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Version 0.15: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Mara RMara.png
HP 140
HD 18
XP 4614
Speed 10
AC 10
EV 14
MR 144
Attack1 30 (hit: plain)
Max Chunks 0
Type of Meat None
Resistances rF++, rPois+,
rN+++, rTorm,
Vulnerabilities Holy, Holy wrath
Habitat Land
Intelligence High
Uses Weapons & armour
Starting equipment
Open doors
Holiness Demonic
Size Medium
Type rakshasa, rakshasa
Flags Evil
See invisible
Silence immune
This tall and powerful demon is Mara, Lord of Illusions, mighty among dreamers. He is capable of creating intricately detailed illusions, so real that they are almost as deadly as the creatures they impersonate.

“This night the Lord of Illusion passed among you, Mara, mighty among dreamers, mighty for ill. He did come upon another who may work with the stuff of dreams in a different way. He did meet with Dharma, who may expel a dreamer from his dream. They did struggle, and the Lord Mara is no more. Why did they struggle, deathgod against illusionist? You say their ways are incomprehensible, being the ways of gods. This is not the answer.”
-Roger Zelazny, “Lord of Light”. 1967.

“He who lives looking for pleasures only,
his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food,
idle, and weak, Mara will certainly overthrow him,
as the wind throws down a weak tree.”
-The Buddha, _Dhammapada_, 1:7.
trans. F. Max Muller


Useful Info

Mara is the unique lord of all rakshasas. Far surpassing the meager illusions of his rakshasa subjects, Mara's powers are perfectly capable of inflicting all-too-real injuries; he is a tough opponent, even for adventurers who've conquered the Realm of Zot. He always generates with a branded demon whip or demon blade, and his unique spells make him challenging regardless of your preparations:

  • Fake Mara Summon - While lesser rakshasas can summon limitless, weak shadows, Mara can summon up to two robust and virtually identical clones of himself. Fake Maras generate with full health, but cannot cast Fake Mara Summon or Summon Illusion. They disappear on their own after enough time has passed, and they are vulnerable to Abjuration.
  • Summon Illusion - Mara's most dangerous spell, Summon Illusion generates a hostile clone of anything but Mara (including, and usually, you) in his LOS, so long as it does not have an existing clone. When Mara clones your character, it creates a monster similar to a player ghost, except that its holiness will match yours, and it can use stairs. Like the fake Maras, these clones disappear on their own after enough time has passed, and they are vulnerable to Abjuration.
When Mara clones a monster: Mara seems to draw [the monster] out of itself!
When Mara clones a monster from beyond your LOS: [The monster] seems to step out of itself!
When Mara clones you: There is a horrible, sudden wrenching feeling in your soul!



Spell set
Slot1 none
Slot2 Bolt of Fire (3d27)
Slot3 Mara Summon
Slot4 Summon Illusion
Slot5 Pain (d17)
Slot6 Teleport Self

Tips & Tricks

  • Bring fire resistance: Being shot with three Bolts of Fire (3d27) on the same turn is not fun.
  • His combination of fairly high MR and extremely dangerous spells makes resistible Hexes a bad idea in general.
  • An all-too-common piece of advice one often sees about Mara is to attempt to cripple your ghost. This is a bad idea, mainly because while you sit there, fiddling with your equipment (e.g. wielding a bread ration, or donning gear that lowers resistances), you aren't attacking Mara. This is even worse for players attempting to weaken a melee ghost by wielding a non-weapon: you can't attack Mara until he clones you, which, given that he has six spells he can cast, may be a considerable amount of time. Treat Mara like you would any other extremely dangerous summoner (deep elf demonologists and ancient liches, for example): kill him as quickly as possible, and if he summons something you can't handle, teleport away.
  • Do not go berserk, either before Mara clones you or afterwards. Mara will blink away, leaving you slow and vulnerable when the berserk runs out. Haste and other temporary buffs are useful, however, but be aware that a clone of you made while you're buffed will also have those buffs.
    • Conjurers and other ranged damage specialists should simply haste themselves before the fight so they can take down Mara very quickly. If Mara clones you, flee, wait for the ghost to vanish, and try again later.
  • The real Mara may change his position with one of his clones when he summons copies of himself, so there is no longer any way to tell the real Mara from the fakes.
  • As with any summoner, Abjuration is very useful. Aura of Abjuration is even better, although his most threatening summon, namely the player illusion, is always singular, meaning that single-target Abjuration may be sufficient. Even so, you should really just focus on taking out Mara, and avoid your ghost. The ghost will unsummon eventually, so flee from it once Mara is dead. If your ghost is too nasty, preventing you from killing Mara, flee them both and come back later. Next time you might get more damage in before he clones you, and while your clone will level up with you, Mara will not.
  • Mara often generates with a decent demon weapon of some sort, including demon tridents. These are particularly bad, as his clones will be able to hit you for heavy damage much more often after blinking if they have reaching weapons.


In Buddhism, Mara is the demon that tempted Buddha to give up his enlightenment.


Mara was added in 0.6.

Prior to 0.14 he could cast Mislead.