Attack flavour

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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Almost all monsters are capable of dealing physical damage to you by attacking in melee, but many of them also cause elemental damage or inflict a wide variety of detrimental status effects. What a monster's melee attacks are capable of is determined by the monster's attack flavour. These modify a monster's melee attacks in many ways, and apply whether the monster is attacking unarmed or while wielding a weapon.

Flavour Example Description
Plain g Goblin.png Goblin No special effects.
Reaching t Snapping turtle.png Snapping turtle Inherent reaching (can melee attack from two tiles away).
Constrict S Ball python.png Ball python Inflicts constriction (pins victim in place, dealing damage over time).
Fire b Fire bat.png Fire bat Adds HD + 1d(HD) - 1 fire damage.
Pure fire E Fire elemental.png Fire elemental Deals no physical damage. Consists solely of HD + 1d(HD + 1) + (HD / 2) fire damage.
Sticky flame u Very ugly thing.png Very ugly thing Has a 5% chance, and an additional 33% chance for attacks dealing 3 or more damage, to apply sticky flame.
Cold Y Ice beast.png Ice beast Adds HD + 1d(HD*2) - 1 cold damage.
Electricity Y Sky beast.png Sky beast Adds HD + 1d(HD/2) - 1 electricity damage.
Acid J Jelly.png Jelly The defender is hit with a level 3 acid splash.
Poison S Adder.png Adder Inflicts HD*2 to HD*4 poison damage, with a 1 in 3 chance to affect poison-resistant targets. See poison types for specifics.
Strong poison s Redback.png Redback Inflicts HD*11/3 to HD*13/2 poison damage, with a 1 in 3 chance to affect poison-resistant targets. See poison types for specifics.
Paralyse and poison y Hornet.png Hornet If not immune to poison, the defender may be slowed, or sometimes paralyzed, for 1d3 turns, in addition to being poisoned. Poison resistance greatly reduces the chance of getting slowed or paralyzed.
Reach sting 4 Orange demon.png Orange demon Inherent reaching and inflicts poison.
Drown m Water nymph.png Water nymph Attacks do a small amount of asphyxiation damage.
Engulf E Water elemental.png Water elemental Attacks have a chance of engulfing the target, which continuously deals asphyxiation damage and mimics the effect of silence. Asphyxiation resistance negates both effects. Moving away from the attacker will break the engulf.
Holy Y Apis.png Apis Does an additional 75% damage against evil and unholy targets. This is similar to the holy wrath weapon brand, but without a random component.
Distortion v Spatial vortex.png Spatial vortex Inherent distortion brand (deals heavy irresistible damage, or causes the target to blink, teleport, or be banished to the Abyss).
Pain 5 Grinder.png Grinder Inherent pain brand (deals negative energy damage based on attacker HD)
Drain XP z Wight.png Wight Has a 50% chance of draining the target (skill penalty vs. player, HP and HD loss vs. monsters). This only has a 3% chance of activating if the attack deals less than 6 damage, and a 33% chance if the attack normally does no damage (i.e., "touch"). In spite of the name, player experience is completely unaffected by this attack flavour.
Vampiric V Vampire (monster).png Vampire Will heal the attacker for 1d(damage inflicted) if the defender is cold-blooded or warm-blooded. Deals normal damage, but has no healing effect, against bloodless defenders.
Shadow stab W Shadow.png Shadow When invisible and not backlit, the monster gains a boost to movement speed, 100% accuracy, and deals 2.5x damage for a single attack. If the victim has see invisible it negates the extra damage and accuracy, but not the added speed. After the attack, the monster's invisibility ends.
Rot n Necrophage.png Necrophage The defender has a 33% chance of receiving 2-4 points of rot, or a 5% chance if the attack did 2 or less damage.
Mutate & Mnoleg.png Mnoleg Each hit has a 25% chance of malmutating the victim (or polymorphing if the defender is a monster).
Drain strength, dexterity, intelligence, stat 5 Quasit.png Quasit May deal 1 point of stat damage to the associated stat (33% chance per attack, or 5% if the attack did no damage. Each rank of negative energy resistance has a further 33% chance to negate the stat loss.).
Drain speed W Wraith.png Wraith May slow the victim.
Scarab B Death scarab.png Death scarab Combines vampiric and drain speed.
Ensnare s Jumping spider.png Jumping spider If the attack does any damage, it has a 50% chance of trapping the defender in a web.
Steal @ Maurice.png Maurice Each attack steals one item from inventory (affects players only).
Hunger W Hungry ghost.png Hungry ghost Each hit will reduce the defender's satiety by 25%. If the attack does no damage, the effect only has a 5% chance of happening.
Corrode 4 Rust devil.png Rust devil Corrodes the defender.
Weakness 4 Orange demon.png Orange demon Attacks have a chance to inflict weakness on a target.
Confuse s Tarantella.png Tarantella Has a 33% chance of confusing the defender, or 10% if the attack did less than 3 damage. Duration is 1d(HD + 3) / 10 turns, rounded up, with a cumulative maximum of 4 turns.
Rage y Moth of wrath.png Moth of wrath The defender has a 33% chance of going berserk, if it is capable of doing so.
MR vulnerability W Phantasmal warrior.png Phantasmal warrior Has a 33% chance of lowering the defender's magic resistance by a set amount. If the defender is already so afflicted, it instead increases the duration of the effect.
Antimagic S Mana viper.png Mana viper Inherent antimagic brand (drains player MP, or causes monsters to have a spell failure chance that rises with antimagic damage dealt and decreases with time).
Kite 4 Red devil.png Red devil The attacker hops backward when attacking with a polearm.
Swoop 4 Hellwing.png Hellwing The attacker swoops in to perform a melee attack if far away.
Blink W Phantom.png Phantom The attacker has a 33% chance of blinking after a successful hit.
Chaos 4 Chaos spawn.png Chaos spawn Changes flavour with every attack, to one of the following:


  • 0.23 removed the Klown flavour that could choose randomly between Fire, Cold, Electricity, Strong poison, Drain speed, Pain, or Antimagic.
  • Prior to 0.22, Engulf applied a movement penalty, which doubled the player's movement delay.
  • 0.19 removed the Miasmata flavour.
  • 0.18 introduced the Miasmata flavour and removed the Firebrand flavour.
  • 0.16 introduced the Corrode, Scarab, Trample, Kite, and Swoop flavours. It also made Drain Speed apply slow even through rN+.
  • As of 0.15, the Plague flavour was removed and the Sticky flame attack flavour was added. Item destruction was removed, reducing the threat from Fire and Cold attacks, as well as anything which can duplicate them (Chaos and Klown).
  • 0.14 contained many monster flavour changes:
    • The Klown attack flavour chose from the following types: Fire, Cold, Nasty poison, Drain XP, Rot, Blink, and Anti-magic.
    • Harpies had a Steal Food brand; attacks would occasionally consume one or more food items from your inventory or on the ground, if the target was standing on any food.
    • There were Poison (stat) attack flavours. These vaguely copied the Drain stat brand: they had a 33% chance of temporarily reducing a point of a given stat if the target was not resistant to poison.
    • Poison's overhaul removed the Nasty Poison and Medium Poison attack flavours, as detailed in poison types. Each were moved to normal poison and strong poison as appropriate per monster.
  • 0.13 removed the Disease flavour and introduced the Plague flavour.