Black pudding

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The black pudding, P, is an amoeboid monster that appears in NetHack. It divides when hit by an iron weapon much like the brown pudding, with both puddings possessing half the health of the original. Unlike the brown pudding, the black pudding also has a passive corrosion attack that degrades the iron weapon, as well as a damaging corrosive bite.

The black pudding is considered a fleshy monster, and eating black puddings breaks vegan and vegetarian conduct.


Kicking a sink has a chance of generating a black pudding; only one can be produced per sink.

Black puddings drop a glob of black pudding upon death.


Black puddings can be encountered early in the game via sinks, and their low speed makes their powerful bite easily avoidable, providing a tempting source of experience for early characters - especially those with ranged attacks. However, in addition to taking damage and possibly injuring your leg, this may also summon a foocubus, whose interference could leave you unarmored and vulnerable to the pudding's bite as well as other nearby monsters.

Characters fighting black puddings in general should protect their armor and weapons—rustproof any iron armor and weapons you plan to use for the long-term, and use a cloak or robe to cover your body armor if you have one available. You can also step away and remove the armor in question if this would not impact your AC too much, or else wear a substitute junk item (e.g. a non-cursed +0 orcish helm) if possible. As for weapons, you can also use disposable projectiles such as rocks or darts, or non-corroding weapons such as elven daggers or a silver saber.

As splitting a pudding halves their HP, each split produces weaker ones until the pudding dies from hit point loss; they still retain their bite attack's power, however. If things threaten to get out of hand, kill the newer puddings first before they have time to regenerate. With significant care, splitting puddings this way can be used to obtain several globs of black pudding for intrinsics - remember that adjacent globs on the floor will coalesce into one, as will globs added to your open inventory if one is already present there.

If you have a pudding pet and a polymorph trap, you can split it, yielding more pets to polymorph. As the name is also cloned, you might want to rename them. When doing this, take care to use a Puddingbane, lest you kill your pet(s) and suffer an alignment record penalty; see the tameness article section on abuse for the ramifications of attacking and splitting your pet.


The black pudding first appears in NetHack 3.0.0. From this version to NetHack 3.4.3, including some variants derived from these versions, killing black puddings left normal corpses and death drops, which could be eaten to provide useful intrinsics or sacrificed for a variety of gains. The above, combined with their ability to divide, lead to the infamous practice of pudding farming; Nethack 3.6.0 introduced globs as death drops for the pudding or ooze monster class, making this practice ineffective and pointless - see that article for more information. Some variants of NetHack created before the introduction of globs may implement their own means of weakening the farming method or outright preventing it.

Globs of black pudding in NetHack 3.6.0 could not give resistances when eaten, due to a bug that was fixed in NetHack 3.6.1.


The black pudding is derived from Dungeons & Dragons, where it appears in all editions, making its debut in the "Monsters & Treasure" of the original 1974 boxed set. "Black pudding" is also a term used to refer to the blood sausage used in British and Irish cuisine; the NetHack black pudding's default tile gives it a sausage-like appearance as a visual pun, and is the reason eating one breaks vegetarian conduct.

In Dungeons & Dragons, the black puddding is a type of ooze that usually resembles a bubbling, heaping pile of thick dark goo—it is a mindless, underground-dwelling hunter and scavenger, and when it is not wandering and absorbing whatever it finds, it positions itself in a dungeon hallway like a shadow and waits for unsuspecting prey to approach.

Black puddings can consume various types of metal and other usually-organic matter, but prefer living and breathing targets; they attack by grabbing and constricting prey directly into their amorphous mass. Like other oozes, they secrete a deadly acidic substance which strongly and quickly dissolves weapons, clothing, and organic tissue alike. A black pudding splits into two smaller puddings when slashed or pierced, and all split puddings will split under the same conditions until the resulting puddings are too small and weak to continue dividing.



In SLASH'EM, black puddings never leave death drops, but they still drop normal corpses which can provide poison resistance (22%), cold resistance (22%) and shock resistance (22%). Pudding farming is still viable for sacrifice fodder and the aforementioned intrinsics.

Encyclopedia entry

See the encyclopedia entry for amoeboid.

See also