Lightning scales

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
A set of armoured plates assembled to protect a creature with a long, scaly lower body. Faintly crackling with electricity, they supercharge their wearer's ability to cover distance.

Lightning scales.png the +6 lightning scales

+6 barding

Running ego (-10% movement delay)


The lightning scales[1] provide excellent defense (better than all mundane bardings), an uncommon resistance, and the only source of unconditional increased movement speed in the game (the rampaging ego is more common, but only applies when moving directly towards an enemy). However, as it is a barding, only nagas and palentongas can wear it.

Without other bonuses to movement speed, nagas will still move slightly slower than the average character, but that's still a significant improvement over their base movement speed -- the simple addition of Swiftness will allow them to finally move faster than average. Palentongas, meanwhile, will gain the permanent ability to run at above-average speed, granting them all the benefits that entails. Faster movement speed allows for kiting, the ability to retreat easily, and prevents any random energy attacks from normal speed enemies.

Followers of Cheibriados should avoid this item, as that god forbids hasty items like this.


  • Prior to 0.26, the lightning scales were explicitly intended for nagas to wear.
  • Prior to 0.13, this artefact reduced movement delay by 2, but only had a +3 enchantment bonus to AC. Significantly, this meant that Swiftness combined with the scales would give a naga slightly above-average movement speed.
  • The lightning scales were added in 0.10.