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A leprechaun, l, is a monster that can steal gold from players. It is the only vanilla member of the leprechaun monster class.

Leprechauns have teleportitis, and will approach and try to attack you when you have gold in your open inventory, otherwise running away from you. When you attack a leprechaun which is not frozen, asleep, confused, or blind, it has a 17 chance of moving one square away instead of being hit. When this happens, you will move instead of attacking, with a message being printed when this occurs as of NetHack 3.6.0.[1]

Eating a leprechaun's corpse has a 50% chance of conveying teleportitis, and you will also gain teleportitis while polymorphed into a leprechaun.


Leprechauns are normally generated sleeping[2] and with LDd30 pieces of gold.[3] Leprechaun halls can be found in the dungeon and are filled with sleeping leprechauns, each on top of some gold, in a similar manner to a treasure zoo.


Leprechauns are annoyances that are best dealt with via ranged weapons or spells. For most players, the leprechaun poses no real threat—however, its predilection toward escape rather than fighting can make it time-consuming to kill. Occasionally, they may stop to attack you if you keep next to them; they will have no choice but to stop and fight if you prevent them from moving anywhere else.

If you are a Knight, awaken leprechauns before attacking them to avoid alignment penalties; other roles will want to get as close as possible so they have a chance to cut off the leprechaun's escape path. If possible, close or obstruct doors in a room to limit their movement, and make use of your pet to pick them off; leprechauns cannot open doors, and pets will not have to deal with wild misses as players do.

You can prevent them from teleporting as often by stashing your gold in a container or leaving it on a distant floor space; alternately, you can throw your gold at them, then run the fleeing leprechaun into a corner. You may have trouble if a leprechaun is generated with or comes across an escape wand, such as a wand of teleportation or make invisible—or worse, a wand of digging—because in most cases you will have to force them to exhaust all their charges.

Amusingly, using a ring of 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, lure a leprechaun inside, let it pick up the pile of gold, then let it steal you or just teleport out. Once you find it and kill it to get 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, unlike pets, they won't follow you, but it does mean you can credit clone even without a pet or, as of 3.6.0, without a sack.

As a polymorph form

Polymorphing into a leprechaun lets you steal gold from monsters, but generally, this is rather pointless; shopkeepers support credit cloning, priests have little gold and are too powerful when you still need protection, and other monsters can simply be killed.


You miss wildly and stumble forward.
A leprechaun dodged one of your attacks.


A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Expand on leprechauns in other variants, maybe split off the monster class into its own article"


In xNetHack, leprechauns are moved into the imp or minor demon monster class and are represented by i. (The l glyph is now occupied by the lizards.) Like other minor demons, leprechauns are subject to bonus damage from iron and silver weapons. Leprechauns are also capable of stealing gold items as well as gold pieces.

Object materials

In variants featuring an object materials system, it is very common to give leprechauns the ability to steal gold items.

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 ]

See also


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

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