Precrowning is the term given to the event in ADOM by which a PC receives an artifact from his/her deity as a reward for extreme devotion.
As the term implies, precrowning is possible for PCs that have not yet been crowned. Another event—termed post-crowning—is almost exactly the same as precrowning except that it occurs after the PC has already been crowned.
The following four requirements need to be met for the PC to receive a precrowning artifact:
- The PC must have a very high amount of piety with his/her current deity. The necessary threshold is reached when sacrificing at an altar generates the following message: "<deity> seems to be extremely close to you."
- The PC's alignment must not be extreme (that is not N=, C-, L+ allignment). Otherwise the PC will be crowned instead.
- The PC cannot be intrinsically cursed or doomed. This is typically possible when the PC has one or more items granting negative karma, as any deity will remove intrinsic curse and dooming whenever the PC with enough piety makes a sacrifice.
Postcrowning does not require non-extreme alignment; all other requirements remain in effect.
If the PC prays when necessary conditions are met, his/her deity will give an artifact that is not available through guaranteed sources in the game as a reward. If the artifact in question is True Aim or Thunderstroke, the deity will also grant the PC a regular long bow or heavy crossbow respectively.
The artifact generation mechanics of pre-crowning are completely different from crowning. The crowning gift is set on character generation from a small list which depends on the character class. A pre/post-crowning gift is randomzied at the moment of prayer from a list determined at character creation (which determines all possible random artifacts in the given game). How this list is created is unknown, and is assumed to be somewhat random.
As with artifacts received through crowning, it is a grave offense to sacrifice a gift granted by a deity on its altar; doing so will result in an extreme drop in piety, as well as dooming and cursing. They can, however, be sacrificed to a different deity. They can also be fed to the demented ratling if the player is attempting an ultra ending.
Note that, in contrast to crowning, pre/post-crowning is available multiple times, up to a theoretical maximum of 15, should the player manage to make it to experience level 50 without generating any artifacts. Naturally, the piety requirement increases dramatically with each subsequent (pre/post-)crowning, making it fairly hard to achieve more than two or three times.
Due to the artifact number requirement of pre/post-crowning, it is generally only accessible before the mid-to-late game as many artifacts are guaranteed to appear as the player advances through the game. The Dwarven graveyard and pyramid have guaranteed artifacts, so pre/post-crownings after lv17 are rather rare.
The first precrowning or crowning typically needs about 90-100 thousand gold pieces. It is worth noting that pre-crowning and crowning do not raise actual piety requirements for each other. Thus, doing them in quick succession might be rather efficient and should take under 150 thousand gold (or equivalent). Of course, this requires either being eligible for post-crowning (being high enough level to compensate for the crowning artifact) or manufacturing extreme alignment quickly.
Post-crown testing for a Gnomish L50 Necromancer yielded the following:
Post-crowning costs (in gold, rounded up to nearest 10,000 gp):
As per the approximated formula:
[ (1.6666)x^4 + (-2.1666)x^3 + (1.7833)x^2 + (-2.6833)x + 1.5 ] * 10000
The data will show little variation for all PCs (pre-crown or post-crown), except dwarves who will need less (about 2/3), provided the level requirement is met. Note that the costs are measured from a previous crowning/post-crowning. The first pre-crown may cost more depending on the PC's current standing with his/her deity.