Confusion is a status condition that causes the victim to move and act randomly until it wears off. Confusion can be extremely dangerous: the victim may attack empty tiles or even allies when they attempt to fight, and may fall into deep water or lava if they attempt to move.
Effects of Confusion
When confused, a character or monster:
- Cannot cast spells or use special abilities.
- Cannot use shields (SH stat goes to 0).
- Cannot evoke wands.
- Moves in a random direction if they try to move/attack:
- They may move into adjacent deep water or lava. A few highly intelligent monsters never do this. If a fatal move is possible, the player is warned when attempting to move confusedly.
- They may attack a friendly ally/summons. Non-mindless allies, once hit, will become hostile.
- May have trouble using stairs:
- Cannot read scrolls.
- Might attack itself by accident (monsters only).
- Is vulnerable to stabbing (monsters only).
Causes of Confusion
Confusion can be inflicted by:
- The spells Confusing Touch, Confuse, Mass Confusion, and Alistair's Intoxication.
- Clouds of noxious fumes generated by the Mephitic Cloud spell or some breath attacks (if not poison resistant).
- Any source of Divinations miscasts, like Zot traps, successfully evoking the Staff of Wucad Mu (25% chance) or Orange crystal statues.
- The attacks of certain monsters (giant spores, wandering mushrooms, etc.).
- Evoking a crystal ball of energy, which always has a small possibility of causing confusion.
- Xom. Ignores clarity.
- Evoking a wand of random effects, which has a roughly 8% chance to inflict confusion.
Dealing with Confusion
Ways to remove confusion include:
The following all prevent confusion from occurring in the first place:
- Clarity allows you to resist most sources of confusion.
- Nonliving monsters, plants, and all magic immune monsters cannot be confused by any source. (Magic immunity resisting all forms of confusion is anomalous, but moot: no magic-immune creatures currently in the game are susceptible to Mephitic Cloud or Alistair's Intoxication anyway.)
- Zin's "Vitalisation" ability.
Avoid confusing creatures that may carry useful items near lava or deep water. Great items or artifacts that they carry may otherwise be lost forever.
Mummies should be particularly careful about becoming confused at the wrong time, as they lack access to both of the methods for removing it at will.
Prior to 0.20, it was possible to use wands while confused, though doing so would zap it in a random direction.