Venom Mage

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Version 0.21: 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

Merfolk, Demonspawn, Spriggan, Tengu, Deep Elf, Naga 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.

Venom Mages start with the Sting spell memorised.

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.

Strategy

  • Your Sting spell gives you an edge over other starter attack spells, as it also has a chance to inflict poisoning, which few monsters on the earliest dungeon levels can resist. Once you reach XL 2 you get a massive burst of power in Poisonous Vapours, as not only does this spell do significant damage, it is smite-targeted as well. 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 Poisonous Vapours and Mephitic Cloud functioning well, and those two spells can make a huge difference for an otherwise melee-based thug.
  • Venom Mages suffer massively from having no way whatsoever to deal with enemies which are immune to or resist poison, of which there are a lot. This includes undead such as wights and necrophages, demons such as imps, and several enemies in Lair, like hydras, black mambas and spiny frogs. As such they should look to branch out into melee or other forms of magic earlier than most characters to overcome this major weakness.
  • Either Sif Muna or Vehumet will help with your magic as far as gods are concerned.

History

Prior to 0.19, the Young Poisoner's Handbook had Cure Poison instead of Poisonous Vapours as its level 2 spell.

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

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