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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Silence.png Silence
Level 5
School1 Air
School2 Hexes
Source(s) Book of the Moon
Book of the Senses
Casting noise 4
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 200
Flags Area
Eliminates all sound near the caster. This makes reading scrolls, casting spells, invoking divine abilities, or shouting impossible in the caster's vicinity. The spell's oppressive, unnatural effect will greatly hamper stealth.

Certain monsters have innate magical or special abilities which will still be usable while silenced.

The effect starts out with a radius depending on power, which will then shrink, eventually covering only the caster, before it times out.

Silence is a level 5 Hexes/Air Magic spell which creates the Silence effect.


Silence itself creates an aura around the user, which mutes all noise and prevents creatures from doing the following actions:

  • Reading scrolls
  • Casting spells (all spells for the player)
  • Using divine abilities
  • Shouting

Monster spells have a unique restriction. Spells or abilities that require spoken words - those with the Wizardly, Vocal, or Priest spell slot flags - are stopped by Silence. For example, most demons are immune to silence - they use the Magical spell flag, meaning they cast from innate magical power rather than reciting from a spellbook. Even player spells like Fire Storm can be cast if they are set with the Magical flag.

The silence aura also inflicts a -50 stealth penalty while players are emitting it.

For the Silence spell, the duration and radius of this aura depends on spellpower, but is slightly randomized. Using a scroll of silence creates a similar effect at a power of 30 - on average, creating a radius 4-5 aura.


The radius starts shrinking with 43 turns to go, and during the last 6 turns only the center tile (you) is silenced. Pre-squared radius is reduced linearly from 37 = 6*6+1, which means that radius is reduced like sqrt(duration) - slowly at large radius, and faster near the end.

The Silence spell creates an aura with a duration of 19 + power/5 + 1d(power/2) turns (capped at 100 turns)[1].

That's at least 10 turns, at most 100. At 50 power (mid-game caster) you'll get an average of 34, which means you'll usually start below maximal radius.



Silence stops certain types of enemies cold. So long as you can deal damage without casting spells, you can reduce many uniques and devastating spellcasters into pitiful melee opponents. Just be sure to defeat them before Silence wears out; the period where silence only affects you is especially deadly. Scrolls of silence replicate the effect of the silence spell, though the scrolls are rare and have a short duration.

Make sure to use x then v (or right click in Tiles mode) to confirm that a given enemy is affected by silence. Examples of enemies that silence does work on include all sorts of deep elves, liches, and mummy priests. Examples of enemies that silence does not work on include dragons, eyeballs, and all types of demons (such as Azrael, Mara, and all pandemonium lords).

A potion of cancellation can end your own silence aura early. While it also dispels any buffs you had, ending silence can be worth it in order to use escape tools, such as god abilities and scrolls of blinking.

On the other hand, monster silence can be incredibly threatening - even for melee characters, as losing escape tools is very dangerous. To escape silence, a player would need to walk away. As the most common silencing monsters (Mennas, Ereshkigal, many silencing pan lords) are fast, this is a near-impossible task. A wand of quicksilver can end monster silence, but it is inaccurate.

Monster Version

The following enemies cast Silence:

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

The following enemy inherently radiates Silence:

You can end the monster spell (but not the silent spectre aura) with a wand of quicksilver. If it hasn't generated, you'll need to let the spell run its course, kill the monster, or otherwise move away.

In the case of silent spectres, their silence aura has an effect larger than your LOS, so you will have to resort to non-silenceable means of fighting them.


  • Prior to 0.30, silence lasted for 9 + power/4 + 1d(power/2), which resulted in lower duration at low spell power.
  • Prior to 0.9, Silence was a Charms/Air magic spell.
  • Before the magic school was removed from the game in 0.8, Silence was an Enchantments/Air Magic spell. Also, the spell was less reliable, because its duration had a high variance.