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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Talismans allow their user to shift into a different form. Entering or leaving a form with a talisman requires a brief period of concentration, but otherwise, forms last until the user chooses to leave them.

More powerful talismans require some amount of Shapeshifting skill, without which a user will find their maximum health reduced until they leave the form. Shapeshifting skill also increases other benefits provided by talismans' forms, though weaker talismans have a limit to how helpful skill can be.

Talismans are items used to change your form, using the Shapeshifting skill.

Useful Info

A talisman, when eVoked, turns you into its respective transformation (e.g. a beast talisman turns you into Beast Form). This transformation lasts indefinitely. It can't be cancelled or dispelled, though you can voluntarily exit (either with V or as an Ability) at any time. Entering or exiting a form takes 5 turns. The talisman doesn't need to be in your inventory to stay in or exit a form. If you are turned into a bad form, when you revert, you'll go back to your talisman form.

Talismans may spawn as randarts; any randart properties apply so long as you remain in the form. For example, a beast talisman "Centaurbane" {rC+} gives permanent cold resistance in addition to all the benefits of Beast Form.

The undead (Ghouls, Mummies, bloodless Vampires) are unable to transform. Zin despises form-shifting, and will instantly excommunicate any follower who uses one.


Each form has its own benefits and downsides. However, talisman forms share a few things in common:

  • All talisman forms will boost Unarmed Combat in some way.
  • Most forms will meld certain types of equipment, which cannot be used. For example, a blade talisman turns your hands into blades, melding your weapon, shield, and gloves.
  • Forms often negate certain mutations, or add new ones. They can also change your size.

Being in any form will make you take +75% damage from silver weaponry.


Each form has a minimum Shapeshifting skill. Below this skill, you will receive a penalty to max HP. Every level of skill below the minimum gives a penalty of -10% max HP (max. -90% HP), which is then multiplied by the form bonus.

Raising Shapeshifting past this point will give you form-specific benefits. Beast Form will increase your slaying (attack) bonus, Statue Form will increase your defenses, etc. Each form also has a maximum Shapeshifting skill, where further training has no benefit.

Talismans are not related to spells in any way, so intelligence, wizardry, etc. has no effect, and Trog won't hate them. They are also unaffected by Sacrifice Artifice, since they are not evocables.


Talismans are found around the dungeon and in jewellery shops. There's a 50% chance to find a blade talisman, possibly an artefact one, in the Hall of Blades part of Elven Halls:2. The loot chamber in Crypt:3 has a 33% chance to contain a talisman of death.

Some uniques can drop talismans after you kill them:

List of talismans

Talismans are sorted by "tiers"; each tier has the same Shapeshifting skill thresholds.

Tier 1: (min. 0 skill, max. 7 skill)

Tier 1.5: (min. 7 skill, max. 14 skill)

Tier 2: (min. 10 skill, max. 19 skill)

Tier 3: (min. 16 skill, max. 25 skill)

Tier 4: (min. 23 skill, max. 27 skill)

Melded Slots

Form Weapon Shield Body Armour Helmet Cloak Gloves Boots
Beast x x x x
Flux x x x
Blade x x * x
Maw x
Serpent x x x x x x x
Statue x x x
Dragon x x x x x x x
Storm x x x x x x x

* Blade form reduces body armour's base AC until you reach the max skill requirement.


Talisman Beast FormFlux FormBlade FormMaw FormSerpent FormDragon FormStatue FormDeath FormStorm Form
Bad Forms Bat FormFungus FormPig FormTree FormWisp Form
Divine Shadow Form