Negative energy is one of the most common elemental forces you will encounter as you explore the Dungeon. Both players and monsters can take advantage of negative energy through spells or specially branded weapons, though some monsters also possess innate negative energy abilities.
Negative Energy Sources
The effects of negative energy are more complicated than most other elemental types, as each source functions in a different way.
- The pain brand and Pain spell simply deal damage to the target.
- Bolt of Draining, the draining brand, and other "draining" attacks deal damage and also inflict the drain status.
- Vampiricism deals no damage, but only steals HP if the target isn't resistant to negative energy.
- Torment and Agony cut the target's current HP in half, with rN+ having a far smaller effect than usual. See the torment article for more details.
Any character that worships a good god should avoid using negative energy, as these gods are offended by it.
Negative Energy Resistance
Negative energy resistance (also known as life protection, rN+, or rNeg+) reduces or completely negates the effects of negative energy attacks you receive.
For players, negative energy damage is reduced by 50% at rN+, 75% at rN++, and 100% at rN+++. Draining and enemy vampirism are also reduced by this much. Torment works differently - each level of rN+ only reduces torment damage by 10%/level. Since torment cuts your HP by 50%, rN+ reduces this to -45% HP, rN++ to -40% HP, and rN+++ to -35% HP.
Monsters that are not natural or plant holiness are immune to negative energy and torment. In addition, monsters with any level of rN+ have 100% immunity to negative energy damage (but not torment). No monsters spawn with only rN+ or rN++, though they can get it from equipped items.
All sources of negative energy resistance stack (up to rN+++):
- Pearl dragon armour: rN+
- Armour of positive energy: rN+
- Staff of death: rN+
- Ring of positive energy: rN+
- Tiamat's dragonskin cloak: 50% chance per attack of rN+
- Randarts: rN+, rN++, or rN+++, random
- Gargoyle and Statue Form: rN+
- Necromutation: rN+++
- Playing a Ghoul, Mummy, or bloodless Vampire: rN+++
- Worshiping the Shining One: rN+ to rN+++, rises with piety
- Prior to 0.28, plant monsters and forms had rN+++.
- Prior to 0.27 the first rank of the Black Mark demonspawn mutation provided rN+.
- Prior to 0.26 draining lowered your skills instead of your maximum HP.
- Prior to 0.13, draining attacks had no effect on your skills. Instead, they would permanently reduce your experience, potentially forcing you to lose levels. Also, ranks of negative energy resistance were somewhat less effective at reducing damage (33%/66%/100%). Finally, several bugs related to the implementation of rN+ for monsters were fixed.