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Barracks are filled with members of the Yendorian army: soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants or captains, depending on depth. Roughly 1/20 of the squares of a barracks will have chests or boxes.

The occupants will be asleep if nothing has woken them. However, in Fort Ludios soldiers will automatically awaken when you enter the level.


From dungeon level 15 on, there is a 1/4 chance of a barracks being generated in ordinary rooms-and-corridors levels which do not have a shop, throne room, leprechaun hall, zoo, temple, beehive, graveyard, or anthole.[1]

Barracks will not be generated if soldiers are genocided or extinct.

Special levels with barracks


You hear blades being honed.
You hear loud snoring.
You hear dice being thrown.
There is a barracks on the level.
You hear General MacArthur!
As above, and you are hallucinating.
You enter a military barracks!
You entered a barracks.
You enter an abandoned barracks.
As above, but it was empty.


Relying on stealth to kill sleeping soldiers one by one is likely to fail: high level members of the Yendorian army can be generated with bugles, and wake up the other inhabitants of the barracks.

Since soldiers can be generated with dangerous wands, make sure you have reflection before waking the soldiers in a barracks.

Killing all the soldiers in a barracks will leave you with a lot of loot. Some items that may be hard to find elsewhere include lances, spears, K-rations and C-rations. Captains have a chance of having a silver saber. There will be plenty of leather gloves, high boots and dented pots.

Be very careful of killing cockatrices in or near barracks: the glove-wearing soldiers are more than capable of picking up their corpses and using them against you.



Due to a bug, barracks will not be randomly generated under normal circumstances in SLASH'EM[2]. Predefined barracks, such as those in the Castle, appear normally.


  1. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 786
  2. mklev.c in SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2, line 769: The genocide check is reversed in SLASH'EM, meaning barracks will only appear if soldiers are genocided. Such barracks will consist mostly of random monsters alongside a few higher-ranked army members.