Inner Flame

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Inner flame.png Inner Flame
Level 3
School1 Fire
School2 Hexes
Source(s) Book of Flames
Book of Spontaneous Combustion
Casting noise 3
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 100
Range LOS
Flags Wl check, Not self, Target
Fills an enemy with an intense fire. This fire is released any time the target is hit, and explosively released upon death. The size of the explosion caused is dependent on the size of the target.

Inner Flame is a status effect and level 3 Hexes/Fire Magic spell. When a monster hit by Inner Flame is damaged, it takes fire damage, and on death, it explodes.

Fire Elementalists and Hexslingers start with this spell. A scroll of immolation can also inflict the Inner Flame status.


If you overcome the target's willpower, the spell inflicts the Inner Flame status for 25 to 35 turns. It is smite-targeted, so can affect any target in your line of sight. Allies are not turned hostile if you affect them.


Whenever the afflicted target is injured, a flaming cloud is generated at their position for three turns. On death, the victim will explode like a Fireball, dealing heavy fire damage to all adjacent squares and leaving clouds of fire. The amount of damage and radius of the explosion is dependent on the monster's size:

  • Tiny monsters have a radius 1 explosion and deal 3d15 damage.
  • Little through large monsters (i.e. most creatures in the game) have a radius 1 explosion and deal 3d20 damage.
  • Giant monsters have a radius 2 explosion and deal 3d25 damage.

Note that the flame clouds deal 6-21 damage per turn, including the turn of the explosion. If a corpse would be created by the exploding monster, it is destroyed and leaves a spray of blood instead, as with a wand of mindburst.

Monsters with infinite willpower are immune to the inner flame status, even from a scroll of immolation.


Inner Flame interacts oddly with certain mechanics:

  • Trample - When a trampling enemy kills a monster with Inner Flame, the victim is moved, then it explodes, then the trampler moves on to the new square. So if a trampler kills an inner flame foe, it won't get hit by a normal-size explosion.
  • Quicksilver Bolt - The monster is damaged, then if killed, it explodes (before the status is dispelled).
  • Ally betrayal - The good gods don't mind the act of inflicting Inner Flame on your allies. However, the flame clouds created by the status count as "your" damage, which does count towards ally betrayal. This means that, if you Inner Flame your ally and it doesn't die in 1 hit, the good gods will get angry. If the ally dies in 1 hit (i.e. before flame clouds are created), you don't get penance. Of course, if the explosion hits another ally in the vicinity, it does count towards penance.
    • The ally itself won't get angry at the flame clouds; it will remain friendly until it dies.
    • Summon Guardian Golem's Inner Flame does not count at all. Even if the golem's explosion hits your own allies, you don't get penance.
  • Beogh - If there are no orcs on the level and you're at 4* piety or higher, Beogh can gift orcs in-between a chain of explosions. This can cause penance even if you don't intend it (enemy dies, explodes -> orc gift -> another enemy explodes, hits orc -> penance).


Used correctly, Inner Flame can deal tremendous damage to multiple enemies early in the game. Used incorrectly, you'll probably blow yourself to bits. Regardless, fire resistance is heavily recommended in order to reduce the damage you take from a badly-timed kill, allowing you to survive things blowing up in your face.

  • The most obvious way to avoid blowing yourself up is to kill the afflicted monster from a distance. Fire Elementalists have spells, Hexslingers have a ranged weapon. Other classes can make use of similar methods; even an attack wand will do in a pinch, if you use Inner Flame on a weakened foe.
    • Slowing or stopping your opponents, whether by use of spells like Slow, Leda's Liquefaction, and Petrify, or through methods like throwing curare darts or throwing nets, can give you enough time to run to a safe distance before setting your target off.
    • Unlike in most situations, placing a harmful cloud in an Inner Flamed monster's path will not prevent them from closing to melee. Monsters will freely move from one harmful cloud to another, and the clouds of fire they generate when hit will be enough to convince them to charge into your defensive cloud banks.
  • The next best way is to Inner Flame your own allies; whenever they be charmed, summoned, or undead. You can sit back while you tell them to attack. Your allies won't get angry when they are afflicted by Inner Flame (though the good gods might - see Oddities).
  • If the target is behind some other creatures, make use of smite-targeted attacks (such as Portal Projectile) or one of the various piercing attacks (javelins or bolt spells) to set it off in the midst of its fellows. Attack wands come in handy here.
  • You don't have to take advantage of the explosion for Inner Flame to be useful. The flame clouds (created on-hit) deal good damage, at least for the early game. Inner Flame an enemy, then attack from a distance.

Inner Flame works best against a group of monsters, such as a band of orcs, swarm of killer bees, or herd of yaks. However, you can take advantage of the on-hit clouds against a single target, or ignite your own summons to take out a unique.

Tips & Tricks

  • Poison will continuously trigger the flame cloud effect. Combining Inner Flame with Poisonous Vapours or poison darts works well.
  • When a monster with Inner Flame explodes, they'll create long-lasting flame clouds. These can be used to block corridors, discouraging enemies from walking through.


  • Prior to 0.28, Inner Flame was not smite-targeted. It also had a power cap of 200.
  • Prior to 0.26, corpse-leaving monsters would explode into chunks.
  • Prior to 0.25, monsters afflicted with Inner Flame did not generate clouds of flame on themselves when injured. Also, summoned creatures could not be inflicted with Inner Flame.