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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Artificers have built, bought or burgled an assortment of magic wands to help them through the early Dungeon. Wands have a limited number of uses, though, so they'll want to upgrade from their club ASAP.

An Artificer is an Evocations specialist. Wands are their tool of choice, and they bring a few with them to the Dungeon.

Preferred Species

Kobold, Spriggan, Draconian, and Demonspawn are the recommended species if you pick an Artificer Background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Even if a wand would be replaced by another wand, Artificer's wands will always remain the same.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Artificer adds 4 to your starting Strength, 3 to your starting Intelligence, and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


Artificers begin with worse equipment and skills than other backgrounds, but have a number of good emergency tools to compensate. In the very early game, it is one of the strongest backgrounds, as the wands can bail you out from many terrible situations. However, you won't have enough charges to kill everything with a wand. In addition, the worse skills can make it more difficult to develop past the very early game.

Each wand has a number of uses:

  • The wand of flame deals moderate damage (high for D:1-2) from a distance. Use it to soften up a dangerous threat that isn't dangerous enough to warrant another wand. Or use it to deal a bit of extra damage.
    • When used over water, a wand of flame will create damaging steam clouds. This deals significantly more damage, and can block line of sight in the right layout.
  • The wand of charming has a chance to convert a monster into an ally (for a short time). You can turn groups, like orc bands or killer bee packs, against each other. You can also use it to escape from a monster - charm a monster, then tell it to retreat.
  • The wand of iceblast deals huge damage relative to the early game. A base Artificer deals 3d9 damage with iceblast - that's enough to one-shot orc priests, Sigmund, and other out-of-depth threats. Plus, iceblast damages in a 3x3 area and never misses.

Artificers can choose many paths to pursue through the game; pretty much whatever you choose, your evocations will be a useful supplement to your main skills.

Artificer is a particularly good background for species that start off weak, but become strong later. Examples include Demonspawn, Barachi, and Naga.


  • In 0.29, Artificers received 5 charges of iceblast, losing their piece from Xom's chessboard (which was moved to Chaos Knight).
  • Prior to 0.27, Artificers began with a wand of random effects (15 charges) instead of a piece from Xom's chessboard.
  • Prior to 0.26, Artificers began with a short sword instead of a club, and started with Short Blades skill instead of Armour skill.
  • Prior to 0.14, Artificers began with scrolls of recharging identified.
  • Prior to 0.10, Artificers could start off the game with a +0 leather armour, a bread ration, and either a rod of Striking (8 charges) or their choice of a wand from Magic Darts, Frost, Flame, Confusion, or Enslavement (15 charges each). If they chose a wand, they also started with a wand of random effects (15 charges). If they chose a non-damaging device (wand of enslavement or wand of confusion), they started with a +0,+0 dagger.
Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterBrigand
Zealots BerserkerChaos KnightCinder Acolyte
Warrior-mages WarperHexslingerEnchanterReaver
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistAlchemist
Adventurers ArtificerShapeshifterWandererDelver