Monster intelligence

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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

All monsters have a level of intelligence that determines certain behaviours, such as tracking, avoiding danger and cooperating with allies. In general, a monster's intelligence is a secondary consideration compared to its physical and magical abilities, but it does have a number of effects, mostly in fairly specific situations.

Levels of Intelligence

There are three levels of monster intelligence:

  1. Brainless intelligence: Plants, zombies, jellies, golems, elementals, insects
  2. Animal intelligence: Animals, some non-zombie undead
  3. Human intelligence: Humanoids, some other powerful/magical monsters

Effects of intelligence

The following is a non-exhaustive list of effects of monster intelligence.

  • Brainless monsters will blunder into shallow water, traps and dangerous clouds (except miasma). Intelligent monsters will avoid clouds unless they are resistant. A strong enough intelligent monster may choose to charge through a weak trap.
  • Non-brainless monsters will often try to make space for their allies to attack you.
  • Intelligent monsters search and travel more effectively and will continue to hunt for you longer after hearing noise or losing sight of you.
  • Intelligent ranged monsters will attempt to regain line of sight rather than charging directly at you.
  • Non-brainless monsters will retreat if they can't reach you or shoot at you.
  • Intelligent monsters may be able to guess your location even when you are invisible.
  • Brainless monsters cannot be pacified or bribed.
  • Butchering intelligent creatures angers Zin.


Prior to 0.17, there were 6 categories of intelligence: plant, insect, reptile, animal, human and high.

Prior to 0.13 reptile intelligence and insect intelligence were one value, and Elyvilon could thus pacify insects. Also, friendly dumb monsters wouldn't turn hostile when damaged by ranged attacks.