The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.Gold dragons (and the baby version) are added. This page describes their 3.7 properties, preemptively moving variant properties to the Variants section. The infobox used to reflect SporkHack stats, but now reflects vanilla (as of 2021 Jul 24).
The gold dragon, D, is a monster that appears in NetHack. It has a younger form in the baby gold dragon, D. Similar to the red dragon, it is fire-breathing, fire resistant, and infravisible. However, its body and scales do not convey fire resistance; instead, gold dragon scales and gold dragon scale mail act as a light source.
Gold dragons themselves emit light, but only in a radius of 1, whereas their scales usually have a larger radius.
Gold dragons first appeared in SporkHack, and were later added to SpliceHack and EvilHack. In all of them, the scales and scale mail provide light when equipped. In EvilHack, they additionally confer fire resistance and sickness resistance.
In the West the dragon was the natural enemy of man. Although
preferring to live in bleak and desolate regions, whenever it
was seen among men it left in its wake a trail of destruction
and disease. Yet any attempt to slay this beast was a perilous
undertaking. For the dragon's assailant had to contend
not only with clouds of sulphurous fumes pouring from its fire
breathing nostrils, but also with the thrashings of its tail,
the most deadly part of its serpent-like body.
[ Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ]
"One whom the dragons will speak with," he said, "that is a
dragonlord, or at least that is the center of the matter. It's
not a trick of mastering the dragons, as most people think.
Dragons have no masters. The question is always the same, with
a dragon: will he talk to you or will he eat you? If you can
count upon his doing the former, and not doing the latter, why
then you're a dragonlord."
[ The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin ]