Gnoll ghoul

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A gnoll ghoul, Z, is a type of monster that appears in dNetHack and notdNetHack. It is a zombified form of undead gnoll that has infravision and is unbreathing and mindless like many other undead monsters.

A gnoll ghoul has a weapon attack, a claw attack, and a bite that can paralyze targets similar to the claw attacks of standard ghouls. They possess cold resistance, sleep resistance, poison resistance, and resistance to death magic.


Gnoll ghouls are only randomly generated in Gehennom, and are always created hostile.

Eleven gnoll ghouls are randomly placed around the lair of Yeenoghu at level creation, and they also make up 110 of the monsters randomly generated there.

A gnoll ghoul does not leave a corpse upon death.

Player characters that are killed by gnoll ghouls and leave a bones file will arise as a named ghoul instead of a ghost.


Gnoll ghouls lack the HP and melee damage their living kin possess, but compensate for it somewhat with their paralyzing bite. Since dNetHack uses 3.4.3's magic cancellation, MC3 makes the paralysis negligible, and free action blocks it completely.


The gnoll is a creature that appears in various types of fantasy media, and is generally portrayed as a human-hyena hybrid or a form of humanoid hyena. The term originates from 1912 short story collection The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany, with one short story titled "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art upon the Gnoles".

The gnoll of Dungeons & Dragons is introduced in the first boxed set of the game, and gnolls are described in Book 2: Monsters and Treasure as a "cross between Gnomes and Trolls (...perhaps, Lord Sunsany did not really make it all that clear)". These early gnolls were stated to be similar to hobgoblins with +2 morale, while a gnoll king and his bodyguard fought similar to trolls without regenerative power. The 1st Monster Manual for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and all subsequent material describe gnolls as aggressive desert-dwelling nomads that resemble humanoid hyenas, and actively raid and plunder other settlements; it also introduces Yeenoghu, the demon god of gnolls who many of them serve and worship.

Yeenoghu is also the demon god of ghouls, as established in the 3.5e Fiendish Codex I and retold in material of later editions: he gained dominion over them by subjugating of Doresain, the King of the Ghouls. Doresain was a former vassal of Orcus and controlled his own layer of the Abyss, the White Kingdom, until Yeenoghu’s army invaded and conquered them; the King of Ghouls swore fealty to Yeenoghu and had paid him homage since as a sworn ally, and the Prince of Gnolls rules all ghouls through his new vassal. As of yet, Orcus has not retaliated against Yeenoghu for this, with his attention being elsewhere.

Encyclopedia entry

We are born and we die.
No one cares, no one remembers,
and it doesn't matter.
This is why we laugh.
[ The Gnoll Credo, by J. Stanton ]