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Revision as of 20:04, 30 December 2013 by MoogleDan (talk | contribs) (Zin doesn't mind players going invisible.)
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Version 0.12: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Invisible creatures cannot normally be seen without some form of enhanced eyesight, making it much more difficult for those without enhanced vision to fight them effectively. Additionally, all invisible creatures are immune to Olgreb's Toxic Radiance. In Crawl, being invisible is treated quite differently based on whether it is the player or the monster that is invisible.

The invisible player

You can become invisible by:

The potion and wand are always successful, but the ability's success is based on your Evocations skill. The spell's success, of course, is dependent upon your Hexes and Spellcasting skills and intelligence.

An invisible player gets the following bonuses and penalties:

  • -5 to their melee to-hit number if you yourself cannot see invisible. (Official justification: you can't see your weapon.)
  • Anyone attacking you in melee incurs a 35% reduction in their to-hit number.
  • Any of your melee victims who have shields have their blocking roll divided by three.
  • You are more likely to be able to stab your opponents.
  • Ranged attacks by opponents who can't see invisible have their to-hit number halved.
  • You have a 60% chance of gaining a point of magic contamination when handle_time() is called.
  • You can only dissipate magic contamination via "violent discharge" or the wrath of Sif Muna.
  • Greatly increased metabolism (+5 to hunger rate).

Invisible monsters

Invisible monsters are very dangerous to a player who cannot see invisible. If you cannot see invisible, then in melee with invisible monsters:

  • Your shield block rolls are divided by three.
  • You suffer a -10 penalty to your EV against their melee attacks
  • You suffer a -6 penalty to your melee to-hit number against invisible monsters.

Permanently invisible

These monsters are permanently, inherently invisible:

Casters of invisibility

Some spellcasting monsters can make themselves invisible:

This effect has a finite duration, but the monster can always recast it after it has run out.

Potion or wand users

Monsters who know how to use magic items may use potions or wands of invisibility to make themselves invisible. This effect has a finite duration, but the monster can always reattempt it after it has run out.

Submerged monsters

Certain monsters can have the inherent ability to render themselves effectively invisible by submerging. However, this is a defensive maneuver only: they are always revealed if they become adjacent to, or if they attempt to attack, the player. None of the conventional methods described below for detecting inherently invisible monsters work on submerged monsters:

Detecting invisible monsters

By item, spell, mutation


Under some circumstances, a target may become backlit. This renders its invisibility ineffective. Backlighting occurs as a result of the level 1 Hexes spell Corona, having a halo (say, from wielding the Mace of Brilliance artifact), being in the halo of a devout worshipper of The Shining One, or as the result of mutagenic glow. Using Sticky Flame on a substantial creature that's not on a water tile is also effective; this method is best attempted in narrow hallways.

Invisible monsters revealed as a disturbance

Certain less stealthy monsters, like orc wizards and sky beasts, will occasionally leave disturbances while invisible, represented in the console game by the { glyph. Additionally, all substantial invisible monsters, when passing through a cloud, are temporarily rendered visible, as the disturbance glyph. Should you examine the disturbance (with the x key), you will find the creature's identity. Thus anything the player can do to create clouds when an invisible creature is near will aid him in fixing that creature's location:

Also, any (non-flying) invisible monster in shallow water is always rendered as a disturbance. So, any way you can move the battle to shallow water will aid your locating the unseen monster.


The usefulness of Invisibility for the player is surprisingly limited:

  • The Invisibility spell is a level 6 spell that causes magic contamination whenever you cast it on yourself. This means it is as costly and dangerous as Haste, despite it being completely useless in a significant number of situations and only marginally helpful in many others.
  • You can't safely get rid of magic contamination while you're invisible.
  • If you don't have see invisible, being invisible makes it harder for you to hit your opponents in melee.
  • Most of the monsters you'd most like to not be seen by can see or sense invisible.

Invisibility is, however, very useful for stabbers. It's possible to wipe out whole colonies of sleeping enemies without waking anyone up thanks to the large stealth bonus.