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The homunculus, i, is a minor demon in NetHack. Its bite can put unwary adventurers to sleep. Its corpse is poisonous and has a small chance of conveying poison or sleep resistance.


Homunculi will normally be peaceful if you are appropriately chaotic.


While the bite attack is not as dangerous as the floating eye's gaze, the fact that it can leave you temporarily helpless represents a hazard. Since homunculi can potentially put you to sleep, it is best to take them out with ranged attacks or avoid them altogether. Sleep resistance will nullify their sleeping bite and make it much safer to fight them hand-to-hand, as they can only do 3 damage at most.


The homunculus appears in alchemical writings of the sixteenth century as an artificial creation in the shape of a miniature, fully formed human. These are not to be confused with the modern cortical homunculus, which is a distorted scale model of the human body representing its relative brain space.

Encyclopedia entry

A homunculus is a creature summoned by a mage to perform some
particular task. They are particularly good at spying. They
are smallish creatures, but very agile. They can put their
victims to sleep with a venomous bite, but due to their size,
the effect does not last long on humans.

"Tothapis cut him off. 'Be still and hearken. You will travel
aboard the sacred wingboat. Of it you may not have heard; but
it will bear you thither in a night and a day and a night.
With you will go a homunculus that can relay your words to me,
and mine to you, across the leagues between at the speed of

[ Conan the Rebel, by Poul Anderson ]

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