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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Steam is one of the least common elemental forces you will encounter as you explore the Dungeon. Unlike most elements, it is very difficult for most characters to have access to steam, and few monsters are even capable of it.

Steam Damage

Steam damage can be reduced by either a character's steam resistance (rSteam) or fire resistance intrinsics. A single rank in either makes you completely immune to damage from environmental steam, and each rank you have significantly reduces damage from direct steam attacks (up to 3 ranks max).

Aside from injury, however, steam attacks also create steam clouds wherever they are fired. These deal further damage to anything without resistance caught in them, and they also block line of sight, making steam attacks excellent for blocking certain spells or most ranged attacks.

Steam Sources

Most characters will only have to deal with steam in the form of attacks from certain enemies. Steam dragons, pale draconians, merfolk aquamancers, and smoke demons will all blast you with gouts of steam, dealing moderate damage up-front and scalding you over time so long as you stand in the clouds. Although most characters never have access to this kind of steam attack, level 7 pale draconians gain a steam breath attack of their own.

The other source of steam in the game is perfectly natural; any time that a source of water is super-heated, steam clouds will be generated. This happens any time you cast a Fire Magic spell whose beam crosses over shallow water or deep water, and though it's difficult to use this effect to damage enemies, the steam clouds can block line of sight usefully.

Some maps will have naturally-occurring steam clouds anywhere that lava and water tiles are adjacent.

Steam Resistance

Steam resistance is one of the rarest intrinsics in the game. However, steam attacks are also rare, and fire resistance gives partial steam resistance, making rSteam of limited use.

Steam resistance is available through the following:

Damage Reduction

Any level of steam or fire resistance will provide immunity to damage from steam clouds. Versus direct attacks, monsters' resistance is more effective than players':

Resistance Level Damage Taken (Player) Damage Taken (Monster)
1 50% 50%
2 33% 20%
3 20% 0%


In 0.13, fire vulnerability began to give you also steam vulnerability.

See Also

List of steam resistant monsters