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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Confusion is a status condition that causes the victim to move and act randomly until it wears off. Confusion can be extremely dangerous: the victim may attack empty tiles or even allies when they attempt to fight, and may fall into deep water or lava if they attempt to move.

Effects of Confusion

When confused, a character or monster:

  • Cannot cast spells or use special abilities.
  • Cannot read scrolls.
  • Cannot use shields (SH stat goes to 0).
  • Cannot evoke wands.
  • Moves in a random direction if they try to move/attack:
    • They may move into adjacent deep water or lava. Players and a few highly intelligent monsters never do this.
    • They may attack a friendly ally/summons. Non-mindless allies, once hit, will become hostile. Players are warned if they might attack an ally.
  • May have trouble using stairs:
    • Going upstairs, 50% chance of falling, losing 1 HP, and remaining on the level.
    • Going downstairs, 50% chance of falling and losing 1 HP, but you make it down the stairs.
    • If you are flying or using an escape hatch, these confusion penalties don't apply.
  • Might attack itself by accident (monsters only).
  • Is vulnerable to stabbing (monsters only).

Causes of Confusion

Confusion can be inflicted by:

Dealing with Confusion

Ways to remove confusion include:


The following all prevent confusion from occurring in the first place:

  • Clarity allows you to resist most sources of confusion.
  • Nonliving monsters, plants, and all monsters with infinite willpower cannot be confused by any source. (Willpower resisting all forms of confusion is anomalous, but moot: no creatures with infinite willpower are currently in the game are susceptible to Mephitic Cloud or Alistair's Intoxication anyway.)
  • Zin's "Vitalisation" ability.


Avoid confusing creatures that may carry useful items near lava or deep water. Great items or artifacts that they carry may otherwise be lost forever.

Mummies should be particularly careful about becoming confused at the wrong time, as they lack access to most methods for removing it at will.


  • In 0.23, confused monsters get a 1 in 3 chance to move normally, like players do.
  • Prior to 0.21, confusion had its own specialized wand type.
  • Prior to 0.20, it was possible to use wands while confused, though doing so would zap it in a random direction.
  • Prior to 0.19, randart equipment could grant confusion if it spawned with {*confuse} ego.
  • Prior to 0.18, Mass Confusion was a spell available to all players.
  • Prior to 0.17, cleaving attacks didn't function under confusion. Gell's Gravitas was able to cause confusion, and all high-intelligence monsters were immune to drowning while confused.
  • Prior to 0.16, confusion also came in the form of potions of confusion.