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Tanning is a craft activity that allows someone with a tanner's kit to tan the skins of dead NPCs or players in order to produce tanned skin, leather, fur or suede. Tanned skins can then be dyed, giving them a colour and potentially increasing their value. Currently, nothing other than selling can be done with tanned/dyed skins, although it has been stated that the Plan is to make it possible to create items such as clothing.

Skills Used

Equipment Needed

To tan (and dye) a skin, the following equipment is needed;

  • A tanner's kit - these can be purchased on Phedre Road in Ankh-Morpork, and at the Lancre Hunters' Camp (leave Ohulan Cutash via the Dock Road entrance, heading northeast). Kits can also be found on the tanner NPCs which wander around Sto Lat.
    • The tanning kit can be used to cut the skin into smaller pieces.
  • Tanning medium - the kits use dog muck for every tanning attempt, and can be refilled with jars of dog muck. Dog muck is sold at the same stores that sell kits.
    • Alternately, brains can be used to partially refill kits. Tharga beasts, with their multiple brains, are an excellent source.
  • Knife or dagger - required to take skin from a corpse
  • Dyeing a tanned skin requires a bottle of dyeing medium, to which one must add ink. Dyeing medium and bottles of ink are also sold at the stores that sell the kits. Bottles of ink are also sold in other shops.

How it is done


Once an NPC or player has been killed, get the skin from its corpse using the 'get' command while holding a knife or dagger.

With the tanner's kit in your inventory, 'tan <object> with <kit> to make <{leather|skin|suede|fur}>' - The difficulty of tanning is mainly determined by the weight and size of the skin. A bonus of ~175 is enough to succeed on small skins such as those of rats or other critters, and ~200 is perhaps enough to have a chance of success on a human skin, although a bonus of up to 240 may be required to offer a semi-reliable chance on human skin. The skin can be tanned while on the ground in the same room, to minimise burden.

To decrease difficulty in tanning a skin, one can 'divide <object> in {half|thirds|fourths} with <kit>'. The smaller skin size ultimately affects price when the final product is sold. Eventually the skin becomes too small to further divide.

Different corpses produce different types of skin (although the word 'skin' is used as a general term in this page). Skin can be tanned into tanned skin or leather, hide can be tanned into tanned skin, leather or suede, and a pelt can be tanned into tanned skin, leather or fur.

Attempting to tan a skin uses some of the dog muck in the tanner's kit, and failing the tanning skillcheck destroys the skin. There are 4 levels of success, all of which influence the value of the tanned skin. (When selling to general stores, the value of a tanned hide seems independent of the level of success achieved during tanning). The weight of a skin is significantly reduced once tanned, and it is also made easier to store in a container.

The value of a skin is also determined by its weight and size, in a series of 3 'scales'. Lighter/smaller skins such as those of critters and small animals are in the lowest value scale, moderately sized animals (and most humanoids) are in the moderate scale, while anything heavier/bigger is in the high scale. The high scale includes most savanna animals, bears, moose, horses, etc. No evidence has pointed towards the existence of a fourth value scale.


Once tanned, a skin can be dyed in order to change its colour and influence its value. Dyeing requires a bottle of ink to be added to a bottle of dyeing medium, which is then used to dye the tanned skin. The bottle containing the dyeing medium is consumed in the process, for no apparent reason, as the bottle in which the ink was contained can be re-sold at a general store.

A failed attempt at dyeing will result in a shabby job which may make the skin worthless. Not including the failure, there are 4 levels of dyeing success, the worst of which does not increase the value of the skin at all, and the best result being quite rare to achieve. The difficulty of dyeing does not seem to be influenced by factors such as the weight and size of the skin.

The cost of the medium and ink (unless stolen) should be taken into consideration. It is often not worth tanning a skin unless able to achieve good tanning and dyeing results in the middle scale or above. Dyeing skins in the lowest scale will not tend to increase the value of the skin more than the cost of the medium and ink.

Sale Value and Profit Potential

With adequate skill, tanning and dyeing skins for sale can be quite a profitable venture. Tanned skins can be sold at any general store, however a few store will give better prices for them:

  * Geraldine's shop in the Lancre Hunters' Camp (Ramtops)
  * The furrier in Mad Wolf (Ramtops) - buys fur only
  * The tanning supplies shop on Phedre Road (Ankh-Morpork)
  * The tanning and sandal shop on Impartiality Avenue in Ephebe

As a rough guide, tanned leathers are worth about A$0.75 per pound. In reality heavier hides are worth slightly more, lighter hides worth slightly less. The four tanning quality classes will multiply the value by 1.0, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4. The four dyeing quality classes will multiply the value by 0.9, 1.3, 1.7, and 1.9. Thus you could estimate the most valuable 5lb hide to be worth 5 * 0.75 * 1.4 * 1.9... about A$10.

The following tips, taken from Issue 100 of the AM Daily, can help to maximise profits:

  * Tan skins that are on the ground, to avoid burden lowering your skills.
  * Use a fruitbat or cloud to carry more tanned skins before needing to sell them off.
  * Steal jars of dog muck, ink and dyeing medium to minimise costs.
  * Sell skins at tanning-oriented shops which will buy them for more.
  * Use magical transportation to zip between a good hunting area and high profit shops.

See Also

The AM Daily has featured articles about tanning and dyeing in issues 98 and 100.

Related Achievements