Cause Fear

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Cause fear.png Cause Fear
Level 4
School1 Hexes
Source(s) Book of the Dragon
Book of Hexes
Casting noise 3
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 200
Range LOS
Flags Wl check, Area
Causes fear in those near to the caster, causing those affected to be unable to approach the caster, and to sometimes fail to attack them in melee. Leaving the caster's line of sight will end the effect.

“And when Miranda sang
Everyone turned away
Used to the noose, they obey”
-The Mars Volta, “Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore”. 2005.

Cause Fear is a level 4 Hexes spell which attempts to panic all monsters in your line of sight, causing them to run away from your current position.

Hexslingers start with this spell available. Reading a scroll of fear has the same effect as casting Cause Fear with maximum power.

Useful Info

The Fear status (fleeing) causes vulnerable monsters to run away, unwilling to attack you. Monsters will be able to use abilities tagged with the escape flag, such as Blink.

Monsters will lose the fear status under the following conditions:

  • They are hit by an attack.
  • They are unable to move away from you for more than 1 turn ("Cornered, <monster> turns to fight!").
  • The duration runs out.

The following monsters are immune to fear:

In order for the spell to inflict the fear status, it must beat the enemy's willpower. Like other "mass enchantments", Cause Fear has an enchantment power multiplier of 3/2.[1] See the Willpower article for more details.

The scroll of fear casts Cause Fear at 200 post-multiplier spellpower (equates to 96 enchantment power).


Despite its numerous conditions, Cause Fear is a powerful spell. It is good at crowd-control: even if you don't scare everything, fear can be used to thin out a group, making it easier to both escape and fight it.

Tips & Tricks

Monster Version

The monster version of Cause Fear makes the player unable to move toward the caster. If the caster closes to melee range, the player will still be able to engage them in melee, but may sometimes "flinch away in fear" (33% chance[2]), causing the attack to miss. Depending on how well you can fight from a distance and what areas of the floor this cuts you off from, this may or may not be a problem. Fear also prevents the player from going berserk.

High willpower can prevent this spell from affecting you, and clarity confers immunity to this spell. Leaving the monster's line of sight will immediately end the spell's effects.

The following enemies cast Cause Fear:


  • Prior to 0.30, fleeing monsters would not recklessly run into harmful clouds.
  • Prior to 0.28, the spell couldn't affect demonic and holy monsters.
  • Prior to 0.27, the scroll of blinking and scroll of teleport were valid escape options. Also, fleeing monsters would use "emergency" flag spells rather than "escape" flag ones. This caused black bears and polar bears to be practically immune to fear; they would immediately berserk when inflicted with fear, which ended the fear.
  • Prior to 0.13, Cause Fear only penalized moving toward the caster. Attacks against the caster were unaffected.