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You can use the { command to manually inscribe items; alternatively, you can also inscribe when viewing items from the inventory (done by pressing the item's letter). This adds a note in curly braces to the item description. Besides simply allowing you to make comments about items, there are several further uses.

Automatic Inscriptions

These are created when you identify or use items. They are a quick reference to what the item does, or what it has been tried on.

Automatic Inscription Examples

If you've tried an item that had no effect and didn't ask for a target:


If you've tried an item and found it to be cursed (usually indicates a bad item):

{was cursed}

If you've tried an item that had no effect and asked for a target:

{tried on spiffy gold ring}

If you've identified an artefact item:

{Acc+2 AC+1 +Lev}

Custom Inscriptions

When you inspect an item in your inventory, or press the { key, you can set an inscription on the item. There are certain special keywords that will perform various functions. Custom inscriptions are helpful for protecting special items, or when automatically set on very powerful items.

Example of protecting a stone for an Earth elemental caster:

!w =f !D My Stone

Then, if in 'a' and identified as +0, the stone will then appear as:

a) +0 stone {!w =f !D My Stone}

These options will prompt you if you attempt to unwield it, will not quiver it, and will prompt you before anything that can destroy it, as well as give it a 'name'.

Special Inscriptions

Inscription Effect
 !* Will prompt before any action with this item.
 !a Will prompt before attacking with this item.
 !w Will prompt before wielding or unwielding this item.
 !e Will prompt before eating.
 !q Will prompt before quaffing.
 !r Will prompt before reading.
 !f Will prompt before throwing or firing.
 !W Will prompt before wearing armour.
 !T Will prompt before taking off armour.
 !P Will prompt before putting on jewellry.
 !R Will prompt before removing jewellry.
 !v Will prompt before evoking an item.
 !Q Will prompt before quivering an item.
 !p Will prompt before sacrificing a anything in a stack containing this item.
=p Will prompt before sacrificing this item, but allows stack to be sacrificed.
=g Will automatically pick this item up if autopickup is on.
=k Will be ignored in listings on the ground.
=s If stash tracking is explicit, dropping this marks a stash to be tracked.
=f This item will be excluded with cycling ammunition and in automatic quivering.
+f This item is included in cycling ammunition and automatic quivering.
 !D Will prompt before performing any action that might destroy this item.


The .rc file allows items to be automatically inscribed, using the format:

autoinscribe = [string to match]:[what to inscribe]

To always pickup royal jelly:

autoinscribe = royal jell:=g

To prompt before evoking a wand of healing:

autoinscribe = wand of healing:!v

Randart Autoinscriptions

When identifying an artefact, the identify spell will notate the effects of the artefact through an inscription.


Resistance take the form of rXXX

Inscription Item Provides
rC+ One level of cold resistance.
rC++ Two levels of cold resistance.
rF+ One level of fire resistance.
rF++ Two levels of fire resistance.
rF- One level of fire susceptibility.
rN+ One level of negative resistance (life protection).
rPois Poison resistance.
rElec Electricity resistance (insulation).
rSlow Resistance to slowing.
rCorr Resistance to corrosion (acid).
rMut Resistance to mutation.


Boosts take the form of XX+X and come with a random value. Its not uncommon to find XX+1 early in the dungeon, however later, you may find XX+4 or higher.

Inscription Item Provides
AC+3 Armour class modifier.
EV+3 Evasion modifier.
Str+3 Strength modifier.
Dex+3 Dexterity modifier.
Int+3 Intelligence modifier.
Dam+3 Physical damage modifier.
Acc+3 Physical accuracy modifier.


Special abilities take the form of +XXX (granted) or -XXX (prevented) or *XXX (uncontrolled).

Inscription Item Provides
+Lev Can invoke levitation.
+Inv Can invoke invisibility.
+Blink Can invoke blink.
+Rage Can invoke berserk.
+Tele Can invoke teleport.
+Map Can invoke magic mapping (sense surroundings).
-TELE Prevents teleportation.
*RAGE Uncontrolled berserk (anger).
*TELE Random teleporting.

Special Effects

Lastly, there are special effects that can be granted, which take the form of XXX (provides) or XXX+ (provides an enhanced form) or XXX- (lessens).

Inscription Item Provides
MR Increases magical resistances.
Stlth Improves stealth.
Stlth+ Greatly improves stealth.
MUT Mutagenic and causes magical contamination over time.
MUT+ Highly mutagenic and causes a high rate of magical contamination.
Noisy Makes noises.
Hunger Increases hunger
Hunger+ Greatly increases hunger
Hunger- Provides sustenance
Fire Improves fire spells, reduces ice spells, +1 fire resistance, and -1 cold resistance.
Ice Improves ice spells, reduces fire spells, +1 cold resistance, and -1 fire resistance.
SustAb Sustains abilities
Regen Improves health regeneration while growing hungry faster.
Wiz Improves spell success rates and spell power.
MP Increases magic points.
cTele Allows controlled teleports.
cFlight Allows controlled flight.
SInv Allows wearer to see invisible.
Clar Clarity, prevents most confusion and unintentional berserk, but does allow intentional berserk.
Cons Conservation, preventing most loss of scrolls and potions through effects.
Gourm Gourmand, allowing eating chunks, and eventually diseased meat.
Ward Warding, preventing some summoned creatures from attacking.