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Version 0.30: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
This page is about the player species. For the monster, see Felid (monster).
Felids are a breed of cats that have been granted sentience. Originally they were witches' familiars that were magically augmented to provide help for their masters' rituals, yet many have abandoned, outlived, or, in at least one case, eviscerated their former masters and gone out into the world.

While fully capable of using speech and most forms of magic, Felids are at a serious disadvantage due to their inability to use armour or weapons.

Their agility and stealth are legendary, as is their ability to get to hard to reach places. They move faster than most species, but don't run as fast as Spriggans. Felids advance in levels very slowly. They are skilled with many forms of magic, though less so with raw elemental magic.

Felids gain extra lives as they increase in levels. Upon death, they will be resurrected in a safe place, losing an experience level in the process.

Innate Abilities

Felids have a base Strength of 4, Intelligence of 9 and Dexterity of 11 (before Background modifiers). They have +1 to base magic points.

Preferred Backgrounds

Due to their inability to use most items, Felids are prohibited from becoming Gladiators, Hunters, Brigands, and Hexslingers. (Without weapons or armour, most of those are indistinguishable from Monks, so use that instead.)

Level Bonuses

  • +1 intelligence or dexterity (equal chance) every 5th level.
  • 40% less HP than average.
  • +6 willpower per level.
  • Your fur grows thicker at level 6 (+2 AC) and thicker still at level 12 (+3 AC, rC+).
  • Every three levels, you gain an extra life:
    • When you lose a life, your stats, HP, and MP are completely restored. Most statuses, including maximum HP drain and magic contamination, are removed, and you gain a floor's worth of Zot clock time. You are randomly teleported away from the location of your death (prioritizing safe areas) and you retain all of your previous inventory items. You then lose an entire experience level, but retain your skills progress.
    • You may have at most two extra lives at a time. If you miss gaining an extra life because you already had two, you will gain that life the next time you gain a level with fewer than 2 lives (but you may gain at most one life per level).
    • You may check how many extra lives you have and how many times you have died on the % screen, just below "Spells".
    • If you have less than two lives, pressing E shows how much XP is required for an extra life.
    • You continue gaining extra lives past level 27, at XP totals following the same quadratic progression as levels 14 through 27.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Felids receive the skills and equipment listed for their background, with these exceptions:

  • Felids receive no armour or weapons.
    • Any background that starts with a weapon skill gives them Unarmed Combat instead.
    • Any Armour skill is replaced with Dodging.
    • Felid Fighters gain additional Unarmed and Dodging instead of Shields skill.

Difficulty of Play


Felids don't have to worry about weapons or armour, which does make your game more straightforward. And having multiple lives does make the game more forgiving. However, being a -40% HP species with no weapons or armour imposes its own type of challenge. You can get one-shot or two-shot by a variety of foes, including those as early as dart slugs and orc priests. Extra lives are great, but they can create a "death spiral" - when you revive, you'll have even less HP than when you died.

One of a Felid's greatest strengths, at least in the early game, is their fast speed and high stealth. Getting surrounded is a very bad thing for a prospective Felid. Always make sure you have an escape route.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 0 Armour N/A Spellcasting -1
Short Blades N/A Dodging 3 Conjurations -1
Long Blades N/A Stealth 4 Hexes 4
Maces & Flails N/A Shields N/A Summonings 0
Axes N/A Necromancy 0
Polearms N/A Invocations 0 Translocations 4
Staves N/A Evocations 1 Transmutations 1
Unarmed Combat 0
Experience -1 Fire Magic -1
Throwing N/A Ice Magic -1
Ranged Weapons N/A Air Magic -1
Earth Magic -1
Poison Magic -1


Many Felids will want to consider learning Transmutations magic, as the higher-level Form spells grant bonus HP, AC, and melee damage that Felids lack. While almost every form will negate your speed advantage, speed becomes less powerful as you progress through the game. Melee Felids should also be interested in learning Manifold Assault, as it lets you make powerful attacks from a distance.

Extra lives are a lot easier to regain in early Dungeon and Lair than in the Vaults onwards, which means early deaths are not as punishing as late game ones. The XP level gained from a potion of experience counts towards regaining an extra life (unless the player has reached XL 27).

