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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 Octopode (monster).
These land-capable relatives of common octopuses can move about as fast as humans and yet retain the ability to swim underwater, although their dual adaptation is not as good as that of the shapechanging merfolk.

Octopodes have eight tentacle-shaped legs, and need four of them to move. While a tentacle lacks fingers, two tentacles are a rough equivalent of a human's arm where item manipulation is concerned - including wielding two-handed weapons with four. They can use no armour other than loose hats, but can handle shields just fine. Another peculiarity they have is the ability to wear eight rings, one on each tentacle.

Their natural camouflage makes them excel at stealth, and they have good knowledge of poisons as well. They are also able to use their tentacles to constrict enemies - potentially several at a time!

Innate Abilities

  • Octopodes cannot use any type of armour other than shields and hats, nor can they cast Animate Armour.
  • Octopodes can wear up to eight rings at the same time.
  • Gelatinous Body 1: Octopodes have +1 AC and EV.
  • Camouflage 1: Octopodes have +40 Stealth.
  • Tentacles: Octopodes have eight tentacles, which grant a few auxiliary attacks.
    • Constrict: Octopodes may constrict enemies in combat (see below for details).
    • Tentacle Squeeze: Octopodes have an auxiliary squeeze attack (damage = 12).
    • Tentacle Slap: Octopodes replace their offhand punch with a tentacle slap. Tentacle slaps are mostly identical to offhand punches, but can be done when wielding a two-handed weapon or shield.
  • Nimble Swimmer: Octopodes are amphibious. While in water, they can swim with no penalties, and gain +50 stealth. (Unlike Merfolk, they don't get any bonuses to evasion or movement speed.) They are also immune to Engulf and drowning damage.

Octopodes have a base Strength of 7, Intelligence of 10 and Dexterity of 7 (before Background modifiers).


Whenever you make a melee attack, you automatically attempt to constrict an enemy.

  • You must have a free tentacle to constrict with, each constriction takes one. Octopodes start with 8, but lose 2 per hand occupied (2 per one-handed weapon/shield, 4 if two-handed weapon).
  • The enemy must be the same size as you (medium) or smaller.

Constriction greatly reduces enemy EV and causes passive damage over time. Once it's successful, you'll continue as long as you remain on your current tile, even when waiting/casting spells. If you attack a new target, you constrict if you have a free tentacle. It ends if you move or if the enemy escapes. In general, enemies won't intentionally escape constriction; batty enemies will, and properties like trample and the Blink spell can move you/them.

Attempting to constrict 8 enemies at once is generally considered unwise.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

Starting Skills and Equipment

Octopodes receive the skills and equipment listed for their background, save for the following restrictions:

  • Octopodes receive no body armour. Any helmets are replaced with hats.
  • Any skill points in Armour are placed in Dodging instead.

Difficulty of Play


Octopodes are a difficult race to play. The prospect of wearing eight amazing rings is appealing... but getting there is another matter. As a species with reduced health and almost no armour, Octopodes are very frail; combat can turn bad at the drop of a hat. Without the speed of a Spriggan or aptitudes of a Deep Elf, they are just plain difficult. You can eventually compensate: shields, talisman forms, and rings can boister your defense, but these all take time to develop.

Otherwise, they are a versatile species, with average-or-better aptitudes across the board. Don't think melee is unfeasible: Octopodes' constriction is very powerful. In the early Dungeon, even casters can find melee a useful backup option.

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


Skill breadth vs depth

Octopodes have roughly the same aptitudes as a Human, so they lend well to a broad use of skills. Since they can't wear armour, spells are rarely encumbered. Melee constriction, meanwhile, is a useful tool to have. This is evident in the early game, where your survival strategy may adapt itself on what useful item you get. For example, a mage start may find a dagger of venom, and clear enemies using that (and constriction). As you progress through the game, you may find yourself split between many different skills.

Item usage

Almost any source of AC should be considered. Rings of protection are usually the main source, but weapons of protection are worth a little more than normal.

Given that shields are one of only two types of armour an Octopode can use, many players will want to wear a shield, regardless of starting background.

Melee combat

Armed with an octet of squeezing tentacles, Octopodes' morphology allows them to excel at melee. With sufficient defense, most often achieved in the mid & late game, tackling multiple foes at once becomes a much more viable (read: less suicidal) option.

It's important to note that you cannot constrict targets that are large, giant, insubstantial, or gelatinous.


Talisman forms can be an attractive option: they can increase your AC and melee capabilities. As a bonus, you get to keep all 8 ring slots no matter which form you may be in. Therefore, Shapeshifting is a reasonably common choice for melee Octopodes. Even casters may want to invest in Shapeshifting in the late game.

Statue Form is a reasonable end goal, giving you AC on par with a character in heavy armour, while maintaining your unencumbered EV, constriction, and hat/shield slot. Both Dragon Form and Storm Form, however, are strong alternatives. (Note that Dragon Form and Storm Form prevent constriction, but all other forms let you constrict.)


The octopode may have been loosely based upon the pacific northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis).


  • Prior to 0.16, assuming Ice, Dragon, Tree, and Fungus forms would disable 6 of your 8 ring slots.
  • For a brief time in 0.11-trunk, Octopodes' squeeze was octupled - it dealt 96 base damage instead of 12 due to a bug.
  • Octopodes were introduced in 0.10.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianTrollDeep ElfArmataurGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganGhoulTenguOniBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMummy