Attack flavour

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

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).
Barbs w Steelbarb worm.png Steelbarb worm The attacker inflicts barbs on the target when attacking, making further movement painful.
Trample Y Elephant.png Elephant Has a chance of knocking the defender back one tile (chance depends on defender's size relative to the attacker). If successful, the attacker moves into the tile the defender occupied.
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.
Sear n Searing wretch.png Searing wretch May strip one level of fire resistance from the defender.
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 Splashes the defender with 4d3 acid damage, dealing additional damage and possibly causing corrosion.
Reach tongue F Goliath frog.png Goliath frog Inherent reaching and splashes the defender with acid, possibly corroding it.
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.
Paralytic poison y Hornet.png Hornet If not immune to poison, the defender will be poisoned, slowed for 1d3 turns, and has a 1 in 6 chance to be paralysed for 1d3 turns. Has a 1 in 3 chance to affect poison-resistant targets.
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 on targets that need to breathe. Asphyxiation resistance negates both effects. Moving away from the attacker will break the engulf.
Holy D Pearl dragon.png Pearl dragon 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 additional irresistible damage, causes the defender to blink, or banishes defender to the Abyss).
Rift P Starflower.png Starflower Smite-targeted attacks that can reach targets up to 3 tiles away. Also applies the distortion brand.
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 (temporary max HP reduction vs. player, temporary 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 attacker gains a boost to movement speed, 100% accuracy, and deals 2.5x damage for a single attack. If the defender has see invisible it negates the extra damage and accuracy, but not the added speed. After the attack, the attacker's invisibility ends.
Mutate & Mnoleg.png Mnoleg Each hit has a 25% chance of malmutating the defender (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 f Maurice.png Maurice Each attack steals one item from inventory (only affects players).
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.
Sleep f Sleepcap.png Sleepcap Has a 50% chance of putting the defender to sleep when dealing damage.
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 Has a 33% chance of sending the defender into a berserk rage, if it is capable of doing so.
Bloodzerk l Skyshark.png Skyshark When striking targets that bleed, the user is strengthened, then sent into into a berserk rage.
Vulnerable W Phantasmal warrior.png Phantasmal warrior Has a 33% chance of temporarily halving the defender's willpower. 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).
Swoop 4 Hellwing.png Hellwing The attacker swoops in to perform a melee attack if far away.
Flank 5 Ufetubus.png Ufetubus Slips behind the target before attacking.
Blink F Blink frog.png Blink frog The attacker has a 33% chance of blinking after a successful hit.
Blink with W Phantom.png Phantom After a successful hit, the attacker may blink both itself and the defender.
Spider s Broodmother.png Broodmother May summon a spider when attacking.
Chaos 4 Chaos spawn.png Chaos spawn Changes flavour with every attack, to one of the following:


  • 0.31 added the Flank flavour and removed the Sticky Flame flavour.
  • 0.30 added the Sleep and Bloodzerk flavours.
  • 0.29 added the Rift flavour.
  • 0.28 removed the Kite flavour and added the Barbs and Spider flavours.
  • 0.27 added the Blink with flavour.
  • 0.26 removed the Rot and Hunger flavours; enemies that caused rot now inflict draining, which now temporarily reduces the player's maximum HP.
  • 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.