Demos' Spriggan Venom Mage guide

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This article contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised. Take advice as you see fit, and read at your own risk!

A Guide to Spriggan Venom Mage of Vehumet

Primary Skills:

You begin the game with a Young Poisoner's Handbook. You will want to learn every spell in this book. You can leave Poison Magic on as long as you like but I tend to toggle it off in favour of spending more experience on Spellcasting. Higher levels of spellcasting reduce Hunger costs which are a Spriggan's worst enemy.

You can toggle Poison Magic back on any time to pump some exp into it. You definitely want to leave Conjuration on at all times. Same with Dodging and Stealth. Your first goal is to locate the Ecumenical Temple and worship Vehumet.

Remember to flee from any challenging enemies. It doesn't hurt to dive downward a few levels and then come back up. Use wands generously to take down whatever you can't poison to death. Collect runed and glowing short swords, daggers, sabres, and staves and use detect curse to equip-id them. An early dagger of venom, speed, or any other brands can be great for stabbing.

Why Vehumet?

  • He gives you MP back for every kill and collateral kill. This includes undead, demons, and when your pets kill enemies on the other side of the level from you. This also includes melee kills, so when you run out of mana you can chop a rat in half for a few MP.
  • He gives you a natural wizardry bonus for conjuration and summoning spells, making them easier for you to cast.
  • He will very quickly gift you the Book of Annihilations. Which has your soon to be favourite spell in it, Poison Arrow.

Why is Poison Arrow so good?

  • It can poison living enemies that are normally immune to poison. Slime Creatures, Shadow Dragons, Greater Nagas, you name it, they will die.
  • Even if the enemy is immune to poison completely, Poison Arrow does massive damage. You can kill Pan Lords in 4 hits, Curse Skulls in 2, Deep Elf Annihilators in 1...
  • You can and will clear the entire game including Zot with this spell.
  • It is a one-shot kill for a lot of hardcore foes. In combination with spriggan stealth and speed this becomes almost game-breaking powerful. You can approach and pick off entire groups of enemies without any of them waking up.

Poison Arrow becomes naturally Hunger-less at approx lvl 22, int 27, Spellcasting 21, and earlier if you can get your INT higher.

Your second goal is to attain a Staff of Energy. This baby turns Spriggans from jittery poison kiters into hyper-speed mobile death platforms. Every spell being hunger-less means you can go poison arrow happy as soon as you get this staff, so the earlier the better. It's not that rare, just equip/ID every magical staff you find, or use a scroll of acquirement.

In 0.6, Poison Arrow got nerfed. It's still worth using, but it isn't as powerful as it used to be. Orb of Destruction shouldn't be difficult to learn if you're able to cast Poison Arrow.

Additional Tips

  • One of the biggest obstacles of a SpVm is surviving long enough to get a tool to handle poison-resistant enemies. Vehemut's second gift will include Iskenderun's Mystic Blast. With this in mind, it might be worth diving immediately in search of the temple, and then returning to D:1. Just remember to run from trouble!
  • Spriggans are very fragile. Even with the right gear and resistances, always assume you are at most 2 hits from death. Staying out of melee range is easy enough, but enemy spell casters are especially dangerous. Orc Priests, for example, are even deadlier than normal. ALWAYS start encounters against ranged enemies at full health.


  • Since Vehumet now gifts individual spells rather than books, he's not as reliable a source of Poison Arrow or poison spells in general.
  • Also, only 30% of Poison Arrow's damage is irresistable now. When this guide was written it was 60% irresistable.