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A scorpion, s, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a small carnivorous and oviparous animal that has the highest difficulty among non-unique arachnid or centipede monsters, and like others in the monster class can hide under objects.

A scorpion has two claw attacks and a poisonous sting attack, and possesses poison resistance.

A scorpion corpse is poisonous to eat, but eating a scorpion corpse or tin has a 12 chance of conveying poison resistance.


Randomly generated scorpions are always created hostile. It is possible to wish for a "Scorpius egg", which will produce a normal scorpion egg.[1]

The scorpion is the second quest monster for Rangers, and makes up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Ranger quest. Several scorpions are generated on each floor of the quest branch at level creation: two are placed randomly within the grove of the home level, one is generated on the upper filler level, four are generated on the locate level, two each are generated on the lower filler level(s), and six are generated on the goal level, including one in each corner of the map. Scorpions also appear among the random s that are part of the second quest monster class for Rangers, and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated there.

Scorpions additionally appear among the random s that are part of the first quest monster class for Tourists and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Tourist quest.

One scorpion is generated on the Plane of Earth.

Scorpions generated at level creation are given a random item to hide under.[2]


Scorpions are quite fast at 15 speed, and while not much harder to hit than other monsters in their class, they can be a nasty surprise for the unprepared low-level character, especially if they lack poison resistance. As with other poisonous hiding monsters, projectiles and other ranged attacks are among the best methods to deal with a scorpion, and they can be kept away with Elbereth, though melee is viable if you have poison resistance. Characters with an extrinsic source of the property can eat a scorpion corpse to try and gain the extrinsic.


The scorpion first appears in Hack 1.0; a possible predecessor in the giant scorpion appears in Hack for PDP-11, based on Jay Fenlason's Hack. From NetHack 1.3d to NetHack 2.3e, the scorpion appears if the SPIDERS compile-time option is not defined, and is otherwise replaced by the giant spider. NetHack 3.0.0 includes both the giant spider and scorpion in its default bestiary.

In NetHack 3.4.3 and previous versions, a wish for a "Scorpius egg" produces an egg that will never actually hatch, since Scorpius is a unique monster. This is fixed in NetHack 3.6.0 via commit 029ca9f to produce a normal scorpion egg instead of forbidding it outright.[1]


Scorpions are predatory arachnids of the order Scorpiones, with eight legs, an easily-recognized pair of grasping pincers, and a narrow, segmented tail that is often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, with a stinger at its tip. Scorpions mainly live in deserts, but have adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions, and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. There are current over 2,500 described species, with 22 extant (living) families recognized to date.

Scorpions primarily prey on insects and other invertebrates, with some species hunting vertebrates as well. They use their pincers to restrain and kill prey and defend against their own predators along with their venomous sting. All known species give live birth, as opposed to the eggs laid by the scorpions of NetHack, and the female cares for the young as their exoskeletons harden, transporting them on her back. The vast majority of scorpion species do not seriously threaten humans, and healthy adults usually do not need medical treatment after a sting. About 25 species (fewer than one percent) have venom capable of killing a human, which happens most frequently in the parts of the world where access to medical treatment is unlikely.

Scorpions appear frquently in art, folklore, mythology, and commercial brands. Scorpius is the name of a constellation, and the corresponding astrological sign is Scorpio - a classical myth about Scorpius tells how the giant scorpion and its enemy Orion became constellations on opposite sides of the sky, which is the basis for the role of both monsters and the presence of several scorpions in the Ranger quest.



SLASH'EM adds the giant scorpion, a much tougher relative of the standard scorpion with stronger attacks. Scorpions do not grow up into giant scorpions.

Encyclopedia entry

A sub-species of the spider (_Scorpionidae_), the scorpion
distinguishes itself from them by having a lower body that
ends in a long, jointed tail tapering to a poisonous stinger.
They have eight legs and pincers.

[ Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal ]