Priest (player monster)

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A priest or priestess is a player monster corresponding to the priest role. Like other player monsters, priests and priestesses are never randomly generated and are thus rarely seen. No priests or priestesses are normally found outside the Astral Plane, where they may appears among the hostile player monsters generated there[1].

Reading a cursed scroll of genocide as a priest or priestess while confused will summon a number of priests or priestesses, although they won't have their usual equipment. Using undead turning on the corpse or stone to flesh on the statue of a dead priest or priestess left on a bones level will revive the corpse or statue as a player monster. Priest and priestess corpses are not found in the Valley of the Dead[2], except possibly in the graveyards, and a statue of a priest or priestess may appear on Medusa's Island[3].

Most priests or priestesses encountered in the main dungeon will turn out to be doppelgangers, which may temporarily assume the form of a priest or priestess.


A priest or priestess on the Astral Plane will carry either a mace (50%), a long sword (25%) or a randomly chosen melee weapon (25%). The weapon's enchantment will be random between +4 and +8, and it will be either erodeproof or greased (but not both) with 33.3% probability each. There is a 50% chance that the weapon will be made into an artifact of the same type, if possible.

Like other player monsters on the Astral Plane, priests and priestesses will also be equipped with 1d3 random offensive items, 1d3 random defensive items and 1d3 random miscellaneous items, a randomly generated ascension kit containing various pieces of armor as well as a cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor, some gold and other items. In the ascension kit, the random cloak will be changed to a robe (3/4 chance), the random headgear will be changed to a helm of brilliance (3/8 chance) or to a helm of telepathy (3/8 chance), a shield will be included only 7/16 of the time (for most classes it is 7/8), and dragon scale mail will be replaced by other body armor half the time.


  1. create_mplayers in mplayer.c
  2. dat/gehennom.des in NetHack 3.6.0, line 76
  3. src/sp_lev.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 1896: the code is very cryptic but fortunately has comments
  4. mk_mplayer in mplayer.c
  5. Monsters' Equipment Spoiler by Boudewijn Waijers, Topi Linkala and Philip Potter