Confusing Touch

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Confusing touch.png Confusing Touch
Level 3
School1 Hexes
Source(s) Book of Debilitation
Book of Misfortune
Casting noise 2
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 100
Flags Wl check, Selfench
Enchants the caster's dominant hand with magical energy. This energy is released when the caster touches a monster, and may induce a state of confusion in the monster. The caster's attacks do no damage while attempting to touch a monster in this way.

Confusing Touch is a level 3 Hexes spell which causes your melee attacks to inflict confusion if you can overcome the target's willpower. You can see your chance of affecting a particular monster by hovering over it with x while the spell is active. Enchanters start with this spell in their libraries.

Because you are more concerned with making contact with the enemy than injuring it, you do no damage while your to-hit is increased by 1d(Dexterity). Wearing gloves or wielding a weapon has no impact on the spell's effects. The spell even functions with the reaching attacks of Polearms, though it will prevent Axes from making cleaving attacks until the spell ends.

You can cast the spell multiple times to increase the duration of its effect. Each time you attack while under the effect of this spell, its duration is reduced by a random amount; while this makes it hard to gauge how many swings you have left, having a greater duration makes it more likely to last. Once you confuse an enemy, the spell immediately ends so that you can attack the enemy normally.

Tips & Tricks

  • Successfully confusing an opponent will effectively take it almost entirely out of the fight for some time. Use it to shut down dangerous spellcasters or prevent powerful physical fighters from effectively targeting you. This can give you enough time to either kill them while they're disabled or make an escape.
  • Stabbers can make particularly good use of Confusing Touch. As they are likely to specialize in Short Blades to take advantage of increased stab damage, their high-speed attacks will make applying the spell go more quickly.
    • While the confusion-based stabs from this spell are less damaging than sleep-based stabs you can get from Ensorcelled Hibernation, Confusing Touch works on many kinds of monsters that are immune to Ensorcelled Hibernation and its effects last longer, making it a more broadly useful alternative in an enchanter's arsenal.
  • Since you have to be at point-blank range in order for this spell to function, be wary of trying this on dangerous threats with significant willpower. Every turn you spend failing to confuse that hydra is another free turn for it to chew on you.
  • Because Confusing Touch requires an extra turn to recast it between applications and only affects one creature, it is most effective in one-on-one fights. If you're fighting multiple opponents, try to retreat into a corridor so only one of them can reach you at a time.
  • If you can, try to confuse land-bound monsters while they're standing next to deep water or lava; they may blunder into the hostile terrain and kill themselves. Just be aware that this will generally result in you losing access to any useful items they might have been carrying.
  • Confusing Touch only triggers on melee attacks; if you need to do damage while the spell is still active, ranged attacks, spells, wands, and Invocations all still work.


  • In 0.28, Confusing Touch ends if the target has infinite willpower.
  • Prior to 0.25, Confusing Touch was Level 1 and checked monster HD instead of magic resistance, making it effective on a much wider array of monsters (including many that were otherwise entirely immune to Hexes).
  • Prior to 0.23, Confusing Touch did not function when attacking with a weapon, making it much more awkward to use for most characters.
  • Prior to 0.19, Confusing Touch was a level 2 spell.
  • Prior to 0.10, Confusing Touch had a higher success rate.