Vampire bat

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A vampire bat, B, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is an omnivorous flying animal that is the strongest type of bat, and possesses enhanced regeneration. Like other bats, the vampire bat wanders while moving, with a 13 chance of moving in a random direction during each of its turns.[1]

All vampires are capable of shifting into bat form, and will resurrect into their base form if killed; Vlad the Impaler will not shift to bat form while he has the Candelabrum of Invocation.[2]

A vampire bat has two bite attacks, with the second being poisonous, and possesses poison resistance and sleep resistance.

A vampire bat corpse is poisonous to eat, and eating a vampire bat corpse or tin does not stun the hero as with other species of bat.

A character polymorphed into a vampire bat is intrinsically stunned for the duration of the polyself.[3] A player polymorphed into any form of vampire will turn into a vampire bat if they are polymorphed again or use the #monster extended command, and can decline to do so if they have polymorph control - as vampire bats lack a special ability, players turned into bats this way cannot use the command to turn back at will.

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.

Per commit a27ca52b, a character polymorphed into a vampire that shifts into bat or fog cloud form can use #monster in those forms to shapeshift again.


Randomly-generated vampire bats are always hostile. Three vampire bats are generated in the Valley of the Dead at level creation (outside of bones).

Vampire bats are the first quest monster for Wizards, and make up 96175 of monsters randomly generated on the Wizard quest. Several vampire bats are also generated on floors below the home level of the quest branch at level creation: four are generated on the upper filler level, seven are generated on the locate level, two are generated on the lower filler level(s), and eight are generated on the goal level. Vampire bats also appear among the random B that are part of the first quest monster class for the Wizard quest and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated there.

Vampire bats generated in Gehennom have slightly higher speed than normal, possibly a play on the phrase "like a bat [on its way] out of hell".[4]


Vampire bats are generally weak, but their 20 speed and erratic movement make them hard to hit and deal with, and their bites can severely damage or even kill an early character lacking poison resistance.

Vampires disguised as vampire bats can be revealed by using any means of probing (e.g. a wand of probing or a stethoscope), or else attacking them with a silver weapon - though this form is weak and can be easily killed, the vampire will then resurrect in their base form with full HP. Careful tracking of their health can be exploited to avoid having to kill a vampire "twice": weaken them in bat form, allow them to return to base form of their own accord, then finish them off quickly. The vampire bat form is a nuisance for players looking to keep pet vampires, since a ring of protection from shape changers is required to prevent them from shifting into bats and dropping any armor and weapons.

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.

Poison no longer causes instadeath, but will inflict significant damage and lower attributes; unicorn horns cannot restore lost attributes.

Vampires can be fed corpses while in the form of bats, allowing them to gain intrinsics.


The vampire bat first appears in Hack 1.21, which is based on Jay Fenlason's Hack, and uses the b glyph. It makes its vanilla NetHack debut in NetHack 3.0.0, under its current glpyh.

The vampire's ability to transform into a vampire bat is introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.


Vampire bats are leaf-nosed bats that are members of the subfamily Desmodontinae, and are primarily found in Central and South America. They are named for the fact that a primary food source is the blood of other animals, a dietary trait called hematophagy. Three extant bat species feed solely on blood: the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi).



In SLASH'EM, vampire bats are classified as vampiric monsters: they qualify as monsters of the same race for vampire characters, and are weak to silver weapons.

Vampire bats appear among the random B that are part of the first quest monster class for Necromancers and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Necromancer quest.


In UnNetHack, a potion of vampire blood quaffed by non-vampire character will polymorph them depending on beatitude: a cursed potion will turn them into a vampire bat. Neutral characters incur a −3 alignment penalty, while lawful ones and Monks take a −15 alignment penalty and anger their god. The polymorph is "semi-permanent" and will last until the character's HP is reduced to 0.


In EvilHack, tame vampires will not shapeshift into bats or other forms - this makes them much more useful as pets, but makes it difficult to pass on intrinsics.

Encyclopedia entry

A bat, flitting in the darkness outside, took the wrong turn as it made its nightly rounds and came in through the window which had been left healthfully open. It then proceeded to circle the room in the aimless fat-headed fashion habitual with bats, who are notoriously among the less intellectually gifted of God's creatures. Show me a bat, says the old proverb, and I will show you something that ought to be in some kind of a home.

[ A Pelican at Blandings, by P. G. Wodehouse ]