Death drop

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When the player kills a monster, sometimes it may leave one random item under its corpse it didn't already have when alive; these items are known as death drops. If a monster is neither a Kop nor a type which can't leave corpses, it has a 1/6 chance of leaving a random item on it.[1] The type of item is dependent on what portion of the dungeon you are in.[2] There is also a penalty against small monsters, who can only leave food rations, leashes, figurines, or items that weigh at most three. The game only tries to generate the item once; if it isn't eligible (as per above), no death drop is left.

Normal dungeon

This table applies to anything except Gehennom, the Rogue Level, and contents of containers.

Item class Probability
Food 20%
Potions 16%
Scrolls 16%
Weapons 10%
Armor 10%
Tools 8%
Gems 8%
Spellbooks 4%
Wands 4%
Rings 3%
Amulets 1%

Rogue Level

There are no death drops on the rogue level. [3]


Item class Probability
Weapons 20%
Armor 20%
Food 16%
Tools 12%
Gems 10%
Wands 8%
Rings 8%
Amulets 4%
Potions 1%
Scrolls 1%

Special Drops

Some monsters additionally always leave behind certain non-random body parts:

Monster Item
dragon dragon scales (1/3 chance, 1/20 if revived)
unicorn unicorn horn (1/20 chance if revived)
long worm worm tooth
iron golem 2d6 iron chains
glass golem worthless pieces of glass
clay golem 50 + 1d20 (avg. 60.5) rocks
stone golem statue of a stone golem
wood golem 2d4 quarterstaffs
leather golem 2d4 leather armors
gold golem gold
paper golem 1d4 blank scrolls

See also


  1. mon.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 2200
  2. mkobj.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 26
  3. mon.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 32
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