Mountain centaur

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A mountain centaur, C, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. The mountain centaur is the strongest of the centaur monster class.

A mountain centaur has a weapon attack and two kick attacks.

If chatting to a peaceful or tame mountain centaur, they will "discuss hunting".


Randomly generated mountain centaurs may be peaceful towards chaotic characters.

Mountain centaurs may appear among the hostile monsters that generate in throne rooms, as well the monsters randomly generated by looting a throne while confused and carrying gold (provided there is no chest on the level).[1]

Two statues of mountain centaurs are featured on the Oracle level.

Mountain centaurs appear among the random C that are part of the first quest monster class for Rangers and make up 24175 of the monsters that are randomly generated on the Ranger quest. Several mountain centaurs are also generated on several floors of the quest branch below the home level at level creation: two are generated on the upper filler level, four each are generated on the lower filler level(s), and eight each are generated on the locate and goal levels. Mountain centaurs also appear among the random C that are part of the second quest monster class for Tourists and make up 6175 of the monsters that are randomly generated on the Tourist quest.

Mountain centaurs have a 12 chance of being generated with a crossbow and 3–14 bolts.[2]


Mountain centaurs are the fastest among centaurs at 20 speed, possess the best base AC of them and can kick twice; their likelihood of generating with a ranged weapon or a dangerous wand makes them all the more troublesome. Like other centaurs, closing in to mitigate a ranged assault opens a character up to their melee attacks instead, which is especially rough for characters with low HP and/or AC.

Characters with viable ranged attacks should make use of them in return, even if only to make melee-range combat much easier for proficient roles: magical options such as wands or spells are especially effective, since mountain centaurs have a low MR score of 10, and a pet can also help weaken the centaur enough for the character to finish them off. Centaur corpses are quite filling for meat-eating pets and characters alike.

As pets

Tame mountain centaurs are the best centaurs to keep as pets and steeds, as they are one of the few mounts that can equip weapons, wear limited armor and use unicorn horns to stave off status problems, though they require wraith corpses and potions of gain level to compensate for their normally-low HP caps. A potion of speed or wand of speed monster will boost the centaur's speed to a stellar 26, and they can gain reflection from amulets and shields; they can be given an unwanted chaotic or unaligned artifact weapon to up their damage potential as well. Mountain centaurs are much easier to keep fed, allowing non-Knights to offset the tameness decrease from each riding attempt.

Unfortunately, mountain centaurs can only obtain magic resistance from Magicbane (which is only chaotic if a chaotic Wizard receives it as a sacrifice gift), and otherwise can only be protected by the character's own magic resistance if they are led over a polymorph trap. Their armor limitations also restrict them to wearing cornuthaums for MC, and on top of the usual cautions for steed-riding characters, they must be kept away from shapeshifter corpses if at all possible.

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.

Pets will no longer eat corpses that make them polymorph, unless they are starving or on the verge of becoming untame. Per commit 8d2407f8, they can also gain intrinsics from eating other corpses as well. Large humanoids such as giants and other similar monsters can now wear mummy wrappings, which also grant MC1; the amulet of guarding also boosts MC by 2, though a different amulet may be preferred for a centaur steed.

Riding while wearing an amulet of flying will cause the steed to fly as well—riding a mountain centaur with an amulet or shield of reflection paired with an artifact weapon can make them a somewhat viable competitor to the ki-rin. However, be sure to keep a wand of undead turning handy in case they die - the amulet of life saving may be ideal for the mountain centaur's amulet slot.


The mountain centaur first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


A centaur (Ancient Greek κένταυρος romanized "kéntauros", Latin centaurus), is a creature from Greek mythology with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse that was said to live in the mountains of Thessaly. In one version of the myth, the centaurs were named after Centaurus, and were relatives of the legendary tribe of the Lapiths through his brother Lapithes. They are also occasionally referred to as "hippocentaurs" or as "Ixionidae" (Ancient Greek Ἰξιονίδαι romanized Ixionídai, lit. "sons of Ixion"). Female centaurs are called "centaurides", and occur more often in later antiquity.

Centaurs are thought of in many Greek myths as being as wild as untamed horses, and were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in Thessaly, the Foloi oak forest in Elis, and the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia. The most common theory for the centaur's origin states that they are the result of a non-riding culture (such as the Minoan and Aegeans) reacting to nomads mounted on horses, who would appear as half-man and half-animal to the uninitiated; the Aztecs are said to have had a similar misapprehension about Spanish cavalrymen. The most well known Greek centaurs are Pholus and Chiron, who are notably much more civilized than most centaurs.

Centaurs feature in Roman mythology and were familiar figures in medieval art, bestiaries and heraldry; the work of Georges Dumézil argues for tracing centaurs back to the Indian gandharva, and centaur-like beings also appear in Indian and Russian folklore. The centaur eventually became a staple of modern fantasy literature and other similar media, naturally including Dungeons & Dragons. The centaur of Dungeons & Dragons is part of the original 1974 set, and also appears in the 1st Edition Monster Manual. The "sylvan" centaur is the most common, and lives in temperate forests either alone or in small tribes, while the "nomadic" centaur was more likely to be encountered in plains and steppes, where they roamed in clans. The plains centaurs of NetHack may be based on the latter type.

Centaurs are generally strong and proud, with nomadic centaurs being more aloof and introverted - they typically strive to find peace and balance with nature, but could act with violence when the need arose. Centaurs must eat a lot to fuel their large bodies and are known to overindulge, especially with wine and ale: a drunken centaur was much more prone to aggressive and violent behavior. Centaurs that feel a sense of wanderlust make excellent companions and occasionally even offer a ride to allies, but treat the suggestion of being used as a pack animal with derision. Sylvan centaurs are likelier to be friendly towards outsiders: as fellow forest-dwewllers, they have good relations with elves, tolerate gnomes and halflings, and generally despise humans and dwarves, though they are not actively hostile to the latter two. Conversely, nomadic centaurs much prefer the company of their own kind. Sylvan centaurs typically fight using weapons and their front hooves, while nomadic centaurs favor distance attacks and very rarely use their hooves (if ever).



In EvilHack, mountain centaurs and other centaurs are capable of wearing all armor except boots.


In Hack'EM, mountain centaurs and other centaurs can wear all armor except boots as in EvilHack.

Encyclopedia entry

Of all the monsters put together by the Greek imagination
the Centaurs (Kentauroi) constituted a class in themselves.
Despite a strong streak of sensuality, in their make-up,
their normal behaviour was moral, and they took a kindly
thought of man's welfare. The attempted outrage of Nessos on
Deianeira, and that of the whole tribe of Centaurs on the
Lapith women, are more than offset by the hospitality of
Pholos and by the wisdom of Cheiron, physician, prophet,
lyrist, and the instructor of Achilles. Further, the
Centaurs were peculiar in that their nature, which united the
body of a horse with the trunk and head of a man, involved
an unthinkable duplication of vital organs and important
members. So grotesque a combination seems almost un-Greek.
These strange creatures were said to live in the caves and
clefts of the mountains, myths associating them especially
with the hills of Thessaly and the range of Erymanthos.

[ Mythology of all races, Vol. 1, pp. 270-271 ]