Torment is a difficult-to-resist effect that cuts the HP of its targets by half.
Sources of Torment (Player)
You can invoke torment against all living creatures in your line of sight (usually including yourself) in the following ways:
- Reading a scroll of torment
- Using Kikubaaqudgha's Torment ability.
- Drawing a Pain card from the deck of destruction (at power level 2; the player is immune to these torments)
- Attacking with the Sceptre of Torment (the wielder is immune to these torments)
Unless you have torment resistance, the damage you take will make this a dangerous technique. The spell Agony is a safe alternative: although it halves the HP of only one monster, can be reduced by negative energy resistance, and is blocked by magic resistance, it does not harm you when cast.
You can also accidentally invoke a torment effect against only yourself in the following ways:
- Incurring Kikubaaqudgha's wrath
- Xom will occasionally torment its followers
- Nemelex Xobeh's wrath may invoke a Torment card against you
- Suffering the death curse of a mummy
- Being the target of an Agony Range spell
Sources of Torment (Monsters)
The following enemies cast Symbol of Torment:
- 1 Brimstone Fiend
- z Curse skull
- z Curse toe
- & Ereshkigal
- & Gloorx Vloq
- M Greater mummy
- 1 Ice Fiend
- M Khufu
- M Menkaure
- M Mummy priest
- z Murray
- 2 Tormentor
- 1 Tzitzimitl
The following enemies may be able to cast Symbol of Torment, depending on their spell set:
- Pandemonium lord (3.8% chance)
This monster invokes torment upon its death:
Monsters won't cast Symbol of Torment if their target is immune to it. Friendly monsters, like the ones you can get by casting Summon Greater Demon, won't cast Symbol of Torment while you are in their LOS.
If a monster invokes torment, you will see the message
"The <monster> calls on the powers of darkness!"
Torment Resistance and Immunity
There are only a few sources of torment resistance or immunity, but fortunately they all stack. In order of effectiveness:
- Being undead (mummy, ghoul, bloodless vampire, or through Necromutation) or in Dithmenos's Shadow Form blocks torment damage entirely. Tree Form also provides immunity to torment and can be entered at will with a potion of lignification, but carries significant drawbacks (most notably, it prevents the user from escaping).
- The spell Death's Door negates all damage from torment (in addition to all other damage). It's risky to use around smiting monsters, but may be worth it.
- Starting with its second rank, the Negative Energy Resistance demonspawn mutation has a 50% chance to completely negate any instance of torment. It does nothing to reduce damage from torments that it does not block.
- Kikubaaqudgha sometimes shields you from torment, blocking all torment damage 33% of the time at max piety. Kiku also provides torment resistance that rises with piety, reducing it to 1/5 of your HP lost on average at max piety.
- Being a gargoyle or in Statue Form halves torment damage.
- Negative energy resistance reduces torment damage by 10% (5% of your max HP) per level (so at rN+++, 35% HP loss). Do not underestimate this protection: after suffering three consecutive torments (an unfortunate but not uncommon situation), rN+++ will leave you with over twice as much HP as you would have had without it. When stacked with protection from other sources, this takes a lot of the bite out of torment.
- Deep dwarf damage shaving reduces torment damage by 1-11 HP (amount rises with experience level).
- An amulet of guardian spirit converts some of the torment HP damage into MP damage.
These sources of torment immunity should be avoided:
- Having 3 HP or less renders you immune to torment, but at that point a light tap from virtually anything else will finish you off. Not recommended.
- A few bad forms also give immunity to torment: as stated before, Tree Form has some redeeming qualities and may be entered at will, but Fungus Form and Wisp Form are almost entirely disadvantageous.
- Being petrified, which renders you helpless for the duration.
There are also some common-sense methods of avoiding torment which shouldn't be overlooked:
- Removing LOS from monsters - if they can't see you, they can't torment you! A scroll of fog, simply closing a door, retreating at speed, or teleporting away can be the wisest option if unprepared to deal with multiple torment-capable enemies, especially if there are smiting- or damnation-capable monsters around.
- Fighting torment-capable monsters one at a time - you can only kill one enemy at a time in most situations, so you're just giving the others time to torment you down if you fight multiple enemies. Fighting from a kill hole can help with this.
- Or, of course, kill the source of the torment! In most situations it's wise to prioritise killing monsters capable of tormenting you, and there's no point in spending a turn casting Statue Form to avoid torment if you can reliably kill all torment-capable monsters in sight with a Fire Storm.
- Only a few sources of torment can be silenced, but if you possess reasonable melee prowess, it's often a good idea if possible. Specifically, silence will only work on mummies: mummy priests, greater mummies, Menkaure, and Khufu. Be careful doing this in Tomb, as more tormenters may show up at the edge of LOS outside the range of Silence. Careful use of terrain can minimize this risk. Note that silence does NOT work on other undead, namely curse skulls, curse toes, or Murray, nor does it work on any form of demon.
- Prior to 0.25, the Pain card did not have a torment effect.
- Prior to 0.23, the Sceptre of Torment did not protect the wielder from its torment.
- Prior to 0.13, stepping on a Zot trap could also invoke torment as a random miscast. When Zot traps were given their own special set of effects in 0.13, torment was not included.
- Prior to 0.8, players could also cast Symbol of Torment as a L6 Necromancy spell. The spell would not work for players immune to torment.