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Version 0.13: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
This page is about the player species. For the monster, see Demonspawn (monster).
Demonspawn are horrible half-mortal, half-infernal creatures - the flip side of the Demigods. Demonspawn can be created in any number of ways: magical experiments, breeding, unholy pacts, etc. Although many Demonspawn may initially be indistinguishable from those of pure mortal stock, they will inevitably grow horns, scales or other unusual features. Powerful members of this class of beings also develop a range of unholy abilities, which are listed as mutations.

Demonspawn advance slowly in experience and learn most skills at about the same rate as do Demigods. However, they are a little better at fighting and conjurations and much better at necromancy and invocations. Note that unlike Demigods, they can take on gods, although not all will accept them.

Innate Abilities

  • Demonspawn are considered demonic creatures. They cannot worship any of the good gods (Zin, Elyvilon, or The Shining One), and they have vulnerability to holy damage.

Demonspawn have a base Strength of 8, Intelligence of 9 and Dexterity of 8 (before Background modifiers).

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • +1 to a random stat every 4th level.
  • Average HP.
  • Average MP.
  • +3 magic resistance per level.
  • Gain more of your "demonic ancestry" (random Demonspawn mutations) as you rise in level. The levels this occurs at are randomized, but will include at least five full-ranked mutations by level 27. Some of these mutations are available only to Demonspawn. Note that Demonspawn mutations will increase the damage you take from silver ammunition.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Demonspawn begin with the equipment and skills listed for their background, adjusted for their aptitudes.

Difficulty of Play


Demonspawn can be a moderately difficult race to play. They have slightly bad aptitudes and slow leveling, but are compensated for with the random demonspawn mutations they will inevitably acquire. These mutations can vary from irritating, to interesting, to gamechanging. See the demonspawn mutation page if you want to figure out the ways your character can develop.

Demonspawn are demonic and evil. That means they can't worship the good gods, and are vulnerable to holiness (they'll be damaged by a scroll of holy word, and take greatly amplified damage from cleansing flames and holy wrath weapons). They can't wield weapons of holy wrath, like other evil creatures, and take greatly increased damage from them.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

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

Tips and Tricks

Some combinations of demonspawn mutations have great synergy with some character types.

  • Casters with knowledge of freezing cloud will greatly enjoy having icemail; dropping a cloud around you will cancel out most fire based spells.
  • Powered by Pain and Mana Font can give you fantastic mana regeneration and durability.
  • Nightstalker is great for stabbers and melee based characters, but could be detrimental to spell focused characters who rely on long ranged spells. Antenna can be useful to stabbers too; the detection will occur even against objects and foes out of your reduced line of sight. Ignite Blood may or may not be helpful; stabbing produces ludicrous amounts of it, but you may wake up foes by lighting them on fire.


The Demonspawn mutation system was substantially overhauled in 0.7. Prior to that version, they mutated in a generally more random fashion: mutations were only grouped into low power and high power, and Demonspawn would receive six total mutations (two low, four high power). The mutation lists, which can be found on this page, were extremely varied. For instance, "high power" mutations could be absolutely mediocre things such as 1d3 levels of negative energy resistance, or they could be potentially game breaking things such as fast movement or complete torment immunity. In addition, Demonspawn mutations had some dependence on a character's skills and deity. While the old Demonspawn may have had much more powerful mutations available to them, the lack of any coherence to the mutations, or any guarantee of getting useful ones, made them in general a much more difficult species under the old system.

Since the overhaul, Demonspawn have continued to evolve: in 0.8, they stopped receiving breath attack mutations. Later versions, particularly 0.10, have added a number of new mutations and rebalanced others.

Prior to 0.14, Demonspawn dealt more damage than normal while wielding demonic weapons (demon tridents, demon whips, and demon blades).

Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianHalflingTrollGhoul
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnCentaurSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep DwarfGnoll
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy