Randart

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Version 0.19: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Randarts, or random artefacts, are randomly or purposefully generated weapons, jewellery, armour, or spellbooks that can have any number of enchantments, egos, and brands, which are randomly selected from a pool of each of those attributes. They are also given names.

Contents

How Randarts Occur

In the Dungeon, randarts appear randomly starting on D:3. While a randart of any individual type is difficult to find (i.e., you cannot rely on finding a randart plate mail), randarts themselves are not particularly rare: a typical game will produce around 10 to 20 without divine intervention.

Three gods can also gift their followers randarts: Okawaru, Trog, and Xom. Okawaru gifts weapons and armour to high-piety followers; Trog gifts weapons (although usually of a higher quality than Oka's), while Xom can gift anything to any worshiper at any time, though with absolutely no degree of reliability.

Identifying A Randart

Discovering a randart is quite simple. they will look like any other item of the same type, most of the time, but the thing to look for is in the text description. Randarts will have a strange title in white text, like

a smoking dagger

Note that randart spellbooks do not have their names in white text. However, they do bear descriptions different from those of mundane books. Reading them once fully identifies them.

Randarts are always fully identified when you wear them, but doing so is not without risk. As any other equipment, they can be cursed, but they may carry other negative properties as well. (See below for details.) Cautious players will spare a scroll of identify for interesting-looking randarts. However, in the early game, when identify scrolls are not so plentiful, the upsides of wear-identifying a randart generally outweigh the downsides.

Enchantments

Enchantments only apply to weapons and armour. They appear as the +foo value before the name of the equipment. Randarts tend to have these in good amounts, although they cannot be changed with a scroll of enchant weapon, due to their artefact status.

Properties

Randart weapons always have a brand, while randart jewellery always have a base type which gives the first in the list of auto inscription properties. Conversely, randart armour never inherently bears an ego: there are no randart boots of running. In addition, randarts can have any of the following properties.

Note that these describe the properties that can appear above and beyond the artefact's base type; if you see properties on your randart not listed below, they are a result of that base type, most often in the case of randart jewellery.

Note also that a randart cannot receive properties that modify the intrinsic properties of its base item. For example, randart fire dragon armour always has rF++ and rC-; it can never have, say, rF+ or rC+.

Positive or negative properties:

  • ±Str, Dex, or Int. Self-explanatory. The range is -5 to +12 inclusive.
  • ±Slay. Works identically to a ring of slaying. The range is -9 to +8 inclusive. Never found on weapons.
  • Fire resistance: ranges from rF- to rF+++.
  • Cold resistance: ranges from rC- to rC+++.
  • Magic resistance: ranges from MR- to MR+++. Note that if the base type of a ring is a ring of protection from magic, it always gives 40 MR. This means that the randart property almost always gives more MR than the base property.
  • Stlth±: Increases or decreases your intrinsic stealth.
  • MP±9: Increases or decreases your maximum MP by 9. Never found on antimagic weapons.

Positive properties:

  • Negative energy resistance: ranges from rN+ to rN+++. Vulnerability does not exist.
  • Poison resistance: only exists as one level, rPois. Vulnerability is not found on artefacts, and multiple sources do not stack. Never found on naga barding.
  • Electricity resistance: only exists as one level, rElec. Vulnerability does not exist, and multiple sources do not stack.
  • Corrosion resistance: only exists as one level, rCorr. Vulnerability does not exist, and multiple sources do not stack.
  • SInv: Lets you see invisible. Never found on naga barding.
  • +Blink: Can evoke a blink for a small cost in MP and food. Never found on randarts with -Tele.
  • +Rage: Can be evoked to send the wearer berserk. Only found on melee weapons.
  • +Fly: Allows the wearer to fly.
  • +Inv: Allows the wearer to Evoke Invisibility. Evocation is not particularly easy and costs a fair amount of food and MP.
  • Regen: Improves regeneration, as an amulet of regeneration. Only appears on armour.

Negative properties:

  • Fragile: The artefact can only be equipped once. After unequipping it, it is destroyed.
  • Noisy: Makes noise when attacking, waking and alerting nearby monsters. The noise is somewhat louder than simply shouting. Only found on melee weapons.
  • *Rage: Causes the wearer to randomly go berserk, similar to the berserkitis mutation. Only found on melee weapons.
  • *Tele: Causes the wearer to randomly teleport, similar to the teleportitis mutation. Never found on weapons or with -Tele.
  • *Contam: Causes a large amount of magical contamination when unwielded/unworn, likely to cause bad mutations that may bypass mutation resistance.
  • *Corrode: Causes the wearer to randomly corrode when taking damage. Each worn randart with this property increases the chance. Never appears with rCorr.
  • *Drain: Causes the player to be drained when this randart is unwielded/unworn.
  • -Cast: Inhibits all spellcasting. Only found on armour.
  • -Tele: Blocks all forms of teleportation and blinking. Does not prevent banishment and does not have any of the other effects of stasis. Never appears with +Blink or +Tele.
  • *Confuse: Causes the wearer to randomly become slowed when taking damage. Each worn randart with this property increases the chance by 1%.
  • *Slow: Causes the wearer to slow down when taking damage.

