Player monsters are not randomly generated, and are thus rarely seen. Some appear in the various quest branches, and a number of unusually tough and well-equipped hostile player monsters await the player on the Astral Plane. Using undead turning on a player corpse (from bones levels or the Valley of the Dead) or stone to flesh on a player statue (from bones or Medusa's Island) revives the corpse/statue as a player monster. Player monsters matching the player's role may also be summoned by reading a cursed scroll of genocide while confused.
The various player monsters are:
- @ archeologist
- @ barbarian
- @ caveman
- @ cavewoman
- @ elf
- @ healer
- @ knight
- @ monk
- @ priest
- @ priestess
- @ ranger
- @ rogue
- @ samurai
- @ tourist
- @ valkyrie
- @ wizard
Normally generated (i.e. not revived or reverse-genocided) player monster will be given a weapon, 1d3 random offensive items, 1d3 random defensive items and 1d3 random miscellaneous item. By default, the weapon will be a either a long sword or a random melee weapon (chosen according the standard random object generation odds) with equal probability. However, the various types of player monsters may, with varying odds, have the weapon replaced with one appropriate to their role. The overall weapon choice odds of different player monsters are:
- Archeologist: bullwhip (50%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Barbarian: two-handed sword (25%), battle axe (25%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Caveman / cavewoman: mace (75%), club (12.5%), long sword (6.25%) or random melee weapon (6.25%)
- Healer: quarterstaff (75%), unicorn horn (6.25%), scalpel (6.25%), long sword (6.25%) or random melee weapon (6.25%)
- Knight: long sword (87.5%) or random melee weapon (12.5%)
- Monk: no melee weapon; 33% chance of shuriken
- Priest / priestess: mace (50%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Ranger: elven dagger (50%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Rogue: short sword (25%), orcish dagger (25%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Samurai: katana (50%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Tourist: long sword (50%) or random melee weapon (50%)
- Valkyrie: war hammer (50%), long sword (25%) or random melee weapon (25%)
- Wizard: quarterstaff (37.5%), athame (37.5%), long sword (12.5%) or random melee weapon (12.5%)
Player monsters on the Astral Plane will have a 50% chance of having their weapon converted to an artifact if possible (i.e. unless all artifacts of that type have already been created). Wizards who receive Magicbane this way will have its enchantment reduced to between +1 and +4 (since Magicbane is supposed to be less effective if overenchanted).
Player monsters on the Astral Plane will also carry a Cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor, 1d10 random objects, 1d1000 gold pieces, 1d3 (66.7%) or 1d16 (33.3%) random valuable gems and a set of armor (including dragon scale mail) representing an ascension kit. They may also carry a luckstone with 6.7% or a loadstone with 3.3% probability (but never both).
On the Astral Plane, player monsters are a source of YASD, as they may be generated with Vorpal Blade, which can cause instadeath by beheading you. Be very wary of engaging one in melee until you are certain what it is wielding.
Player monsters cannot be tamed, but can be made peaceful.
Extinctionists will have a hard time finding a complete set. The best possibilities are:
- Perseus' statue is a knight,
- The quest has plenty of your own role,
- Corpses in the Valley of the Dead,
- Stoning and unstoning a doppelganger to make its morph stick,
- Wishing for statues.
- @ ice mage (player monster)
- @ flame mage (player monster)
- @ necromancer (player monster)
- @ undead slayer (player monster)
- @ yeoman (player monster)
Player monsters can be encountered in The Guild of Disgruntled Adventurers if generated.
In Slash'EM Extended, player monsters can be randomly generated anywhere in the dungeon. Most of the time they are hostile; on rare occasions the player may encounter a peaceful one. Also, if a player leaves a bones file on death, their "ghost" will often be a player monster that retains quite some of the stats of the deceased player but is hostile to whoever encounters the bones pile.
Starting from version v68, there are also undead player monsters; these follow slightly different generation routines. Namely, their levels aren't randomized, their base level is 20, and on generation they receive a random name (taken from a list of preset names). On graveyards they may be named after deceased player characters taken from the high-score list, in which case they'll always be of the corresponding class; the same is true for ones created by the "summon ghost" monster spell. Also, undead player monsters are mindless, unbreathing, resistant to cold/sleep/poison, never visible to infravision, and usually equipped with lots of items. Bones files left by a character that was at least XL10 has a 16% chance of creating an undead player monster as a "ghost".
- src/do.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1523
- mk_mplayer in mplayer.c
- Monsters' Equipment Spoiler by Boudewijn Waijers, Topi Linkala and Philip Potter