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Version 0.30: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Each time it hits an enemy, it has a different, random effect.

Chaos is a brand that weapons may have. Each attack produces a random effect, many of which imitate other brands.

Possible effects

Chaos-branded attacks randomly choose an effect from the following list:[1][2]

Effect Probability Effect Probability
Brand Other effects
Flaming 13.5% Slow 1.96%
Freezing 13.5% Petrify 0.98%
Electrocution 13.5% Paralysis 0.98%
Venom 13.5% Agility 1.96%
Draining 6.75% Might 1.96%
Vampiricism 6.75% Invisible 1.96%
Holy wrath 6.75% Berserk 0.98%
Antimagic 6.75% Polymorph 0.39%
Distortion 2.7% Create clone* 0.19%
Confusion 2.7% Turn into shapeshifter** 0.19%
  • * 1/6 chance to be neutral, 1/6 chance to become an ally, 2/3 chance to keep same attitude. If the clone is an ally, it is treated like a summon and will time out eventually.
  • **2/3 chance for a normal shapeshifter, 1/3 chance for a glowing shapeshifter.

Overall, there is a 83.7% chance to pick a damaging brand, vampiricism, or antimagic. There's a 9.62% chance of a hindering status, 8.82% chance of a positive status, and 0.77% chance of turning the enemy into something else. Note that this brand does not pick useless effects (e.g. flaming against a fire elemental), where the odds of other effects increase proportionally. Also, chaos effects do not check willpower.

Additionally, each strike with the chaos brand has a 1% chance to apply the reaping effect to its damage.[3] This may result in raising slain enemies as allied zombies, depending on the total reaping damage.

Gods will disapprove of any effects you might call that offend them (evil effects for the good gods, haste for Cheibriados). Zin abhors chaos, regardless of its effect.


Chaos is a rare brand from a scroll of brand weapon; this is the only way for ranged weapons to receive this brand. Chaos weapons may be gifted by Xom (though not necessarily to the player), and various Xom altar vaults have chaotic weapons. Crazy Yiuf always wields a chaos quarterstaff, and Psyche often has a chaos dagger.


Chaos is a fickle mistress. As a player brand, it can slow or paralyse your enemies, or it can haste or berserk them. Early game characters are simply unable to handle the negative effects, if and when they occur. And regardless of progress, a more reliable brand is heavily recommended. Chaos may have some niche use in longer battles. But if you use a chaos weapon for an extended period of time, the chance of a devastating effect are high.

Monster with chaos, in turn, may paralyse or even banish you (from distortion), leading to potentially fatal situations. Utmost care should be taken against enemy chaos weapons.


  • Prior to 0.25, chaos could inflict random miscast effects instead of the might and agility effects.
  • Prior to 0.20, there was a rare chance of healing the target.
  • Prior to 0.19, invalid effects could still be rolled with reduced probability.
  • Prior to 0.18, ranged weapon ammo could have brands, including the chaos brand.
  • Between 0.16 and 0.18, the chaos brand could move nearby stairs.
  • Prior to 0.14, weapons of chaos could shaft or polymorph the attacker. Also, gods would forgive the player for disliked effects produced by chaos effects.


  1. (0.30.1)
  2. (0.30.1)
  3. (0.30.1)
Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenom
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers AntimagicDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyPenetrationSpeed
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver