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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
It weakens the willpower of the wielder and anyone they hex.

The Guile ego, exclusive to orbs, gives you -80 (**) willpower. In exchange, monsters you target with Hexes or other willpower checks effectively have -80 willpower.


Losing willpower is incredibly risky. Paralysis and Petrify can instantly kill you if you're unlucky. Other hexes - such as sleep, banishment, and confusion - range from annoying to directly lethal. Also, as an orb, it prevents you from wearing a shield.

At the same time, a flat -80 willpower is an incredibly strong effect. Death yaks, for instance, go from 100 to 20 will, turning a mid-power Ensorcelled Hibernation from a 2% to 68% chance of success. Most non-unique enemies before Zot don't even have 100 will, allowing you to get very consistent (60% - 90%) success rates for Hexes, status wands, etc. Don't think you need to be a Hexes or Evocations specialist to benefit. If you just have 5 Evocations skill, a wand of paralysis has a 77% chance to succeed against 0 willpower monsters.

The risk can be mitigated in a few ways:

  • Using guile in places with few willpower threats. The early Dungeon, the Lair, and some of its branches (Spider, Snake, arguably Shoals) don't have many willpower checks; you aren't expected to have good will yet.
  • Using guile in places with no willpower threats. If you're taking out a ghost vault on an otherwise clear level, using guile can be safe (so long as the ghost doesn't have hexes of its own).
  • Using hexes/statuses of your own. Paralysis will prevent monsters from using their Paralyse, for instance. Cause Fear is brutally effective with guile, giving you a renewable supply of fear scrolls at ~80% success. (This isn't 100% guaranteed; not only does it have a chance to fail, but a monster can paralyse you the turn you step into its LOS.)

Tips & Tricks

  • Note that monsters won't go below 0 willpower. If you've got a 68% chance to succeed a hex against hydras, you'll also get a 68% chance to succeed against rats and hobgoblins. Therefore, guile has the most noticeable effect against monsters around the 80 - 120 will range.
  • Sadly, it does not affect hexes from your allies (such as Hepliaklqana's ancestor).


  • The guile ego was introduced, along with orbs, in 0.28.