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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Transmuters specialise in transmutation magic, and can cause strange changes in themselves and others. They deal damage primarily in unarmed combat, often using transformations to enhance their defensive and offensive capabilities.

Transmuters are magicians who specialise in Transmutations magic. They are best described as kung-fu mad scientists, but initial survival is quite a challenge for them.

Preferred Races

Troll, Naga, Merfolk, Draconian, Demigod and Demonspawn are the recommended races if you pick a Transmuter Background.

Racial restrictions

Ghouls and Mummies are forbidden for becoming transmuters, because they cannot use most of the transmutation spells.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Transmuters start with the Beastly Appendage spell memorised.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Transmuter adds 2 to your starting Strength, 5 to your starting Intelligence and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


Transmuters in general have a rough start to the dungeon. Unarmed combat, even though strong later in the game, struggles to keep up with weapons in the early game with a base damage of only 3 for most species. Casting Beastly Appendage before every fight is a must for survival.

At level 2, transmuters get access to a more powerful spell in the form of Sticks to Snakes. Even the basic ball pythons with their constriction ability can be decent allies in packs, but adders are really the meat of this spell and can wreck even ogres for you.

Spider Form gives boosts to unarmed damage and evasion while also making your attacks venom-branded. Unfortunately it also melds all of your armor and leaves you vulnerable to poison yourself.

Ice Form is a more robust form with useful resistances and good damage. Blade Hands lets you keep most of your equipment while boosting your base damage to a formidable 22.


Prior to 0.14, transmuters started with 20 gold.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterAssassin
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos Knight
Warrior-mages SkaldEnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWanderer