Armor is an important concern for the hero entering the dungeon and is one of the primary things between you and death. Wearing armor will improve one's armor class, reducing it by the amount shown in the "AC" column in the table below. Some types of armor may also provide "magic cancellation", as shown in the "MC" column below. There are 7 slots for armor: helm, cloak, body armor, shirt, shield, gloves/gauntlets, and boots. Some armor items reduce one's ability to cast spells successfully, particularly shields and metal suits.


If you put on cursed armor, or if it is cursed while you are wearing it, you will be unable to take it off. (The item will be identified as cursed when you try to remove it.) Cursed gloves will also prevent you from putting on or removing rings, and a cursed cloak or suit of body armor will prevent you from wearing or taking off body armor and shirts.

The inconvenience of cursed armor is amplified by the fact that armor generated cursed often also has negative enchantment, and that armor with negative effects tends to be generated cursed most of the time. This is why it is a good idea to check the BUC of a piece of armor before wearing it.

The effects of blessed armor are minor. Blessed armor is more resistant to curses, because it must be made unblessed before it can become cursed. Blessed armor also has a chance of resisting some sources of erosion.

Blessings and curses do not affect the magical abilities of most pieces of armor. A notable exception is a cursed oilskin cloak, which will only protect you from grabbing attacks 2/3 of the time. Similarly, any grease present on cursed armor will only prevent grabbing or mind-flaying attacks 2/3 of the time.

Monsters (pets) and armor[]

Some types of monsters can wear armor and profit from a subset of its magical capabilities. Pets are of main interest here.

  • If a monster is polymorphed while wearing dragon scale (mail), it will always turn into the appropriately colored dragon. Since polymorphing is permanent, this results in the armor being lost.

Monsters know armor enchantment and will switch to maximize total armor value, taking into account the base AC an item confers, the enchantment, and erosion, but not the BUC status.[1] However, tame monsters do not pick up any cursed objects.

Table of Armor and Properties[]

Name Cost Weight AC Material Effect MC Appearance
Hawaiian shirt 3 5 0 cloth Shop --
T-shirt 2 5 0 cloth Shop --
leather jacket 10 30 1 leather --
leather armor 5 150 2 leather --
orcish ring mail 80 250 2 iron 1 crude ring mail
studded leather armor 15 200 3 leather 1 --
ring mail 100 250 3 iron --
scale mail 45 250 4 iron --
orcish chain mail 75 300 4 iron 1 crude chain mail
chain mail 75 300 5 iron 1 --
elven mithril-coat 240 150 5 mithril 3 --
splint mail 80 400 6 iron 1 --
banded mail 90 350 6 iron --
dwarvish mithril-coat 240 150 6 mithril 3 --
bronze plate mail 400 450 6 copper --
plate mail (tanko) 600 450 7 iron 2 --
crystal plate mail 820 450 7 glass 2 --
Dragon Suits
dragon scales 500 40 3 dragon Resist% --
dragon scale mail 900 40 9 dragon Resist% --
mummy wrapping 2 3 0 cloth Vis 1 --
orcish cloak 40 10 0 cloth 2 coarse mantelet
dwarvish cloak 50 10 0 cloth 2 hooded cloak
leather cloak 40 15 1 leather 1 --
cloak of displacement 50 10 1 cloth Displ 2 *piece of cloth
oilskin cloak 50 10 1 cloth Water 3 slippery cloak
alchemy smock 50 10 1 cloth Poi+Acd 1 apron
cloak of invisibility 60 10 1 cloth Invis 2 *opera cloak
cloak of magic resistance 60 10 1 cloth Magic 3 *ornamental cope
elven cloak 60 10 1 cloth Stlth 3 faded pall
robe 50 15 2 cloth Spell 3 --
cloak of protection 50 10 3 cloth Prot 3 *tattered cape
fedora 1 3 0 cloth --
dunce cap 1 4 0 cloth Stupid conical hat
cornuthaum 80 4 0 cloth Clair 2 conical hat
dented pot 8 10 1 iron --
elven leather helm 8 3 1 leather leather hat
helmet (kabuto) 10 30 1 iron *plumed helmet
orcish helm 10 30 1 iron iron skull cap
helm of brilliance 50 50 1 iron Int+Wis *etched helmet
helm of opposite alignment 50 50 1 iron Align *crested helmet
helm of telepathy 50 50 1 iron ESP *visored helmet
dwarvish iron helm 20 40 2 iron hard hat
leather gloves (yugake) 8 10 1 leather *old gloves
gauntlets of dexterity 50 10 1 leather Dex *padded gloves
gauntlets of fumbling 50 10 1 leather Fumble *riding gloves
gauntlets of power 50 30 1 iron Str *fencing gloves
small shield 3 30 1 wood --
orcish shield 7 50 1 iron red-eyed
Uruk-hai shield 7 50 1 iron white-handed
elven shield 7 40 2 wood blue and green
dwarvish roundshield 10 100 2 iron large round
large shield 10 100 2 iron --
shield of reflection 50 50 2 silver Reflect polished silver
low boots 8 10 1 leather walking shoes
elven boots 8 15 1 leather Stlth *mud boots
kicking boots 8 15 1 iron Kick *buckled boots
fumble boots 30 20 1 leather Fumble *riding boots
levitation boots 30 15 1 leather Lev *snow boots
jumping boots 50 20 1 leather Jump *hiking boots
speed boots 50 20 1 leather Speed *combat boots
water walking boots 50 20 1 leather WWalk *jungle boots
high boots 12 20 2 leather jackboots
iron shoes 16 50 2 iron hard shoes


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.


Material Erosion Hinders spellcasting?
bronze corroded yes
cloth burnt, rotten no
dragon hide - no
glass - no
iron rusty, corroded yes
leather burnt, rotten no
mithril - yes
silver - yes
wood burnt, rotten no


Acd Gives acid resistance.
Align Changes your alignment, removes protection, and auto-curses.
Clair A Wizard gets clairvoyance and +1 charisma, others block clairvoyance and get -1 charisma.
Dex Adds armor's enchantment to your dexterity.
Displ Gives displacement.
ESP Gives telepathy.
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 notapply while this item is worn.
Kick Kicking does additional damage, and grants martial arts bonuses.
Lev Causes levitation. Does NOT prevent you 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.
Resist% Provides resistance according to the color of the dragon:

Shop 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 Gives you the speed extrinsic, the same as a potion of speed or spell of haste self.
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 (1/3 chance of protection if cursed) and prevents grabbing attacks.
WWalk Allows you to walk on water. Does NOT prevent you being drowned by monsters.


Excepting elven armor and a wizard's cornuthaum, armor may only be safely enchanted up to +5 provided that you start from +3 and use a blessed scroll. Elven equipment and cornuthaums may be safely enchanted to +7 provided that you start from +5. Reading a blessed scroll of enchantment while wearing a +5 item, or a +7 elven item, might get you a higher bonus, or might overload and vaporize the item. Thus, by using armor alone, one can reach AC -47, or 57 points of protection, or even higher if one over-enchants. In practice, it is often somewhat below this, as characters give up a better AC for other protections and advantages. For example, a +5 shield of reflection will give 7 AC and reflection, but SDSM will give 14 and reflection, and allow two-weaponing. High boots and iron shoes will give 2 AC, but speed boots will give 1 and "very fast" speed. A cloak of protection gives AC 3, but other cloaks have other benefits.

The typical combination of armor in an ascension kit is


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