Pain (brand)

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Version 0.29: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

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

The pain brand allows weapons to inflict magically painful injuries (increased damage) on victims who lack negative energy resistance. This additional damage increases with the wielder's Necromancy skill.

Attacks have a 100 × Necromancy/(Necromancy+1)% chance to add 1d(Necromancy) damage:

Chance to Activate
Necromancy 01: 50.0%
Necromancy 10: 90.9%
Necromancy 27: 96.4%

Since the change to trigger is Necromancy/(Necromancy+1)% and the average damage roll is (Necromancy+1)/2, this brand adds an average damage per hit of exactly Necromancy/2. Defenders with any level of negative energy resistance are immune to the additional damage.

The pain brand is Kikubaaqudgha's special brand. At max piety, you can have the brand added to a weapon of your choosing. Only melee weapons can naturally generate with pain, but ranged weapons may be blessed by Kikubaaqudgha. However, 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

Tips & Tricks

  • Since the brand inflicts a flat rate of damage independent of your weapon's base damage, pain brands work 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 will begin to out-damage electrocution at Necromancy skill level 8 (when it adds an average of 4 damage per hit), although it checks a more common resistance.
  • 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 AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers ElectrocutionFlamingFreezingPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver