). There is also a proposal by eino to use the timer mechanic for rings, arguing that rings should be of strategical use (two fingers) whereas amulets should be used tactically, ie. swapped (only one neck).

dpeg is not fully convinced about this although it is an option. Could also simply use this for more amulets, even if not at all. There is the question of how amulets should differ from rings. An attempt:

  • amulet effects are rather unique (e.g. rMut, Clarity etc.)
  • very few auto-id
  • they are neither numerical nor about primary resistances
  • crucial: two ring fingers but only one neck

Another idea by happylisk, meant instead of the timer: You can recharge an amulet by reading the scroll, which will make it perform much better for some time. And deep dwarves recharge the amulets!! — ahyangyi 2010-02-23 15:39

Amulets as Long-Time Choices

Here is a somewhat radical proposal, by keskitalo and dpeg. The basic idea is that

  • rings are supposed to be tactical choices, swapped as needed, whereas
  • amulets are generally strategical choices and discourage swapping.

This idea does not have to be used — we could keep things as they are. Our hope is that such a change will help make the distinction between amulets and rings more clear, and also provide more longterm choices. (Crawl is supposed to be a mostly tactical affair, but given its size, we do want to stress strategic choices.)

This idea has been triggered by two amulets which already do this:

  • Gourmand: simply needs time to become useful. If you swap it out for another amulet, you will need to wait until you can usefully stuff yourself on corpses again. (Note: this could be improved upon, see below.)
  • Faith: a very strong amulet, but removing causes piety reduce (you lose 2/3). This means that you generally never want to remove an amulet of Faith, unless you ran out of piety.

Several amulets would easily fit into a similar system. In all of these examples, the flavour would be that “the amulet needs to attune itself to you”.

  • Conservation: The amulet could start with some lower chance of protecting items (say 30%). Each destruction attempt, successful or not, would increase the chances, up to eventually the current rate. (Note: we don't want players to run around in front of orc wizards, carrying junk scrolls and potions. Therefore, the chance to increase the conservation rate should probably depend on the total value of carried items which could have been destroyed in the attack.) Also note that here and elsewhere, using a mechanism that links to the amulet's effects rather than a plain timer seems desirable.
  • Mutation Resistance: Similarly, it could start at a lower value (say 40%) and each external mutation attempt would increase the rate (could even go up to 90%, as a compensation).
  • Control: If we change Controlled Flight to Control (which includes teleports kicking in earlier), then a warm-up of a few turns would suffice to make it a strategical choice, rather than an item to be swapped in upon emergency.

There are currently no ideas for Corrosion Resistance, Clarity as these are very tactical options anyway. (One could say the same about Mutation Resistance, but here presence of potions of cure mutation and god choice factor in.) Guardian Spirit and Stasis are more strategic options, but we didn't come up with ideas for attuning so far. (Note that if enough amulets work better if used continuously, this will have an effect on the other amulets as well.)

Existing Amulets

Resist Mutation

This amulet should not have any effect on innate mutations. This includes potions of (cure) mutations (even if unknown) but also mutations from glow. Might want to rename it to Resist Exterior Mutation (or similar). Might be nice to have it work versus mutagenic chunks?

kilobyte So a single Zot trap, miscast or a hit from divine wrath that results in red glow should give you several bad mutations? I'd reserve that for Jiyva only.
I think it would more interesting if the amulet was more “resist changes to self”. So it gives you the chance to resist external mutations (as is) but also gives the chance to resist losing mutations as well, ie you should be able to resist cure mutation. This would make it easier to maintain good mutations, which often seem to get lost. — mageykun 2011-03-20 05:58

Controlled Flight

Almost never used. Also has essentially no tactical value.

kilobyte: Uhm, it's vital for the new Shoals, and very useful in Swamp.

There are various proposals around this:

  1. Remove it.
  2. Add some effect that are related to Flight as in “fleeing” (should then rename the amulet to Alleviated Flight or Superior Flight). For example:
    • teleportations kick in earlier (not instant, and randomly)
    • protection from outside slowing onto this amulet (but not slowing from rage)
    • only teleport onto squares seen before (this is double-edged, of course; if we think it leads to too much amulet swapping, then the effect would also make an interesting mutation or spell)

>kilobyte: Could we please NOT go into using puns for mechanics? They're great in jokes and flavor texts, but they make exceedingly poor design. See NetHack's wand of turn undead or eaten amulet of unchanging…

  1. Remove the distinction between Levitation and Flight altogether. (The two spells would become one spell at level 3, with power determining whether you can pick up things.)

>kilobyte: There's way too many sources of uncontrolled levitation, it would make them overpowered.

