Barbarian (player monster)

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A barbarian is a player monster corresponding to the barbarian role. Like other player monsters, barbarians are never randomly generated and are thus rarely seen. No barbarians are normally found outside the Astral Plane, where they may appears among the hostile player monsters generated there[1].

Reading a cursed scroll of genocide as a barbarian while confused will summon a number of barbarian monsters, although they won't have their usual equipment. Using undead turning on the corpse or stone to flesh on the statue of a dead barbarian left on a bones level will revive the corpse or statue as a player monster. Barbarian corpses will also be found in the Valley of the Dead[2], and a statue of a barbarian may appear on Medusa's Island[3].

Most barbarians encountered in the main dungeon will turn out to be doppelgangers, which may temporarily assume the form of a barbarian.


A barbarian on the Astral Plane will carry either a two-handed sword, a battle axe, a long sword or a randomly chosen melee weapon with 25% probability each. The weapon's enchantment will be random between +4 and +8, and it will be either erodeproof or greased (but not both) with 33.3% probability each. There is a 50% chance that the weapon will be made into an artifact of the same type, if possible.

Like other player monsters on the Astral Plane, barbarians will also be equipped with 1d3 random offensive items, 1d3 random defensive items and 1d3 random miscellaneous items, a randomly generated ascension kit containing various pieces of armor as well as a cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor, some gold and other items. The ascension kit given to barbarians will not include a shield if they are wielding a two-handed sword or a battle axe, has only a 50% chance of including dragon scale mail instead of non-magical body armor, and will never include a helm of brilliance.


  1. create_mplayers in mplayer.c
  2. dat/gehennom.des in NetHack 3.6.0, line 81
  3. src/sp_lev.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1896: the code is very cryptic but fortunately has comments
  4. mk_mplayer in mplayer.c
  5. Monsters' Equipment Spoiler by Boudewijn Waijers, Topi Linkala and Philip Potter