Mace of Variability

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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
A large mace said to have appeared when Xom grew bored with the predictability of more ordinary instruments of chaos. Striking an enemy with this weapon will occasionally unleash arcs of chaos upon any creatures nearby, leaving the wielder unharmed.

Mace of variability.png the Mace of Variability

+7 great mace
Chaos brand
20% chance to cast Chain of Chaos on hit
Color changes each turn in console mode

Damage formula of Chain of Chaos

On 20% of attacks that hit an enemy but do not kill the enemy, the spell Chain of Chaos will be cast, with the following parameters:

Spell power: 75 + random2avg(75, 2) (minimum 75, maximum 149, median 122)
Base damage: 3d(5 + power/6) (minimum 3d17, maximum 3d25)

The spell arcs in the same way as Chain Lightning, but will never damage the wielder. When an arc hits a target, the target is affected with chaos.


The Mace of Variability[1], like any chaos-branded weapon, may occasionally produce dramatic and/or devastating results. On the one hand, it is a +7 great mace with a Chain Lightning-esque effect that does very reliable damage to any affected target; on the other hand, all the chaos flying around has the potential to just make your situation worse, with enemies turning hasted, berserk, and/or invisible all around you. By all means, use it, but use it with care.


  • Prior to 0.22, it did not cast Chain of Chaos. Instead, its enchantment was variable, ranging from -4 to +16, with a 20% chance to increase by 1 and a 20% chance to decrease by 1 for every turn wielded.
  • This is one of the original five artefacts in the game (the others being the Wrath of Trog, the Scythe of Curses, the Singing Sword, and the Glaive of Prune). It has evolved somewhat through the years, changing from a mace to a great mace, gaining a chaos brand, and having its variable enchantment replaced with a chain of chaos effect.