  1. Make the amulet for more for “Flight” as in “flying”:
    • invoke for flight (removing dependency on ring) and allow it to reinvoke while still flying (after all, you're under full control)
    • triple (or infinitely) extend the duration of the lev/flight effect over whatever the player would get without it
    • give flight just from being worn, increase rarity to preservation levels and leave it as an improved property of artefacts

>kilobyte: Unlike all above, either of these three would be a good idea!

Proposal by due (which is supported by dpeg):
Control Gives controlled flight and controlled teleports. Remove the ring of control teleport.

argonaut: rename to Amulet of Controlled Winds which gives Repel Missiles and controlled flight. This would give it more tactical uses.
hanged_man: Now that 0.10 trunk has consolodated the levitation and flight spells, revisiting improving this weak amulet would be of interest. The above ideas are interesting: I contribute my personal idea to give a weakened effect of Kenku evasion-boost-when-flying, due to flight no longer having chemistry with the overpowered Swiftness spell and thus flight itself being noticably hit.


I suggest to replace the effect (currently rarely noticeable) by a flat chance (say 5%) of missing; this includes melee, ranged attacks, spells, wands. Should be renamed, e.g. to Imprecision. (Inaccuracy indicates a to-hit malus, i.e. a melee-only effect.)


The amulet now prevents all inadvertent rage.
What about mesmerisation of mermaids?
Does it cancel blurry vision or remove one level of the blurry vision mutation or somesuch? Also see Perception.
A competing proposal: Amulet of Will, suppressing paralysis, involuntary teleports (monsters or mutation), involuntary berserk, mesmerisation, confusion. Amd perhaps also shouting.

Clarity should actually do what it claims to do. Currently Xom confusion (and I think a few other sources I can't recall) bypass clarity for seemingly no reason at all. — minmay 2011-12-10 23:51
Clarity should block fear status. It blocks mesmerise, which is a very similar effect. It is unintuitive and inexplicable that fear is not prevented. — n1000 2014-09-15 17:01


As noted in 2826290, the behaviour is problematic: you will easily identify the amulet yourself (by the messages) but it is not auto-identified, denying you to eat chunks when not hungry. We should either

  1. Properly auto-id when the effect is full. Or
  2. Auto-id when getting a special message.

>hanged_man Has since been altered to auto-id on equip for all but those that wouldn't benefit from it (Mummies, Spriggans, Vampires).

Resist Corrosion

Might be improved? First, this is a resistance on an amulet. Second, it does not really compete with other amulets. It is only used by melee characters for Slime (and sometimes for jellies, but that is a gimmick).

kilobyte It's quite niche, but where it is useful, you can't really get away without it. Try fighting an acid blob without rCorr…


Is considered overpowered.
Reduce protection rate somewhat (by 10%), say. As compensation, improves ammunition mulching, for example by treating enchantment as +1 (for mulching purposes only), with a chance of (number of turns the amulet is worn) /200.


The current version is not satisfying: the rNeg is useful but not fitting with design goals for amulets. If we remove it, the amulet is even more situational; improving the warding from summons effect not helping much. One idea would be to (also?) have the amulet suppress *generation* of summons, presumably without any message.
Could also be used: fear on summons, eg. with a 1-in-HD chance.
Summing up the proposals:

  • flinching (as now)
  • fear
  • abjuration (before creation, I guess)
  • can walk through
  • fear if a summons hits (or misses) the player
  • apply warding to ranged attacks too
  • speed up summon timeout

All of these are interesting. Whatever we go for, the rNeg should be removed.

kilobyte rNeg smaller than rN+++ is hardly useful and rN+++ is vital in some places – so you're screwed without three sources of it. Flinching is merely a gimmick, especially now when it doesn't protect against any summons that are actual threats.


A small thing, but I think “amulet of Faith” is slightly boring. Really, not all neck slot items have to be called “amulet of X”. Why not Holy Symbol ? Holy is a relative term. Yredelemnul would simpl consider other things holy. As for descriptions of good gods, phrases like “unholy magic” could be replaced with “vile magic”. — b0rsuk 2010-01-11 21:38
I agree with b0rsuk on the name. Holy symbol is an improvement over “Amulet of faith”. I propose changing the name of the amulet and removing its direct effect on gift timeout. The rapid piety gain will still have an indirect effect on gifting, because the player will build piety back to gifting levels faster after the gift timeout expires, but that should be better than the current scene. — greensnark 2010-01-12 12:50
Renaming is fine with me. As is having no effect on gift timeout. Faster building piety is the essential point of this amulet, so I don't think anything is wrong with it. If doing this, you will want to keep wearing the amulet, so there's the tradeoff. If piety gain can be done by grinding, that'd be true regardless of the amulet and should be addressed. (And for gods with waiting piety, I made a proposal for how to do that.) — dpeg 2010-01-12 14:57
I think we risk confusion like “will the symbol only work with good gods?” if we go ahead with “holy symbol” with the current vocabulary. — evktalo 2010-01-28 22:39
Well call it “Godly Symbol” or “Sacred Symbol” then. — vitara 2010-02-22 12:36
“Sacred Symbol” sounds good to me! — evktalo 2010-02-22 10:25



