Confusing Touch

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Version 0.23: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Confusing touch.png Confusing Touch
Level 1
School1 Hexes
Casting noise 1
Spell noise 0
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 1 Hexes spell which causes your melee attacks to inflict confusion along with damage. 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's success is based on the victim's HD instead of its MR, making Confusing Touch surprisingly useful in the late game. Its chance of success is 80% * (24-HD)/24, so monsters with 24 HD and above are immune. You can see this chance by hovering over an enemy with x while the spell is active.

You can cast the spell multiple times to increase its duration. 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 attacks 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

  • This spell is useful for virtually any character, as its main effect is based off of monster HD rather than spell power. Even a heavily armoured brute can generally manage to get Confusing Touch castable with relatively little skill investment, though they might want a ring of wizardry to make casting it a little easier.
  • Characters that specialize in Short Blades can make particularly good use of Confusing Touch, as not only will their high-speed attacks make applying the spell faster, they can follow it up with a devastating stab.
  • Confusing Touch remains useful for a long time. Dangerous threats throughout the game like nagarajas, high-end deep elves, and even greater mummies have about a 1 in 3 chance of being confused long enough for you to gain the upper hand. The spell even functions on enemies that are otherwise immune to enchantments like statues or golems. It's only when enemy HD starts getting above 16 that Confusing Touch starts becoming obsolete, and even in the very late game, there are still threats with HD low enough to be susceptible.
  • Confusing Touch only triggers on melee attacks; if you need to do damage while the spell is still active, ranged attacks, spells, and wands still work.


  • 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, it was a level 2 spell.
  • Prior to 0.10, Confusing Touch had a higher success rate.