Defensive item

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When a monster is generated, there is a chance that it will be given a defensive item to protect itself from hostile adventurers. This will happen if the monster's level equals or exceeds the roll of a d50.[1] The following monster types are ineligible for defensive items:

In addition, regular soldiers have a 12/13 chance of missing out on the defensive item roll.[2]

If chosen to receive a defensive item, the monster selects and rolls a die according to its difficulty:

Difficulty Roll
3 or less d8
4–6 d9
7–8 d10
9 or more d11

The die roll determines the item, as shown by the following table:[3]

Roll Outcome
1–2 scroll of teleportation
3 scroll of create monster
4 potion of healing
5 potion of extra healing
6 potion of full healing
(potion of sickness for Pestilence)
7 wand of teleportation (33%) or scroll of teleportation (67%)
(reroll up to 2 times if no-teleport level)
8 wand of digging
(nothing for floating eyes)[8]
9 wand of create monster (33%) or scroll of create monster (67%)
10 (teleport item, same as case 7)
11 (create-monster item, same as case 9)


Non-animal, non-mindless monsters will use defensive items when they are within 5 squares Euclidean distance of you and they have a problem that needs fixing:[9]

  • Non-cursed unicorn horn is used by a monster with hands when confused, stunned, or blind[10].
  • Lizard corpse or tin is eaten when confused or stunned.
  • A healing item (potion of full healing, extra healing, or healing, in that order[11]) is used by a monster with hands that has been blinded.[12]
  • Monsters will only do the following if their HP is less than 15 of their maximum when your experience level is less than 10, 14 HP when XL is between 10 and 13, or 13 when your XL is at least 14:[13]
    • Peaceful monsters will quaff a healing potion if they have hands, but not attempt to use any other defensive items.
    • Non-peaceful monsters that are not stuck or immobile will attempt to flee through stairs or traps (teleporters and holes).
    • Mercenaries will use a bugle if there are more mercenaries within 3 squares that can be woken up.[14]
    • The following items will be used by a monster with hands:[15]

See Also