Pain (brand)

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page is about the weapon brand. For the spell, see Pain (spell).

In the hands of one skilled in necromatic magic, it inflicts extra damage on living creatures.

The pain brand does the following:

  • Has a Necromancy/(Necromancy+1) chance to add 1d(Necromancy) negative energy damage per swing, for "Necromancy" = Necromancy skill. This results in an average damage of exactly Necromancy/2 per swing.

The good gods and Trog forbid its use, as it is both unholy and magical in nature.

Monster Version

For the purposes of this brand, a monster's Necromancy skill is determined as follows:

  • Default: HD/2
  • Undead or Demonic: HD
  • Animal Intelligence or Lower: 0


The pain brand is generally rare, and cannot be obtained by a scroll of brand weapon. It can generate naturally on melee weapons.

Tips & Tricks

  • Since the brand inflicts flat damage - independent of your weapon's base damage - pain works best on fast weapons with low base delay (demon whips, quick blades and other short blades, spears, whips, etc.).
    • It is comparable to electrocution. Elec activates 25% of the time for an average of 14 damage, or about 3.5 average damage per successful attack. Pain outdamages electrocution when you have more than 7 skill levels of Necromancy, although it checks a more common resistance.
  • As most enemies in Zot and extended are immune to pain, you may want a different weapon by then.
  • If you're going to use Kikubaaqudgha's final ability to affix the pain brand on a weapon, waiting for the perfect weapon to apply it to can be wasteful. The farther into the game you get, the fewer enemies are susceptible to its effect, so applying it earlier on offers more benefit. Later on, there will be better brands and weapons for general use.
  • The unholy nature of this brand is rarely an issue. In practice, gods who forbid pain brands also forbid Necromancy, and thus their worshipers are unlikely to have the skill to exploit pain-branded weapons in the first place. It does make switching from Kiku to a kindlier god somewhat less desirable though.


  • Prior to 0.29, Kikubaaqudgha's pain blessing did not work with ranged weapons.
  • Prior to 0.25, Trog did not explicitly hate this brand (but still prevented training of Necromancy).
  • Prior to 0.13, this brand's chance to activate was Necromancy×12.5% (100% activation at 8 skill or higher).
Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenom
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers AntimagicDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyPenetrationSpeed
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver