Vampire lord

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A vampire lord, V, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. Like other vampires, they are intelligent human undead that are breathless and possess flight and regeneration, and will follow you to other levels if they are adjacent. A vampire lord has a claw attack and a life-draining bite attack, and possesses sleep resistance and poison resistance.

Vampire lords are shapeshifters and can polymorph at will into vampire bats, wolves or fog clouds - they often disguise themselves as the former two when outside of the player's sight, shift into the latter to flow under locked or inaccessible doors, and revert to vampire form if killed in any of these forms. Standing on any altar scares vampire lords, similar to standing on Elbereth or a scroll of scare monster.[1]

Players in the form of a vampire lord are warned of any human or elf, and will turn into vampire bats if they polymorph again or use the #monster extended command - they can decline to do so if they have polymorph control.

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.

The monster is renamed to the vampire leader, with "lord" being a male title and "lady" being a female title.


All normally-generated vampire lords are hostile. A vampire can grow up into a vampire lord.

In addition to random generation, vampire lords are a somewhat rare occurrence in graveyards, and can be generated by the summon nasties monster spell. At least four vampire lords are generated in Orcus-town on level creation - two are placed near Orcus himself, and the other three are randomly placed across the town. Vampire lords will appear among the servants of Vlad the Impaler resting atop the chests at the top of his tower.

A vampire lord is always generated next to the Wizard of Yendor inside his tower, and one is generated within each of the Fake Wizard's Towers.

A vampire lord is special-cased to sometimes leave a tainted human corpse upon death.

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.

The mausoleum themed room may hold a lord within the 3×3 subroom in the center.

A vampire lord may appear as the monster guarding the chests in the water-surrounded vault themed room.


Vampire lords are even more troublesome than normal vampires due to their higher damage, speed, AC and MR score - without drain resistance, you may find yourself losing an experience level or two while fighting them unless you are especially careful or have MC3. Like vampires, vampire lords can wear all armor, but are much more likely to be encountered in animal or fog cloud form.

Vampire lords will revive in vampire form after you dispatch their weaker guises - they may also shapeshift to humanoid form, which retains their current HP and makes them easier to kill. A silver weapon with good enchantment and/or skill level can defeat them fairly quickly regardless of form.

As pets

If you are wearing a ring of protection from shape changers, vampire lords make excellent pets - without the ring, they will normally shapeshift once out of your sight, and are weak fighters in their other forms, unable to wear armor and breaking out of any body armor they were wearing if they shapeshift into a wolf. A tame vampire lord will not shapeshift back to humanoid form unless killed or forced back to normal by the ring; players planning to keep one as a pet should identify the ring as soon as possible.

The vampire lord's base AC of 0 and access to all armor gives them higher potential for survivability compared to a normal vampire, though their silver weakness and lack of elemental resistances can still prove problematic. Additionally, their 50 MR makes them harder to tame - a regular vampire has only 25 MR, and generally only needs two levels to grow up into a vampire lord.

As a polyform

Vampire lords are a stellar polyself form for players - they are strong with a base AC of 0 and 14 base speed, and can wear all armor and wield any non-silver weapons. Like other vampires, they do not need to eat, and the regeneration, flight and breathlessness are great properties to have as intrinsics. Also like other vampires, the form's primary weaknesses are silver and monsters with lethal passives such as cockatrices that will occur if you attack them in melee.


The vampire lord first appears in NetHack 3.0.0. Their shapeshifting abilities were added in NetHack 3.6.0; this makes them somewhat better pets in previous versions and some variants based on them, as they will not shapeshift out of any armor you give them.


Chatting to vampire lords in their humanoid form will produce various responses from them depending on the time of day, the monster's peacefulness and your current form.



In SLASH'EM, pet vampire lords can gain nutrition by draining blood from living victims or corpses, or else drinking a potion of blood or vampire blood, like their undead kin and player vampires - drained corpses are still eligible to sacrifice if they are not too old. Vampire lords in the dungeon generate with a potion of blood or vampire blood, and will drink non-cursed potions of vampire blood to restore 2-10 HP - they gain nothing from drinking cursed potions.

Vampire lords need a +3 weapon to be hit, and hits monsters as +3 weapons themselves. Like other vampires, they are often generated with opera cloaks, and can provide a valuable method of farming said cloaks, especially if it is the randomized appearance of a cloak of magic resistance - the tradeoff lies in these vampires being even harder to dispatch, depending on the cloak.


In GruntHack, vampire lords are racial monsters, meaning that they can be generated as one of several races.


As with SLASH'EM, randomly generated vampire lords in UnNetHack are also generated with opera cloaks often. The same conditions for polyself vampire lords apply as in SLASH'EM, as do the conditions for vampire lords generating with potions of blood or vampire blood.

Vampire blood quaffed by non-vampire players will polymorph them depending on beatitude - a blessed potion will turn them into a vampire lord. This incurs a −3 alignment penalty if neutral, while you take a −15 alignment penalty and anger your god if you are lawful or a Monk. The polymorph is "semi-permanent" and will last until your HP is reduced to 0.


In dNetHack, vampire lords are given a weapon attack in place of their claw attack. Female vampires will instead grow up into vampire ladies, which are slower but have a much stronger claw attack.

A vampire lord may appear as the ruler of a randomly-generated throne room - his court can contain vampires, random Z, random M, flesh golems, werewolves, floating eyes, gargoyles, winged gargoyles, quasits, black puddings, wraiths, phantasms, ghosts, maids, weeping willows, and swamp nymphs.

Vampire lords appear in the Chaos Temple variant of the Chaos Quest, where 110 of the randomly generated monsters on the Earth Temple level will be vampire lords.

Pet vampire lords will drain corpses for nutrition the same way a player vampire does, with similar conditions (i.e., corpses must be less than 3 turns of age and have blood).


In EvilHack, the monster is referred to as a vampire noble, and can grow up into a vampire royal. Tame vampire nobles will not shapeshift into their animal forms, as with other tamed vampires.


In Hack'EM, the monster is referred to as a 'vampire noble, and can grow up into a vampire royal as in EvilHack. Tame vampire nobles in Hack'EM will also not shapeshift into their animal forms.