Foocubus refers to an incubus or a succubus, especially one of the opposite sex of the character. These demons are generally used by high-intelligence and high-charisma players for their beneficial effects. After an encounter you may:

  • "feel good enough to do it again;" constitution increases by 1 and is exercised.
  • "always remember the foocubus;" wisdom increases by 1 and is exercised.
  • "feel restored to health;" heals all hit points and exercises strength.
  • "feel raised to your full potential;" restores all power and increases maximum by 1-5; exercises constitution.
  • have a "very educational experience;" raises your level by 1 and exercise wisdom (this increases your hit points and power, even if you are already level 30).

On the other hand, you might:

  • "feel down in the dumps;" constitution reduces by 1 and is abused.
  • "your senses are dulled;" wisdom reduces by 1 and is abused.
  • "feel exhausted;" and take 10-16 hit points of damage.
  • feel "drained of energy;" lose all your power and reduce maximum by 1-10; abuse constitution.
  • "feel out of shape;" lose 1 level. If you have Drain resistance, you will "have a curious feeling" instead.

Foocubi do very little melee damage, and are easy to kill even at low levels. Most of their negative seduction effects can be cured simply. Their true danger lies with what seems like a humorous side effect of seduction: The player is left at least partly naked, in the presence of any other monsters that happened to be in the room. Players who rely on armor items for reflection or MR can find themselves suddenly annihilated by attacks they would usually shrug off.

All foocubi are heterosexual; An incubus will never try to seduce a male character, and a succubus will never seduce a female. If you chat to a foocubus of the same sex as you, it will "cajole" you, which has no effects.

If you are riding a mount, the foocubus might steal the saddle off the mount, dismounting you. Speaking of saddles, trying to use one on a foocubus results in a very funny message.("Shame on you!"). Also if you try to leash a foocubus you will recieve a funny message ("The incubus looks shocked! "I'm not that way!" The incubus cannot be leashed!")

Dealing With Negative Effects[]

Most negative effects of seduction can easily be dealt with. Loss of wisdom or constitution can be cured by applying a unicorn horn. Hit points will heal over time (but don't consort with foocubi when you're nearly dead). If you lose a level, go and kill a wimpy monster or eat a tripe ration to get it back before playing with the foocubus again. Thus, it is possible for a low intelligence / charisma character to still benefit from dealing with a foocubus, though the process is likely to be tedious. There is no cure for loss of maximum magical energy, and The Nethack Incubus and Succubus Spoiler suggests that if you care about this, you should wait until your intelligence and charisma are high enough that on average you will gain more magical energy than you lose.

To minimize post-assignation vulnerability, you should never voluntarily allow a foocubus to remove anything other than your cloak and body armor (an exception is if you are trying to get a cursed item removed). It is also wise to only consort with foocubi in an area you have emptied of other enemies. You can keep the foocubus out of the way while you do this by luring it up or down a level, or by using Elbereth whenever it approaches. For further details and special cases, see the "Possible YASDs" section below. Finally, remember to get dressed again afterward!

To prevent a foocubus from taking your gold, simply keep it in a container. In an emergency you can also drop it on the ground. A gentlemanly and/or ladylike player may wish to retain a small amount of gold in their inventory, so that the foocubus will receive at least a token payment for its services.

Detailed Strategy[]

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Foocubi may be randomly encountered, generated from figurines, summoned by repeatedly kicking a sink, or even sacrificing a creature of your own race as a chaotic character. Other demons can summon them, but they cannot summon other demons, including other foocubi. They cannot be summoned by a cursed scroll of genocide. Be prepared for Juiblex, Yeenoghu and other demons if you let water demons hit to summon foocubi.

The foocubus may begin the encounter of its own volition if it is hostile, or the player may begin the encounter with the #chat command.

The foocubus will attempt to remove all armor. With probability CHA/20, he/she will ask; otherwise he/she will just remove the item. This process repeats for each item of armor you are wearing, except that the foocubus can only remove your suit if you have not kept your cloak on, and can only remove your shirt if you have not kept your cloak or suit on. If at the end of this stage, you are still wearing a cloak or a suit, the foocubus will give up and teleport away. A foocubus will never attempt to remove an amulet or blindfold, and will only affect rings if you have a ring of adornment (see below for details).

The probability of a beneficial effect from the encounter is (INT+CHA+1)/35. It is therefore a good idea to maximize charisma before consorting with foocubi. Intelligence also helps, but intelligence is the most difficult score to raise. For this reason wizards are excellent for using foocubi and can often do so well from the beginning of the game.

