Curse skull

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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
curse skull zCurse skull.png
HP 34-70
HD 13
XP 1586
Speed 15
AC 35
EV 3
Will Immune

Resistances rF++
Vulnerabilities Holy
Habitat Land
Intelligence Human
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Undead
Size Tiny
Type curse skull, curse skull
Flags Evil
See invisible
A charred skull floating in the air and rotating slowly. Mystic symbols are carved into its blackened surface.

Useful Info

Curse skulls are powerful undead monsters which resist almost everything, summon swarms of undead allies, and torment you repeatedly. They never move while you're within line of sight, but will quickly position themselves in irritatingly out-of-reach places whenever you flee. They can be found in the Crypt.


Spell set I
Slot1 Summon Undead Magical flag,
Noisy flag
Slot2 Symbol of Torment Magical flag,
Noisy flag

Tips & Tricks

  • Their high AC, elemental resistances, and evasive behavior make them more difficult to kill than you might expect.
    • Casters with Dispel Undead can destroy them in a couple shots once they get within range, though their tendency to summon allies coupled with their habit of appearing at the very edge of your line of sight makes reaching them difficult. Several Earth Magic and pure Conjurations spells also work fairly well, though the undead allies often get in the way of Orb of Destruction.
    • If you have to rely on elemental magic, use the most powerful spells you have at your disposal. Curse skulls might have a wide range of resistances, but they will still succumb eventually to spells like Bolt of Magma, Starburst, or Ozocubu's Refrigeration. Fire Storm works very well, if you can cast it.
    • Air elementalists are mostly out of luck; they ignore electricity damage, and even though they fly, their AC makes Airstrike much less effective than you might hope.
    • Melee fighters with weapons of holy wrath can take them down quickly, and vorpal weapons are your best bet when that's not an option. Due to the way AC damage reduction works, killing them in melee will take somewhat longer for short blades specialists than for heavy two-handed weapon-wielders; try drinking a potion of might or corroding them with a wand of acid if you're having trouble doing damage. Also, if you're vulnerable to torment, consider using a spare scroll of blinking to jump directly to melee range.
  • Try to minimize the time when a curse skull can see and torment you without you doing damage to it. Use corners or a scroll of fog to break the line of sight.
  • Curse skulls are immune to Silence and Hexes, so you can't simply disable their ability to cast spells.
  • A potion of lignification will render you immune to torment, but you'll be trapped with the curse skull for the duration, and their army of summoned reinforcements will still be able to physically beat you to death. Use with caution, preferably around a corner somewhere away from unexplored regions.


  • In 0.13 and 0.14, curse skulls could move when out of the player's line of sight (similar to wandering mushrooms). In 0.15, they returned to being stationary, and finally in 0.16 and later they could move quickly when out of LOS.
  • Prior to 0.13, curse skulls were stationary and had significantly higher HP and AC.