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A Woodland-elf, @, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is the weakest of the randomly generated elves. Woodland-elves have a single weapon attack and possess sleep resistance, infravision and the ability to see invisible.

Eating a Woodland-elf corpse or tin has a 27% chance of conferring sleep resistance.


Woodland-elves can generate in small groups, and randomly-generated Woodland-elves are sometimes peaceful towards chaotic characters and always peaceful towards player elves. A Woodland-elf can grow up into an elf-lord.

Woodland-elves are generated with elven equipment using the following odds:[1]

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.

An elf will grow up into an elf-noble of the appropriate gender, rather than always becoming a male elf-lord regardless of gender.


Woodland-elves can be difficult for early characters that are caught by surprise, but their corpses also offer an early safe source of sleep resistance.


The Woodland-elf first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


Woodland-elves are derived from the wood elves of Dungeons & Dragons, which in turn are partly based on the Silvan Elves, or Wood Elves, of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. "Silvan elves" in the context of Dungeons & Dragons can refer to either wood elves or their green/wild elf kin, depending on the edition. Wood elf society is characterized as proud, reclusive and disdainful of civilization, seeking to maintain their harmony with nature rather than trying to dominate it - simultaneously, they consider compassion a greater virtue than power, and seek to maintain amiable relations with their neighbors where possible.

Wood elves are largely calm and level-headed if somewhat gruff in demeanor, and skew stronger and more neutral-inclined than most elves, but are (comparatively) less concerned with education and intelligence. Due to their naturalistic inclinations, they are typically disinterested in most forms of non-primal magic, though they are not completely averse to arcane magic. Wood elves are also not averse to craftsmanship, being passionate hunters and highly-skilled carpenters and stoneworkers that are capable of forming bonds with local wildlife, but prefer to minimize their impact on their surroundings as much as possible.


Some variants make adjustments so that female elves do not change gender when growing up and are given a properly named form.


In dNetHack, standard elves can grow up into Woodland-elves. Female Woodland-elves will grow up into elf-ladies rather than elf-lords.

Woodland-elves may appear among the court of an Elvenking or Elvenqueen-ruled throne room.


In xNetHack, Woodland-elves are moved to the Quendi monster class like all other elves.


  1. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 222: Default equipment for elves