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Version 0.27: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

This page refers to the player species. For the monster, see Gargoyle (monster). For a list of all monstrous gargoyles, see List of gargoyles.

A cross between ordinary stone gargoyles and living beings, Gargoyles are hideous humanoids with an affinity to rock. They have low health, but large amounts of innate armour which increases further as they gain levels. They eventually gain the ability to fly continuously.

Gargoyles' partially living form grants them immunity to poison, as well as resistance to electricity, and protection from some effects of necromancy. Their natural armour makes them strong melee fighters, and they are naturally skilled with blunt weapons and in unarmed combat. They can also be exceptional earth-based conjurers.

Innate Abilities

  • Natural AC: Gargoyles receive a large innate boost to AC relative to XL. Gargoyles get +2 AC at XL 1, and this rises every few levels (see chart below).
  • Petrification resistance: Gargoyles cannot be petrified.
  • Gargoyles are composed of nonliving stone rather than flesh:

Gargoyles have a base Strength of 11, Intelligence of 8 and Dexterity of 5 (before Background modifiers).

AC Bonuses

Level AC Level AC Level AC
1 +2 10 +7 19 +13
2 +2 11 +7 20 +15
3 +3 12 +8 21 +15
4 +3 13 +9 22 +16
5 +4 14 +9 23 +17
6 +4 15 +11 24 +17
7 +4 16 +11 25 +19
8 +5 17 +12 26 +19
9 +5 18 +13 27 +20

Preferred Backgrounds

Gargoyles are recommended for the following backgrounds:

Level Bonuses

Starting Skills and Equipment

Gargoyles receive the skills and equipment listed for their background.

Difficulty of Play


Although they have low HP (-20%), Gargoyles' innate AC bonus grows quickly as character level rises, providing much added protection. The extra AC generally compensates for their low HP, however one must still be very careful around the few attacks that ignore AC, most notably smiting, but also (later in the game) damnation and powerful cold-branded melee attacks (from creatures like simulacra and ice fiends) — along with a few other, even rarer attacks.

Beyond this, Gargoyles enjoy a number of innate bonuses and resistances that range from mildly convenient to downright helpful, depending on context. Innate rPois ameliorates or negates some threats, such as the assortment of venomous critters of the Lair or early kobolds with darts, and also removes the need to wait out poison. Both rPois and eventual perma-flight, aside from convenience, together mean that Gargoyles have two desirable properties when it comes to doing the two early Lair branches, one of which always centers around water (Shoals or Swamp) and the other around poison (Spider or Snake).

For most of a regular game, their torment resistance will be of little benefit, but it is incredibly helpful in the Hells and Pandemonium. Individually, Gargoyles' other characteristics do not have much of an impact, but taken together they do allow one to ignore some specific, dangerous (or just annoying) effects that form part of the "gimmick" of certain enemies (e.g., basilisk's petrification). On the other hand, one must be even more careful than usual around deep troll earth mages, Jorgrun, and player ghosts that can cast LRD or Shatter.

Their aptitudes are fairly well balanced and lend themselves to a variety of backgrounds and subsequent development strategies.


Although it may seem tempting to raise your AC as high as possible, realize that evasion is also tremendously useful, even with a Gargoyle's unimpressive Dodging aptitude. Due to a Gargoyle's large boosts to AC regardless of armour, a suit of light or medium armour can still provide excellent defenses without penalizing your spellcasting or evasion nearly as much as heavier armour would.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour 1 Spellcasting -1
Short Blades -1 Dodging -2 Conjurations 1
Long Blades -1 Stealth 2 Hexes -1
Axes -1 Shields 1 Summonings -1
Maces & Flails 0 Necromancy -2
Polearms -1 Translocations -1
Staves 0 Transmutations -2
Unarmed Combat 0
Fire Magic 0
Throwing -1 Ice Magic 0 Invocations 1
Slings -1 Air Magic -2 Evocations -1
Bows 0 Earth Magic 2
Crossbows 0 Poison Magic 0 Experience 0


  • Prior to the simplification of GDR in 0.27, Gargoyles had a special-case bonus to it. Prior to this version, Gargoyles could not worship Yredelemnul.
  • Prior to its removal in 0.26, gargoyles were immune to rot.
  • Prior to 0.16, Gargoyles could cast Statue Form, though they received four less AC than other species when doing so.
  • Prior to 0.15, the skill aptitudes of Maces & Flails, Unarmed Combat, and Staves were +1.
  • Prior to 0.14, Gargoyles had Fangs 1, Talons 1 and Slow Metabolism 1. Gargoyles got slightly less (only 5/6ths) of the GDR from their body armour, but this was more than compensated for by a large innate bonus (+24% GDR). This innate bonus was suppressed when they were transformed, except for Statue Form, in which Gargoyles had a total of 62% GDR.
  • Gargoyles were added in 0.13.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianPalentongaTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep Dwarf
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy