Racial monster

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Racial monsters refers to a feature in some variants of NetHack that allows certain monsters to generate as various races. The feature first appears in GruntHack, and also appears in SporkHack and EvilHack.

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Expand on Spork if at all possible, and see about other variants that apply."


In GruntHack, the following monsters are eligible to be created as racial monsters:

In addition to sharing the intrinsics of their respective base monsters, the various races yield an adjustment to the monster's level and difficulty for the purposes of monster generation. These adjustments are:

Race Adjustment
Giant +3
Ettin +2
Ogre +1
Human 0
Dwarf -1
Gnome -2
Kobold -3


In SporkHack, shopkeepers are the sole monsters that can generate with different races.


EvilHack's implementation of racial monsters uses a similar system to GruntHack, though it is applied to far fewer monsters:

  • Shopkeepers
  • Aligned priests and high priests
  • Watchmen
  • Members of the Yendorian army
  • Player monsters

Monster leaders, monster rulers and "racial" undead (i.e. zombies and mummies) all remain as distinct monsters similar to vanilla NetHack.

Racial equipment

Some items are changed and several new items are added in order to further flesh out racial monsters alongside many of the other new monsters added:

  • For dwarves, iron shoes are now dwarvish boots, and many dwarves can also generate with a dwarvish bearded axe, a type of axe with damage comparable to a long sword and the ability to disarm monsters and remove their weapons or shields, similar to bullwhips. Dwarven armor can be iron, steel, mithril, silver, or even gold or platinum; dwarvish weapons can be iron, steel, mithril or gemstone.
  • Elves can generate with elven long swords, which has a base material of wood like other elven weapons rather than the iron of regular long swords. The elven long sword is lighter and has damage closer to that of the katana, but its base material is vulnerable to erosion from burning and rotting. Armor and weapons of elven make have a 60% to retain their base material (e.g. metal for elven chain mail, wood for elven daggers and short swords), and can otherwise be made of wood, copper, mithril, silver or gold. Mithril armor grants MC3 for elves compared with MC2 for other races.
  • Orcs are given orcish scimitars in places of standard scimitars, and can also generate with orcish long swords in lieu of normal long swords. They can also generate wearing orcish boots, which are iron and slightly inferior to dwarvish boots. Armor and weapons of orcish make can be made of iron, bone and stone. Armor made of bone and stone grants MC3 when worn by orcs.