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Fountains, Fountain, are a dungeon feature represented primarily by a { (left curly bracket), but possibly by a (pilcrow) or a (top half integral), depending on your operating system and options (see the note about symbol below). They are found randomly scattered throughout the dungeon, usually in rooms that do not have any other dungeon feature (ie: chests, sinks) in them. You use a fountain by dipping items into it, and by quaffing its water, and by digging down on it.

Fountains have a 1/7 (14%) chance of being magic[1], an attribute that cannot be determined prior to use. Digging on a sink will create a non-magic fountain.

QuaffingEdit

You can drink from a fountain by quaffing its water while standing over it. Upon doing so you get a message indicating the results.

Magic FountainsEdit

If the fountain is magic, and your Luck is non-negative:

MessageEffectProbability
"The cool draught refreshes you." Your hunger is reduced slightly. 3/10
"Wow! This makes you feel great!"
"A wisp of vapor escapes the fountain..."
Your wisdom is exercised, and all your attributes are restored to their maximum (same effect as a blessed potion of restore ability). One attribute is increased by 1 (uncursed potion of gain ability effect); if your Luck is 4 or higher, this last effect will increase all your attributes by 1 (blessed potion effect). After this effect, the fountain is no longer magical. 7/10

In either case, the fountain will not dry up.

Non-magic FountainsEdit

Quaffing from a non-magic fountain, or magic with negative Luck:

MessageEffectProbability
"The cool draught refreshes you." Your hunger is reduced slightly. 9/30
"This tepid water is tasteless." No effect 9/30
"You feel self-knowledgeable..."
"The feeling subsides..."
You see your attributes and exercise your wisdom (as with a wand or uncursed potion of enlightenment). 1/30
"The water is foul! You gag and vomit." You vomit and your hunger is increased. 1/30
"The water is contaminated!" You lose d10 HP and d4+2 STR and your constitution is abused.
(if you are not poison resistant)
1/30
"Perhaps it is runoff from the nearby <fruit> farm." You lose d4 HP
(if you are poison resistant)
"An endless stream of snakes pour forth!"
"You hear something hissing!" (if blind)
"The fountain bubbles furiously for a moment, then calms." (if moccasins genocided)
d5+1 water moccasins are created. 1/30
"You unleash a water demon!"
"You feel the presence of evil." (blind)
"Grateful for his release, he grants you a wish!" (peaceful)
"The fountain bubbles furiously for a moment, then calms." (summoning failed)
A water demon is summoned. It has a (80+DL)/100 chance of being hostile (100% if you have the Amulet); if not hostile, he'll grant one wish and then vanish. 1/30
"You attract a water nymph!"
"You hear a seductive voice." (blind)
"A large bubble rises to the surface and pops." (unblind, water nymphs genocided or extinct)
"You hear a loud pop." (blind, water nymphs genocided or extinct)
A water nymph is summoned. 1/30
"This water's no good!" Each item in your inventory has 1/5 chance of being cursed outright; your hunger is increased and your constitution is abused. 1/30
"You see an image of someone stalking you. But it disappears."
"You feel transparent." (blind, invisible)
"You feel very self-conscious. Then it passes." (blind, not invisible)
You gain see invisible and your wisdom is exercised. 1/30
"You sense the presence of monsters."
"You have a strange feeling for a moment, then it passes." (no monsters, beginner, not hallucinating)
"You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes."(no monsters, beginner, hallucinating)
"You feel threatened." (no monsters, not hallucinating)
"You get the heebie jeebies." (no monsters, hallucinating)
You briefly see monsters on that level and exercise your wisdom. If no monsters on the level (other than you), no visible effect. 1/30
"You spot a gem in the sparkling waters!" (unblind)
"You feel a gem here!" (blind)
You find a random valuable gem or piece of worthless glass and your wisdom is exercised. If you have already acquired gems or gold from this fountain, a nymph is summoned instead (as above). 1/30
"This water gives you bad breath!" Monsters on the level flee you for a while. 1/30
"Water gushes forth from the overflowing fountain!" (pool created)
"Your thirst is quenched." (no pools created)
A number of pools may be created in your vicinity. (Never two orthogonally adjacent, never on your square, the more likely the closer to you.) Be aware that any precious items laying near you may end up at the bottom of a pool, and your pet may drown if one of the pools is created on its space! 1/30

Finally, the fountain has a 1/3 chance of drying up (except in Minetown, where you'll always get one warning)

DippingEdit

If you #dip a single ordinary long sword in a fountain, are at least experience level 5, and Excalibur doesn't already exist in your game, then there is a 1/6 chance of something special happening to your long sword. If you are lawful, the long sword is converted into the blessed, rustless, uncorroded, damageproof Excalibur and you exercise your wisdom. (In SporkHack, dipping only works for lawful Knights.) If you are neutral or chaotic, your long sword is cursed, loses its rustproofing, may lose an enchantment, and you abuse your wisdom. The fountain then disappears. If you were dipping in Minetown, this will anger the Minetown Watch whether you've been warned or not.

