Giant (monster attribute)

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Giant is a monster attribute in NetHack that indicates whether a monster should be considered a type of giant. The attribute is denoted by the M2_GIANT macro.

The following monsters are considered giants:

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Flesh out strategy a bit more, especially with regards to boulders."


Giants are huge carnivorous humanoids that are either lawful or chaotic, and can break through locked doors due to their size; non-undead giants can also be seen via infravision. All types of non-undead giant are part of the giant humanoid monster class, and are strong enough to move over and pick up boulders with ease: a giant caught in the path of a boulder from a rolling boulder trap will even snatch the boulder and add it to their inventory.

Giants have infravision along with low monster magic resistance, and primarily attack in melee with weapons or their fists; they will seek out gems, weapons and food to pick up among other items. In terms of armor, live giants can wear gloves, boots, helms, and shields; the only giants that wear any form of torso armor are giant mummies, which often generate with mummy wrapping - despite this, other giants cannot wear mummy wrappings themselves.

Giants are kebabable, granting a +2 to-hit bonus when attacking one with a weapon that uses the spear skill, and the artifact long sword Giantslayer grants a +1d5 to-hit bonus and double damage against giants. Though titans possess many of the same traits, they are not considered to be giants.

In addition to the normal responses for humanoid monsters, chatting to a peaceful, non-undead giant may cause them to boast about their gem collection, complain about a mutton diet, or shout "Fee fi fo fum!" and guffaw; this last result has a chance of waking nearby sleeping monsters.[1]

Eating giant corpses and tins have a 12 chance (50%) of increasing a character's strength similar to a non-cursed tin of spinach, which occurs separate of any other intrinsics that can be obtained.[2][3]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

The attacks of giants and other sufficiently large monsters can inflict knockback, sending targets flying one or more squares.

Giants and other large humanoids can wear mummy wrappings.


Giants that are not undead can be generated in small groups, and may be generated as peaceful towards coaligned characters - they have a 12 chance (50%) of being generated with either a boulder or a club with equal probability, and are often generated with a small assortment of gems.[4][5] Non-undead giants are also eligible for offensive items, defensive items, and miscellaneous items.

Non-undead giants may appear among the hostile giant humanoids generated in throne rooms at dungeon levels 13 and below, and can also appear among the monsters randomly generated by looting a throne while confused and carrying gold (provided there is no chest on the level).[6]

Non-undead giants appear among the random H that make up the second quest monster class for Cavemen and make up 6175 (~3.42%) of the monsters randomly generated on the Caveman quest. Similarly, they can also appear among the random H that make up the second quest monster class for Valkyries and make up 6175 (~3.42%) of the monsters randomly generated on the Valkyrie quest.



Giants will often throw their boulder at the character on sight, which can be used as a defensive measure against other monsters by blocking their movement (e.g. narrowing or blocking off doorways). Giants can also generate with and/or pick up dangerous items and attack wands as well; on the other hand, their low MR leaves them very vulnerable to wands and spells themselves, and the only giants with any significant MR are the giant mummy and Lord Surtur. Giants are also usually slower than the player character at base speed, and you will likely have found a source of fast speed by the time you encounter them.

Eating giants

Giant corpses and their strength bonuses are frequently sought after, especially by physically weaker characters, and non-elven characters will seek out giant corpses to continue increasing their strength once it has hit 18. However, giant corpses are also very high in nutrition and present a choking hazard. A tinning kit is recommended for characters planning to eat multiple giant corpses, and it makes giant zombies and mummies safe to eat as well - unlike spinach, tins of giant meat provide strengths increase even if cursed. Cavepeople and Valkyries can farm for giant corpses in their quest, especially once they obtain a tinning kit, with the low risk of encountering a titan depending on their current difficulty. While Archeologists and Priests can also access giant corpses on their quest, their only sources are undead giants, which poses different problems for both roles.

For Archeologists, giant mummies appear among the random M that are part of the second quest monster class for the Archeologist quest, which only makes up 6175 (~3.42%) of monsters randomly generated there - this makes them quite rare occurrences, though Archeologists that reach their quest will usually have a tinning kit at the ready for any giant mummies that they do encounter. Priests are much more likely to see giant zombies on the Priest quest: they are among the random Z that are part of the first quest monster class, which make up 24175 (~13.71%) of randomly generated monsters there - the abundance of graveyards also means that several giant zombies can be generated at level creation on top of the existing random Z. Aside from having to find a a tinning kit before gaining quest access, most Priests will generally prefer the gains from easily-farmed wraiths to intermittent strength increases.


The 'standard' giant firs appears in NetHack 1.3d. From this version to NetHack 2.3e, the monster uses the 9 glyph.

NetHack 3.0.0 moves the giant to the giant humanoid monster class and introduces most of the distinct giant types with the exception of the storm giant - the standard giant remains in the game's data as a placeholder for the corpse left by the giant zombie and giant mummy, which are introduced in the same version. The storm giant first appears in SLASH 6, a variant of NetHack 3.1.3 and the last release of SLASH, and makes its vanilla debut in NetHack 3.3.0.


Many variants make the giant eligible as a starting race, and several add other monsters that are considered giants.


In SLASH'EM, there is only a 14 chance (25%) that eating giant meat will confer strength gains, which does not affect the chance of gaining any other intrinsics from the corpse.[7]

SLASH'EM includes the giant court, a special type of throne room carried over from NetHack-- 3.1.3 that only contains giants, and introduces The Giant Caverns, a special level that houses several giants and a new unique giant known as The Largest Giant. Standard giants can appear in both areas as well.


Main article: Giant (starting race)

In GruntHack, giants are a playable race, and can also generate as racial monsters with a +3 adjustment to level and monster difficulty.


Main article: Giant (starting race)

SporkHack includes the giant as a playable race, and also adds the hill giant shaman.


In dNetHack, the attribute is denoted by the MA_GIANT macro, and is used in a slightly more general sense to refer to particularly large types of monsters as well as giants.

Giantslayer has +1d10 to-hit and +1d20 damage bonuses against giants, warns of them while carried, and has independent chances of canceling them and lowering their movement points by 6 on hit; Claideamh has +1d5 to-hit and double damage bonuses against giants, and warns of them while wielded. Of note is that the ettin and the giants from vanilla NetHack are made vulnerable to iron weapons.

Ymir is a spirit that grants a character giant-like traits and forbids them from eating or sacrificing giants while bound to him.

Several other monsters are given the "giant" attribute compared to vanilla NetHack:

NetHack Fourk

Main article: Giant (starting race)

NetHack Fourk includes the giant as a playable race, and removes the stone giant in favor of using the standard giant due to its identical stats.


In notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, both variants add the following monsters:


Main article: Giant (starting race)

In EvilHack, the attribute is denoted by the MH_GIANT macro.

EvilHack adds the giant as a playable race, which is adapted from SporkHack, and giants are eligible to appear as racial monsters:

EvilHack also adds the hill giant shaman from SporkHack and introduces Annam, a unique giant that replaces the Chromatic Dragon as the Caveman quest nemesis.


In addition to SLASH'EM details, SlashTHEM also adds the hill giant shaman from SporkHack.

Encyclopedia entry

Giants have always walked the earth, though they are rare in
these times. They range in size from little over nine feet
to a towering twenty feet or more. The larger ones use huge
boulders as weapons, hurling them over large distances. All
types of giants share a love for men - roasted, boiled, or
fried. Their table manners are legendary.