, fountains are a sick joke
. While they seem to be soothing water source
s, they are actually harbinger
s of doom
. At low levels, drinking from one is frequently detrimental
to your health or even fatal
There are two major uses for fountains in NetHack: dipping things into them and quaffing from them. You can dip a potion into a fountain to dilute it. You can also dip scrolls or spellbooks into fountains to erase them. The problem with dipping things into fountains is that some of the bad random effects can still occur.
Quaffing from fountains gives a wide range of effects, a few of which are beneficial and the majority of which aren't so beneficial:
- "Wow, this makes you feel great!"
Same effect as a blessed potion of restore ability.
- "The cool draught refreshes you."
Gives 1-10 nutrition points and doesn't do anything bad.
- "You feel self-knowledgeable..."
You get the enlightenment effect, that is, you are able to see information about yourself that is normally concealed (behavior, prayer status, luck, etc) momentarily.
- "This water is foul! You gag and vomit."
You vomit, losing 1d20+11 nutrition points. Note that vomiting will save your life if you have food poisoning.
- "The water is contaminated!"
Uh-oh. You lose 1d4+3 points of Strength and 1d10 hit points. If you die, the message is "killed by contaminated water". If you have poison resistance, you lose 1d4 hit points ("perhaps it is run-off from the nearby farm"), and if you die, the message is "killed by an unrefrigerated sip of juice." For crying out loud...
- "An endless stream of snakes pours forth!"
"Endless" is an exaggeration, but it doesn't matter if you're low-level. Four water moccassins appear around you.
- "You unleash a water demon!"
Again, this is a problem if you're not powerful enough to take him on. Very occasionally, the water demon will be grateful for his freedom and will grant you a wish (if you are chaotic).
- "This water's no good!"
You lose 1d20+11 nutrition points, and there is a 1/6 chance per item in your inventory that it will become cursed.
- "You see an image of someone stalking you."
You gain the see invisible intrinsic.
- "You sense the presence of monsters."
You detect monsters on the level momentarily.
- "You find a gem in the sparkling waters!"
Cute, but the gem is usually worthless.
- "You attract a water nymph!"
- "This water gives you bad breath!"
Monsters will flee from you for the next couple of turns. Not very useful, but it can be amusing if you drink from a fountain during combat and you happen to get this result.
- "Water gushes forth from the overflowing fountain!"
A number of pools may or may not be created around you. If no pools are created, "Water sprays all over you." You can drown in the pools, which is pretty strange, but dangerous. Watch out for rusty gear after any of this happens.
- "The tepid water is tasteless."
Due to the possibility of snake
s, and contamination
, quaffing from fountains at lower levels (as I have mentioned) is Very Dangerous and Not Recommended. It's rather like playing a slot machine
...sometimes you can't resist the impulse
anyways, despite the lousy odds
. After any quaffing or dipping into a fountain, there is something like a 25% chance that it will dry up.