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A rothe, q, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. Rothes are the first quadrupeds that you will encounter in the dungeon, and are usually the first monster to appear in packs.

A rothe is an omnivorous animal that possesses a claw attack and two bite attacks, with the second bite being stronger.


Rothes are always generated hostile, and often appear in small groups.


Rothes are among the earliest threats for starting characters, as they can hit quite hard and appear in groups, allowing them to overwhelm careless or under-prepared players. A new player encountering them will quickly have to learn how to refine their movement tactics - fortunately, rothes are somewhat slow and respect Elbereth; they also lack any MR score, making them far more susceptible to wands and spells.

Once you have the means to kill them reliably, rothe corpses provide decent sources of food for you and any carnivorous pets, and can also serve as sacrifices for your god.


The rothe first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


The rothé is a herd animal that originates from Dungeons & Dragons, where it debuts in the Fiend Folio. A rothé is an animal that resembles a musk ox or a woolly ox/bull, and has a few notable subspecies, including the deep rothé and ghost rothé - the rothe of NetHack is partially based on the deep rothe. Deep rothé are smaller than surface rothé, standing only 4 feet tall at the shoulder, with shaggy brown coats that darken to black near the legs and belly. Their hooves and horns are dark green or black, and their eyes are yellow or pinkish.

Deep rothé dwell primarily in the Underdark, and like other rothé they are usually found in herds of 11-20. They have a reputation for being stubborn, and are skittish and prone to stampeding; deep rothé are also known to magically create dancing lights to communicate with other members of their herd. A deep rothé's diet consists of nearly anything that grew in the Underdark, especially fungi and lichen, and their favored food is cave moss; their habitat and diet granted immunity to the harmful effects of mold and fungus. Deep rothé fight using their teeth and horns, and are resistant to enchantments.

Encyclopedia entry

The rothe (pronounced roth-AY) is a musk ox-like creature with
an aversion to light. It prefers to live underground near
lichen and moss.