Potions, alchemy, and other miscellaneous properties in NetHack 3.4

pot2-341.html Last edited 2003-03-09 for NetHack 3.4.1
Compiled for 3.2.2 by Kevin Hugo.
Updated for 3.4.1 by Dylan O'Donnell <psmith@spod-central.org>
HTML Conversion by Kate Nepveu <knepveu@steelypips.org>.


Smoky and milky potions

Potions with the appearance "smoky" may release a djinni and lead to a wish. Each time you or another monster quaff a smoky potion, there is a chance of creating a djinni, depending on the number of djinn that have already been created in the game:

DJINN: 0 1 2 3 4 5 n >=120
PROB: 1/13 1/15 1/17 1/19 1/21 1/23 1/(13+2*n) 0

When the djinni appears, the potion is used up and one of five outcomes can occur. The relative chance of these outcomes depends on whether the smoky potion was blessed, uncursed, or cursed:

80% 20% 5% Grants one wish, then disappears.
"I am in your debt. I will grant one wish!"
5% 20% 5% Remains as a pet.
"Thank you for freeing me!"
5% 20% 5% Remains as a peaceful monster.
"You freed me!"
5% 20% 5% Speaks, then vanishes.
"It is about time!"
5% 20% 80% Remains as a hostile monster.
"You disturbed me, fool!"

If the potion had been quaffed by a monster, you will only get a peaceful or vanishing djinni. NOTE: There is no way to get a wish from the djinni other than the first outcome above.

In a similar manner, potions with the appearance "milky" may summon a ghost. Each time you or another monster quaff a milky potion, there is a chance of creating a ghost, depending on the number of ghosts that have already been created in the game:

GHOSTS: 0 1 2 3 4 5 n >=120
PROB: 1/13 1/15 1/17 1/19 1/21 1/23 1/(13+2*n) 0

When the ghost appears, the potion is used up. If the potion was quaffed by a monster, that monster is paralyzed for 3 turns. Otherwise, if you are unblind, you are paralyzed for 3 turns.

There is a limit of 120 djinn (or ghosts) per game. Beyond this limit, they are extinct and no more can be created.

Cancelling and diluting potions

There are several ways to turn potions into water. If potions of sickness, see invisible, or fruit juice are hit by a wand or spell of cancellation, they become uncursed potions of fruit juice, with the same amount of dilution as before the cancellation. Potions of oil and booze become uncursed but otherwise remain the same. Other potions will become uncursed potions of water.

You can also change potions of blindness, confusion, or hallucination into uncursed water -- or potions of sickness into fruit juice -- by #dipping a unicorn horn into these potions. Note that if you had quaffed these potions, you would have suffered bad effects that could have been cured by the unicorn horn in any case. You can also #dip an amethyst stone into booze to convert it into fruit juice ("a-methyst" means not intoxicated.) In either of these cases, only one potion will be converted, regardless of the number of potions in the inventory slot.

Finally, you can turn any potion except acid into water by #dipping it into an uncursed potion of water or fountain (the latter may cause bad effects as well). If you are over a pool or moat but not levitating, you can also #dip into that water. Furthermore, if you swim under water or fall into water, your potions have a chance of getting wet. If you #dip a potion of acid or it gets wet it does 1 to 10 points of damage.

Getting potions wet happens in two stages. After one dipping, the potions will become diluted, but will have their same blessed state. Diluted potions have exactly their same effects as undiluted potions (with minor exceptions for booze and fruit juice). Getting diluted potions wet again then converts them into uncursed water. Note that water cannot be diluted.

Holy water

(Adapted from the spoiler "water", by Maurice Vliege.)

Once you have potions of water, you can convert them to holy water at an altar with your same alignment. Drop any unholy water or uncursed water that you wish to convert onto the altar, and #pray. If your god was pleased with you, they will all be converted to holy water.

To make unholy water, you must find an altar of a different alignment than your own that is not in Gehennom. Drop any holy water or uncursed water that you wish to convert onto the altar, and #pray. All of the potions will be converted to unholy water. It does not matter if your god was pleased before, but your god will be upset after the prayer.

