Vampiric Draining

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Version 0.18: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Vampiric draining.png Vampiric Draining
Level 3
School1 Necromancy
Casting noise 3
Spell noise 0
This spell steals the life of a living creature and grants it to the caster. Life will not be drained in excess of what the caster can capably absorb.

However, attempting to drain an undead or demonic creature will backfire on the caster.

Vampiric Draining is a level 3 Necromancy spell which deals negative energy damage to an adjacent monster and heals you for half the damage dealt. This spell can only be cast effectively on natural monsters. Casting it on plants, constructs, or monsters with life protection will do nothing, while targeting demonic or undead monsters will seriously injure the caster (2d39/2 + 9 HP) (thankfully the game warns you about this beforehand). Also bear in mind that the spell can only be cast in melee range, and strong monsters can often injure you for more than you are healed. Still, it has fairly high damage output and utility for a 3rd level spell, and it can be used by bloodless vampires and deep dwarves for healing.

Spell Details
Damage Formula 1 + (2d9/2) + 1d(power)/7
Max Damage 3-40 Negative Energy
Max Power 200
Range 1
Targeting Touch
Special Ignores AC, SH, and EV


  • Although butterflies offer no XP benefits, they can be drained for health like any other living thing. Use 'Z' to cast the spell even though the game prompts you that there are no legal targets.
  • Summoned monsters will take damage from the spell normally, but offer no healing.


Prior to version 0.17, it was possible to die by casting Vampiric Draining on a tile with an invisible demon on it.

Prior to version 0.13, there was a bug which prevented you from healing to full health.