Demogorgon (dNetHack)

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In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, Demogorgon, &, is far stronger than his incarnation in NetHack. Demogorgon has 36 points of AC: 20 points are from natural AC, 4 are from dodge AC, and 12 are from protection AC.

Demogorgon has a strong, slithy and thick-skinned form, and is capable of flight, can see invisible, has infravision, can be seen via infravision, is capable of lifting and throwing boulders, and can follow the hero to other levels if he is adjacent. He is covetous and capable of warping, and desires the Amulet of Yendor, the invocation items, and the quest artifact of the hero's role.

Demogorgon's attacks consist of: two sickness-inducing claw attacks, with the second inflicting stun if the target is already ill; an armor-rending claw attack; a single-target gaze attack that inflicts life drain; a second paralyzing single-target gaze; a third single-target gaze that allows him to steal items; and two monster spell attacks. Demogorgon possesses fire resistance, poison resistance, disintegration resistance, acid resistance, stoning resistance, death resistance, and immunity to sickness.

Demogorgon is poisonous to consume, which primarily comes up if he is subjected to Ahazu.


Demogorgon is always generated hostile, and is not a valid form for polymorph.

Demogorgon is one of the three demon princes whose lair can appear as the third Abyss level. He will normally generate meditating within the central room of his palace, surrounded by closed drawbridges and accompanied by two fallen angels, a shayateen and a Nessian pit fiend.

The lillends that appear in the lair of Lamashtu at level created may be generated with a mask of Demogorgon.


Demogorgon is by far the most dangerous monster of the entire dungeon - the first time he appears in a game, his presence is announced by a full-screen message. Avoid him at all costs, if at all possible.

Demogorgon is even faster than his vanilla incarnation at 18 speed, and on top of an effective -26 AC he has access to all kinds of deadly monster spells which more than counteract his lower spellcasting dice compared to NetHack. His armor-rending 'claw' attack only occurs if both of his previous claw attacks land, and heavily lowers the enchantment of body armor that it hits - this will destroy them if they reach a negative enchantment equal to their combined AC + DR, unless they are artifacts; unlike other rending or flaying attacks, if you do not have body armor, Demogorgon will instead rend through you.

The single-target ranged gaze is perfect for rooting a target in place, and Demogorgon will use it as soon as he possibly can - free action prevents the paralysis effect, but he can still drain levels and steal items, likely including vital armor and cures for illness. As a result, the best defense by far is to blind yourself within one turn of him appearing: if you are caught by the paralyzing gaze, survival generally becomes a question of whether you will be torn apart by his claw attacks before you succumb to disease.

Despite all of the above, Demogorgon is far from invincible, and more than a few truly daring skilled players have been able to defeat him and even ascend afterward - one such strategy involves using wages of sloth. Even so, this requires you to prepare and devote resources specifically for the possibility of encountering him during a given game - Demogorgon can appear unexpectedly via gating on another level, potentially rendering vital portions of your strategy less effective (or even useless!) regardless of whether you planned to fight him. Even if you blind yourself and avoid near-instantaneous death in this instance, it is still highly recommended that you get vital space from him and escape as soon as possible, e.g. with a cursed potion of gain level.

Thankfully, perhaps the easiest way to deal with Demogorgon's lair him is to sneak through the fortress and remain outside his line of sight as you make your way to the down stair - during the ascension run, you can then simply quaff a cursed potion of gain level or use a similar item effect to bypass the floor without having to confront the Prince of Demons. Demogorgon is far from the only threat in his lair, naturally: his fortress is also home to particularly vicious monsters, including hostile casters such as demiliches, an Archon, and even another demon ruler in the statue-trapped Shaktari. Such monsters may not only prove difficult and even deadly on their own, but may also attract his attention (e.g., via the aggravate monster spell).

Encyclopedia entry

A terrible deity, whose very name was capable of producing the
most horrible effects. He is first mentioned by the 4th-century
Christian writer, Lactantius, who in doing so broke with the
superstition that the very reference to Demogorgon by name
brought death and disaster.
[ Brewer's Concise Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ]

Demogorgon, the prince of demons, wallows in filth and can
spread a quickly fatal illness to his victims while rending
them. He is a mighty spellcaster, and it is said that no
mortal may meet his gaze and live to tell of it.

The demon towers over you, his body at once sinuous like
that of a snake and powerful like that of a great ape. Two
baleful baboon heads leer from atop his lumbering shoulders,
attached to which are two long, bifurcated tentacles. His
lower torso is saurian, like some great reptile with an
immense forked tail.
[ Adapted from Hordes of the Abyss,
by Ed Stark, James Jacobs, and Erik Mona ]