Holy and unholy water may also be found randomly, may appear in bones piles from other characters, and can be wished for. Holy water may be part of your initial inventory (priests start with four). A more obscure way to acquire holy or unholy water is to wield some uncursed potions of water, take off all other worn items, and read a non-cursed scroll of remove curse while confused. You have a 25% chance of creating holy water and 25% chance of creating unholy water this way, and it doesn't need any altars! Blessed scrolls of remove curse will have the same effect on each item in your inventory individually (try splitting up the water into different slots by #naming); be careful of other items in inventory becoming cursed.

Once you have holy water, you can uncurse any cursed item or bless any uncursed items by the dipping the item into a potion of holy water. Similarly, dipping a blessed item into unholy water makes it uncursed, and dipping an uncursed item into unholy water makes it cursed. In all cases, one of the potions of (un)holy water is used in the process. By dipping several uncursed potions of water into a potion of (un)holy water, you can continue to make more (un)holy water indefinitely (as long as you have uncursed water).

Dipping an item in holy or unholy water does NOT rust, blank, dilute, or otherwise damage it.

Dipping and mixing potions

(Adapted from a posting by Paul Brinkley.)

The effects of #dipping various objects into potions is summarized in the table below. You are first prompted for the item to be DIPPED, and then the potion to dip it INTO. One of the potions dipped into will be used up, unless there was no effect or the potions were cancelled by the dipping (unicorn horn or amethyst). Except where shown, it doesn't matter if potions are diluted before dipping.

You can mix two non-water potions (or groups of potions) of different types by dipping one into the other; this procedure is commonly referred to as "alchemy". There is a 10% chance of an explosion (always if the DIPPED is cursed or acid) which makes you breathe vapors of the DIPPED potion, abuses your strength, and makes you lose one of each potion. Otherwise, the DIPPED potion(s) may become a different type of potion, which will always be uncursed and diluted, and you use up one of the INTO potions. The possible mixtures are also described in the table below.

cursed object holy water uncursed object
uncursed object holy water blessed object
blessed object unholy water uncursed object
uncursed object unholy water cursed object
acid uncursed water potion boils
undiluted potion uncursed water diluted potion
diluted potion uncursed water uncursed water
scroll/spellbook uncursed water blank scroll/spellbook (unless mail)
weapon uncursed water may rust
any potion itself "That is a potion bottle, not a Klein bottle!"
any potion same type No effect. "Interesting..."
booze enlightenment confusion
booze gain energy/level hallucination
confusion gain energy/level 1/3 enlightenment, 2/3 booze
enlightenment booze confusion
enlightenment fruit juice booze
enlightenment levitation 2/3 gain level, 1/3 same as "other combination" below
extra healing gain energy/level full healing
full healing gain energy/level gain ability
fruit juice enlightenment booze
fruit juice gain energy/level see invisible
fruit juice sickness sickness
fruit juice speed booze
gain energy/level booze hallucination
gain energy/level confusion 1/3 enlightenment, 2/3 booze
gain energy/level extra healing full healing
gain energy/level full healing gain ability
gain energy/level fruit juice see invisible
gain energy/level healing extra healing
healing gain energy/level extra healing
healing speed extra healing
levitation enlightenment 2/3 gain level, 1/3 same as "other combination" below
sickness fruit juice sickness
speed fruit juice booze
speed healing extra healing
undiluted potion other combination 1/2 evaporates, 1/4 sickness, 1/8 random potion, 1/8 water
diluted potion other combination uncursed water
unicorn horn blindness, confusion, hallucination uncursed water (regardless of cursedness of horn, as opposed to below results)
unicorn horn sickness fruit juice (uncursed or cursed)
amethyst booze fruit juice (uncursed or cursed)
throwable weapon sickness poisoned weapon
poisoned weapon healing, extra healing, full healing unpoisoned weapon
anything (other than X of poly) polymorph polymorphed object of same class (may resist)
anything lit oil Explosion and/or damage
weapon cursed oil Greasy fingers
damaged weapon other oil May lose one damage depending on type
oil/magic lamp other oil Lamp is filled and made non-magic
All other combinations   No effect. "Interesting..."


Thanks to Bruce Cox for proofreading the original version of this file.
Further corrections and clarifications provided by David Goldfarb and Irina Rempt.

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