From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A minion is a monster in NetHack that serves one of the gods, and appears only under specific circumstances.

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

"A grep -n minion src/*.c shows that there is much more to know about minions. There's also variants to add."


The source code in minion.c controls the generation of minions. A minion is generated in these three situations:

  • If you try to convert an altar and your experience level is at least 7 and also your alignment record close to its maximum, then there is a chance that the altar's god sends a hostile minion, regardless of if you succeed.[1][2]
  • If a god is angry with you, either from repeated prayer or praying to the wrong god, one of the possible responses is to send a hostile minion after you; this requires a level of anger just short of the worst possible smiting, which zaps you with lightning (and wide-angle disintegration beam if the lightning fails).[3]
  • If you are at the Sanctum or on the Astral Plane, and you have angered a god into zapping you with lightning, then hitting you with the wide-angle disintegration beam and successfully survived both, then the god will summon three minions against you.[4] One way to trigger this is to attempt to convert a high altar.[5]

The tame guardian angel you can get on the Astral Plane is considered a minion.


Minions are the same as any other monster of their type in terms of stats, but are named accordingly based on who they serve (e.g. "the Angel of Mitra"). The type of monster depends on the god that they serve:


The voice of <god> booms: "Thou shalt pay for thy indiscretion!"
You attempted to convert an altar while your alignment record was near maximum and you are at least experience level 7, and that altar's god sent a hostile minion after you.
Thou durst <scorn/call upon> me? Then, die <mortal/creature>!
You have angered a god, and they sent a hostile minion after you.
Thou cannot escape my wrath, mortal! Destroy <him/her>, my servants!
You have angered a god into smiting you with lightning and disintegration in Moloch's Sanctum or on the Astral Plane and survived both, and that god sent minions after you.



In SLASH'EM, your god may give you minions as servants, from prayer, if you are lawful,[6] or sacrifice, for any alignment. Lawfuls may receive angelic beings or tengu, neutrals may get elementals or djinn, chaotics may get major or minor demons, and any player may receive a unicorn of his or her alignment. These behave much like pets, except that they do not eat corpses, cannot pick up items (although they will use any in their initial inventory), cannot be leashed or saddled, and do not turn traitorous. Also, they cannot be re-tamed should they go feral.

Receiving minions does not increase prayer timeout or reduce the odds of getting artifact gifts. High level lawfuls may receive a minion with Sunsword or Demonbane, which will count only as a generated artifact, not a gifted one, for future sacrifice purposes. The minion you receive is a function of your level and the RNG. The following are the probabilities of obtaining each type of minion at each experience level:


Experience level Minions and probability
1 Tengu (80%) or couatl (20%)
2 Tengu (60%) or couatl (40%)
3 Tengu (40%) or couatl (60%)
4 Tengu (20%), couatl (60%), or white unicorn (20%)
5 Couatl (60%) or white unicorn (40%)
6 Couatl (40%) or white unicorn (60%)
7 Couatl (20%), white unicorn (60%), or movanic deva (20%)
8 White unicorn (60%) or movanic deva (40%)
9 White unicorn (40%) or movanic deva (60%)
10 White unicorn (20%) or movanic deva (60%), monadic deva (20%)
11 Movanic deva (60%) or monadic deva (40%)
12 Movanic deva (40%) or monadic deva (60%)
13 Movanic deva (20%), monadic deva (60%), or ki-rin (20%)
14 Monadic deva (60%) or ki-rin (40%)
15 Monadic deva (40%) or ki-rin (60%)
16 Monadic deva (20%), ki-rin (60%), or astral deva (20%)
17 Ki-rin (60%) or astral deva (40%)
18 Ki-rin (40%) or astral deva (60%)
19 Ki-rin (20%), astral deva (60%), or archon (20%)
20 Astral deva (60%) or archon (40%)
21 Astral deva (40%) or archon (60%)
22 Astral deva (20%), archon (60%), or planetar (20%)
23 Archon (60%) or planetar (40%)
24 Archon (40%) or planetar (60%)
25 Archon (20%), planetar (60%), or solar (20%)
26 Planetar (60%) or solar (40%)
27 Planetar (40%) or solar (60%)
28 Planetar (20%) or solar (80%)
29-30 Solar

Lawfuls have an overwhelming advantage in terms of minions, as they have much easier access to minions (through prayer) and gain significantly stronger minions. A level 1 lawful character can deliberately wound himself by throwing a weapon up, praying after turn 300, and have a 13% chance of getting a tame couatl - a monster with a poisonous bite and +1 enchantment resistance. At level 11 there is a 100% chance of getting a Deva, with a 1 in 4 chance of carrying a shield of reflection (the Deva can be easily killed by bringing it near the Oracle). Playing as a lawful thus makes a pacifist game much easier, as you have easy access to tame tengu (which are about as damaging as dogs) and possibly a couatl, and by the endgame can have a retinue of Archons, Planetars, and Solars which will make the Astral plane a breeze.


