Venom Mage

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Version 0.14: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Venom Mages specialise in poison magic, which is extremely useful in the shallower levels of the dungeon where few creatures are immune to it. Poison is especially effective when used against insects, damaging their tracheae quite effectively.

Venom Mage are spellcasters who specialize in Poison Magic. Their toxic spells are effective against insects and spiders, but they are more than capable of exterminating warm-blooded creatures, too. However, they will probably have to branch out into other schools once they start facing demons and the undead.


Preferred Races

Deep Elf, Spriggan, Naga, Merfolk, Tengu, Demonspawn and Felid are the recommended races if you pick a Venom Mage Background.

Starting Equipment

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

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Venom Mage adds 7 to your starting Intelligence and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


Your Sting spell gives you an edge over other starter attack spells, as it also has a chance to poison, which few early monsters can resist. Sting your enemies and stay out of reach until the poison kills them. Learn Mephitic Cloud the instant you hit level 3, too. Spriggans are particularly recommended, as they are extremely fast, playing well with poison/keep-away tactics.

Physically gifted species also benefit from this background. Even the dopiest character can manage to scrape enough experience together to get Sting and Cure Poison functioning well, and those two spells can make a huge difference for an otherwise melee-based thug.

Like most mages, Venom Mages begin the game without a religion, but you may choose a god at the Ecumenical Temple (unless you're a Demigod). Either Sif Muna or Vehumet will help with your magic.


Prior to 0.14, Venom Mages started with only 1 level in Spellcasting.

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