Orange dragon

From NetHackWiki
Revision as of 01:40, 31 May 2024 by Umbire the Phantom (talk | contribs) (follow up)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An orange dragon, D, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is an adult dragon associated with sleep. Like all dragons, orange dragons are strong, carnivorous, oviparous, thick-skinned, can see invisible, and are capable of flight - they will also seek out gold, gems and magical items to pick up.

Orange dragons have a sleeping gas breath weapon, a strong bite attack, and two claw attacks - the breath weapon deals no damage, instead putting affected monsters to sleep for 4-100 turns. Orange dragons possess sleep resistance.

Eating an orange dragon corpse or tin always grants sleep resistance.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Orange dragons and other dragons gain the additional extrinsic effects conferred by their scales.


Randomly generated orange dragons are always created hostile. A baby orange dragon can grow up into an orange dragon.

Hostile orange dragons can be generated by the summon nasties monster spell. Characters and monsters that polymorph while wearing orange dragon scales or orange dragon scale mail will turn into orange dragons.

Orange dragons may appear among the hostile D generated in throne rooms at dungeon levels 15 and below, and can also appear among the monsters randomly generated by looting a throne while confused and carrying gold (provided there is no chest on the level).[1]

Orange dragons have a 13 chance of dropping a set of uncursed +0 orange dragon scales upon death unless disintegrated, and the chance is reduced to 120 if the dragon was revived.


Orange dragons can be especially dangerous for characters without sleep resistance: unless they have reflection, the breath attack may spell certain doom if the character is put to sleep in the midst of hostile territory. Conversely, a character with sleep resistance and/or reflection can approach the dragon at their leisure if they are otherwise capable of weathering the dragon's melee attacks.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Orange dragons gain extrinsic free action from their scales, making them highly resistant to paralysis, and they and other large enough monsters can also inflict knockback with their melee attacks, making them exceedingly dangerous to fight near pools or lava and capable of forcing characters back into breath weapon range.

While paralysis is rarely employed against orange dragons in previous versions, free action is a fairly valuable property for some characters and may be worth obtaining a set of scales from a dragon to make scale mail with.


The orange dragon first appears in NetHack 2.3e.

From NetHack 3.0.0 to NetHack 3.0.10, including variants based on those versions, polymorphing an orange dragon corpse produces regular dragon scale mail. NetHack 3.1.0 introduces the current method of obtaining orange dragon scale mail.


Many variants alter the orange dragon and other dragons to make them more varied and/or threatening.


Main article: Dragon (SLASH'EM)

As with most other dragons in SLASH'EM, the orange dragon's base level is raised to 18, their difficulty is raised to 25, their AC is boosted to -4, their bite and claw attacks are stronger, and they hit as a +3 weapon. Tame orange dragons also have a chance of turning traitor, and are the only lawful dragons that will do so.

Orange dragons can appear in dragon lairs and the Wyrm Caves.

NetHack brass

In NetHack brass, the orange dragon's speed is raised to 12, and its breath weapon paralyzes monsters that it hits instead of putting them to sleep.


In GruntHack, the orange dragon's difficulty is slightly lowered to 19, their bite and claw attacks are stronger, and they are given an additional 2d10 engulfing attack that can digest targets.


In UnNetHack and DynaHack, all dragons have their breath weapons, resistances, and names randomized each game, allowing any non-chromatic dragon to appear as orange - the default sleep dragon is the sarkany.


In dNetHack, notdNetHack, and notnotdNetHack, orange dragons have their difficulty is slightly raised to 21, and their effective AC is boosted to -4. The orange dragon's attacks are made stronger, with an additional 4d10 tailslap attack that they will use once every global turn, and their breath attacks also ignore reflection, unless the source is from dragon armor or an artifact that grants dragonbreath reflection.

Orange dragons also gain free action and hallucination resistance both intrinsically and from their scales, and their breath also inflicts hallucination alongside putting characters to sleep; monsters hit by the breath that lack sleep resistance or hallucination resistance become confused and berserked.


In EvilHack, orange dragons are buffed similarly to GruntHack: their attacks are made stronger as in GruntHack and reordered, including the addition of the digestion attack. Orange dragons also gain free action from their scales, and both the dragons and their scales have passive slowing.

Encyclopedia entry

In the West the dragon was the natural enemy of man. Although preferring to live in bleak and desolate regions, whenever it was seen among men it left in its wake a trail of destruction and disease. Yet any attempt to slay this beast was a perilous undertaking. For the dragon's assailant had to contend not only with clouds of sulphurous fumes pouring from its fire breathing nostrils, but also with the thrashings of its tail, the most deadly part of its serpent-like body.

[ Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ]

"One whom the dragons will speak with," he said, "that is a dragonlord, or at least that is the center of the matter. It's not a trick of mastering the dragons, as most people think. Dragons have no masters. The question is always the same, with a dragon: will he talk to you or will he eat you? If you can count upon his doing the former, and not doing the latter, why then you're a dragonlord."

[ The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin ]