Pit fiend

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The pit fiend, &, is a demon that appears in NetHack. Like most demons, it is normally only generated in Gehennom, but is also a valid form for polymorphing, usually from polymorph traps; thus, it may be seen in other branches of the dungeon. Pit fiends are also eligible for gating by other major demons.

Pit fiends generate YAFM when falling into pits, which they share with pit vipers.


The pit fiend has a naturally low AC and three attacks per turn; the third hit is a grabbing attack, which can be especially perilous if you encounter them far earlier in the game than normal due to monsters polymorphing. Elbereth can be useful to drive them off, and you can also teleport yourself, allowing you to escape or else prepare a means of fighting back (e.g. with a wand of cold or silver weapon).

In Gehennom where they normally occur, they are not as much of a threat, as most players at this point will have a silver weapon or two and/or a few methods to deal cold damage, on top of higher AC themselves and a much more reliable hit-rate.


How pitiful. Isn't that the pits?
A pit fiend fell into a pit within your line of sight. This message is also displayed if you do the same while polymorphed into a pit fiend.

Encyclopedia entry

Pit fiends are among the more powerful of devils, capable of
attacking twice with weapons as well as grabbing and crushing
the life out of those unwary enough to enter their

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