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Version 0.31: 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. Felids advance in levels very slowly. They are skilled with many forms of magic, though less so with raw elemental magic.

Felids start with an extra life, and gain more as they increase in levels. Upon death, they will be resurrected in a safe place..

Innate Abilities

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

Extra Lives

Every 3 levels, you gain an extra life. Whenever you die with a spare life, you are revived; this consumes the life with no penalty. Upon revival, you are teleported (usually to a safe location). Your HP and MP are fully restored, draining and stat drain are removed, most status effects and all magical contamination are removed, and you gain a floor's worth of Zot clock time.

  • You may have up to 2 spare lives at any given time. If you miss gaining an extra life because you already had two, you'll gain that life the next time you gain a level with fewer than 2 lives. You may only gain 1 life per level.
  • You continue gaining lives after XL 27, at XP totals following the same quadratic progression as levels 14 through 27. You are not limited to 9 lives.
  • 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.

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 4th level.
  • 30% 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 (see above).

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


Essentially, Felids are worse Octopodes - an already difficult species - with extra lives. Multiple lives does make the game more forgiving, but being a -30% 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.

Since Felids are so weak, threat assessment is important. You'll need to avoid fights that are uncertain, as escaping from a fight can be costly. Thankfully, their high Stealth aids in this cause.

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
Dodging 3
Maces & Flails N/A Shields N/A Conjurations -1
Axes N/A Stealth 4 Hexes 4
Polearms N/A Summonings 0
Staves N/A Invocations 0 Necromancy 0
Unarmed Combat 0 Evocations 1 Translocations 4
Throwing N/A Shapeshifting -2 Alchemy -1
Fire Magic -1
Short Blades N/A Ice Magic -1
Long Blades N/A Air Magic -1
Ranged Weapons N/A Experience -1 Earth Magic -1


The talisman forms can be a strong choice for Felids; many of the later forms give much-needed defense. Since Felids can't use armour and weapons, and as they aren't fast, they don't lose much while in a form. To compensate, their Shapeshifting aptitude is poor, so it'll take more XP.

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. Summons also give you a way to reset fights. In addition, many of the later Summoning spells (Summon Forest, Summon Mana Viper, Malign Gateway) use either Hexes or Translocations, which Felids excel at.
  • 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 low AC. Summon Ice Beast lets you branch into Summonings, too.
  • Delvers: Felids have massive stealth and stabbing capabilities, and their extra life makes the ascent upwards less dangerous than usual. If you want to play risky: 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.


  • 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 were reworked. Prior to this version:
    • Felids had fast movement speed (0.8 move delay). This was more valuable as, in prior versions, being faster than a monster gave immunity to attacks of opportunity.
    • They did not start with an extra life. Upon losing a life, your XL was reduced by 1.
    • They only had -40% HP, had starting attributes of 4 Str / 9 Int / 11 Dex, and gained a stat every 5th level.
  • 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 OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianTrollDeep ElfArmataurGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganGhoulTenguOniBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMummy