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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
It increases damage dealt and taken.

Harm is an ego that can appear on scarves and artefacts. It amplifies the damage dealt by the player by 30%, but also amplifies the damage received by 20%. This effect applies to all forms of damage, including torment. The damage is increased after AC and resistances are applied. Note that if a monster wears an item of Harm, it gets the benefit.

Up to 2 sources of Harm can stack. With 2 sources, you'll deal 45% extra damage, but take 30% more damage.



Harm is an extreme double-edged sword. It does let you deal more damage than you take... but that assumes you're dealing damage. When the going gets rough, you'll often want to reposition, use items, try to teleport, or otherwise escape. When doing these actions, Harm is purely a negative. Additionally, when fighting multiple enemies, Harm can be bad: you may hit one enemy, but multiple enemies will hit you.

It also introduces a player-side risk. Since you'll take more damage, Harm demands you start thinking earlier. You may need to start using items at 75% instead of 60% HP. If you mindlessly tab without taking this into account, you can end up in danger real fast. You might kill thousands of monsters, but it only takes one particularly bad situation in order to kill you - or, at least, force item usage.

With all that being said, the damage boost can not be denied. If your character is weak or middling, i.e., they have trouble with standard monsters, Harm can be valuable. For example, Harm can let a caster take out cane toads before the toad gets into melee. For characters that are already strong, Harm introduces more risks than its worth.

Harm is 'best' for blaster casters, as it increases damage per MP. It can also be useful to ranged fighters. It isn't recommended for melee characters: time spent approaching ranged enemies is time getting hit. Also, Summonings and Hexes spells do not directly benefit from Harm, so users of these schools should stray away.

Although Harm doesn't affect your summons' damage, it does increase damage done by conjured entities. This includes ball lightnings, battlespheres, and fulminant prisms. Harm has no effect on your shadow mimic, though.