Wood golem

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A wood golem, ', is a type of golem that appears in NetHack. It is a thick-skinned golem that is naturally made of wood.

A wood golem has a single claw attack, and possesses poison resistance and sleep resistance.

Wood golems take an extra d4 of damage when attacked with an axe or battle-axe, and can also be killed by rot or burn-inducing attacks: A wood golem that is hit by a rotting attack (i.e., from a brown pudding) will suffer an instadeath[1][2] - a player polymorphed into a wood golem that is rotted away by an attack will instead revert to their base form, even if wearing an amulet of unchanging.[3] A wood golem that is subjected to stoning will become a stone golem.


In addition to random generation, polypiling enough items made of wood may create a wood golem.

Wood golems are always generated with 50 hit points.[4][5] When destroyed, they leave behind a pile of 2-8 quarterstaves as a special death drop instead of a corpse.[6]

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 e5c73d0, wood golems have a chance of also dropping small shields, clubs, elven spears, and/or boomerangs when destroyed.


Despite a decently strong claw attack for the point of the game they can be encountered, wood golems are quite slow and unlikely to be a threat to most characters. Be careful not to create a wood golem by accident when polypiling your highly-enchanted elven weapons and armor.


Wood golems first appear in NetHack 3.0.0.


<The wood golem> falls to pieces!
A wood golem was hit by a rotting attack and killed instantly.[1]
May <pet> rot in peace.
A pet wood golem was killed as above while out of your sight.[7]


In variants with object materials systems, wood golems may drop additional wooden items alongside or in place of a pile of quarterstaves upon death.


In SLASH'EM, wood golems are generated with 100 HP and hit as a +1 weapon.[8][9]


dNetHack adds a somewhat similar type of golem in the living lectern, an animated spellbook on a wooden stand that drops 2-6 clubs and a random spellbook upon its death.

Encyclopedia entry

Come, old broomstick, you are needed,
Take these rags and wrap them round you!
Long my orders you have heeded,
By my wishes now I've bound you.
Have two legs and stand,
And a head for you.
Run, and in your hand
Hold a bucket too.
See him, toward the shore he's racing
There, he's at the stream already,
Back like lightning he is chasing,
Pouring water fast and steady.
Once again he hastens!
How the water spills,
How the water basins
Brimming full he fills!

[ The Sorcerer's Apprentice, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
 translation by Edwin Zeydel ]