Auxiliary attack

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Version 0.13: 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. 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 (1 + str + dex > 1d50) check. There are three exceptions to this rule:

  • The offhand punch, which does not require any mutation, but you need to pass (UC >= 1d20) and (2 >= 1dAdjusted Body Armour Penalty). Wielding a shield or 2-handed weapon prevents this.
  • Octopodes' tentacle-slap requires UC >= 1d20.
  • Constriction ignores the str/dex test.

If the previous tests are passed, the 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, adds bleeding
Offhand Punch w/ Blade Hands +6 33% Negates claws
Headbutt 5 + 3 × (Horns ranks) 66% Can stun opponents, delaying them for up to 7 auts. Minotaurs occasionally counter enemy attacks that miss with this.
Peck 6 66% -
Kick w/ Hooves 5 + (5/3) × (Hooves ranks) 100% Partially ignores AC
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 for every 5 STR beyond 10 40% It may have a vampiric brand: 100% if bloodless; 50% if thirsty; 25% if non-thirsty
Bite w/ Acidic Bite 2d4 +1 for every 5 STR beyond 10 40% Corrosion
Pseudopods 4 × (Pseudopods rank) 66% -
Tentacle spike 5 + (Tentacle Spike rank) 100% -
Tentacle Slap 5 + UC/2 50% Octopodes' equivalent to the offhand punch
Tentacles (squeeze) 12 66% -
Constriction 0 100% Constriction


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.