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A fox, d, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a small carnivorous canine that can be seen via infravision, and is one of the earliest monsters a character will encounter.

A fox has a single bite attack.


Randomly generated foxes are always hostile.

Werejackals can summon hostile foxes by calling for help, with a 121 chance of generating a hostile fox on each adjacent square, and a character that gets lycanthropy from a werejackal can similarly summon tame foxes using the #monster extended command with at least 10 power.[1]

Foxes appear among the random d that are part of the first quest monster class for Samurai and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Samurai quest.


The fox is easily one of the more difficult early monsters: while it does not appear in groups like jackals or sewer rats, it is faster than them at 15 speed and can overwhelm a weak starting character. Those that start with melee capabilities, better AC and/or other defenses should have less trouble with a fox attack. Like the jackal, a fresh fox corpse also makes an adequate early meal, especially for roles that lack starting food or are not observing vegetarian conduct.


The fox first appears in SLASH 6 and makes its vanilla debut in NetHack 3.3.0.

The ability of werejackals to summon allied foxes is introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.


Foxes are omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. They are small to medium in size and have a flattened skull, with upright triangular ears, a pointed and slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail ("brush"). Twelve species belong to the "true fox" group of genus Vulpes, while approximately 25 current or extinct species are either part of the South American foxes, or are part of the outlying group consisting of the bat-eared fox, gray fox, and island fox. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most common and widespread species of fox with about 47 recognized subspecies.

Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica, and their global distribution, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe and especially in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World - the practice is still alive as a form of recreation in several countries, though the United Kingdom bans the use of dogs in fox hunting.

Many foxes adapt well to human environments: several species are classified as "resident urban carnivores" for their ability to sustain populations entirely within urban boundaries, where they can live longer and can have smaller litter sizes. Urban foxes are ubiquitous in Europe, where they show altered behaviors compared to non-urban foxes, including increased population density, smaller territory, and pack foraging; however, they have been identified as threats to cats and small dogs, often resulting in pressure to exclude them from these environments. Foxes have been introduced in numerous locations, with varying effects on indigenous flora and fauna - in some countries, foxes are major predators of rabbits and hens, and they are also often considered pests for their opportunistic attacks on poultry and other small livestock. There are many records of domesticated red foxes and other species, but evidence of sustained domestication is rare.

The fox's role in folklore is often that of a trickster figure similar to the jackal or coyote, serving as either a nuisance to the story, a misunderstood hero or a devious villain. Foxes in Western and Persian folklore being symbols of cunning based on their reputed ability to evade hunters; foxes in East Asian folklore are depicted as familiar spirits possessing magic powers that they use to trick other people, with the ability to disguise as an attractive female human, or else as mystical, sacred creatures who can bring wonder and/or ruin. Nine-tailed foxes appear in Chinese folklore, literature, and mythology, where they can be a good or bad omen depending on the tale, with the motif spreading to Japanese and Korean cultures.


Variants based on NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions may or may not include the ability to summon allied foxes for werejackals.


In SLASH'EM, foxes cannot be summoned by werejackals.

Foxes appear among the random d that are part of the second quest monster class for Yeomen and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Yeoman quest.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, a fox is generated in the village of the Town branch at level creation.


In Hack'EM, foxes can be summoned by werejackals - all other SLASH'EM details apply.

A fox is generated in the village of the Town branch at level creation, as in SlashTHEM.

Encyclopedia entry

One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour."

[ Aesop's Fables ]