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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 status effect. For the monster spell, see Paralyse.
You are paralysed, and completely unable to act.

Paralysis is a status effect which renders a player or monster unable to move or act for a period of time.


When paralysed:

  • Creatures are unable to act.
  • EV is set to almost 0, 2 + size_factor for players, and set to 0 EV for monsters.
  • SH is set to 0.
  • Monsters are vulnerable to high-tier stabs.

Once paralysis ends, players get a brief (1-3 turns) period of immunity to all sources of paralysis. Unlike sleep, paralysis doesn't end on hit. Unlike petrification, there is no special damage resistance.

Formicids are immune to paralysis due to their stasis.


There are several sources of paralysis. Some are resistible, while some are not.

Sources of paralysis that can be resisted 100% of the time:

Other sources are irresistible for non-Formicids:


If a monster's paralysis can last for more than a single turn, it should be treated as instant death. Most monsters can kill you if you give them 4-5 free turns. Multiple monsters can definitely kill you in 4-5 turns. Even a single turn can cause a huge spike of damage. Having your EV and SH set to 0 is just the cherry on top; paralysis is nasty even for players with high AC.

Generally, you should avoid paralysis as much as possible. Even a < 1% chance of instant death is too much for streak play.

Tips & Tricks

Most sources of paralysis can be dealt with using one way or another:

  • The Paralyse spell requires line of fire. Spells can't be cast when a monster is silenced or waterlogged. Willpower can protect against it, though it takes high will to reach 0% success. Racial willpower matters if you want to reach 0% paralysis. See the table below for more details.
  • Hornets are fast enemies which can paralyse on melee. Poison resistance gives a chance to resist the paralysis, but only poison immunity can prevent it. Wands can often kill or polymorph a hornet with some Evocations training. Lignification can make it very unlikely for a hornet to kill you by itself, due to Tree Form's rPois and increased AC.
  • Jorogumo are also fast enemies with a paralysis melee attack. Their melee works in the same way as hornets', but jorogumo have much better defenses and willpower, in addition to some dangerous ranged spells.
  • Zot traps require you or a monster to step on it, and the trap has to be in your LOS in order for it to function. Zot traps have a number of other nasty effects, so should be avoided if at all possible.

Paralysis Spell Table

For the Paralyse spell (and no other source of paralysis), willpower can resist the effects. Stronger monsters are generally harder to resist. The following amounts of willpower give a 100% chance of resisting - that is, a 0% chance of being paralysed.

Willpower & XL required for 0% paralysis against common monsters
Monster Will Human (+3 Will/XL) Oni (+4 Will/XL) Mummy (+5 Will/XL) Felid (+6 Will/XL) Spriggan (+7 Will/XL)
Orc sorcerer 135 XL 19 + Will++
External Will+++
XL 14 + Will++ XL 19 + Will+
XL 11 + Will++
XL 16 + Will+
External Will++
XL 20
XL 14 + Will+
Ogre mage 139 XL 20 + Will++
External Will+++
XL 15 + Will++ XL 20 + Will+
XL 12 + Will++
XL 17 + Will+
External Will++
XL 20
XL 15 + Will+
Vampire knight 143 XL 21 + Will++
External Will+++
XL 16 + Will++ XL 21 + Will+
External Will++
XL 24
XL 18 + Will+
XL 21
XL 15 + Will+
Fenstrider witch
154 XL 25 + Will++
External Will+++
XL 19 + Will++ XL 23 + Will+
External Will++
XL 19 + Will+ XL 22
XL 17 + Will+
Dread lich 172 External Will+++ XL 23 + Will++ XL 27 + Will+
XL 18 + Will++
XL 22 + Will+
External Will++
XL 25
XL 19 + Will+

Reading the table:

In-game, willpower is measured by pips of "Will+". But willpower is actually a number from 0-200, with each Will+ adding +40. Every level, you gain a small amount of will dependent on your species. This is relevant when you're trying to reach 0% success - just having Will+++ may not be enough.

A Human requires XL 19 and 2 rings of willpower (or any 2 sources of Will+ beyond level bonus) to reach 0% against an orc sorcerer's paralyse. A Human at XL 19 that displays Will++ in the % screen does not fully resist a sorcerer. Some cases of low XL are omitted for brevity; Humans technically require XL 5 with external Will+++ to fully resist orc sorcerers.

For absolute safety, make sure to x v a monster to make sure that a given spell actually has 0% success.