In any other case, the dipping is handled normally. First, the object gets wet and does the appropriate things (scrolls and spellbooks blank, potions dilute, iron objects rust, lit objects go out, grease washes off). Then special effects can happen (only 50% chance if wetting object already caused an effect):

MessageEffectProbability
"A strange tingling runs up your arm." (1/18 chance)
"You feel a sudden chill." (1/18 chance)
No message (16/18 chance)
No special effect 18/30
"The water glows for a moment." (uncursed, unblind)
"A feeling of loss comes over you." (item not cursed)
The dipped item is uncursed if cursed. 4/30
No message. The dipped item is cursed outright. 1/30
"An endless stream of snakes pour forth!"
"You hear something hissing!" (if blind)"The fountain bubbles furiously for a moment, then calms." (if moccasins genocided)
d5+1 water moccasins are created. 1/30
"You unleash a water demon!"
"You feel the presence of evil." (blind)
"Grateful for his release, he grants you a wish!" (peaceful)
"The fountain bubbles furiously for a moment, then calms." (summoning failed)
A water demon is summoned. It has a (80+DL)/100 chance of being hostile (100% if you have the Amulet); if not hostile, he'll grant one wish and then vanish. 1/30
"You attract a water nymph!"
You hear a seductive voice." (blind)
"A large bubble rises to the surface and pops." (unblind, water nymphs genocided or extinct)
"You hear a loud pop." (blind, water nymphs genocided or extinct)
A water nymph is summoned. 1/30
"Water gushes forth from the overflowing fountain!" (pool created)
"Water sprays all over you." (no pools created)
A number of pools may be created in your vicinity. (Never two orthogonally adjacent, never on your square, the more likely the closer to you.) 1/30
"You spot a gem in the sparkling waters!" (unblind)
"You feel a gem here!" (blind)
You find a random valuable gem or piece of worthless glass and your wisdom is exercised. If you have already acquired gems or gold from this fountain, pools may be created instead (as above). 1/30
"An urge to take a bath overwhelms you."
"You lost some of your gold in the fountain!"
You lose some gold and your wisdom is abused. The amount you lose depends on the amount (GP) you have, as follows:
* GP <= 10  : 0 zorkmids
  • GP < 100  : GP/10 zorkmids
  • GP <= 10000 : d(GP)/10 zorkmids
  • GP > 10000 : d(10000)/10 zorkmids

Gems and gold can now be found in this fountain again.

1/30
"Far below you, you see coins glistening in the water." You find (2 * d(height + 1)) + 5 zorkmids, where "height" is your height above the bottom level of the current dungeon branch; your wisdom is exercised. If you have already acquired a gem or gold from this fountain, there is no effect. 1/30

Finally, the fountain has a 1/3 chance of drying up (except in Minetown, where you'll always get one warning); 1/6 if wetting the object caused an effect.

Other fountain effectsEdit

Digging down in a fountain square will likely create a number of pools in your vicinity. (Always if available space in line of sight. Never two orthogonally adjacent, never on your square, the more likely the closer to you.) The fountain is destroyed.

  • "Water gushes forth from the overflowing fountain!" (pool created)
  • "Water sprays all over you." (no pools created)

The pools created can drown a pet. This does not break pacifist conduct or anger your god (unless you ride your pet into the pool).

Gremlins may multiply in a fountain (you can use the #monster command to do so if you are polyselfed into one). This has the usual 1/3 chance of drying up the fountain, except in Minetown, where it is guaranteed to do so.

You cannot engrave on a fountain square.

Dropping coins (or objects) on a fountain currently has no effect.

Minetown Edit

The first time each fountain would ordinarily dry up through quaffing or dipping, you will instead get a warning:

'The <watchman> yells
"Hey, stop using that fountain!"'
A watchman or watch captain can see you, and you would have dried up the fountain.
"The flow reduces to a trickle."
You are not in view of the watch, but you would have dried up the fountain.

The next time you quaff from or dip an object in the fountain (half the time if wetting the object caused an effect), the fountain will dry up. This will anger the minetown watch regardless of whether any of them can see you vandalizing the fountain in this way.

