" Circular amulet.png
Name amulet of life saving
Appearance random
Cost 150 zm
Weight 20

If you are wearing an amulet of life saving and die, the amulet literally saves your life and restores full hit points. In the process the amulet disintegrates, and you lose 1 constitution point. Only if your maximum hit points was zero or lower, it is reset to 10. [1]

The amulet does not protect against death by self-genocide, death by brainlessness or forfeiture through trickery. If your gloves are destroyed (as opposed to taking them off) while wielding a petrifying corpse, this amulet will not save you.

Having your life saved breaks the survivor semi-conduct. It cannot be eaten for intrinsics (nice try, though).


Amulets comprise 1% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 1% in containers, and 4% in Gehennom. There is a 7.5% chance that a randomly-generated amulet will be an amulet of life saving. As you can see, these amulets are rare. However, there is a guaranteed amulet of life saving on the middle level of Vlad's Tower.


Living monsters can wear amulets of life saving as well; they will simply come back to life after they die, and the amulet is from that point identified, providing you saw the revivification happen. The amulet cannot protect monsters from genocide, although the amulet will still activate and be destroyed if a monster is wearing it when genocided. Undead and other non-living creatures (golems, vortexes and manes) cannot use the amulet. Monsters do not suffer brainlessness and so can be saved from death by monsters with intelligence drain attacks.

Enlightenment will give the message "Your life will be saved."


After "You die..." or other player death message
Message Reason
"But wait... Your medallion begins to glow!

You feel much better! The medallion crumbles to dust!"

You died but were resurrected and the amulet is used up
"But wait... Your medallion feels warm!

You feel much better! The medallion crumbles to dust!"

You died while blind but were resurrected and the amulet is used up
"Unfortunately your brain is still gone." You died and were resurrected, and then die from brainlessness.
"Unfortunately you are still genocided..." You died and were resurrected, and then die from genocide.
After "You kill foo!" or other monster death message
Message Reason
"But wait... Foo's medallion begins to glow!

Foo looks much better! The medallion crumbles to dust!"

A monster died wearing the amulet.
The amulet is identified.
"But wait... Foo's medallion begins to glow!

Foo reconstitutes! The medallion crumbles to dust!"

A monster exploded wearing the amulet.
The amulet is identified.
"Unfortunately foo is still genocided..." A monster died and was resurrected, and then dies from genocide.
"Maybe not..." You killed a life-saved monster out of direct sight.
The amulet is not identified.


For an early character, an amulet of reflection may be a better choice, as reflection can save your life many times over (being life saved after a winter wolf cub's frost blast is no consolation if the winter wolf is still around).

The most common reason for an amulet not working is if you forgot to put it on.

Some players consider life saving an essential part of the ascension kit, but others call it the "amulet versus YASD" and point out that another amulet is much more useful. See Ascension kit#Armor combinations for a comparison.

It can be extremely aggravating having your amulet of life saving stolen by a nymph; once she puts it on, killing her will save her life, disintegrating the amulet. If this happens to you, there are two ways you can retrieve your amulet:

  • Kill (or tame) her before she puts it on.
    • Once a monster wears an amulet, it will not give it up voluntarily. Before that however, the amulet is simply a normal item, and can be retrieved. Fortunately, nymphs do not currently wear things immediately after stealing. She will wear it the next time she picks any item up, or if she polymorphs, assuming the new form can put amulets on. If you kill her before either of these things happen, you can retrieve it. Alternatively, you can tame her; monsters drop any unused inventory items on taming, and this should include the amulet if unworn. Pets can use amulets however, so you'll need to get it back before she can.
  • Polymorph into a nymph and steal it back.
    • This has the added advantage that the nymph will not steal from you while you're polymorphed as a nymph.

You can determine whether the amulet is being worn by probing a monster.

Sometimes you will identify other monsters already wearing amulets of life saving, either by a means of treasure detection, a means of probing, or by seeing the monster pick the amulet up and put it on. Certain creatures are not living, and accordingly cannot be life saved. Therefore, another strategy for dealing with these monsters is to polymorph the monster known to be wearing an amulet of life saving (perhaps using a nearby polymorph trap) until it becomes an undead creature, a golem, a vortex or a manes. Then, when you destroy the monster, the amulet will be dropped.


NetHack keeps track of how many times your life has been saved by an amulet of life saving. If this number is zero, and you end your game without dying (e.g. by ascending, escaping or quitting), your end-of-game attributes list will include the line “You survived.” This is referred to as the survivor semi-conduct. If the number is not zero, the line will instead read “You survived after being killed [n times].”

If you are playing in explore mode or wizard mode, choosing not to die will be treated as though you had used an amulet of life saving for the purposes of this counter.

Survivor is not something that can be achieved deliberately, so it it usually serves only as an indicator that the player was lucky or skilful enough not to die during a particular game. However, survivor can add prestige to a foodless ascension, because it removes one of the game's alternative sources of nutrition.