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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

For a list of all snakes, see list of snakes.

adder SAdder.png
HP 7-15
HD 2
XP 13
Speed 13 (swim: 60%)
AC 1
EV 15
Will 10
Attack1 4 (bite: poison)

Resistances rDrown
Vulnerabilities None
Habitat Amphibious
Intelligence Animal
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Natural
Size Little
Type snake, adder
Flags Cold-blooded
The common dungeon snake. A species of troglodytic reptile commonly found in subterranean spaces.

“The latter lived in the country, and before his house there was an oak, in which there was a lair of snakes. His servants killed the snakes, but Melampus gathered wood and burnt the reptiles, and reared the young ones. And when the young were full grown, they stood beside him at each of his shoulders as he slept, and they purged his ears with their tongues. He started up in a great fright, but understood the voices of the birds flying overhead, and from what he learned from them he foretold to men what should come to pass.”
-Pseudo-Apollodorus , _Library and Epitome_, 1.9.11. circa 150 BC.
trans. Sir James George Frazer, 1913.

“A snake, with mottles rare,
Surveyed my chamber floor,
In feature as the worm before,
But ringed with power.”
-Emily Dickinson, “In Winter In My Room”. circa 1860.

Useful Info

Adders are fast snakes with a poisonous bite. This poison can be lethal to low level characters, and their speed makes fleeing impossible in most cases. They can be found as early as Dungeon:2.

Tips & Tricks

  • Adders are fast, so it can be impossible to avoid fighting them. And poison can quickly stack up; even a Minotaur can lose to a few bad RNG rolls. If things go poorly, don't hesitate to use your starting consumable.
    • If you spot a sleeping adder early into D:2/D:3, consider just walking away from it. The more bats, rats, goblins, and kobolds you slay before dealing with it, the stronger you'll be when that happens. Just don't generate too much noise around the sleeping adder until you're ready.
    • Don't be stingy with potions of curing. They'll heal you and cure all poison, which can let you win a losing battle. If you have no other option, try quaffing the potion you have the most of. Curing is the most common potion, so if you have multiples of a potion, it's likely to be curing.
  • Dispatch them from a distance if possible. Failing that, at least soften them up by throwing boomerangs, javelins, darts, or stones before engaging in melee until you're strong enough to kill them quickly.
  • To avoid taking more potentially poisonous hits than necessary, run away while the snake is two tiles away and let it close the distance to you. If you charge in or simply stand your ground, they can land one or two free bites before you even get a chance to take a swing.


  • Prior to 0.29, adders dealt 5 damage per hit.
  • Prior to 0.10, adders were called snakes.