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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

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 followed by i). 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 generated for artefacts only, and list the artefact's properties and weapon brand if it is a weapon.

For example, a +6 falchion of freezing with the Blink property that grants +2 intelligence and one rank of fire resistance is inscribed like this:

the +6 falchion "Name" {freeze, +Blink Int+2 rF+}

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'. A list of these inscriptions and their effects are given below.

Special Inscriptions

Inscription Effect
@*<key> Allows usage of this item by pressing <key> after an action prompt.
* replaceable with quaff, fire, etc.
 !* 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.
 !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.
=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.
=R When putting on a ring with two rings equipped, automatically keep this ring equipped rather than prompting which to remove.
+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 set scrolls of blinking to the 3 key:

autoinscribe = of blinking:@r3

To prompt before evoking a wand of acid:

autoinscribe = wand of acid:!v

See also

The randart article has a list of artefact properties in the form they appear in inscriptions.


In the past, there have been other automatic inscriptions—for example, before wands were pre-identified, if they were zapped without being first identified with a scroll of identify, they would be inscribed with e.g. {zapped: 3} where the number represented the number of charges lost.