Staff of death

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Version 0.26: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Type Magical staves
Name staff of death
Icon Staff of death.png
A staff that increases the power of necromantic spells cast by its wielder, and protects them from negative energy. If the wielder is skilled in Evocations and Necromancy, they can inflict great pain on those living souls they strike, dealing negative energy damage which bypasses armour.

A staff of death is a magical staff which acts as a Necromancy spell enhancer. Any Necromancy spell cast while wielding a staff of death will gain a boost to spell power, usually causing it to deal more damage and/or last longer (the specific impact of this, if any, depends on the spell). Additionally, the wielder gains a rank of negative energy resistance.

The staff can also be used in combat, functioning as a +0 staff that may deal additional negative energy damage to targets which are not immune.

Negative Energy Damage: 0 to 1.25×(Evocations/2 + Necromancy)
Chance to Activate on a Hit: (Evocations + Necromancy/2)×6.66% per hit

Further physical damage bonuses can be gained through training Staves and Fighting. The Staves skill also increases your accuracy and speed at which you can attack, making it highly recommended to train the skill at least up to the weapon's minimum delay first.

Staves of death, like other magical staves, can sometimes be cursed.


  • Prior to 0.19, a single rank of negative energy resistance (rN+) would prevent all additional negative energy damage from this staff.
  • Prior to 0.8, the chance of a staff of death auto-identifying when wielded depended on the Necromancy skill of the wielder.