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In NetHack, stoning or petrification is the process of a character turning to stone. This form of delayed instadeath usually happens due to an encounter with a cockatrice, but the gaze of Medusa can also turn you to stone.

Stoning resistance

While stoning resistance is a property that can occur in-game, it can generally only be obtained by polymorphing into the form of a monster that is intrinsically stoning-resistant - intrinsic stoning resistance is not yet implemented.[1]

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

As of commit 071d79dc, temporary stoning resistance can be granted by eating the following corpses: acid blob, chickatrice, cockatrice, gargoyle, winged gargoyle, spotted jelly, ochre jelly, yellow dragon, green mold, black naga, green slime, xorn, Medusa, lizard, Chromatic Dragon.

You get the message You feel less concerned about becoming petrified. when you gain temporary stoning resistance and You no longer feel secure from petrification. when the temporary resistance expires.

You can get extrinsic stoning resistance by wearing yellow dragon scales or yellow dragon scale mail.

Stoning-resistant monsters

A variety of monsters are stoning-resistant, typically for fairly straightforward reasons:[2]

Stiffening versus instadeath

Touching a cockatrice or chickatrice is instantly fatal for a character without stoning resistance, as is meeting the gaze of Medusa. Attacking a cockatrice or chickatrice barehanded or barefooted, picking up the corpse barehanded, and kicking it barefooted are ways of touching among many, many others. Throwing a cockatrice egg up (<) and being hit by it is an instadeath, but being hit by one thrown by a monster starts the stiffening process, as does eating the egg, or hearing the cockatrice's hissing attack. The process technically takes 5 turns, but after 2, your limbs turn to stone and you can't do anything else but proceed to die. You will also lose any intrinsic speed when you start "slowing down",[3] which may give you even fewer actions to save yourself; if you are burdened or worse, you might not be able to save yourself at all!


Message Turns to live
"You are slowing down" 2
"Your limbs are stiffening" 1
  • "Your limbs have turned to stone."
  • "You have turned to stone."
  • "You are a statue."

Stopping stiffening

If you hear the hissing of a cockatrice and start turning to stone – stiffening – you still have several ways, albeit not several turns, to save yourself. The corpse of a lizard or an acidic monster stops the process as soon as you start eating, so you shouldn't worry about not chewing fast enough or being interrupted. The monster corpses that can stop stiffening are as follows:[4]

Tins of the above monsters will also work. However, you need a blessed tin opener (which always immediately opens tins) in order to guarantee opening the tin in time. If you do not have a blessed tin opener, a blessed tin will open in 0-1 turns, but if it takes 1 turn, you may be interrupted while opening it.[5] Applying a tin opener will wield it without taking a turn if you then immediately open a tin.

The most common method is to eat a lizard corpse; since they never rot, you should always carry one along.

However, if you do not have an appropriate corpse with you, you may also quaff a potion of acid. The stone to flesh spell will save you if you cast it on yourself, but it will also turn mineral items in your main inventory to meat, including rocks, rings, and wands.

If your god is happy with you and you are not in Gehennom, prayer works as well.

Sliming only saves you from petrification if it is from eating a glob of green slime, which is acidic; however, it is then necessary to cure the sliming.

An amulet of unchanging will not protect you from stoning, but an amulet of life saving will save your life. Reflection or blindness protects you from turning to stone by the gaze of Medusa. Wearing gloves is strongly recommended while handling cockatrices.

Polymorphing into a stoning-resistant monster will also stop the petrification process, as will polymorphing into any type of golem (as they turn into stone golems rather than dying).



In SLASH'EM, there are two additional monsters that cause stoning: the thick-hided basilisk, and the asphynx, which can hide under objects and stone an unsuspecting player. Both are significantly higher-level than the cockatrice; on average, fights against them will be longer, increasing the chance that one of their attacks may start turning you to stone. They also use different glyphs, meaning that a blessed scroll of genocide is no longer an easy solution.

SLASH'EM also introduces the amulet versus stone, which will save your life against stoning in the same manner as an amulet of life saving, costing a point of constitution and incrementing the "killed" counter. The amulet, however, is not destroyed in the process unless it is cursed; otherwise, its beatitude changes from uncursed to cursed, or from blessed to uncursed. Thus, with a sufficient supply of holy water, one amulet can prevent many stoning YASDs.


In UnNetHack, stoning resistance is conferred by chromatic dragon scales and chromatic dragon scale mail.


dNetHack introduces several new acidic monsters, whose corpses can cure stoning:

In addition, all varieties of cave lizard and giant turtles will cure stoning.

Monks gain intrinsic stoning resistance at level 27.


In FIQHack, external resistance to stoning is provided by yellow dragon scales (or yellow dragon scale mail), in addition to the usual acid resistance.


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.