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Version 0.29: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Agony.png Agony
Level 5
School1 Necromancy
Source(s) Book of Necromancy
Book of the Senses
Casting noise 4
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 100
Range 1
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Wl check, Dir or target, Needs tracer, Not self
Cuts the health of an adjacent creature in half. This damage is never directly lethal.

“Unbearable, isn't it? The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There
is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like
razors through flesh.”
-Pinhead, _Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth_. 1992.

Agony is a level 5 Necromancy spell which functions as a single-target torment, cutting the HP of one adjacent target in half. It cannot deal lethal damage, but it can very quickly soften up powerful, uninjured targets like hydras or giants to make them more manageable.

Like torment, it is worthless against enemy demons and all undead, and reduced by negative energy resistance. And while it never misses, it can be resisted with high willpower, though its spell power multiplier of 5 makes successfully resisting it more difficult.

Necromancers begin with this spell in their libraries.


While the damage output of this spell is considerable, the caster must be able to survive a few turns at close range to take full advantage of it. Don't skimp on the evasion, and prepare a safe line of retreat if things go sour. If you haven't branched into other magic schools, Borgnjor's Vile Clutch is a good choice for either an escape tool or a finishing blow.

Monster Version

Most monsters have access to a ranged version of Agony (named, fittingly enough, Agony Range) that can affect any target within the caster's LOS. See that page for details.

The following monster can cast the regular, 1-tile version of Agony:


  • Prior to 0.25, this spell was identical to Agony Range (i.e, it had LOS range).