From Angband Wiki
Revision as of 21:23, 3 February 2020 by Sideways (talk | contribs) (tweak)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Objects, or items, are a key feature of Angband and all Angband variants. The character is born with a handful of objects, and will find many more during their adventures. Objects come in two broad categories: wearable items or equipment, which can be worn or wielded, and pack items or utility items, which can be carried in the inventory but not worn.

Wearable items

Wearable items include melee weapons such as swords, ranged weapons such as slings and bows, armor of all types, light sources, magic rings and amulets, and (depending on the variant) more exotic or variant-specific wearables.

Weapons can be used to kill monsters, and armor can protect from monsters' attacks, but much of the value of equipment is in the magical bonuses, abilities and resistances it can provide.

The word equipment can be used to refer to all wearable items collectively, but often specifically refers to all currently worn items collectively. Only current equipment can provide magical bonuses. Characters cannot equip all wearable items they find indiscriminately; they have limited equipment slots, and the slots only accept items of a specific type. Most characters only have one or at most two slots for items of a given type, although exotic body templates exist in variants that offer for an item type many slots or no slots at all.

In Vanilla Angband and most variants, current equipment can be viewed with the 'e' Equipment List command. Finding better and still better magical equipment is a key goal for all characters.

Pack items

Pack items include spellbooks, magical potions and scrolls, magic devices (rods, wands and staves), mundane provisions such as food or flasks of oil, and other non-wearable loot discovered during the adventures. These items may be picked up and stored in the character's backpack, or inventory; acquiring more and better utility items is another key goal for all characters.

Wearable items not currently equipped can also be stored in the inventory, but are of no direct use there. Items in the pack inventory (even if wearable) generally provide no magical bonuses, abilities or resistances, although very rare exceptions exist in some variants.


Gold and gems are special objects which are neither equipment nor pack items. They are automatically picked up on walkover, but are not equipped or stored in the pack; instead, picking up gold simply adds to the player's wealth. Money can be used to buy new items from shops, and in many variants it can also be used to pay for additional services.

Equipment quality

In Vanilla Angband and most variants, wearable items can be either average, good, ego items or artifacts. Average items have no magical bonuses (unless such bonuses are offered directly by the object's kind); good items may give extra bonuses to accuracy, deadliness or armor class, but have no other special or magical qualities; ego items are instances of specific ego types and are usually powerfully magical; artifacts are unique items that can only be discovered once per game each, and are often exceptionally magical. The best items are almost always either artifacts or ego items, although a few rare object kinds such as Power Dragon Scale Mail are an exception to this.

Items can also be cursed, but what this means varies widely. Depending on the variant, cursed items may be bad items, truly horrible items, mixed-blessing items with both good and bad attributes (including cursed artifacts and ego items), or any of these.

Object flavors

Most pack items have a flavor, which determines the effect they have when used. Flavored items include potions (e.g. a Bubbling Potion, where Bubbling is the flavor), scrolls (e.g. a Scroll titled "hiden goseke") and mushrooms (e.g. a Wrinkled Mushroom); traditionally rods, wands and staves are also flavored. Flavors and item effects go hand-in-hand; if the bubbling potion turns out to be a Potion of Healing, then all other bubbling potions are also Potions of Healing and all Potions of Healing will be bubbling potions. A flavor needs to be identified only once per game (after which the object is displayed as a Bubbling Potion of Healing or simply Potion of Healing), but can change between games; next game, Bubbling Potions might be Potions of Salt Water instead. However, some special flavors are fixed and always refer to the same item or effect.

Flavored utility items generally stack, although historically magic devices only stacked in specific circumstances, and this remains the case in some variants.

In Vanilla Angband and many variants, rings and amulets are equipment but have flavored kind types and do not have ego types. The kind types on these items act much the way ego types do on other equipment, but the flavoring makes these objects easy to recognize, even from a distance. Although the flavor is known, some form of identification may still be required for these items to reveal random properties like the size of a magical bonus (the item's pval). Other flavored items require no identification if the flavor is known.

In PosChengband 4.0.0 and later, and PosChengband-derived variants like Composband and FrogComposband, rings, amulets and magic devices are not flavored. Instead, rings and amulets have normal ego types; magic devices have flavorless effects, and may also have an ego type on top of the effect.

Identifying objects

The magical qualities of an object, or the effect of the object's flavor, may not be immediately apparent upon discovery. Such objects need to be identified, a process that depends on the variant and version.

Identify spell-effect

The traditional way to identify items and item flavors is with scrolls, staves or spells of Identify. This may reveal either everything about an object or only its basic properties, depending on whether the game requires *Identify* to reveal special qualities.


Starting with Angband 4.1.0, all versions of Vanilla Angband have obsoleted Identify as a spell-effect. Instead, basic properties of wearable items are revealed immediately, while special properties are identified through runes. In this system, it is object properties rather than the objects themselves that are identified. Each magical property (stat bonus, ability, resistance etc.) has a corresponding rune; identifying the rune does not fully identify the item, but will identify the same property on all other items. Runes can be identified either through use, by selling items or with scrolls of Identify Rune.

PosChengband, Composband and FrogComposband have aspects of rune-ID in their item lore; once an attribute is identified on an ego item, it will also be identified on future ego items of the same type once the ego type itself becomes known.


