Auxiliary attack

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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Auxiliary attacks are additional attacks that you occasionally perform during melee combat. These randomly trigger along with your standard melee attacks, inflicting moderate additional damage and occasionally causing other effects as well. Apart from off-hand punches, these attack do not receive any benefit from your Unarmed Combat skill, but do still benefit from Fighting skill and strength. Base damage is instead based upon such factors as the particular limb involved, your innate and acquired mutations, and certain equipment. Because characters with access to many auxiliary attacks can activate multiple ones per turn, effects that provide flat bonuses to damage such as Might and slaying are very effective.

In order to trigger an auxiliary attack you need to have the appropriate mutation, have the body part free, and pass a check 30 + XL > 1d60 - 1 . There are two exceptions to this rule:

  • Constriction completely ignores this test.
  • The offhand punch, which does not require any mutation, but has a different test. Assuming your offhand is free, at 0 UC you have a 5% chance to pass a punch, which scales to 50% at 27 UC. Octopodes' tentacle slap works the same way, though does not require a free "hand" to do so.

If the previous tests are passed, you must pass another check, depending on the auxiliary attack itself. Probabilities for each auxiliary attack can be found in the table below.

Auxiliary Attack Base Damage

Condition Damage Chance Special
Offhand Punch 5 + UC/2 33% Wielding a shield prevents this, improves with Unarmed Combat skill
Offhand Punch w/ Claws +1d3 × (Claws ranks) 33% Negated by Blade Hands or by wearing gloves
Offhand Punch w/ Blade Hands +6 33% Negates claws
Headbutt 5 + 3 × (Horns ranks) 66% Minotaurs occasionally counter enemy attacks that miss with this.
Peck 6 66% -
Kick w/ Hooves 5 + (5/3) × (Hooves ranks) 100%
Kick w/ Talons 6 + (Talons ranks) 100% Wearing boots negates this
Tail Slap 6 50% Grey draconians in deep water can push back their enemies
Tail Slap w/ Stinger +1/3/5 (determined by Stinger ranks) 50% Venom
Bite w/ Fangs 2 × (Fangs ranks) +1 40% Bloodless vampires have a vampiric bite
Bite w/ Acidic Bite + 2d4 acid splash 40% Corrosion
Bite w/ Anti-magic Bite 2 × (Fangs ranks) + XL/3 + 1 100% Anti-magic, Vine Stalker only
Pseudopods 4 × (Pseudopods rank) 66% -
Tentacle spike 5 + (Tentacle Spike rank) 100% -
Tentacle Slap 5 + UC/2 33% Octopodes' equivalent to the offhand punch
Tentacles (squeeze) 12 66% -
Constriction 0 100% Constriction


  • Prior to 0.28, aux attacks other than the offhand punch required an initial pass of 1 + str + dex > 1d50, and the offhand punch required to pass both UC >= 1d20 and 2 >= 1dAdjusted Body Armour Penalty. Octopodes also had an extra chance to do an offhand tentacle slap. Also, Bite had an extra +1 damage for every 5 STR beyond 10.
  • Prior to 0.17, headbutts had a chance to stun, hooves partially bypassed AC, and claws caused bleeding.
  • In earlier versions of Crawl, all auxiliary attacks were more effective if you had a high Unarmed Combat skill, making it a valuable skill for any character designed for melee combat.