Minetown fountains always dry up without warning when digging to create pools, or when the special effect from dipping a longsword into the fountain occurs. This also angers the watch.

Messages Edit

The following messages all indicate there is a fountain somewhere on the level:

"You hear bubbling water."
"You hear water falling on coins."
"You hear the splashing of a naiad."
"You hear a soda fountain!" (you are hallucinating)

StrategyEdit

Fountain quaffing Edit

Fountain quaffing is the specific practice of immediately quaffing from every fountain you find, in the hope of releasing a water demon and getting an early wish. In a lesser form, most inexperienced players will unintentionally engage in this behavior; this is unfortunate as most fountain quaffers die after a few hundred turns, but those with experience don't mind because they can just start again. This is a form of metagaming considered fairly low. It is the reason why water moccasins rank so highly on the list of top deaths on nethack.alt.org, and perhaps the explanation why quaffing from fountains in general is a leading cause of death there (along with deaths to Team Ant). Wizards who start with a scroll of taming, or a spellbook of charm monster are slightly safer in this practice.

Magic fountain hunting Edit

Some players prefer to go hunting for magic fountains for their blessed gain ability effect. This is typically an early-midgame strategy performed after the player is confident they have 4+ Luck and can deal with any of the negative fountain effects they might encounter from a normal fountain. It is a good idea to protect your inventory from curses with a sack. The approach is simple: repeatedly quaff from each fountain until something other than "The cool draught refreshes you." happens. If the fountain is magic, the something else will be the magic effect; if not, the random fountain effect will indicate a non-magic fountain. If the fountain should dry up or its flow reduce, it wasn't magic. (Note there is no risk of angering the watch.) If you should happen to get a wish in the process, so much the better.

Some players like to combine this with mid-game wish-seeking by quaffing from every fountain in the first 19 dungeon levels until it dries up, and only quaffing from deeper fountains until their magic status has been determined.

Dipping for Excalibur Edit

An obvious strategy for lawful characters, especially valkyries and knights who start the game with a longsword. As soon as they reach level 5, they start dipping their longsword into every (non-Mine Town) fountain they can find until they receive Excalibur. At level 5, these combat-strong characters may even stand a decent chance against the more dangerous fountain effects, and the hoped-for eventual conversion of the thoroughly rusted, possibly now cursed longsword fixes these issues.

Making Holy waterEdit

A potion of holy water (blessed potion of water) is useful for uncursing and blessing items as well as curing lycanthropy and illness. Potions could be converted into potions of water by dipping into a fountain twice, and then blessed on an altar as described in the holy water article. Unfortunately, the fountain has a chance of drying up before you have converted all of your potions. The same applies to blanking scrolls and spellbooks.

The solution is to stand on a fountain and dig down. The fountain will be destroyed with a large chance of making several pools of water. Potions can then be dipped in them without using up your water supply. Carry only items you want blanked, rusted or converted to potions of water, and jump into the pool. You will crawl out (and get a scary message). Alternatively, water walking boots let you #dip without getting yourself wet. Beware that potions of acid might explode, although not always. If you jump into pools, they will never deal damage, identify, or convert to water, but they might survive.[2]

SymbolEdit

See also: IBMgraphics

The representation of a fountain as a pilcrow, "¶", is probably not intentional. The top-half integral, "⌠" (some fonts may not have this character), looks vaguely like a fountain and is probably what the DevTeam had in mind.

The problem is that PC character sets vary from one country to another. The symbol "⌠" occurs at code point 0xF4 in the PC code page 437, which is used in the United States. Most of Europe, however, uses either code page 850 (Western Europe), 852 (Eastern Europe using the Latin alphabet) or 866 (Russia and former USSR). Code page 850 has "¶" at position 0xF4, code page 852 has "˘" and code page 866 has "Ї".[3]

This script may provide a workaround for some Windows users. Call it, say, RUN-NH.BAT, drop it in the same directory as the NetHack.exe binary, and link the desktop icon to it:

chcp 437
NetHack

Encyclopedia entry Edit

Rest! This little Fountain runs
Thus for aye: -- It never stays
For the look of summer suns,
Nor the cold of winter days.
Whose'er shall wander near,
When the Syrian heat is worst,
Let him hither come, nor fear
Lest he may not slake his thirst:
He will find this little river
Running still, as bright as ever.
Let him drink, and onward hie,
Bearing but in thought, that I,
Erotas, bade the Naiad fall,
And thank the great god Pan for all!

[ For a Fountain, by Bryan Waller Procter ]

ReferencesEdit

  1. mklev.c, line 1325
  2. Trap.c#line2723
  3. drawing.c, line 348
This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

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  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.


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