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Trunk-only: This article pertains to a feature of Crawl which is being tested. It will likely change before the next release, and may even be removed entirely.
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Unlike most of their goblin kin, Coglins augment their tiny frames with charm-wrought steel. Their exoskeletons, capable of wielding weapons independently in each arm, are begun with hand-me-downs from their sprawling families. By the time they come of age, they are inseparable from their creations, and experienced individuals often further customize themselves with uniquely powerful additions.

Haphazard and jerry-rigged, Coglin exoskeletons lack the flexibility of natural bodies. Though their arms can fly in a whir of destruction, it takes quite a bit of swinging to rev them up to that speed. Further, with their bodies swallowed in the controls of their machine, they cannot wear jewelry - the interference of multiple magical fields would be catastrophic!

Even so, a true Coglin would never criticize their creation. They believe that spirits of steel and sandalwood come to rest within every thing that draws blood, slowly and carefully re-attuning their exoskeletons to those spirits whenever they wield or remove weapons. Never scorn the spirits!

Innate Abilities

  • Off-hand Wielding: Coglins can wield a second one-handed weapon instead of a shield or orb. For more details, see below.
  • Slow Wielding: Wielding or unwielding a weapon takes 5 decaAut instead of 0.5.
  • Warmup Strikes: Weapon damage is reduced by -33%, but this penalty is reduced when making attacks. The penalty can be eliminated by attacking for about 4 decaAut worth of time, at which point the player is considered fully revved. When not attacking, the penalty will be gradually restored, taking about 12 decaAut to go from 0% to 33%.
  • No Jewelry: Coglins cannot wear rings or amulets.

Coglins have a base Strength of 8, Intelligence of 7, and Dexterity of 9 (before background modifiers).

Dual wielding

Coglins can wield two one-handed melee or ranged weapons and attack with both at the same time. Melee and ranged weapons cannot be mixed. There is no damage penalty beyond the one for Warmup Strikes. The attack delay is the average of the two weapon delays (e.g. with Long Blades at 14 skill, a demon blade and a double sword would attack at a (0.6 + 0.8)/2 delay, or 0.7). When attacking with two weapons, the order of attacks is random. Only 1 set of auxiliary attacks will trigger when attacking with two weapons.

When acquiring weapons, for example, using Okawaru's capstone ability, Coglins are 10x more likely to get a one-handed weapon than a two-handed one.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • +1 to a random stat every 4th level.
  • Average HP and MP.
  • +5 willpower per level.
  • At XL 14, Coglins can invent a gizmo. See below for more details.

Invent Gizmo

At XL 14, Coglins will gain the Invent Gizmo ability, which will generate 3 gizmos and allow the player to install one of them. Each gizmo is generated with 1 rare and 2 common properties. When installing a gizmo, its properties are permanently applied to your character.

Each common property will appear exactly once within the three gizmos. For example, one of the three gizmos is guaranteed to have rF+, but the combination of {rF+, rElec} is not guaranteed. Likewise, if one gizmo has rF+, no other gizmo can have rF+.
  • There are 7 rare properties. They are:
    • Regen + RegenMP: Increase HP regeneration by 0.8/turn and MP regeneration by 0.4/turn.
    • Repel Missiles + Clarity: Gain Repel Missiles and clarity.
    • Rampage + Acrobat: Gain rampage and acrobat.
    • Gadgeteer: XP evocables recharge 30% faster, and wands have a 30% chance to not consume a charge when used.
    • RevMPSaver: Reduce the MP cost of spells based on rev (3 at full rev). The MP cost of a spell cannot be reduced below 1.
    • ParryRev: Gain AC based on rev (+5 at full rev). When fully revved, also gain a small chance to disarm enemies on striking.
    • AutoDazzle: Gain a small chance to fire a beam of blinding light at any enemy that misses you. This beam does no damage.
Because there are 3 gizmos and 7 rare properties, not all rare properties will be available in a given game.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Coglins start with the skills and equipment listed for their background, with the following exceptions:

  • Backgrounds that start with a one-handed melee weapon also start with a +0 dagger.
  • Hexslingers start with an additional -2 sling.
  • Hunters start with a +2 sling and a +0 sling instead of a shortbow.

Difficulty of Play


Coglins are somewhat difficult to play. Dual wielding is much better than regular two-handed combat:

  • It deals much more damage. Even when considering the penalty from Warmup Strikes, a dual-wielding Coglin is stronger than a regular species with a two-handed weapon.
  • It takes less skill than most two-handed weapons. If a regular species can use a one-handed weapon, a Coglin can use two of the same weapon at the same proficiency.

However, the lack of jewellery makes it harder to gain resistances and/or stats. In addition, as dual wielding means not wearing a shield, their defenses will be worse.

XL 14 represents a major power spike for Coglins, as a gizmo is essentially equivalent to a full set of non-artefact jewelry. In general, gizmos cover some resistances and provide an interesting property, preparing the Coglin for the S-branches (Snake, Spider, Swamp, and Shoals) and beyond, where resistances become more important.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 0 Armour -1 Spellcasting -2
Dodging -1
Maces & Flails -1 Shields -3 Conjurations -1
Axes 0 Stealth -1 Hexes -1
Polearms -1 Summonings 0
Staves -1 Invocations -2 Necromancy 0
Unarmed Combat -1 Evocations 3 Translocations 0
Throwing -1 Shapeshifting -2 Alchemy 1
Fire Magic -1
Short Blades -1 Ice Magic -1
Long Blades 0 Air Magic -1
Ranged Weapons -1 Experience 0 Earth Magic -1


Coglins are obviously geared towards melee combat, but their dual wielding can be used for other purposes as well:

  • Ranged Weapons can also benefit from dual wielding. Note, however, that there are only 2 types of one-handed Ranged Weapons: slings and hand cannons. The former is an early game weapon, and the latter is quite rare (it often takes a while to find one, let alone two). Dual slings can be great for the early game, but unless you find hand cannon(s), your damage will be less impressive in the later game.
  • Casters can benefit from dual magical staves, allowing you to get two spell power bonuses. Coglins' magic aptitudes are a bit below average, which is still passable overall. Shields are also a reasonable choice for casters, despite the -3 aptitude.

Note that Warmup Strikes' penalty still applies even when you aren't dual wielding. Therefore, if you're using weapons, you should probably dual wield.


  • In 0.32, Coglins will be added to the game.
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