Leprechaun

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A leprechaun, l, is a monster that appears in NetHack. It is the only member of the leprechaun monster class.

Leprechauns have intrinsic teleportitis, and approach you to try and steal any gold they see in your open inventory - they will otherwise keep their distance from you where possible. When you attack a leprechaun that is not frozen, asleep, confused, or blind, it has a 17 chance of moving one square away instead of being hit - this will cause you to "miss wildly and stumble forward" into that square.[1]

Eating a leprechaun's corpse has a 50% chance of conveying teleportitis, the highest of any corpse in the game.

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.

Per commit 2591a21: Leprechauns that steal your gold have a chance to bury it in the ground after teleporting if their destination is in a non-shop room out of your sight.

Generation

Leprechauns are normally generated sleeping, and will always carry LDd30 pieces of gold.[2][3] Leprechaun halls are special rooms filled with sleeping leprechauns, with each one on top of a pile of gold in a similar manner to a treasure zoo.

Leprechauns are the first quest monster for the Rogue quest, and several guaranteed leprechauns also appear on each floor during level creation.

Strategy

While they are often relatively harmless, leprechauns can use offensive wands against you, and can also generate with defensive items like a wand of digging that can make it difficult for you to recover your gold or the wand in question.

When a leprechaun makes a successful gold-stealing attack, it teleports away; polymorphing into a leprechaun allows you to do the same to monsters, though this has limited use. You can prevent them from robbing you by using ranged attacks or attacking in melee while carrying no gold; keep in mind that they also can steal gold from directly under your feet - it is best to bag it or stash it elsewhere, or throw it a short distance away if neither is possible.

Amusingly, using conflict in a leprechaun hall will cause them to steal from each other—but it will soon prove annoying, as this scatters them across the level.

Credit cloning

Leprechauns can be exploited for credit cloning: Drop all but one of your gold coins in a shop, then lure a leprechaun inside - once it picks up the pile of gold, then let it either steal your last gold piece or teleport out. Once you kill it to retrieve your gold back, you'll still have your credit - since you can only do this once per leprechaun, you should do it with as much gold as possible. Using leprechauns this way is difficult since they won't follow you, but it does mean you can credit clone even without a pet or a sack.

History

The leprechaun is among the many monsters present in the very first version of Hack by Andries Brouwer, along with "Hack for PDP-11" (which was based on an early draft). In early versions such as this and NetHack 1.3d, leprechuans used the L glyph and had slightly different behavior: they would still attempt to attack players that closed in as they attempted to keep their distance.

The ability to make player characters miss and stumble was always present; the message clarifying this was added in NetHack 3.6.2.[4]

Messages

You miss wildly and stumble forward.
A leprechaun dodged one of your attacks.
Your purse feels lighter.
A leprechaun hit you and stole some or all of the gold in your open inventory.
Your purse feels heavier.
You stole some gold from a monster while polymorphed into a leprechaun.

Origin

The leprechaun (Irish leipreachán or luchorpán) is a diminutive supernatural being in Irish folklore, and is often classified as a type of solitary fairy; leprechaun-like creatures only became prominent in later folklore. They are usually depicted as little coat-and-hat-clad bearded folk with a tendency towards mischief, and were later portrayed as shoe-makers who have a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The association with gold is often carried over to portrayals in media such as NetHack, where they always generate with gold.

Variants

In variants featuring an object materials system, leprechauns are commonly given the additional ability to steal gold items.

SLASH'EM

SLASH'EM introduces the leprechaun wizard, a stronger form of the leprechaun that it can grow up into. They posses slightly better AC and the ability to cast clerical monster spells. Leprechauns can also hit as a +1 weapon.

xNetHack

Leprechauns are capable of stealing gold items as well as gold pieces.

dNetHack

In dNetHack, leprechauns are among the many fey creatrues that take extra damage from iron weapons. The wards Thjofastafur, Elder Sign and the Cerulean sign can repel leprechauns; carving Thjofastafur into a weapon will cause that weapon to grant detection of them when wielded.

A gnome- or dwarf-ruled throne room may have leprechauns as part of its court.

NetHack: The Next Generation

In NetHack: The Next Generation, the Key Level is a special level that contains several leprechauns and nymphs.

DynaHack

In DynaHack, many leprechauns are generated within the nymph level upon its creation, and the monster generation on that floor has a much higher chance of creating more.

Encyclopedia entry

The Irish Leprechaun is the Faeries' shoemaker and is known
under various names in different parts of Ireland:
Cluricaune in Cork, Lurican in Kerry, Lurikeen in Kildare
and Lurigadaun in Tipperary. Although he works for the
Faeries, the Leprechaun is not of the same species. He is
small, has dark skin and wears strange clothes. His nature
has something of the manic-depressive about it: first he
is quite happy, whistling merrily as he nails a sole on to a
shoe; a few minutes later, he is sullen and morose, drunk
on his home-made heather ale. The Leprechaun's two great
loves are tobacco and whiskey, and he is a first-rate con-man,
impossible to out-fox. No one, no matter how clever, has ever
managed to cheat him out of his hidden pot of gold or his
magic shilling. At the last minute he always thinks of some
way to divert his captor's attention and vanishes in the
twinkling of an eye.

[ A Field Guide to the Little People
by Nancy Arrowsmith & George Moorse ]

References