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Obsolete: This article refers to an aspect of the game which has been removed. It is retained for historical reference only.
Name Needle
Launcher blowgun
Base damage 0
A thin piece of metal, typically coated in some harmful substance. When launched from a blowgun it can deliver its toxins into the bloodstream of a living or demonic being.

"I pray that, risen from the dead,
I may in glory stand-
A crown, perhaps, upon my head,
But a needle in my hand.

-Eugene Field, "Grandma's Prayer". late 19th cent.

Needles were a form of ammunition fired from blowguns that do no direct damage, but may have been coated with a variety of toxins, which act as needle-specific brands. Randomly-generated needles always had a brand, with poison being the default (and the only needle brand which occured on other kinds of missiles).

Undead and non-living creatures were immune to the effects of any kind of needle, but demons could still be affected.

Special needle brands are:

  • Sleeping: Puts creatures to sleep.
  • Confusion: confuses creatures.
  • Paralysis: Paralyzes creatures.
  • Frenzy: Causes living creatures to turn neutral and berserk, meaning they will attack other monsters (use it from afar against groups of enemies).
  • Curare: Poisons, asphyxiates, and slows creatures. Unlike the previous brands, this brand doesn't check your blowgun's enchantment or your throwing skill. Instead, the only requisites are that the inflicted damage must be greater than 0, and the monster must not have any level of poison resistance. Creatures that need to breathe take 2d6 extra damage from asphyxiation.

The chance of affecting creatures with these brands (except Curare) depended on your throwing skill, the blowgun's enchantment, and the monster's hit dice; see Brand for details. The duration of the effect depended on your Throwing skill and the blowgun's enchantment.

Tips & Tricks

  • Curare needles are very helpful in the early game, even with no skill; so long as your target isn't poison resistant, any needle you manage to hit with will poison and damage it.
  • With some throwing investment, stacks of poison needles can be used to soften up or defeat powerful enemies (so long as you have a cleared out portion of the map to kite them around).
  • The other needles are hard to come by, but can be extraordinarily useful if you've trained your Throwing skill. Paralysis in particular is a godsend to characters with powerful stabbing attacks. With a decent amount of Throwing skill and a well-enchanted blowgun, it's not too difficult to completely disable nearly anything (except for plants, non-living targets, and the undead).
Poison Sleepy/Confusion
Needle - Poison.png Needle - Hex.png Needle - Curare.png


Curare is a general term referring to resinous, organic substances derived from tropical south and central American plants, crude preparations of which have long been used as arrow poisons to aid in the capture of wild game. Curare produces profound skeletal muscle relaxation, which can lead to respiratory paralysis and death. As such, curare alkaloids were once used in western medicine to induce general anesthesia.

The world curare is itself a European interpretation of the south American Indian word for poison.


  • 0.24 removed blowguns and changed needles to darts, which are throwable by hand.
  • Prior to 0.18, there were needles of slowing. Poison needles also didn't scale with throwing skill at all, making them much stronger for characters with less than 8 skill but weaker afterwards. As for 0.18, all types of needles no longer strike unaware monsters more powerfully.
  • In 0.13 needles of sickness were removed.
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