Scroll of random uselessness

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Version 0.18: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Type Scroll
Name Scroll of random uselessness
Icon Scroll of random uselessness.png
A scroll with no apparent practical use.

Scrolls of random uselessness are a common kind of scroll, which, upon reading, has a chance to create a series of harmless, impractical effects.

Possible Messages

"The dust glows a [strange colour] colour!"
*"The scroll reassembles itself in your hand!" (thus you don't "waste" it)
"[Your weapon] glows [strange colour] for a moment." OR "Nothing happens." (if you have no weapon in hand)
"You hear the distant roaring of an enraged [animal]!"
"You smell [smell]." OR "Nothing happens." (if you are a mummy, and thus noseless)
"You experience a momentary feeling of inescapable doom!"
"Your ears itch."
"Your brain hurts!"
"Your nose twitches suddenly!"
"You hear the tinkle of a tiny bell." (summons 4-16 friendly butterflies)
"You hear [noise]."

[strange colour] is a colour composed of a prefix (brilliant, pale, mottled, shimmering, bright, dark, shining, faint) and a colour (red, purple, green, orange, magenta, black, grey, silver, gold, pink, yellow, white, brown, aubergine, ochre, leaf green, mauve).

[animal]: frog, pill bug, millipede, eggplant, albino, dragon, dragon, human, slug.

[smell]: coffee, salt, burning hair, baking bread, something weird, wet wool, sulphur, fire and brimstone.

[noise]: snatches of song, a voice call someone else's name, a very strange noise, roaring flame, a very strange noise indeed, the chiming of a distant gong, the bellowing of a yak, a crunching sound, the tinkle of an enormous bell.


  • As a last resort, this scroll can be used in an attempt to cast Summon Butterflies, which can help break the direct line of sight from an enemy spellcaster or help you to retreat in a tight corridor. Given the slim odds, and relative ease of investing some skill into Summoning and the actual spell, reserving an inventory slot for these scrolls is highly impractical.


Prior to the skill training overhaul in 0.9, scrolls of random uselessness could be used to train the first level of Spellcasting, which gave them some slight desirability, particularly for their ability to sometimes reassemble in the player's hands.

Prior to 0.5, these scrolls were not identified when used, a trait which could make them genuinely annoying at times.

AcquirementAmnesiaBlinkingBrand weaponEnchant armourEnchant weaponFearFogHoly wordIdentifyImmolationMagic mappingNoiseRandom uselessnessRemove curseSilenceSummoningTeleportationTormentVulnerability