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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Prevents a creature from taking any action for a short time.

Paralyse is a monster-only spell which attempts to induce paralysis for 2-5 turns, rendering you unable to act for the duration. Your SH is set to 0, and EV set to near 0. After being paralysed, the player gets a brief period of immunity to paralysis (1-3 turns).

Formicids are completely immune to paralysis. For other species, the spell can be resisted by willpower.

Note that the paralytic gaze of floating eyes does not work the same way as this spell; their gaze does not require line of fire and does not check willpower.


The following enemies cast Paralyse:

The following enemies may be able to cast Paralyse, depending on their spell set:

Players (and other monsters) can replicate the spell with a wand of paralysis. Your power (before stepdown) is 15 + 3.5 * Evocations.


Like most Hexes, monsters cast Paralyse with 4 * HD spellpower. After applying a stepdown function, it is compared to your willpower. If your willpower is 99 points greater than power, you are immune to that monster's paralyse. If your will is equal the power, there's a 50% chance of resisting.


Paralysis has the potential to be extremely dangerous; it should be treated as instant death. Many monsters can kill you - just on their own - with 5 turns of action. For example, orc sorcerers can deal 3d17 damage per turn, or up to 270 damage over 5 turns. With a group of monsters, the chance of survival decreases exponentially.

Paralyse works like any regular Hexes spell. The following tricks can be used against it:

  • It requires a line of fire to hex you. Hiding behind other monsters works. Any means of obstructing line of sight also prevents the spell from being cast.
  • Monsters can't cast spells while silenced. While expending a scroll of silence for every paralysing monster is prohibitively expensive, it can work in a pinch. A phial of floods can waterlog monsters (except dread liches and demons) to the same effect.
  • Willpower - though it takes high willpower to reach 0% success. Your XL and species matters - don't think you're safe because you have "Will+++". See below table for details.
    • In Tartarus, where dread liches and Ereshkigal reside, having enough willpower is outright impossible. Tartarus halves willpower.
  • Having other allies around. Allies can still fight while you're paralysed. Plus, monsters will often target allies over you. Of course, this isn't an infallible means of protection.

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.


  • Prior to 0.29, paralysis lasted for 2-7 turns.
  • Prior to their removal in 0.18, you could wear an amulet of stasis to block paralysis.
  • Prior to 0.4, Paralyse was available to players as a level 4 Enchantments spell. It was removed in favor of Petrify.