  • Should possibly block Swift
  • There was an idea to not cancel berserk, but the haste and post-slow from it
  • Noted that paralysis is a kind of “Stasis.” Possibly better names: constancy, inertia, stability

Guardian Spirit

There's some discussion on guardian spirit and deep dwarves at 663.

New Amulet Proposals


Acts as a +4,+4 ring of slaying for thrown or fired weapons. Or simpler, is a +4 enchantment to all projectiles (this also gives an anti-mulching boost). Might be better as a gloves ego but would then be a no-brainer for archers.

kilobyte It already IS a gloves ego!


Increases chance to detect traps and secret doors (increase T&D skill by 4). Increases stealth by some fixed value.
Could help against blurry vision; see Clarity.
The stealth boost is largely scum-proof (but what about identification via @ or % messages?), for the T&D bit one could make it so that you get the bonus only when checkinging through unexplored territory.

Controlled Teleport

Moved from ring to amulet. This is a nerf but it fits the flavour. Also, I like how we would have several amulets dealing with teleports in indirect ways (one about them kicking in faster, one controlling them, one suppressing them).


Speeds up decay of corpses (LOS and inventory) by 1/3. Considered as a dud amulet, if we add many (good) ones. Also hard to identify.

Dislike this one. We have Inaccuracy as an always-bad; I think it'd be more interesting to add a mostly-bad that has some use, rather than another always-bad or a dud. — eronarn 2010-01-11 20:28
Keep the theme and change it: the corpes in LOS takes exactly 1 turn to become rotting and just a few turns to become skeleton. Good one for ghouls and transmuters, mixed blessing for necromancers who need to eat chunks anyway, bad for any other ranged ones. — ahyangyi 2010-02-23 15:41


Makes monsters capable of talking talk more, skipping attacks. A pun of course, but it is not useless and would be hard to identify. A semi-dud.


Uses Gourmand-style buildup.
The wearer of this amulet gains rNeg+. As he evades detection from monsters in the dungeon, he will become one with the shadows. This increases him to rNeg++ and grants increased stealth. When this amulet is fully charged it grants rNeg+++ and immunity to the anti-stealth effect of a Lantern of Shadows. Exposure to light sources will drain this amulet (perhaps unused on monsters currently, but Corona/Feawn/TSO halo).
Notes: The Warding flinch effect is pretty minor. This is more interesting as a rNeg source because it can be improved. It also has a whole new utility for stealthy characters — gain much more stealth, but at the cost of being able to wear other amulets.


Uses Gourmand-style buildup.
The wearer of this amulet is protected from all glow and external mutations (100%). Prevention of a positive mutation gains some charge. Being mutated (good or bad) increases the charge greatly. As this amulet's charge increases, it becomes less effective at preventing mutations. At moderate levels of charge it acts as a Ring of Wizardry for Tmig spells. At high levels of charge it weights mutations positively. This amulet loses charge when unequipped proportionally to how much charge it has.
Good for a single 100% mutation prevention — and then rapidly goes downhill from there. Makes RMut's dynamic into 'sacrifice your current amulet's effects to gain a strong, but temporary, buffer'. The medium-charge effect is a gap between the low-charge useful ability and the high-charge useful ability. Once you hit it, you can try to keep your amulet on for good and have much less to fear from mutations in the future (but risk getting bad mutations in the interim, or having to change to another amulet)… or you can try to run before your amulet becomes very useless at preventing mutations.

Amulet of Life

2165: rNeg+ and rRot+, does not work on undead (especially ghoul rotting). To make up for loss of rN from warding.

Brief Bulk Proposals

dpeg is not quite convinced about these.


It creates sounds in squares that are at least 30 squares away from the player.

Temperature Inversion

Heat resistance works against ice and cold resistance against fire.

Lightning Rod

A 20% chance that ranged electric attacks hit another square than the square the player is on.


Automatically removes the curses on equipment after the item was worn for 1000 turns.It is always cursed and the first item it uncursed is itself. The use of a remove curse scroll on it destroys it.


Reduces the time that is needed to memorize a spell.


Puts at random intervals one monster back to sleep.

