Chromatic Dragon

From NetHackWiki
(Redirected from Chromatic dragon)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For the non-unique monster in UnNetHack, see chromatic dragon (UnNetHack).

The Chromatic Dragon, D, is the Caveman quest nemesis. She is a unique dragon that guards the Bell of Opening and The Sceptre of Might. The Chromatic Dragon is referred to as Tiamat in the encyclopedia and the data for the quest branch's goal level.

The Chromatic Dragon possesses the breath attacks of all of the other types of dragon as well as their resistances, including reflection and magic resistance. She is covetous and stoning-resistant like all quest nemeses, and is also capable of spellcasting. Unusually for dragons, she cannot fly.


The Chromatic Dragon is generated in the middle row of her chamber on the goal level, and awaits you on the left side of the room, with the Sceptre of Might and the Bell of Opening underneath her.


The goal level you encounter the Chromatic Dragon in is a large and open hexagon-shaped level with a few shriekers, which may wake her from her meditative sleep if she is already not alerted to your presence.

It is probably best to stay on the upstairs and let her teleport to you, especially if you lack reflection. Using a scroll of scare monster is also advised, as are ordinary methods of waking monsters, such as beating a drum; you can also idle on the upstairs with s or . and allow the shriekers on the level to come to you, with one of them eventually shrieking and causing her to wake up. If you can bring a pet into the lair, it may attack the Chromatic Dragon for you while you wait on the upstairs.


Shaman Karnov's advice to "keep moving" when fighting the Chromatic Dragon will likely prove counterproductive: stepping away from her exposes you to her breath weapons if you line up with her, which can mean taking serious damage up to and including instadeath by possible disintegration. Her covetous behavior generally ensures that she will stay within melee range, and moving over to attack her will likely cause her to warp to the stairs, leaving her to possibly swarm you with repeated castings of summon nasties.

Reflection and magic resistance are optimal for the fight against the Chromatic Dragon, though they may be difficult to obtain; Dragonbane can prove to be a decent sacrifice gift for this purpose, though other gifts from sacrifice or crowning such as Excalibur may be preferable in terms of damage. Reflection will solve the problem of her breath weapons should she get away from you, while magic resistance will reduce the hindrance from the curse items spell. Standing on a burnt Elbereth or scroll of scare monster will deter her from casting most of her spells, including destroying your armor; magic resistance can be foregone if you are confident you will be able to remain standing on the scroll, though be aware that her fire breath can destroy the scroll. While risky, her breath attacks can also be avoided by staying out of her line of fire (i.e. any straight line in the eight cardinal directions from her); she will also not use her breath attacks within melee range.

Once she is dead, the player can secure and invoke the Sceptre of Might for conflict if necessary to help deal with any remaining summoned monsters.


The Chromatic Dragon first appears with most other quest nemeses in NetHack 3.1.0.


In Dungeons & Dragons, Tiamat is a supremely strong and powerful draconic goddess and the queen and mother of evil dragons. A member of the setting's default pantheon, Tiamat was introduced to the game in the first supplement Greyhawk, where she was only known as "the Dragon Queen" and "the Chromatic Dragon", but did not yet have a personal name. Her name is derived from the Mesopotamian religion, where Tiamat (Akkadian: 𒀭𒋾𒊩𒆳 DTI.AMAT or 𒀭𒌓𒌈 DTAM.TUM, Ancient Greek: Θαλάττη, romanized: Thaláttē) is a primordial goddess of the sea, often portrayed as a sea serpent or dragon, symbolizing the chaos of primordial creation.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, Tiamat bears the first generation of deities; when her husband Apsu correctly assumes that they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, he makes war upon them and is killed, enraging Tiamat into continuing the wars against her husband's murderers. Tiamat births the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with "poison instead of blood", and births multitudes of other monsters; she is finally slain by Enki's storm-god son Marduk, who uses her body to craft the heavens and the earth.

In the Dungeons & Dragons settings, Tiamat's symbol and most common appearance there is that of a five-headed dragon, each corresponding to five chromatic dragons: black, blue, green, red, and white. Tiamat's body is a blending of various chromatic dragon forms with an appropriately multicolored hide, a poisonous stinger-tipped tail, and the powers of those respective chromatic dragons; she has also been known to manifest as a dark-haired human sorceress. Some settings also describe her as a denizen of the Nine Hells, with her lair containing the main gate to the second of the Nine Hells, Dis; others additionally include tales of her battles with the Babylonian god Marduk and her opposite number, the metallic dragon Bahamut. Tiamat is also one of the first deities to have aspects, or lesser avatars, which may appear as either powerful versions of her chromatic children or as versions of her own five-headed form.



UnNetHack renames the quest nemesis to Tiamat, and she will always drop chromatic dragon scales upon death unless her corpse has been revived before. "Generic" chromatic dragons can be encountered on the last level of the Dragon Caves, and killing them can produce chromatic dragon scales as well.


In dNetHack, the Chromatic Dragon is much stronger than she is in vanilla NetHack, with still more resistances and the ability of flight.

Non-Caveman players have a chance of encountering the Chromatic Dragon on her special level in Gehennom. She always drops artifact chromatic dragon scales upon death: these scales provide several extrinsic resistances, minus magic resistance and reflection. While eating the Chromatic Dragon's corpse or tin confers all six resistance properties that can be obtained from her meat in NetHack permanently, the scales provide extrinsic protection that also protects your inventory, as well as sickness resistance and stoning resistance, which cannot be gained intrinsically from eating corpses.


In EvilHack, Tiamat is made into one of the demon princes whose lair can appear in the third tier of Gehennom. She is much stronger than in NetHack, and gains drain resistance. Annam, a monster with similar AC and resistances, replaces her as the Caveman quest nemesis.

As of version 0.7.0, Tiamat has a 13 chance of dropping chromatic dragon scales upon her defeat, but does not leave a corpse; the scales also cannot be wished for. Wearing the scales provides all the base extrinsics of each dragon in the game minus celestial dragons (including reflection, magical resistance and emitting light); due to her size, chromatic dragon scales are large enough that they can even be worn by giant characters, and they can be grafted onto body armor just like other dragon scales.

Encyclopedia entry

Tiamat is said to be the mother of evil dragonkind. She is extremely vain.