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A wolf, d, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a medium-sized carnivorous canine that can be seen via infravision and is a bit stronger than a dingo.

The stronger vampires, i.e. vampire lords and Vlad the Impaler, are shapeshifters that can disguise themselves as wolves when out of your character's line of sight, though Vlad will not do so if he is carrying the Candelabrum of Invocation.[1]

A wolf has a single bite attack.


Randomly generated wolves are always created hostile, and may appear in small groups.

Werewolves can summon hostile wolves by calling for help, with a 45 chance of generating a hostile wolf on each adjacent square[2] - a character that gets lycanthropy from a werewolf will take on the form of a wolf, and can similarly summon tame wolves using the #monster extended command by expending 10 power.

The wolf is the first quest monster for Samurai, and makes up 96175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Samurai quest. Several wolves are generated on multiple floors of the quest branch at level creation: three are placed randomly on the home level, five are placed randomly on the upper filler level, nine are randomly generated on the locate level, and four each are randomly generated on the lower filler level(s) and goal level. Wolves also appear among the random d that are part of the first quest monster class for the Samurai quest, and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated there.


Despite being able to move at the same base speed as an unhasted character, a lone wolf is not too troublesome for a decently-kitted character particularly due to its mediocre 4 AC - however, in packs they can easily overwhelm careless, burdened and/or under-prepared characters with their bites. Werewolves can also make it easy to be surrounded by wolves at inopportune times.

As with jackals and coyotes, try to pull wolf packs into a hallway to melee or use magic against, use any area-of-effect attacks you have if it is reasonable to do so, and prioritize werewolves for elimination before they bring down several packs of wolves or worse (i.e. wargs and winter wolves) on you. Wolf corpses give a decent amount of nutrition for non-vegetarian characters and pets alike.

Finding a method to get Vlad the Impaler into wolf form is vital for those looking to attempt taming him.


The wolf first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.

The ability of stronger vampires to shift into wolven form was added in NetHack 3.6.0.


The wolf (Canis lupus, pl. wolves), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large carnivorous canine native to Eurasia and North America. More than thirty subspecies of Canis lupus have been recognized, including the dog and dingo, though the popular understanding of gray wolves only comprises naturally-occurring wild subspecies. The wolf is the largest extant member of the family Canidae, and is distinguished from other species by its less pointed ears and muzzle, shorter torso and a longer tail - at the same time, it is still related closely enough to Canis species like the coyote and the golden jackal to produce fertile hybrids with them.

The wolf's fur is usually mottled white, brown, gray, and black, although subspecies in the Arctic region may be nearly all white. Wolves are most specialized for cooperative game hunting due to physical adaptations that enable tackling large prey, as well as their more social nature and highly advanced expressive behavior, including individual or group howling. Wolves travel in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair accompanied by their offspring - such offspring may leave to form their own packs on the onset of sexual maturity, and in response to competition for food within the pack. Wolves are also territorial, and fights over territory are among the principal causes of mortality. The wolf mainly feeds on large wild hoofed mammals as well as smaller animals, livestock, and carrion, and single wolves or mated pairs typically have higher success rates in hunting than large packs.

Wolves have a long history of interactions with humans, being despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of their attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although a fear of wolves exists in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to rabies symptoms: wolves live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans themselves because of their experiences with hunters, farmers, ranchers, and shepherds. The wolf is a common motif in the mythologies, cosmologies and stories of peoples worldwide, with their roles ranging from cunning and dangerous tricksters to the point of shapeshifting (which ties to the related concept of people turning into wolves), to bestial and cruel savages, with the loyal and tightly knit family portrayal of wolves not attaining popularity until the publishing of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

In China, the wolf was traditionally associated with greed and cruelty and wolf epithets were used to describe negative behaviors such as cruelty ("wolf's heart"), mistrust ("wolf's look") and lechery ("wolf-sex"); conversely, in Chinese astronomy the wolf represents Sirius, who guards the heavenly gate. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, gods of protection ride wolves as steeds. In Vedic Hinduism, the wolf is a symbol of the night and the daytime quail must escape from its jaws; in Tantric Buddhism, wolves are depicted as inhabitants of graveyards and destroyers of corpses.

The Ancient Greeks associated wolves with Apollo, the god of light and order, while the Ancient Romans connected the wolf with their god of war and agriculture Mars, and believed their city's founders Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. Norse mythology includes the feared giant wolf Fenrir, and Geri and Freki are wolves that serve as Odin's faithful pets. Aesop featured wolves in several of his fables, playing on the concerns of Ancient Greece's settled, sheep-herding world: His most famous is the fable of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", which warns against the dangers of knowingly raising false alarms; some of his other fables concentrate on maintaining the trust between shepherds and guard dogs in their vigilance against wolves. Though the wolves of his fables served as a form of warning, they added to the wolf's image as a deceitful and dangerous animal.

The Pawnee creation myth states that the wolf was the first animal brought to Earth, and when humans killed it, they were punished with death, destruction and the loss of immortality. Sirius is the "wolf star" for the Pawnee, whose disappearance and reappearance signified the wolf moving to and from the spirit world - both Pawnee and Blackfoot peoples call the Milky Way the "wolf trail". The Bible uses an image of a wolf lying with a lamb in a utopian vision of the future prophesized in the Old Testament - in the New Testament, Jesus is said to have used wolves as illustrations of the dangers his followers, the sheep to whom he plays shepherd, would face should they follow him.



In SLASH'EM, wolves do not randomly generate in Gehennom.

The lycanthrope is a playable race that is essentially a human werewolf, and has a similar ability to switch between forms and summon other wolves. Unlike other werecreatures, player lycanthropes can also throw projectiles such as daggers in wolf form, and the form will have hit dice equal to their current level.

Wolves appear among the random d that are part of the second quest monster class for Yeomen and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Yeoman quest. Some wolves are also generated on multiple floors of the quest branch at level creation: two are places in specific locations on the home level, and one each is generated on the filler levels and goal level.


In dNetHack, several wolf zombies are scattered across the ground floor of the Windowless Tower, occupying the forest area leading up to the Tower itself.


In older versions of SpliceHack, it is possible to use the defunct cooking feature to turn a winter wolf corpse into a regular wolf corpse.


In EvilHack, goblin outriders are always generated riding atop wolves.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, three wolves are generated inside the entrance hall of the thieves' dwelling within the Town branch.

The Lunatic role is similar to the lycanthrope starting race from SLASH'EM, including the ability to summon tame wolves; their starting pet is also a wolf.


In Hack'EM, wolves can randomly generate in Gehennom unlike in SLASH'EM, and the lycanthrope race and Lunatic role are not present. All other details from SLASH'EM and SlashTHEM apply.

Encyclopedia entry

The ancestors of the modern day domestic dog, wolves are powerful muscular animals with bushy tails. Intelligent, social animals, wolves live in family groups or packs made up of multiple family units. These packs cooperate in hunting down prey.