Drain resistance

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Drain resistance – or level drain resistance – is a property that resists attacks that reduce experience level or monster level. It can be possessed by both players and monsters.


Drain resistance prevents the following attacks:

Acquiring drain resistance

Drain resistance may be acquired by:[1]

In SLASH'EM, drain resistance can also be acquired by:

Monsters with drain resistance

Drain resistance is intrinsic in:


In SLASH'EM, the following monsters are drain resistant in addition the above:


Drain resistance usually acts silently. Only the lack of level drain messages indicates it is operating.

When consorting with a foocubus, the message "You have a curious feeling" indicates that you would have lost a level, but the loss was prevented by drain resistance.


In vanilla NetHack, drain resistance is not especially important; this is because monsters' level drain attacks are subject to magic cancellation. By the time such monsters are encountered, most players will have a magic cancellation of 3 and a successful drain life attack will be extremely rare. Even then, a single point of experience is enough to regain the occasionally drained level.

In SLASH'EM, monsters may use a wand of draining to attack the player, particularly in The Guild of Disgruntled Adventurers. This makes drain resistance much more important.


This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.1.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.