The following are the probabilities of each type of minion by experience level:

Experience level Gray unicorn Random elemental Djinni
1-2 100% nil nil
3 89% 11% nil
4 78% 22% nil
5 67% 33% nil
6 56% 44% nil
7 44% 56% nil
8 33% 67% nil
9 22% 78% nil
10 11% 89% nil
11 nil 89% 11%
12 nil 78% 22%
13 nil 67% 33%
14 nil 56% 44%
15 nil 44% 56%
16 nil 33% 67%
17 nil 22% 78%
18 nil 11% 89%
19-30 nil nil 100%

At early levels, an elemental minion can be a significant boon, but by the mid-game, neutral minions tend to be too weak to bother keeping around. Unfortunately, getting a djinni as a minion will not give you a chance at a wish, but will increase the djinni count, lowering the chance of a djinni appearing from a smoky potion. Since minions cannot pickup weapons, and djinni are not created with weapons, your djinni will be limited in combat compared to one obtained through other means.


A chaotic minion will be chosen according to the probabilities given below:

Experience level Minions and probability
1 Gremlin (60%) or random i* (40%)
2 Gremlin (40%) or random i* (60%)
3 Gremlin (20%), random i* (60%), or black unicorn (20%)
4 random i* (60%), black unicorn (20%) or blood imp (20%)
5 random i* (40%), black unicorn (20%), or blood imp (40%)
6 random i* (20%), black unicorn (20%), blood imp (40%), or spined devil (20%)
7 black unicorn (20%), blood imp (40%), spined devil (20%), or shadow wolf (20%)
8 blood imp (40%), spined devil (20%), or shadow wolf (40%)
9 blood imp (20%), spined devil (20%), or shadow wolf (40%), hell hound (20%)
10 spined devil (20%), shadow wolf (40%), hell hound (20%), or horned devil (20%)
11 shadow wolf (40%), hell hound (20%), or horned devil (40%)
12 shadow wolf (20%), hell hound (20%), horned devil (40%), or bearded devil (20%)
13 hell hound (20%), horned devil (40%), bearded devil (20%), or bar-lgura (20%)
14 horned devil (40%), bearded devil (20%), or bar-lgura (40%)
15 horned devil (20%), bearded devil (20%), bar-lgura (40%), or chasme (20%)
16 bearded devil (20%), bar-lgura (40%), chasme (20%), or barbed devil (20%)
17 bar-lgura (40%), chasme (20%), or barbed devil (40%)
18 bar-lgura (20%), chasme (20%), barbed devil (40%), or vrock (20%)
19 chasme (20%), barbed devil (40%), vrock (20%), or babau (20%)
20 barbed devil (40%), vrock (20%), or babau (40%)
21 barbed devil (20%), vrock (20%), babau (40%), or nalfeshnee (20%)
22 vrock (20%), babau (40%), nalfeshnee (20%), or marilith (20%)
23 babau (40%), nalfeshnee (20%), or marilith (40%)
24 babau (20%), nalfeshnee (20%), marilith (40%), or nabassu (20%)
25 nalfeshnee (20%), marilith (40%), nabassu (20%), or bone devil (20%)
26 marilith (40%), nabassu (20%), or bone devil (40%)
27 marilith (20%), nabassu (20%), bone devil (40%), or ice devil (20%)
28 nabassu (20%), bone devil (40%), ice devil (20%), or pit fiend (20%)
29 bone devil (40%), ice devil (20%), or pit fiend (40%)
30 bone devil (20%), ice devil (20%), or pit fiend (60%)

Note: random i gives an equal probability of: Dretch, Imp, Lemure, Quasit, rutterkin

Chaotic minions don't tend to be useful past the early game, where a black unicorn, quasit, or shadow wolf is an advantage in melee for weaker fighting roles. Most of the demons can be obtained through demon gating instead. They're available sooner this way; a pet marilith can be obtained by a doppelganger by level 7 using demon gating and #youpoly. It'll also be able to pick up and wield weapons. Most of the chaotic minions are not useful by the time you are high enough level to obtain them as a gift. The only advantage to having a minion is that it will not turn traitor, as almost all of the chaotic minions could potentially do (especially as most are inediate).


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

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.