Biodiversity patch

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Biodiversity patch
Author Nicholas Webb
Download link
NetHack PatchDB 91

The biodiversity patch is a very large patch that adds several new monsters and contains other changes by Nicholas Webb. The current version is 1.2a for NetHack 3.4.3. For more information, visit the biodiversity patch's home page.

The biodiversity patch also incorporates three patches from other authors, including the Heck² patch, the photography patch and a coin-flipping patch.

T. J. Brumfield was previously working on a port of this patch to SLASH'EM; see the slashem-devel archive for October 2007.


New monsters

The biodiversity patch slightly expands several monster classes that have very few members, or only a single member, in vanilla.

Name Symbol Origin Notes
sphinx f Egyptian/Greek mythology Challenges the player with riddles
waterspout gargoyle g Has a spit attack that can wet items
brownie l Celtic folklore Can improve shoes, or tamper with the ones the player is wearing
pooka l Celtic folklore Charms monsters (including your pets)
satyr n Greek mythology Steals items and charms monsters (including your pets)
labyrinth trapper t Hides in mazes
gold bug x Edgar Allan Poe (loosely) Steals (and eats) gold pieces and other golden items
will o' wisp y Widespread folklore Appears in swamps; its explosion attack causes confusion
bannik z Slavic folklore Attacks with scalding water
leshy z Slavic folklore Confusing gaze
bandersnatch J Lewis Carroll Digesting attack
jubjub bird J Lewis Carroll Intelligence draining gaze
clockwork automaton Q Six melee attacks
quark Q Particle physics Uses one of six random "flavor" attacks
disintegrator RDisintegrator.png This thread Passive disintegration attack
hunger hulk U Pun on umber hulk Makes its victims hungry
umbral hulk U Pun on umber hulk Blinds victims with its gaze
nosferatu V Uncertain origin Paralyzes its victims with fear
blemmye X Medieval folklore Legendary humanoid with its face on its torso, and no head
otyugh X Dungeons & Dragons Enjoys rotten food
poltergeist Folklore Throws projectiles
alligator snapping turtle

Changes to existing monsters

New names:

New appearances:

  • Tigers are now colored orange (f) instead of yellow (f), to distinguish them from the sphinx.

Other changes


  • Many quest home levels are now considered to be "outdoors", with "sky" overhead instead of a "ceiling". On these levels dart traps will be created instead of falling rock traps.
  • The Priest quest branch may have a different home level design, depending on which pantheon the player was assigned at the beginning of the game.
  • Trees which produce specific types of fruit comestibles have been added. There are also oak trees which produce acorns, and elven dogwoods (used to make elven wooden weapons).




UnNetHack and some other variants incorporate part of this patch, most notably the disintegrator, a much more dangerous cousin of the rust monster and the disenchanter. Some of the new names for generic dragons are also used in UnNetHack, but their breath types and resistances are randomized at the beginning of the game.

dNetHack includes clockwork automata, both as a monster and as a playable race. Most of the monsters also appear in some form in SlashTHEM.

See also