This is a stretch from the original idea, but what if it instead put you to sleep, and all monsters that come into range. It lasts a long time, then unequips itself. Thus, you have time to sleep off your wounds, but now you're likely surrounded by monsters that all wake up with you. Might need to make noise (a loud lullaby?) — squashmonster 2010-04-06 00:39


Increase the weight you can carry

Eronarn's Talismans

(Also from the FR.)

There is the option of adding another slot to capture desired 'playstyle' effects: let's say, Amulet, Ring, Ring and Talisman. (placeholder name).

Rings would be simple, straightforward buffs useful in most situations or to most characters. They can be swapped, but are only necessary to 'patch holes': making you more fire resistant, have more MP, or the like. There's no ring that's 'necessary' against a given monster.

Amulets would be more subtle effects that are beneficial but can only be worn one-at-a-time. They protect against rare things, but make fighting those things much easier. Carrying too many situational amulets would eat up slots, but they could be swapped simply.

Talismans would be a very subtle, diffuse 'playstyle' effect. An analogy to this concept would be ADOM's tactical stances (but in this case, very difficult to swap between). They might have several weak but synergistic effects: for example, a talisman that boosts stealth, allows visibility through clouds, and lets the wearer slip past obstacles. They may also have downsides, such as the above talisman making it difficult to cast noisy spells. They may get stronger with increased use, or get weaker or even be destroyed if they're taken off. Some might even harm the user, such as perm HP loss or a permanent negative mutation (e.g., removing an eye to put in a magical one).

Flavor-wise… what's not to love? Here's where you could have your ogre tattoos, your dwarven runes, your orcish blood paint. Perhaps some gods could gift them: for example, TSO could give you the sigil of one of three Guardian Angels. Trog could allow you to carve skull totems from particularly powerful foes. Zin would hate talismans that require tattooing or other body modification. Perhaps one talisman would only work for atheists or Lugonites, and would protect against divine servants. There could even be branch specific talismans: upon your first time entering Hell, Geryon could offer you an unholy brand that will protect you from torment (but, at what cost…?). Talismans would make excellent vault rewards, as well, since they could be heavily tied to that vault's flavor (e.g., the 'necromancer house' could have a desecrated skull).

By introducing this new category, you allow characters to choose a 'playstyle' item without fearing that they'll be mutated into a wreck, drained of XP, robbed of all their scrolls, or the like. Several of the suggested amulets in this thread are cool but would rarely see use because of those threats — to put it simply, Crawl has so many 'special' branches that a 'general use' amulet loses its appeal for too much of the game. On the other hand, let's take The amulet of decay — Speeds the rot of corpse and flesh in view and inventory. What if it did that, made you immune to miasma and disease, and and made you trail miasma when you're carrying a rotting corpse? Probably still not good enough for wearing in the likes of Zot — but as a talisman, it would see use there. In fact, it might be just perfect for some characters.

Some existing items would deserve a swap to other categories: amulet of berserk rage would make a better talisman, for instance, while sustain abilities would make for a better amulet effect. It would obviously make all characters stronger, particularly the slot-limited races, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. There are upcoming changes to AC at least, and possibly resistances, that may make characters less powerful in general. Careful choices for the types of talismans would allow for currently weak combos to gain more benefit from them.

To reiterate, I think this would be a beneficial typology: rings you use to round out your character (and can swap), amulets you use to fill a temporary need (and want to swap often), and talismans that require a longer-term investment or choice but let you truly make 'your' character. This concept would need creativity in design and implementation, though.

And note that I don't mean talismans to be things like 'a ring of slaying, but doesn't take up a ring slot'. Instead, things like anti-mulch, or bonuses to using low-level magic instead of bolts, or bonuses to using both melee and magic against the same enemy, or improved ability to command your allies. Something that a playstyle doing that already would notice, and would appreciate, but would still consider other options.

abrahamwl I think this idea could be quite good. The challenge will be to see if it can distinguish itself properly from amulets, rings, and mutations. I'm kind of liking the idea of mystical “Marks” that are placed on you by one-shot items, but either a) cannot be taken off only destroyed, b) can only be replaced by other marks, or c) cannot be removed or replaced at all. The primary thing that would need to distinguish this from mutations is the fact that it's a deliberate choice.
I think the primary way to differentiate talismans from mutations is this: mutations tend to have a simple, easily understood effect. Because you can examine talismans for more info, it's fine if they have several subtle effects. I don't think that differentiating from amulets and rings is as much of a problem. — eronarn 2010-01-11 20:26

I like this idea. I would love having that stealth talisman. — noxn 2010-01-22 15:59

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dcss/brainstorm/item/magical/amulets.txt · Last modified: 2014-09-15 17:04 by n1000
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