Equipping or otherwise using an item can reveal some of its qualities; or for equipment, a property such as Free Action or a resistance may be revealed when triggered by a monster attack. This is called use-ID; it is relatively rarely used in many variants, but is an important part of gameplay in current Vanilla Angband, as well as Sil and Sil-Q. It is also encouraged by Sangband.

Since there is no Identify spell-effect in Angband 4.1.0 and above, flavors can be identified only through use-ID or by selling the item. Accordingly, use-ID is the most common way to identify potions, scrolls and magic devices in Vanilla Angband; but in most variants, identifying scrolls and especially potions this way is very dangerous, as they can have serious negative effects.


*Identify* is the most complete level of identification, fully revealing all of an object's special qualities. *Identify* as an effect separate from normal Identify was obsoleted in Angband 3.1.0, but still exists in many variants including FrogComposband. Items in FrogComposband are most often *identified* through the Research Item town service, although scrolls, staves and selling can also be used for this purpose.

Object feelings

Object feelings, or pseudo-ID, are a rough sense of an object's quality. Pseudo-ID reveals whether an object is cursed, average, good, excellent/ego or special/artifact, but does not reveal anything else about the item. The object feeling is usually acquired only after carrying the item for some time, but may also be revealed immediately upon walkover; in Composband, object feelings are automatically revealed for all objects, even distant ones.

Vanilla Angband no longer has object feelings, which were removed in 4.1.0 with the move to rune-based ID.

Interacting with objects

Many commands exist to use objects or otherwise interact with them. These commands depend on the variant and to some extent on the keyset, but generally include 'g' to pick up items, 'd' to drop items, 'w' to wield equipment, 'i' to display inventory, 'e' to display equipment, 'I' to inspect an item in detail, 'q' to quaff a magic potion, 'r' to read a scroll, 'A' to activate an equipped item, 'E' to eat food and 'F' to refuel a light source. The original keyset uses 'b' to browse spellbooks, 'u' to use staves, 'a' to aim wands and 'z' to zap rods, while the roguelike keyset uses 'P' for browsing, 'Z' for staves, 'z' for wands and 'a' for rods.

Both Vanilla Angband and many variants allow using options or special systems to automatically pick up either all items or some subset of items, as well as to automatically destroy specified items.

Object selection

Commands for interacting with objects often require the player to select a specific item from a list of items, or object prompt. Selection is by pressing the object's label key within the inventory; generally label keys run from 'a' for the first object to 'z' for the twenty-sixth, but special object inscriptions can be used to specify a different label.

Object prompts often allow selecting from multiple object lists - the pack inventory, the equipment, sometimes even the floor or an additional inventory like the quiver. Special keys, usually including at a minimum '/', can be used within the object prompt to cycle between the various inventories available; '-' selects the floor if available.

Object attributes and terminology

All objects, even special ones, represent an object kind such as Small Swords or Potions of Healing and an object type such as Swords or Potions. Wearable objects may or may not give to-hit (accuracy), to-dam (damage) or to-AC (armor class) bonuses, as well as special bonuses to stats or to other attributes like speed. Projectiles and melee weapons generally have damage dice, while ranged weapons have a multiplier. Armor pieces have a base AC in addition to the potential bonus.

The terms tval, sval and pval are used within the code to respectively indicate the object type, the object kind's subtype within the type, and the size of various special bonuses. Pval is sometimes used outside the confines of the code, as no other established word exists to indicate the size of a special bonus. All items have exactly one tval and sval, and traditionally exactly one pval, but Vanilla Angband has allowed up to three pvals since 3.3.0. Variants other than recent forks from Vanilla Angband generally still only allow one pval.

Wearable objects may have a special activation, such as Breathe Lightning on a Blue Dragon Scale Mail, which may be used with the 'A' command if the item is worn. Equipped objects may also give resistances, immunities or other protective or otherwise useful abilities such as Free Action; the presence or absence of these attributes is indicated with binary object flags, a term mostly used by developers or within the code.

Object descriptions

An object's description within the game can at times be confusing to new players; for example, a valuable artifact in Vanilla Angband might be shown as the Long Sword 'Ringil' (4d5) (+21,+24) <+10, +1>. Here Long Sword is the object kind, Ringil is the name of this specific artifact, (4d5) are the damage dice, (+21,+24) are the to-hit and to-dam bonus respectively and <+10, +1> are the two pvals.

In FrogComposband, one might even encounter The Leather Jacket of Shiva's Avatar (+3,+4) [12,+20] (+2) {At;AcElFiCoSh;HlSd(StInWiDxCnCh}; here Leather Jacket is the object kind, of Shiva's Avatar is the artifact's name, (+3,+4) are the to-hit and to-dam bonus, [12,+20] are the base AC and to-AC bonus, (+2) is the pval and the rest consists of abbreviations indicating the item's additional special properties. Note that FrogComposband uses parentheses for the pval, while Angband uses angle brackets.

In general, inspecting an item with the 'I' command will make most of an object's special properties clear if the brief description is unclear.

Listing all objects on the current level

Vanilla Angband and some variants have a command, typically the ']' key, for displaying a list of all known objects on the current level. This object list is also available as a subwindow, and is one of the most commonly used subwindows. The object list a relatively recent addition, and many older variants lack it.

Object lists vary from variant to variant, although particularly interesting items (such as unidentified objects or objects known to be highly valuable) are generally highlighted or displayed near the top. Some object lists allow additional functionality; in FrogComposband, it is possible to inspect items or automatically travel to an item through the object list, and the list can display buildings and staircases in addition to items.