Iron golem

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An iron golem, ', is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is the strongest golem that can be encountered in the game, and will seek out and pick up items such as weapons and food.

An iron golem has a strong weapon attack and a breath attack that can spew poison clouds. Iron golems have resistance to fire, cold, sleep, poison, and shock damage - electricity also slows down an iron golem, while fire heals it.

An iron golem is instantly destroyed if submerged in water or hit by rust traps - this also applies to you if you are polymorphed into one. In both cases, the rust trap deals damage equal to the iron golem's maximum HP (which is affected by half physical damage), and dying in this manner while polymorphed into an iron golem returns you to you normal form, even if you are wearing an amulet of unchanging.[1][2][3] This also makes the iron golem the only monster that can be damaged by a rust monster's touch attack, which additionally instakills them (and you, with the same conditions as above).[4][5]

A character polymorphed into an iron golem can use the #monster extended command to breathe a stream of poison clouds for 15 energy.


Iron golems are always generated with 80 hit points, which is the most among golems.[6]

In addition to random generation, iron golems can generate as a result of polypiling if there are enough iron objects in a pile of items.[7] Hostile iron golems can also be created by the summon nasties monster spell.[8]

A randomly generated iron golem has a 514 chance of being generate with any one of the default weapon sets for strong weapon-using monsters: a battle axe, a two-handed sword, a bow and 3-14 arrows, a long sword, or a lucern hammer.[9] They are not eligible for a random offensive item.

Iron golems drop several iron chains upon death.[10]


By the time you encounter iron golems, you should be more than prepared to deal with their poison breath barring an early polypiling accident - non-poison resistant pets (if any) may not be, and will likely perish if allowed to remain in or near the poison clouds for too long. Iron golems themselves can hit quite hard and have the second best AC among golems, but are also just as slow as any of them at 6 speed - players that reach the point of encountering iron golems via normal generation should have little trouble making short work of them.


The iron golem first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


The iron golem falls to pieces!
An iron golem was hit by a rust monster or rust trap.
May <pet> rust in peace.
As above, but the golem was your pet.


In variants that incorporate the Convict role, two iron golems appear on the Convict quest: one is found in the southwestern "supplies" room on the locate level, and another guards the entrance to Warden Arianna's lair on the goal level.


In SLASH'EM, iron golems generate with 240 HP.[11]


In UnNetHack, a peaceful iron golem is generated in the forest within the Ruins of Moria. It is always generated with an axe and has independent chances of generating with any of the following items: a tin opener (12 chance), a can of grease (15 chance) and/or a tinning kit (320 chance).


In dNetHack, iron golems are generated with lances, war hammers, or glaives, and may drop iron bars in addition to iron chains upon death.

Argentum golems and Center of All are healed by fire and slowed by shock damage, similar to iron golems.