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The black pudding, P, is an amoeboid NetHack monster. Its most noteworthy characteristic is its ability to divide when hit by an iron item, leaving two black puddings (a process which also corrodes the weapon). It is the more powerful of the two monsters that can do this (the other being the brown pudding). It is precisely this characteristic that gives rise to the practice of pudding farming.
Black puddings can be encountered early in the game due to sinks. It can be a good idea to kick sinks for this reason, as they are slow making their powerful bite easily avoidable and if you attack them from a distance or use hit-and-run, their XP value will be certain to gain you a level, and their corpse can be eaten (acidic so watch your HP) for a chance at a variety of intrinsics.
On the other hand, kicking a sink can also summon a foocubus of opposite sex to the adventurer ("The dishwasher returns!"), and one of the possible negative seduction effects is a level drain ("You feel out of shape"). Level 1 adventurers should never kick sinks, as being drained from level 1 is an instadeath. Those with a few more levels should weigh the risks.
When a pudding splits the current HP are divided equally between the two new puddings, so each split produces weaker ones until it dies attempting to split its last hitpoint. So if things threaten to get out of hand kill the newer ones first before they have time to regenerate.
Their corpses are acidic, but they have a chance of providing Cold, Shock and Poison resistance.
Protect your armor Edit
- Rustproof iron armor will not corrode.
- A corrodeproof bronze plate mail (the only copper armor) will not corrode.
- Body armor concealed under a cloak or robe will not corrode.
- You might let your uncursed or blessed +0 orcish helm corrode if you have a replacement available.
- You could step away from the pudding and remove your vulnerable armor; black puddings do not corrode what you do not wear.
A good strategy is to fight using ranged attacks, but many players will not have these armor problems; maybe you will not encounter a black pudding before you rustproof your armor. In addition, the many items gained from farming (i.e., armor, scrolls of enchantment) can replace or repair any items that have been corroded.
Don't use iron weapons Edit
Black puddings can corrode iron weapons. When wielding an iron weapon, hitting a black pudding can cause it to split and the weapon to corrode. (That is good if you want to block a wide path, but bad if the multiple puddings thoroughly corrode your armor.)