Giant (starting race)

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The giant is a playable race that first appears in GruntHack, and is also present in NetHack Fourk, SliceHack, SlashTHEM and EvilHack. Most implementations give them traits similar to the non-playable giants encountered in vanilla NetHack, such as heightened strength caps, lower speed, and the ability to freely pick up and carry boulders.

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Racial benefits and restrictions

The giant's size and thick hide grants them an improved base AC of 6 (compared to 10 for standard vanilla races); they are also capable of lifting boulders, which are treated as completely weightless much like they are for non-player giants and giant polyforms in vanilla NetHack. However, they cannot wear body armor of any kind, and are too large to fit through narrow diagonal gaps; fortunately, this means that giants also cannot fall through trap doors.

Note that an encumbrance warning may occasionally display when attempting to pick up a boulder, even when using m to move over one.


The giant was added as a playable race in version 0.1.2, adapted and modified from GruntHack and SliceHack.[1]

Giants can be any alignment, and can be played as a Barbarian, Caveman, Infidel, Monk, Priest, Samurai, Valkyrie, or Wizard.

Racial benefits and restrictions

Player giants have infravision like most non-human races, possess faster hit point regeneration in comparison to human characters, and gain hungerless regeneration at experience level 12. However, their movement speed of 10 is markedly slower compared to other races, and they also have an innate aggravate monster property that they cannot override with most forms of stealth; the sole exception is being granted the property via successful prayer on their god's altar.

Giants know the identity of all worthless pieces of glass, and start the game with some random gems identified - they are also capable of using uncursed touchstones as blessed similar to gnomes, and can dig as well as any dwarf. They can also easily pick up and carry boulders, which can additionally be stacked like any other projectile, and weigh 8 aum for giants as opposed to the standard 6000 aum; m can be used to walk over a boulder rather than push it. In Sokoban, a giant player will be given a prompt for picking up or moving onto a boulder, and boulder-related penalties are doubled to -2 Luck; this does not apply if you have already solved the level, making each floor a valuable source of powerful projectiles.

As in GruntHack, giants have a base AC of 6 due to their size and thick hide; they are also immune to engulfing and falling through trap doors (though they can enter them at will), and can tear through webbing with ease. Their size also prevents them from fitting through small spaces or wearing the mass majority of body armor, including cloaks and shirts - the only exceptions are chromatic dragon scales and the large splint mail that only the Giant Samurai who start with them are capable of using; fortunately, the Sokoban prize armor is tailored so that player characters of all species can use them, including giants. They also take extra damage from projectiles fired by slings, and cannot ride the vast majority of steeds in the game.

Giants' size and strength grant additional advantages elsewhere, however: in addition to making strength-based actions easier, giants excel in combat with their bare hands and with clubs - they have a greater chance of stunning an opponent with a club or punch, and can shatter a foe's wielded weapon with almost any wielded weapon of their own. Giants can also wield two-handed weapons in one hand, and may even twoweapon them as well. The woolly mammoth is the sole available steed for giants, and is a suitably powerful choice for a pet in its own right, capable of steamrolling several late-game monsters.

Attribute caps

Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
Giant 25 14 25 14 18 16

Giants have increased initial and maximum carrying capacity to complement their higher strength and constitution caps - but their movement speed and caps for dexterity, intelligence, and charisma are much lower.

Price adjustments

The following price adjustments are used for giant interactions with racial shopkeepers:

Shopkeeper's race
Human/Other Elf Dwarf Orc Gnome Illithid Centaur Nymph Giant
Giant ×1 ×1 ×32 ×1 ×32 if INT is ≤14
×43 if INT is 15-17
×10 ×1 ×43 if CHA is ≥15
×53 if CHA is <15

Starting equipment

Giants may start with random valuable gems in their inventory. Many roles' normal starting items, primarily pieces of body armor, are also exchanged to accommodate their body size and natural AC so that a given giant is at least roughly around the role's usual starting AC.[2]The differences in starting inventory are as follows:

Standard item(s) Replacement item(s) Affected roles
ring mail +0 helmet Barbarian
cloak of magic resistance amulet of magic resistance
+0 low boots
splint mail large splint mail Samurai
robe +1 high boots Monk, Priest
leather armor +0 helmet Caveman
leather jacket +1 low boots Infidel
cloak of protection +0 gauntlets of protection Infidel


As most giants are unable to wear most body armor, players should plan their goals, wishes and ascension kits accordingly. Reflection is somewhat more lenient to obtain as a property, since you can go for an amulet, shield or an artifact you can sacrifice for (such as the highly-desired Dragonbane). Magic resistance is somewhat more difficult, since an amulet is the only non-artifact source.

Strength-boosting comestibles such as spinach give giants more strength on average because they can exceed 18/** strength; however, unless playing the Caveman role, giants cannot eat giant corpses due to the Luck and alignment record penalties from cannibalism, and alignment record penalties have more gameplay implications in EvilHack.

Most giant players should consider gathering a stack of boulders as soon as possible - they can use multiple boulders to kill far stronger monsters on offense, and can arrange a wall or boulder fort to block off or constrain monsters on defense; such boulders can also be used to make a path through water-blocked areas like the Gnomish Mines. However, defensive measures are usually best established in advance due to the giant's low speed; a hostile monster with a wand of striking can easily destroy a boulder fort, and boulders also cannot stop hostile giants or phasing monsters. Sokoban and random boulder rooms are usually good sources of boulders, and digging monsters will often leave behind boulders while moving around the level.

NetHack Fourk

Racial benefits and restrictions

Giants can pick up and throw boulders, but their size prevents them from wearing most normal armor. They move at half-speed and have a heightened attribute cap for strength, but significantly lower caps for every other attribute.