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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

The vampiric brand (not to be confused with draining) adds a healing effect to your weapon's melee attacks against living monsters (natural holiness) who are not resistant to negative energy. Although it deals no additional damage, its rapid recuperative abilities make it one of the best brands in the game, though using it is not without some drawbacks.

For most wielders, the brand activates on 60% of your attacks against susceptible opponents, healing you for 1d(Damage) HP. The unrandart demon blade "Leech" instead triggers on all attacks, and the unrandart dagger Vampire's Tooth always heals for the full amount possible.

Use of this weapon is considered to be Necromancy, so good gods forbid its use.


The act of initially wielding a weapon of vampiricism has a hunger cost attached. Living characters are unable to wield it unless they have a Full or better satiation level, and they immediately lose a tremendous amount of nutrition upon doing so. Undead characters are not subject to this hunger effect, and can wield or unwield them with impunity.

A vampiric weapon inflicts no further hunger costs after you start wielding it, and it does not increase your metabolism. Unwielding it inflicts no penalties either, but wielding it again will require another large hit to your satiation.

Alive, Full+: "You feel a dreadful hunger."
Alive, Not Full: "This weapon is vampiric, and you must be Full or above to equip it."
Undead: "You feel an empty sense of dread."
Vampire: "You feel a bloodthirsty glee!"

Attack Flavour

Certain monsters have innate vampiric attacks that are slightly different from the weapon brand. These attacks can heal the attacker only if the defender can bleed. This means that the following player conditions will prevent the monster's vampiric attacks from providing healing:

Tips & Tricks

  • Found a nice vampiric weapon but not full enough to wield it? Either make use of an amulet of the gourmand or chow down on some rations.
  • Vampiricism is usually one of the best brands in the game, but bear in mind that it will provide little benefit when exploring branches with few or no natural monsters (the Crypt, the Tomb, Hell, and Pandemonium in particular).
  • Vampiricism is an excellent way for deep dwarf and bloodless vampire characters to heal.
  • Characters that intend to switch weaponry often will find themselves burning through food rapidly when using a weapon of vampiricism. Don't expect to use a hunting sling or hand crossbow along with a vampiric weapon.


Prior to 0.13, this brand activated on 80% of attacks.

Prior to 0.12, this brand was safer when found on sharp weapons, since blunt weapons didn't allow you to butcher corpses.

Prior to 0.6, vampiric weapons massively increased the hunger cost for all actions (giving an average character the metabolism of a troll) instead of having a large set hunger cost. Vampires received a smaller hunger penalty. Also, all species received satiation with each attack, although in practice this was never enough to offset the increased hunger without some extremely tedious weapon-switching before and after fights.

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDragon slayingDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingReapingReturningSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
Launchers ElectrocutionEvasionFlameFrostPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons ConfusionCurareDispersalExplodingFrenzyParalysisPenetrationPoisonedReturningSilverSleepSteel