From CrawlWiki
Revision as of 00:50, 11 February 2014 by Skrybe (talk | contribs) (Launchers)
Jump to: navigation, search
Version 0.13: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Armour brands are also called egos. See the ego page for armour brands.

A brand is a special enhancement that a weapon can have, affecting its damage output, giving it a particular damage type, or causing effects. Weapons can have at most one brand, and randarts are guaranteed a brand, although some unrandarts do not have one. Brands are auto-identified when a weapon is wielded. Missile brands are known on sight. If you use branded ammo with a branded launcher, only the ammo brand will take effect (however, launchers with the vorpal or speed brands stack with their ammo's brands).

Aside from the permanently-branded weapons found in the dungeon, a number of spells provide temporary brands to weapons (Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Lethal Infusion, Poison Weapon, Warp Weapon, Excruciating Wounds). The Blade card likewise provides a (random) temporary brand. None of these will work on a weapon which already has a permanent brand.

There are two ways to create weapons with a permanent brand: Firstly, while wielding a weapon with one of the temporary brands above, a scroll of brand weapon can make most of these temporary brands permanent. Using it without a temporary brand creates a vorpal brand. Note that the scroll will not work on temporary distortion, pain, holy wrath, or chaos brands. Using the scroll on a non-artefact weapon with a permanent brand will replace the brand. The second means of creating a branded weapon is through the act of a god. The Shining One, Lugonu, and Kikubaaqudgha will grant especially pious worshipers permanent holy wrath, distortion, and pain brands, respectively. Divine branding will replace any previous brand the weapon held. Note that this still does not work on artefacts. As for the chaos brand, Xom may randomly place that on an unbranded weapon, most often one in a monster's inventory.

Types of Brands

There are different types of brands, some add a special effect type Electrocution, Draining, Distortion for example. Others add a percentage of damage to the attack. Flaming, Vorpal, and Freezing for example. And others add special qualities just by holding them like Protection. Some even have multiple effect types, such as draining, which can increase damage, and drain HD.

Brands that add damage to the attack do this after all other effects (such as weapon pluses, weapon skill bonus, ac reduction etc). So high weapon skill, high weapon base damage and high damage pluses add to the damage. In most cases this means, getting a higher base damage weapon is better. (Flaming Executioners axes are better than flaming daggers).

Brands that add special effects Distortion, or bonus damage (such as Electrocution)), have a chance of triggering each time the weapon hits. In this case hitting more ofter (lower base delay is more important). Choose branded weapons accordingly.

All added brand damage is calculated after AC reduction, and does not get further reduced by AC.

List of Brands

Melee Weapons


Crossbows can have flame, frost, evasion and vorpal. Artifact crossbows can also have penetration, electrocution, venom and speed.

Bows, longbows and slings can have flame, frost, evasion and vorpal. Speed and venom are possible on artifacts (the Bow of Krishna "Sharnga" has the speed brand).

Blowguns can only be generated with evasion. Artifact blowguns can have speed.


Flame, frost, and poisoned can all be found on arrows, crossbow bolts, and darts. Silver and steel can be found on crossbow bolts, darts, and sling bullets, and javelins. Dispersal can be found on arrows and darts. Exploding can be found only on darts and sling bullets. Penetration can be found on crossbow bolts or javelins. Returning can be found on javelins and throwable melee weapons. Stones, large rocks, and nets are never generated with a brand. (Exception: one of the Dungeon Sprint maps offers a "large rock of returning". Naturally, it's being used against you.).


Needles have their own brand selection; most often poisoned, but they can instead bear one of the following unique brands:

Needle brands

All needle types except "poisoned" were introduced in version 0.6. There's a saving throw for monsters: if 1 + 1d(4 + your throwing skill + your blowgun’s to-hit enchantment) is greater than the monster’s hit dice, the effect will be applied. You also have a straight 2% chance of succeeding for monsters with a hit dice of 14 or below.

Some statistics: with no skill you’re still at 100% to succeed on HD1 or HD2 (gnoll, D1 monsters), 75% on HD3 (Sigmund), 50% on HD4 (Duvessa), and 25% on HD5 (ogre). With 4 skill as an early Assassin, you’re up to 56% on an Ogre, or 33% on a Yak.


As of 0.10 all Polearms have Reaching.

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDragon slayingDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingReapingSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
Launchers ElectrocutionEvasionFlameFrostPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPenetrationPoisonedReturningSilver