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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
There are barbs embedded in your skin, and moving around will cause you to take damage. Remaining in place for a short time will allow you to remove the barbs without taking damage.

Barbs is a status effect which causes the victim to sustain damage each time it attempts to move. The barbs remain in their target for 4-8 turns plus an additional 2-4 turns each time the target is struck by more barbs, up to a maximum of 12 turns[1]. This duration decreases when the target remains in place (use the 5, s, or . keys). Moving while under the barbs' effect deals 2d(4 + number of barbs) damage (up to a maximum of 2d6)[2]. This has a 33% chance of decreasing the duration by one turn; it is possible to rid yourself of barbs by moving, but doing so will incur significant damage.

The Barbs status effect is inflicted whenever a target is hit by the Throw Barbs spell. Also, this status effect can be inflicted by Wu Jian's wrath for 5-10 turns.


  • Prior to 0.22, the duration of barbs was not reduced properly when not moving, meaning the status lasted for longer than intended. Also, the base duration was a bit shorter: 3-6 turns instead of 4-8 turns.
  • Barbs was added in 0.14.


  1. (0.24.0)
  2. (0.24.0)