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In Nethack, I find myself a ruby potion, and drinking it gives me poison. Later in the same dungeon, I find a "Liquor Emporium" (potion shop) and find other ruby potions in there as well. Do all items within the same dungeon have a constant effect (e.g. All ruby potions are poisonous)?

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Why is "ruby potion" bolded in the first sentence and italicized in the rest? – Arkive Oct 14 '13 at 2:09
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Item effects for similar descriptions will inherited within an ascension run, but are randomized at the start of a run. Taking your ruby potion for example. If you drink one and it poisons you then all ruby potions are poisonous for that run. If you die or ascend and start a new run, then the effects of a ruby potion will be randomized at the start of that run. It may be poison or may be something else.

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This also applies to wands, scrolls, spellbooks, and magical equipment (e.g. if you find a visored helm that turns out to be a Helm of Opposite Alignment, all visored helms are HoOAs - in that game). That said, there are a few things with fixed descriptions; for example, "a clear potion" is always water, and most weapons and armour have fixed descriptions, too. – ToxicFrog Oct 13 '13 at 22:26
Ha. I love the gag of calling each game an 'ascension run'. I've been playing for decades and haven't come within a million miles of ascending. – Jonathan Hartley Oct 15 '13 at 7:23
Everyone else uses the term "ascension run" to refer only to the last stages of the game; referring to the whole game that way is... certainly unusual. – Wooble Oct 15 '13 at 16:07
@Wooble Probably comes from the fact I play Nethack and Kingdom of Loathing. Most KoL players refer to any run (at any stage) as an ascension run. – Yuuki Oct 15 '13 at 18:06

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