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A hobbit, h, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. The hobbit is the most basic humanoid monster, and is a small omnivore that has infravision and will pick up items. A hobbit has a single weapon attack.


Randomly generated hobbits are often peaceful towards lawful player characters, and are always peaceful towards dwarves.

A hobbit is generated with one of three possible weapons, with an equal chance of each weapon: a dagger, an elven dagger, or a sling.[1] A hobbit also has a 110 chance of generating with an elven mithril-coat, and a separate 110 chance of generating with a dwarvish cloak.[2]

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.

Per commit 51a5550, hobbits generated with a sling will also receive a stack of flint stones.


While a hobbit is not dangerous on their own, a weaker early character should approach them with some caution - a hobbit with an enchanted dagger or any form of attack wand can be an unwelcome and possibly lethal surprise. Hobbits have a tendency to throw their daggers at you when you are in range, making disarming them trivial, and they can usually be felled easily with your own ranged attacks.

Hobbits are useful as potential early sources of a mithril-coat, daggers to fill your quiver, and/or an elven dagger to name and turn into Sting. Lawful characters will want their pets to handle peaceful hobbits if they plan to avoid alignment record penalties.


The hobbit first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


Hobbits are a fictional race of people that appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels set in Middle-Earth, and have since appeared in the works of other fantasy authors including Terry Brooks, Jack Vance, and Clifford D. Simak. Occasionally known as halflings in Tolkien's writings, hobbits are humanoids that are closely related to humans, if not an offshoot of humanity - they stand at anywhere between two and four feet, with the average height of a hobbit being roughly half the average human height. Hobbits have feet with naturally tough leathery soles and curly hair on the top, and tend to live barefoot; they traditionally make their home in underground "hobbit holes" with windows built into the sides of hills on pastoral countrysides, while some also live in cottage houses on the surface. Hard-working, orderly and peaceful, hobbits enjoy many "creature comforts" and have a particular love of food and drink - but they are also naturally curious and enthusiastic collectors, and sometimes prefer a bit of trouble to a lot of boredom.

Hobbits debut in 1937 children's novel The Hobbit, where the titular protagonist Bilbo Baggins is thrown into an unexpected adventure when the wizard Gandalf arrives at his doorstep in the small town of Hobbiton. In the sequel to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Pippin Took, and Merry Brandybuck are a group of hobbits who all play key roles in fighting to save their world of Middle-earth from evil. The Lord of the Rings identifies Hobbiton as part of the homeland of the Hobbits: a larger rural region in the northwest of Middle-earth called the Shire. Another hobbit village named Bree is found east of the Shire, where they co-exist with regular humans. Tolkien hints that there may be other hobbit settlements, though they are never visited within the story.

The origins of the name and idea are subject to debate, with the most likely antecedents including 1922 Sinclair Lewis novel Babbitt and 1927 Edward Wyke Smith children's book The Marvellous Land of Snergs. Many of Tolkien's British reviewers imagined hobbits to be rabbit-like in appearance; though Tolkien emphatically rejected any relationship between hobbits and rabbits and emphasized hobbits' humanity, scholars have noted several lines of evidence to the contrary. As with many other beings and creatures from the setting, hobbits also appear in Dungeons & Dragons, where they are referred to as halflings for legal reasons.


<The hobbit> asks you about the One Ring.
You chatted to a peaceful or tame hobbit.
<The hobbit> complains about unpleasant dungeon conditions.
As above, but the hobbit is at least 10 HP down from its maximum; as hobbits rarely generate with more than 10 HP total, this message does not occur often in practice.

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.

Per commit 5902ace, hobbits now complain about any damage if they have less than 11 max HP.


Several variants include the hobbit as a playable race, and many incorporate Nephi's grudge patch to include the mutual grudge between hobbits and Nazgul.


In SLASH'EM, hobbits are a playable race.


In UnNetHack, Nazgul will attack any hobbits they see and vice versa.


In dNetHack, hobbits may appear in the court of a throne room ruled by any of a gnome king, gnome queen, dwarf king, or dwarf queen.


In EvilHack, hobbits are added as a playable race. EvilHack also adds hobbit pickpockets, and hobbits can also appear as player monsters and undead such as zombies and mummies.

Standard hobbits generate with the same items as in vanilla NetHack, using the same probabilities - hobbits that generate with slings are given sling bullets, as are hobbit pickpockets.


In addition to SLASH'EM details, the Geek quest in SlashTHEM uses a pair of hobbits to spell out "May the force be with you" on the home level, rather than a random humanoid as with most of the other letters; this is done to prevent the generation of dwarves that may dig through the walls of the level prematurely.


In Hack'EM, in addition to including playable hobbits as in SLASH'EM, Hack'EM adds the other hobbit monsters from EvilHack, including undead hobbits and hobbit player monsters.

Encyclopedia entry

Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more
numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace
and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-
farmed countryside was their favourite haunt. They do not
and did not understand or like machines more complicated
than a forge-bellows, a water-mill, or a handloom, although
they were skillful with tools. Even in ancient days they
were, as a rule, shy of "the Big Folk", as they call us, and
now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find.

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]