Green dragon

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A green dragon, D, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is an adult dragon associated with the element of poison. Like all dragons, green dragons are strong, carnivorous, oviparous, thick-skinned, can see invisible, and are capable of flight - they will also seek out gold, gems and magical items to pick up.

Green dragons have a poisonous breath weapon that leaves a trail of poison clouds, a strong bite attack, and two claw attacks. A green dragon possesses poison resistance.

A green dragon corpse is poisonous to eat, but eating a green dragon corpse or tin always grants poison resistance.

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.

Green dragons and other dragons gain the additional extrinsic effects conferred by their scales.


Randomly generated green dragons are always created hostile. A baby green dragon can grow up into a green dragon.

Hostile green dragons can be generated by the summon nasties monster spell. Characters and monsters that polymorph while wearing green dragon scales or green dragon scale mail will turn into green dragons.

Green dragons may appear among the hostile D generated in throne rooms at dungeon levels 15 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).[1]

Green dragons have a 13 chance of dropping a set of uncursed +0 green dragon scales upon death unless disintegrated, and the chance is reduced to 120 if the dragon was revived.


While most characters will have poison resistance by the time they encounter green dragons, the poison gas clouds from their breath attacks present a different problem. Without poison resistance, being caught in the stream of poison can kill characters alarmingly fast; with poison resistance (and/or a source of reflection to deflect the blast), the damage and threat of death is severely lowered, but the gas clouds can still blind the character, which can prove inconvenient at best in pitched combat situations.

Leaving the poison clouds and curing the blindness as soon as possible (e.g., with a unicorn horn) is ideal, especially for characters that lack telepathy. Since monsters that lack poison resistance are subjected to the same effects, the clouds can also be used against other monsters, especially with a source of conflict: poison gas can leave non-resistant monsters severely weakened from a few turns of exposure if they are not killed outright.

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.

Green dragons gain extrinsic sickness resistance from their scales - though this is not likely to come up in practice when fighting them, this makes them possibly valuable targets for their scales if a character plans to take on the likes of Demogorgon or else wants further insurance against Pestilence on the Astral Plane.

Green dragons and other large enough monsters can also inflict knockback with their melee attacks, making them exceedingly dangerous to fight near pools or lava and capable of forcing characters back into breath weapon range.


The green dragon first appears in NetHack 2.3e.

From NetHack 3.0.0 to NetHack 3.0.10, including variants based on those versions, polymorphing a green dragon corpse produces regular dragon scale mail. NetHack 3.1.0 introduces the current method of obtaining green dragon scale mail.

In NetHack 3.6.0 and previous versions, including variants based on those versions, the green dragon's breath weapon is simply a ray of poison - the breath weapon's ability to create trails of poison gas is introduced in NetHack 3.6.1.


Many variants alter the green dragon and other dragons to make them more varied and/or threatening. Variants based on NetHack 3.4.3 may retain the green dragon's ray of poison as its breath weapon.


Main article: Dragon (SLASH'EM)

As with most other dragons in SLASH'EM, the green dragon's base level is raised to 18, their difficulty is raised to 25, their AC is boosted to -4, their bite and claw attacks are stronger, and they hit as a +3 weapon.

Green dragons can appear in dragon lairs and the Wyrm Caves.

NetHack brass

In NetHack brass, the green dragon's speed is raised to 12, and its breath weapon deals 12d12 damage.


In GruntHack, the green dragon's difficulty is slightly lowered to 19, their bite and claw attacks are stronger, and they are given an additional 2d10 engulfing attack that can digest targets.


In UnNetHack and DynaHack, all dragons have their breath weapons, resistances, and names randomized each game, allowing any non-chromatic dragon to appear as green - the default poison dragon is the wyvern.


In dNetHack, notdNetHack, and notnotdNetHack, green dragons have their speed raised to 12, their difficulty is slightly raised to 21, and their effective AC is boosted to -4. The green dragon's attacks are made stronger, with an additional 4d10 tailslap attack that they will use once every global turn, and their breath attacks also ignore reflection, unless the source is from dragon armor or an artifact that grants dragonbreath reflection.

Green dragons may appear among the court of a throne room ruled by an orc of the ages of stars.

110 of the monsters randomly generated on the second Nightmare Temple level of the Chaos Temple Quest will be green dragons.


In EvilHack, green dragons are buffed similarly to GruntHack: their attacks are made stronger as in GruntHack and reordered, including the addition of the digestion attack. Green dragons also gain sickness resistance from their scales, and both the dragons and their scales have a passive poison attack.

Encyclopedia entry

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 ]