To maximize Charisma, you may wish to use a magic trap or hunt for magic fountains. One of the possible effects of a magic trap is that "You feel charismatic!", and gain a point of charisma and possibly some unusual pets. Repeatedly stepping on a magic trap is an easy way to raise charisma, but it has some hazards. One is that it will often blind the character and summon lots of monsters; another is a tower of flame, as from stepping on a fire trap. It helps to have telepathy, and to be a capable fighter, to deal with the monsters. Fire resistance is also a good idea.

A ring of adornment can raise (or lower) charisma; but foocubi take an interest in them. An incubus may put it on your finger; a succubus may ask you for it, or just take it. The probability of asking, rather than just doing, is in both cases CHA/20 (where CHA is your charisma before donning or doffing the ring). A female character has a small advantage here, as she can keep a positively enchanted ring on and it will boost her chance of a positive effect. A male can only do this reliably if his charisma is thus boosted to at least 20, as the succubus will otherwise eventually steal the ring. On the other hand, males need not ever worry about negatively enchanted rings of adornment, nor having a ring of levitation replaced by a ring of adornment and possibly dropping him into water or lava. A tame succubus will eventually drop any stolen ring.

A helm of brilliance can raise (or lower) intelligence. As with all armor, the foocubus may try to take it off; with probability CHA/20, he/she will ask instead of just removing the helmet. Unlike rings of adornment, the foocubus will never keep the helmet; thus you can put it back on and still get the boost when you try again. Negative enchantments need not cause concern, as you can always give consent to take the helmet off.

After the encounter, the foocubus will try to take some or all of your gold, failing with probability CHA/20 (or always failing if you are a leprechaun). The amount taken usually consists of a 500zm flat fee, plus a random percentage of your current gold outside of any container.[1] However, if you have more than 32757 gold, the foocubus's percentage will not take into account any gold beyond that amount. Furthermore, a peaceful foocubus will charge only 1/5 of the usual price—rounded down, but always at least 1zm. A tame foocubus will never charge you.

If you got a positive effect, the foocubus will complain of having a headache and will do you no more favors for 1-100 turns. If you got a negative effect, the foocubus will be ready to go again immediately. However, in either case, there is a 1 in 25 chance that the foocubus will complain of a severe headache; this means that it has been cancelled, as if struck by the wand, and will never be able to seduce you again. At this point you can kill the foocubus and recover any gold it took from you; the only reasons for leaving it alive are strictly sentimental.

As pets, foocubi are next to worthless in combat but can still be #chatted to. Because they are demons, a foocubus cannot be tamed unless you are polymorphed into a demon; however a foocubus is a valid polymorph form and thus it is possible to polymorph an existing pet into a foocubus of the opposite gender (or swap gender yourself with an amulet of change or by polymorphing into a foocubus of the opposite gender yourself). Laying with a tame foocubus is no different from with a hostile or peaceful one; all problems including armor removal and self-cancellation remain. A tame foocubus is much easier to control, as you can lead it to a safe location before engaging it. Additionally, if you possess a magic whistle or move to a non-teleport level, it will not be necessary to chase down the foocubus after each encounter. A tame foocubus will also not be attacked by your pets and can be easily led away from any hostile monsters it would foolishly attack. Once the foocubus becomes cancelled it should be abandoned or polymorphed (note that polymorphing a cancelled foocubus will create a cancelled monster, so you cannot polymorph it back into a useful foocubus).

Possible YASDs[]

There are several ways a foocubus can kill you outright; but they are generally easy to avoid.

  • Females should be similarly cautious when using a ring of levitation, wearing a second ring, and carrying a ring of adornment; the incubus may replace the ring of levitation with the ring of adornment.
  • Avoid wielding cockatrice corpses around foocubi unless you have charisma of 20 or more; he/she may remove your gloves.
  • Characters at experience level 1 should stay well away from foocubi, as one of the possible negative outcomes is a level drain. In practice, this means that low-level characters should not kick sinks.
  • Be sure to put back all of your clothing (Armor) once you and the foocubus are done.

Removing cursed items[]

Foocubi can remove any armor, including cursed armor; succubi can also remove cursed rings of adornment from male characters. Incubi can remove any cursed ring from female characters wearing two rings and carrying an additional ring of adornment. This provides an alternative to nymphs for ridding oneself of such items.

Encyclopedia entry[]

The incubus and succubus are male and female versions of the
same demon, one who lies with a human for its own purposes,
usually to the detriment of the mortals who are unwise in
their dealings with them.


  1. mhitu.c, line 2365: rnd(gold+10) + 500