Randart spellbooks are different from other randarts in that they do not have any sort of special properties. Instead, they simply have semi-random collections of spells, which will be grouped around one or more themes. Themes can include specific magical schools, general spell types such as "offensive spell", "defensive spell", "disabling spell", and specific levels of spells. The randbook's name will usually be a description of its theme (for example, the "Compendium of Boosts and Feathers" will contain various Charms and Air Magic spells).

Names

Randarts have randomly generated names - either a name generated from Crawl's database files, or from the name generator (which also names Pan lords, shopkeepers, and a few other things). They are always unusual and sometimes entertaining. The name of a randart is mostly irrelevant; however, randarts that are named for gods (like the +6 broad axe of Okawaru's Hope) are forbidden from having properties that contradict the god's flavour. Thus, Cheibriados will not have weapons of speed named after him, nor will one find a ring dedicated to Sif Muna that prevents spellcasting. This does not result in any information leak, however, since it is impossible to know the name of an artefact without already knowing all of its properties.

Randarts can occasionally be named after the player. While rare, this is not an amazing coincidence or anything: artefacts simply have a small chance of being named after the player. While amusing, these names are just as irrelevant as any others.

Strategy

While randarts can be very powerful, always have a scroll of remove curse handy when use-identifying them. Also, keep a sense of perspective about your randarts. One can very broadly divide them into six categories; these definitions, of course, change from character to character:

  • Nice to Uber: These include the so-called "uber-randarts", but also some that don't quite qualify for that distinction but are still things you'd always want to use. Things like the ring of Amarra {Regen rF++ rPois Slay+3} or the +4 large shield of Okawaru's Hope {rF+ rN+ SInv} would fall into this category.
  • Good for a while: Most of the time, these are weapons with high enchantments and neutral to useful properties, but poor base types. Such an example might be the +6 scimitar of Fun {chop, rC+ SInv}. A nice weapon, but outclassed by any demon blade, double sword or triple sword when it comes to the end game.
  • Swaps: These are the mixed randarts that give a tactically useful property, but things you would not want to wear all the time. A good example would be the amulet of Plog {Inacc, rElec rN+}. You might use this as a swap for rElec or rN+, but the inaccuracy and occupation of the amulet slot make it highly undesirable to wear constantly.
  • Not useful to you: Randarts you can't wear or wield fall into this category, as do those that you could in theory but can't really use in practice: an executioner's axe of speed is an awesome weapon, but outside of doing ziggurats, a deep elf wizard is unlikely to be able to use it. Ditto for a randart gold dragon armour. However, super-heavy weapons with useful resistances can be useful to casters who don't plan on using melee that much.
  • Dross: These are randarts that are just boring; usually, branded mundane items will fill the slot better. The ring of the Moon {Ice Dex+1} for a non-ice caster, or +0 helmet of Xizic {Dex-2 Int+1 +Fly}. Unfortunately, far too many randarts fall into this category. This is where it is most important to keep a sense of perspective: it would be a bad idea to wear the randart helmet given above in place of a hat of magic resistance, for example. Only wear this type of randart if you have nothing better to put in that slot.
  • Bad: These are generally quite obvious. They range from "mixed but mostly bad" things like the amulet of Torgh {clarity, Dex+1 rC- *Tele} to truly spectacular failures like the -7 hat of a Thousand Suns {Dex-2 Slay-2} or the ring of the Sun {Slay-5 rF- *Rage}. Usually there is absolutely no reason to prefer randarts like these to a unbranded mundane item of the same type.

A factor that goes into what category a randart falls into, one that is often overlooked, is the slot and base type the randart itself is. The +6 plate mail of Wixzils {Dex+3 Slay+1 rN+} is probably inferior to a +10 plate mail of fire resistance. But the the +3 pair of gauntlets of Wizzils {Dex+3 Slay+1 rN+} is actually quite good, since it's superior to any mundane gauntlets you can get. Basically, be sure to consider what normal items you could substitute for your randart when considering how good it is.

Most randarts are not actually that useful, due to the sheer randomness of their properties. Pick out the best of them, and discard the rest. Don't carry or stash randarts because you might use them "at some point." Chances are, if you're not using it now and can't think of any specific situation in which it'll be useful, it's probably junk (i.e., in the last three categories given above).

History

Prior to 0.19, randarts could have the * Confuse ego, randomly causing the wielder to become confused when taking damage. Each equipped randart with * Confuse would increase the chance of confusion by 1%. 0.19 replaced it with the * Slow ego

Fragile randarts were added in 0.18.

In 0.14, noisy randarts only generate additional noise when being used to attack.