Background Choice

Felids' legendary fragility can be devastating, but certain backgrounds will help prevent early deaths:

  • Summoners: Summons have their own HP bar, meaning your own lack of health matters much less. Otherwise lethal melee encounters and projectiles alike can be blocked. Many of the later Summoning spells (Summon Forest, Summon Mana Viper, Malign Gateway) use either Hexes or Translocations, which Felids excel at.
  • Conjurers: Fulminant Prism benefits greatly from extra movement speed, allowing an extra step from the caster before it explodes. Iskenderun's Mystic Blast may push away enemies with potentially lethal melee attacks. Both of those spells are easier to train than average, since they have Hexes or Translocations as their secondary school.
  • Ice Elementalists: While Freeze's 1-tile range may be dicey, both it and Frozen Ramparts are fairly strong, never-missing spells. Ozocubu's Armour will partially negate a Felid's extremely low AC. Summon Ice Beast lets you branch into Summonings, too.
  • Delvers: Felids have massive stealth and stabbing capabilities, and their extra speed will let their ascent back to D:1 be much less risky than usual. A few lucky stabs on dangerous monsters on the way can give an experience headstart once D:1 has been reached.

God Choice

As for religion choice, Felids should take advantage of gods that synergize well with their lack of equipment and/or very small maximum HP:

  • Gozag: Gozag is typically one of the strongest gods from the midgame onwards, with plentiful Potion Petitions and the ability to turn dangerous floors into a joke by bribing them. Healing effects from Potion Petition are even more impressive with lower maximum HP. Call Merchant will never suggest Armour or Weapon shops, letting Felids quickly gear up with spells, consumables, and jewellery. Finally, Felids certainly won’t miss the normally precious dragon hides or dancing weapons being turned to gold.
  • Hepliaklqana: Provides a permanent ally, useful like all summons. The ancestor can assist and even solo dangerous foes that may otherwise inflict severe damage, while the Felid stacks extra lives and skill levels for the mid and late game.
  • Jiyva: While Felids will still lose a fair amount of consumables, they won't mind losing the countless equipment items devoured by Jiyva. Regeneration is especially noticeable with lower maximum HP, and as the jelly-spawning passive is reliant on getting hit for significant portions of one's maximum HP, a lot of high-end oozes will be generated for emergency support.
  • Kikubaaqudgha: Undead allies pair well with the Felid playstyle, greatly limiting the player's exposure to lethal ranged and melee threats alike, and can be called on demand with Unearth Wretches. A strong aptitude in Hexes and decent proficiency in Necromancy allows for ample usage of the spell Anguish in tandem with these companions, allowing for enemy kills with very little risk. In the late game, the level 9 spell Death's Door synergizes fairly well with Felid's low maximum HP and extra life mechanic, as it lets them temporarily ignore their lack of durability. Should things go south, a respawn will prevent a bad use of Death's Door from ending the run.

Cheibriados is considerably more dangerous, removing one of the Felid's primary advantages (speed).


  • After a death, should you venture to the location of your demise, you will find a felid corpse labeled "felid corpse of (player name)." If you were under the effects of Spider Form or the like when you died, your corpse will even reflect this.
  • As they can't use them, Felids will never receive gifts from Okawaru or Trog, be presented with the option to brand a weapon by The Shining One, Kikubaaqudgha or Lugonu, or be suggested weapon or armour shops by Gozag. In a related vein, troves will never ask for a weapon or a piece of armour.


  • In 0.31, Felids will start play with an extra life, and no longer lose XLs on revival. This compensates for attacks of opportunity changes; Felids are no longer immune to opportunity attacks by being faster than the opponent.
  • Prior to 0.27, Felids had a +20 innate bonus to stealth. Using Blade Hands would, instead, lower stealth by 50.
  • Prior to the removal of the hunger system in 0.26, felids were Carnivorous and had a Slow Metabolism.
  • Felid jump attacks were removed in 0.16.
  • Prior to 0.14, Felids could not jump or evoke wands.
  • Felids were added in 0.8.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleArmataurDraconianTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMeteoranMummy