Half-dragon (starting race)

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Half-dragons are a playable race that appear in dNetHack and notdNetHack.


  • Half-dragons may be Anachrononauts, Archeologists, Barbarians, Binders, Cavepeople, Convicts, Knights, Monks, Madmen, Nobles, Priests, Rogues, Rangers, Samurais, Bards (Troubadours) or Wizards.
  • Half-dragons can be of any alignment.
  • Half-dragons have a draconic breath weapon selected at game start, usable via #ability
    • The breath is randomly selected from fire, cold, lightning, poison, acid, sleep. Female half-dragon Nobles will instead get either cold or magic with equal odds, and half-dragon Madmen will get a random breath attack ala shimmering dragons if they're female or fire if they're male. In notdNetHack, half-dragon Anachrononauts will always get disintegration breath.
      • In notdNetHack, the breath type can be selected with a menu when starting a game or using the species option.
    • It costs 15 energy to use, does not burn nutrition, and does not suffer from spell failure.
    • Base damage is (1+(XL/3))d6 damage. This can be upgraded by wearing dragon scale armor that matches your breath weapon, by 50% per matching armor piece worn. For example, a half-dragon with acid breath will get 50% extra damage with their breath while wearing yellow dragon scale mail, or double damage if wearing both mail and a shield. Red half-dragons get +2 dice at 14th level.
    • You are granted full immunity to your own breath weapon, which permanently grants the appropriate resistance. This does grant permanent intrinsic magic resistance with magical breath, and does not grant anything to male Madmen who have a randomly varying breath attack. This also grants full intrinsic immunity, rather than just resistance, for fire, cold and lightning bearing half-dragons, which fully negates primordial elemental attacks compared to the halved damage they normally deal through resistances. Lightning half-dragons are additionally immune to being blinded by light, including the flash caused by being hit with a lightning bolt.
    • From 14th level, your breath weapon counts as true dragonbreath, so it cannot be reflected by ordinary reflection, only dragonbreath reflection. The exception is disintegration breath (which is possible for a half-dragon Madwoman's random breath, or, in notdNetHack, a half-dragon Anachrononaut's disintegration breath), which can be reflected as usual.
      • Sleep breath becomes hallucinogenic (confusing and berserking non-sleep-resistant monsters) at 14th level.
  • Half-dragons gain 1 bonus AC per 6 levels (starting at level 3), and 1 bonus natural DR per 6 levels (starting at level 6).
  • Half-dragons are slower than normal (base speed 9 instead of speed 12).
  • Half-dragons gain a bonus to bare-handed and martial arts damage from their claws - they have triple dice size, so they'll deal 1d6 damage instead of 1d2, or 1d12 instead of 1d4 with martial arts
  • Half-dragons are counted as dragons for cannibalism and same-race sacrifice purposes.
  • Half-dragons gain intrinsic flying at 14th level. ("You feel wings sprout from your back!")
  • Half-dragons will start with a pet tiny pseudodragon instead of the standard domestic pet, and the pseudodragon also shares the relevant breath attack/resistance.
  • Half-dragon Madmen and female half-dragon Nobles are more humanoid than other half-dragons.
    • This increases their base speed to 12, and modifies their maximum attributes:
      • Half-dragon Madmen can reach 18 dexterity.
      • Female half-dragon Nobles can reach 20 dexterity, but they can only reach 20 strength and 18 constitution.
    • They get less bonus AC and DR: 1 bonus AC per 15 levels (starting at level 10), and 1 bonus AC per 15 levels (starting at level 15).
    • Flavor-wise, male half-dragon Madmen are half-red-dragon, half-githyanki, female half-dragon Madwomen are half-chaos-dragon, half-githzerai, and female half-dragon Nobles are the more-human-looking variety of Dark Souls half-dragon.
  • Being half-dragon is a mystical status, not just a physical condition, and so half-dragons retain their special abilities while polymorphed, and conversely other characters cannot polymorph into half-dragons.
  • Half-dragon Bards start with an extra 30 energy. Half-dragon Madmen start with exactly 10 energy. All other half-dragons start with exactly 15 energy.
  • Half-dragon Bards know martial arts, and from 14th level they can sing elementals into being.
  • Female half-dragons can all train the farm implement weapon skill to Expert level. If they are a Noble or their role does not have a guaranteed first sacrifice gift, their first sacrifice gift is always The Lifehunt Scythe.
  • At 15th level, all half-dragons get the secondary intrinsics of the corresponding color of dragon scales. Chaos half-dragons (female half-dragon Madwomen) get see invisible and displacement, blue half-dragons get +3 to base speed (increasing their base speed from 9 to 12 when unpolymorphed), and red half-dragons get slime resistance and grow bigger and stronger, gaining 120% carrycap and +2 to strength-based damage bonus.


Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
Half-dragon 25 10 20 20 20 20