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Version 0.18: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Chaos is a brand that weapons may have. It imitates other brands with each attack producing a random effect.

Possible effects

Note that hexes produced by this brand don't check MR. The Chaos brand tries to pick a useful effect for the target: if the brand would have no effect (e.g. flaming brand on a fire elemental), then there is a 2/3 chance to roll a different effect.


The brand is gifted by Xom at random intervals (though not necessarily to the player), and is wielded by Xom's vault guards and the uniques Crazy Yiuf and (sometimes) Psyche. Some Pandemonium lords and others have this for a base attack, and the killer klowns have an even more chaotic version. Taking this brand (usually through Yiuf's quarterstaff or by playing as a chaos knight) will give you access to extremely powerful effects very early on that will overwhelm most low level monsters. Just understand that chaos is a fickle mistress, and it is only a matter of time before you berserk an eight headed hydra. Dropping this in favor of a more reliable brand is recommended as soon as possible.


Early game, the possible effects that may be caused by this weapon make it undesirable, due to the inability of early game characters to handle such a situation. However, late game, the brand is extremely powerful; the potential to paralyze, slow, petrify, banish, confuse, etc. can make it quite handy in long battles. The hexes it produces don't check magic resistance; you will be even be able to affect demon lords and other normally magic immune monsters, giving it a fantastic synergy with stabbers. Of course, chaos is a fickle mistress; you may be unlucky and end up hasting the foe or healing it. (Fortunately, many monsters in the late game are hasted anyway, can't berserk, or are physically incapable of polymorphing, improving its viability a little.)

Of course, that's if you can get your hands on the brand itself. Xom grants it occasionally, but to whom and when is variable. Scrolls of brand weapon have an impressive 3/148 (2%) chance of granting the chaos brand (better chance if your previous brand was more common). Chaos branded weapons are not generated on the floor randomly, and will only be found in the possession of a few uniques and Xom's vault/altar guards.


Prior to 0.18, ranged weapon ammo could have brands, including chaos brand.

Between 0.16 and 0.18, chaos brand could imitate the reaping brand or move nearby stairs.

Prior to 0.14, chaos weapons could shaft or polymorph the attacker. Also, gods would forgive the player for disliked effects produced by chaos effects.


List of brands: - Line 1520 - attack_flavour attack::random_chaos_attack_flavour()

Results of brands: - Line 2601 - melee_attack::mons_apply_attack_flavour()

Affect of Chaos flavor: - Line 599 - void attack::chaos_affects_defender()

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDragon slayingDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingReapingReturningSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
Launchers ElectrocutionEvasionFlameFrostPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons ConfusionCurareDispersalExplodingFrenzyParalysisPenetrationPoisonedReturningSilverSleepSteel