A purple worm, w, is a type of monster in that appears in NetHack. It is a slithy, carnivorous and oviparous animal that has a bite attack, as well as an engulfing attack that can potentially digest you and will also instantly kill monsters that are large in size or smaller.
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.Purple worms that engulf monsters can gain intrinsics as they would from eating that monster's corpse. Baby purple worms can also sense shriekers.
Purple worms are always generated as hostile.
In addition to random generation, a shrieker's shrieking will will summon a purple worm 1⁄13 of the time, regardless of depth. A baby purple worm can grow up into a purple worm. Purple worms can also be generated by the summon nasties monster spell.
The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.Baby purple worms appear in place of adult purple worms when the latter would be generated out of depth by a shriekers.
Purple worms are both fearsome enemies and popular pets due to their digestion attack. Though they are slow at 9 speed, hostile purple worms are usually the strongest and fastest monsters with digestion attacks that you will encounter, requiring you to dispatch them quickly. If you see a purple worm approaching, you can use your best ranged attacks to kill or weaken it before it can engulf you. A purple worm's MR score of 20 is not too impressive, but can be enough to make some spell-based approaches less than completely reliable.
One of the most common means of escaping the stomach of a purple worm is to zap a wand of digging: this reduces its health to 1 and forces you out, allowing you to kill it easily. A footrice corpse or egg can also turn the purple worm to stone, and will free you if done while being digested. Wearing a ring of slow digestion will prevent a purple worm from engulfing you in the first place. Conflict can be used to turn the worm against other hostile monsters and get rid of them instantly, including higher-level monsters that can generate purple worms by casting summon nasties.
Purple worms and pets
As the purple worm's digestion attack can instakill monsters, avoid leaving pets around purple worms if at all possible unless they are too large in size to be digested. Even Archons and other common powerful pet choices can be killed easily if a purple worm lands a digestion attack on them. While this does not apply to a steed you are currently riding, a purple worm that engulfs you while riding will force you to dismount, leaving your pet vulnerable if you are spit out quickly (usually due to slow digestion).
Purple worms as pets
Purple worms' digestion attacks also make them powerful pets in their own right, for the same reasons that make them threats to your other pets. A purple worm can be raised to a monster level beyond its normal maximum by engulfing wraiths or eating wraith corpses, allowing them to target and engulf monsters they would ordinarily not attack; a similar effect can be produced using a source of conflict, though this comes with the risk of being eaten by the worm yourself.
Unfortunately, they are extremely vulnerable to shapeshifters such as chameleons and doppelgangers: engulfing them alive or eating their corpse will polymorph the worm, unless you are wearing a ring of protection from shape changers.
Purple worms are also susceptible to green slimes, who can turn them into more green slimes by touching them, or else by being engulfed and digested. In addition, purple worms will often have some trouble dealing with monsters too big to engulf, such as giants, ettins and their undead forms.
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.
As of commit 1a2d844, digestion will not affect incorporeal monsters such as wraiths.Pets will no longer eat shapeshifter corpses unless they are starving or on the verge of untaming.
Upon reaching the Astral Plane, some players reverse genocide purple worms, then tame them or activate a source of conflict, and finally break a wand of teleportation to warp them around the Plane in order to thin the hordes standing between them and the high altars - this is known informally as "purple rain".
Polymorphing yourself into a purple worm allows you to dispatch elusive and powerful enemies such as the dreaded arch-lich in a single turn, so long as you are not wearing a ring of slow digestion. However, a lack of limbs can impede prolonged progress in this state, and you must take special care not to swallow deadly prey such as cockatrices. Engulf a wraith while polymorphed does not increase your experience level as with pets.
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.The hero may get the normal secondary effects from eating a corpse, including intrinsics and/or level gain from wraith corpses, from swallowing a foe in a purple worm polyform.
A gargantuan version of the harmless rain-worm, the purple worm poses a huge threat to the ordinary adventurer. It is known to swallow whole and digest its victims within only a few minutes. These worms are always on guard, sensitive to the most minute vibrations in the earth, but may also be awakened by a remote shriek.