Serpent talisman

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
A jade snake coiled around a nagaraja's name-day egg. Transforms the user into a giant, cold-blooded, poison-resistant serpent, ready to wind their coils around foes and crush them to death. Shapeshifting skill increases the armour provided by the snake's scales. While transformed, any equipped weapons and armour are melded.

Serpent talisman.png A serpent talisman is a talisman that changes you into Serpent Form, a giant, constricting snake.

Useful Info

When eVoked, this talisman turns you into Serpent Form, which lasts until you end the form. Entering or exiting a form takes 5 turns.

Serpent Form has the following effects:

Combat Bonuses

  • HP Bonus: 120% HP
  • Innate AC: Linearly scales from the following points, rounding down:
    • Below minimum: 1 AC (0 skill) - 9 AC (10 skill)
    • Above minimum: 9 AC (10 skill) - 15 AC (19 skill) ; +1 AC per 1.67 levels
  • Unarmed Combat: 10 base damage.
  • Constriction: When making a melee attack, you initiate constriction. You can constrict 1 large (or smaller) foe at a time.
  • Stat Bonus: +5 strength.




Serpent Form has a minimum Shapeshifting skill of 10, below which you get an HP penalty, and the AC bonus scales down. It has a maximum skill of 19, where skill has no further impact.


Constriction is a very strong effect. It reduces enemy EV by at least 50% and deals extra damage. Unlike base Octopodes, Serpent Form can constrict large creatures, including things like centaurs, yaks, and hydras.

Serpent Form also gives a fair bit of AC. For many characters first entering the Lair, it offers slightly more AC than lighter armours, without the encumbrance of heavy armour. When combined with the 120% HP, it's a moderately durable form. However, the lack of shield will reduce your defense in the long run.

Tips & Tricks

  • This form can be very useful for Nagas (fittingly enough), as it lets them move at normal speed. Barachim can also move normally, though they'll lose their hop.
  • Being cold-blooded can be risky when fighting monsters with freezing weapons or other types of cold damage. Note what activates cold-blooded and what doesn't; e.g. certain spells like Flash Freeze won't cause the mutation to activate.


  • Serpent talismans were introduced in 0.31, along with talismans themselves. Serpent Form had no previous counterpart, but is similar in role to Ice Form.
Talisman Beast FormFlux FormBlade FormMaw FormSerpent FormDragon FormStatue FormDeath FormStorm Form
Bad Forms Bat FormFungus FormPig FormTree FormWisp Form
Divine Shadow Form