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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
There are barbs embedded in your skin, and moving around will cause you to take damage. Remaining in place for a short time will allow you to remove the barbs without taking damage.

Barbs is a status effect. Each time a barbed creature moves, it takes damage equal to 2d(2 + times_barbs_inflicted) damage (max. 2d6).[1] Rampaging makes you move twice, so you take double the damage while rampaging.

The barbs remain in their target for 4-8 turns, adding 2-4 turns per infliction of barbs (max. 12 turns at time).[2] Remaining in place (no matter what you do) has 100% chance of decreasing the duration. While moving, you only have a 33% chance to decrease the duration. It is possible to rid yourself of barbs by moving, but doing so will incur significant damage.

Inflicted by:


  • The barbs attack flavour was added in 0.28.
  • Prior to 0.22, you had to specifically wait (with '5, s, or .) in order to have a 100% chance to decrement the duration. Also, the base duration was a bit shorter: 3-6 turns instead of 4-8 turns.
  • Barbs was added in 0.14.


  1. (0.30.1)
  2. (0.30.1)