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" web Web.png
Generates level 7+ and with giant spiders
Effect Prevents movement

A spider web is a type of non-magical trap that appears in NetHack. It is the only trap to use a double quotation mark glyph (") rather than a caret (^).


13 of giant spiders generated on level creation (or all of them, if you have the Amulet of Yendor) are placed on a web, and every web independently placed on level creation is generated with a giant spider atop it.[1][2]

You can spin webs with the #monster command if you are a spider. Spinning a web this way on a square with a pit, spiked pit, hole, trap door, or rolling boulder trap will instead remove the trap; spinning a web while being digested will cause the digesting monster to spit you out. All web-related messages will reflect whether things are happening to "your web" or "a spider web".

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.

Webs created manually in a special level or themed room do not necessarily generate spiders; the level designer can pass a special flag that suppresses this behavior. In particular, the "spider nest" themed room will not generate spiders above a certain depth.


When stepping into a web, you will be trapped in it for 0–12 turns, depending on your strength:

Min Strength Max Strength Min turns stuck Max turns stuck
0 3 6 11
4 5 6 9
6 8 4 7
9 11 4 5
12 14 2 3
15 17 1 2
18 18/49 1 1
18/50 25 0 0

If your current strength is high enough to escape in 0 turns (which includes polyself into any strong monster) then the web is destroyed.[3] If you are wielding Sting, you will always escape in 1 turn, leaving the web intact.[4]

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.

commit b6a3d4b adds various special cases that alter strength caps for specific strong monsters, which affects their ability to tear through webs:

  • Polymorphing into a strong orc now sets your strength to 18/50, matching the natural cap of a player orc; the exceptions are the Uruk-hai and orc-captain, which confer 18/** strength as before, and the orc shaman, which no longer has the M2_STRONG flag. The orc mummy is given the M2_STRONG flag.
  • Polymorphing into a strong elf sets your strength to 18, matching the natural cap of a player elf. 'Plain' elves no longer have the M2_STRONG flag.
  • Polymorphing into a non-undead giant sets your strength to 19; polymorphing into an undead giant (i.e. zombie or mummy) sets it to 18/** as with other strong monsters.

On monsters

A monster that walks into a web and does not destroy it will end up trapped for several turns. Acidic monsters will dissolve webs they step into, and fiery monsters (e.g. fire elementals, flaming spheres, salamanders) will burn them away.[5] Spiders, amoeboid monsters, and whirly monsters may move into webs without becoming stuck.[6]

Giant humanoids, titanotheres, balucitheria, purple worms, jabberwocks, iron golems, balrogs, krakens, and mastodons will tear through webs on the same turn they walk into them, destroying the web.[7] Orion, the Norn, Lord Surtur and the Cyclops can also tear through webs.


While it is possible to untrap a web or remove a monster from a web it is stuck in, failing to do so risks trapping you and spreading the web unless you are polymorphed into a spider or other 'safe' monster form.[8][9] Webs can be burnt away using a wand of fire, and walking into one with a strength greater than 18/50 will automatically destroy it.

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

"Elaborate on manual untrapping."


Webs were added in NetHack 1.3d.

In NetHack 3.6.0 and earlier versions, including some variants based on those versions, vortices and unsolid monsters avoided webs despite being able to move through them without becoming stuck; this was fixed in NetHack 3.6.1 via commit d01e45a, which also enables fire vortices to burn through webs.


You take a walk on your web.
You are a spider, and walked on a web made by you without being stuck.
There is a spider web here.
As above, but you did not make the web.
You stumble into <a/your> spider web!
You got stuck in a web. If you made the web, it's described as "your" web.
You float into <a/your> spider web!
As above, but you were levitating.
You lead <steed> into <a/your> spider web!
You were riding and your steed got stuck to a web.
You tear through <a/your> web!
Your strength was high enough to escape the web in 0 turns, the web was destroyed.
You hear the roaring of a confused bear!
A bugbear or owlbear got stuck in a web outside your sight.
<monster> is caught in <a/your> spider web.
A monster got stuck in a web.
<monster> tears through <a/your> spider web!
A monster escaped a web in 0 turns, the web was destroyed.
<monster> avoids <a/your> spider web!
A monster avoided getting stuck.
Sting cuts through the web!
You were wielding Sting and escaped without destroying the web.
You float up slightly, but you are still stuck in the web.
You started levitating while trapped in a web.
The webbing sticks to you. You're caught too!
You failed to untrap the web, and got stuck.
You succeed in removing <a/your> web.
You removed a web.[10]

Encyclopedia entry

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

[ Marmion, by Sir Walter Scott ]