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True Strength ( [ )
Item654
Item Type Girdle
Artifact? Yes
Weight 20s
Danger Level N/A
Material Iron

True Strength is one of the two artifact girdles in the game. In its unidentified form it appears as a platinum girdle. It is widely considered one of the best artifacts in the game due to a number of reasons:

  • Excellent stats
  • Low number of alternatives

The girdle provides tremendous defensive capabilities (+18 DV and +9 PV) — normal equipment will need to be smithed or improved with scrolls of defense and protection to achieve such levels of quality. It gives the lucky and Fate Smiles intrinsics and directly increases the PC's Luck (only three other items in the game have this property — rings and amulets of luck, and the ankh). It grants regeneration and provides the PC with death ray, poison and confusion resistances. Finally, the girdle increases both the PC's speed and Willpower by 15 points. The Willpower bonus alone, for instance, almost translates to a full increase in a ball spell radius.

True Strength can only be received as soon as the PC arrives to D:50 and only if the PC in question is a Paragon of Order — a champion of Law who has never committed a chaotic act (plus a number of other restrictions). ADOM versions 1.1.1 and 1.2.0 feature different takes on Paragon of Order codex — more detailed information is provided on the page.

The girdle not only requires the PC to be a Paragon of Order to appear, but demands that the PC stays so. Breaking any rule will trigger drastic consequences if the girdle is equipped (although nothing will happen to the PC if the girdle is not in his/her possession or is in the backpack). Note that, unlike the ring of the master cat, which explodes when the PC kills a cat only if equipped, True Strength will be able to detect that the PC has performed a chaotic act and will punish him/her as soon as it is equipped.

The following effects are applied to the PC when the girdle is equipped on a fallen Paragon of Order or the PC becomes a fallen Paragon while the girdle is equipped:

  • True Strength becomes permanently attached to the PC's body. This effect is similar but not the same as autocursing. There is no way to remove the girdle afterwards — scrolls of item destruction, equipment damage from various sources and divine retribution will not work, as True Strength is an artifact and thus indestructible.
  • The PC receives a tremendously huge -1000 melee to-hit penalty, which prevents him/her from hitting anything at all, save for the occasional automatic hit. Curiously, this penalty also applies if the girdle is wielded as a melee weapon (which doesn't trigger any of the other effects).
  • Each turn True Strength will squeeze the PC for a significant amount of damage (around 20-30 points).
  • Each turn True Strength will reduce the PC's Dexterity by 1 point.

The only way to prevent the PC's death if the girdle started squeezing them is to exit the Drakalor Chain, ending the game. The PC may be able to survive the damage with continuous healing, but the disadvantages of such a situation are obvious. If the PC dies from the squeezing damage, a unique death message (was squished by the mark of the fallen paragon) is generated. If the PC manages to exit the Drakalor Chain, the extra score for achieving Paragon of Order status is obviously forfeited.

Since True Strength gives the PC regenerative abilities, it is possible to survive indefinitely while traveling in the wilderness, since the squeezing damage (unlike healing) doesn't seem to be extended.

DesirabilityEdit

True Strength does not normally make much of a difference at the point of the game when it can be received. This situation is further worsened by the fact that the PC needs to be much better prepared to achieve the Paragon of Order status.

The girdle still remains the top item for its corresponding slot. The only artifact rival Celestrix is rarely used despite its significant powers due to the fact that is confers dooming on the PC. Among non-artifact girdles, only girdles of giant strength deserve attention thanks to the huge Strength bonus which is, however, more useful to melee-oriented characters, while True Strength is slightly more fitting for spellcasters. Girdles of giant strength are made of something other than higher metal and crystal which makes them highly susceptible to item destruction.

Guaranteed/Common SourcesEdit

Only granted to Paragons of Order as soon as they first enter D:50.

Greater Identify informationEdit

--- platinum girdle "True Strength" (+3, +0) [+18, +9] {Wi+15} (+15 spd) ---

Weight: 20s

The blessed platinum girdle is actually a blessed platinum girdle "True
Strength" (+3, +0) [+18, +9] {Wi+15} (+15 spd).

When worn it modifies DV by +18 and PV by +9.

When used in melee combat it grants a +3 bonus to hit and causes 1d2+3 
points of damage. When used as a missile it grants a +0 bonus to hit and 
causes 1d2 points of damage.

It increases your luck.
It causes your wounds to regenerate.
It modifies your willpower attribute by +15.
It modifies your speed by +15.
It grants resistance to poison.
It grants luck.
It makes Fate smile upon you.
It grants resistance to death attacks.
It grants resistance to confusion attacks.


Some information taken with permission from Andy Williams' Guidebook.

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