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

"Please confirm or debunk that mindless monsters with items in their inventory will (sometimes?) drop them (steal.c#line587), and that they may not equip armor (worn.c#line372)."

A mindless monster does not have a mind (syntactical!). Mindlessness is identified by the macro mindless(ptr),[1] which checks for the flag M1_MINDLESS in monst.c.

Take heed to discern between mindless monsters and brainlessness, a state attainable by unfortunate players not keeping their distance from mindflayers.


Mindless monsters cannot be detected by telepathy.[2] They are also unaffected by the brain-eating attacks of (master) mind flayers.[3][4] This protection does not extend to players polymorphed into normally mindless forms - "no such thing as mindless players".

Further, mindless monsters are incapable of using items; that is, scrolls, wands, potions and horns.[5][6]

List of mindless monsters


  1. mondata.h in NetHack 3.6.0, line 56
  2. display.h in NetHack 3.6.0, line 33
  3. eat.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 508
  4. eat.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 572
  5. muse.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 278
  6. muse.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1073