Vine Stalker

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Version 0.29: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page refers to the player species. For the monster, see Vine stalker (monster).

Limber in shape, Vine Stalkers are anthropomorphic masses of thick vines. They possess a once-humanoid core, parasitised moments before death by the magical vines. Lacking any other discernible features, their faces are dominated by the disproportionate, vicious maw with which they disrupt and devour the magical energies of their foes.

Magic courses freely through their bodies, and any damage they take is split between their health and magical reserves. They also physically regenerate at an alarming rate. However these traits come at a price: the dual nature of their bodies makes them extremely frail, and they cannot benefit from potions to heal their wounds.

Living examples of adaptation, Vine Stalkers level up quickly and lend well to an all-out offensive style; trusting their stealth to choose their prey and then their regenerating capabilities to power through the wounds they may sustain in battle. Many members of the species however, are seen wielding magic quite competently and then switching to a hybrid style when their reserves start to run low, thus replenishing their shroud of magic and their spells' fuel with each voracious bite.

Innate Abilities

  • Fangs 2: Vine Stalkers possess a bite attack.
    • Antimagic Bite: A Vine Stalker's bite disrupts enemy spellcasting capabilities as though it had the antimagic brand, though without the MP penalty. Each bite also has a chance to restore some MP depending on how much damage was inflicted and your current MP percentage.
Damage done: Fangs_level×2 + XL/3
Drained MP: 1dDamage_done × (1.25 - MP/MaxMP)

Vine Stalkers have a base Strength of 10, Intelligence of 8 and Dexterity of 9 (before Background modifiers). They have +1 base magic points.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

Starting Skills and Equipment

Vine Stalkers receive the skills and equipment listed for their background.

Difficulty of Play


In spite of their spriggan-sized HP pools, lack of healing potions, and unimpressive defensive aptitudes, Vine Stalkers are a surprisingly durable species. They have innate spirit shield, an MP-stealing bite, and the regeneration of a Troll from level 4, all with full access to armour. These traits make them fairly bulky, if vulnerable to sudden spikes of damage. Their high Stealth aptitude makes them formidable stabbers, while their all-around average weapon and magic aptitudes allow for a versatile hybrid build.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting -1 Armour -2 Spellcasting 0
Short Blades -1 Dodging -2 Conjurations 0
Long Blades -1 Stealth 3 Hexes 0
Maces & Flails -1 Shields -1 Summonings 0
Axes -1 Necromancy 0
Polearms -1 Invocations 0 Translocations 0
Staves -1 Evocations -1 Transmutations 0
Unarmed Combat 0
Experience 0 Fire Magic 0
Throwing -1 Ice Magic 0
Ranged Weapons -1 Air Magic 0
Earth Magic 0
Poison Magic 0


The lack of healing potions is a great hindrance in the early game, removing one of the outs towards early adders and the like. It's still a significant drawback as you progress through the game, though your regeneration does make up for this. In addition, you have a couple of options to compensate:

  • God choice - gods like Elyvilon and Ru offer immediate ways to heal. Potions of curing and heal wounds from Gozag's Potion Petition can restore Vine Stalkers' health too.
  • High stealth - Vine Stalkers have high stealth, allowing them to escape from encounters (early and late game). It allows you to find a safe place to recover.

Apart from a knack for Stealth and a general weakness in defensive skills, Vine Stalkers have no real aptitude issues, and can easily be built for any role, excelling perhaps as sneaky stabbers. Their mediocre intelligence makes them less than optimal for dedicated casters (though having a steady supply of MP stolen via bites can come in handy). Vine Stalkers also make good Transmuters -- Blade Hands lets them keep their bonus bite attack, and their best melee skill, though not by much, is Unarmed Combat. Using a form with increased health is also an excellent way to get around their natural frailty; most often, this means Statue or Dragon Form.

Tips and Tricks

  • Be ready for the appearance of ghost moths and other threats to your MP -- they will chew through your supernatural defenses with lightning speed, leaving you significantly less hardy than normal.
  • Due to their powerful auxiliary bite attack, Vine Stalkers often prefer fast weapons, such as Short Blades and demon whips. The faster you swing, the more you can bite. Thanks to the antimagic, a quickblade-wielding Vine Stalker can handle even orbs of fire (assuming you have enough rF+).


  • Prior to 0.28, Vine Stalkers' Regeneration 1 would provide +1 HP/turn.
  • Prior to 0.27, Vine Stalkers would reach Regeneration 2 at level 12. However, each level of Regeneration provided +0.4 HP/turn.
  • Prior to 0.26, Vine Stalkers had rotting immunity.
  • Prior to 0.16, Vine Stalkers started with Regeneration 1 and would eventually reach Regeneration 3 as they gained experience, but each level of Regeneration gave +0.2 HP/turn.
  • Vine Stalkers were added in 0.14.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleArmataurDraconianTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMeteoranMummy