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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

This page is about the spell. For the brand, see Pain (brand). For the card, see Pain card.

Pain.png Pain
Level 1
School1 Necromancy
Source(s) Book of Necromancy
Book of Pain
Casting noise 1
Spell noise 1
Power Cap 25
Range 5
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Wl check, Dir or target, Needs tracer
Inflicts an extremely painful injury upon one living creature. The caster suffers minor damage from the backlash.
Spell Details
Damage Formula 1d(4 + Power/5)
Max Damage 1d9 negative energy
Max Power 25
Range 6
Targeting Beam
Special *Ignores AC
*Will resists
*Costs 1 HP & 1 MP to cast

Pain is a level 1 Necromancy spell which fires a beam of negative energy against a single target. It never misses and its damage is not reduced by AC, but it must overcome its target's willpower to have any effect. All nonliving, undead and demonic monsters are immune, as are players and monsters with rN+++. Necromancers start with Pain memorized.

Along with the MP cost, casting Pain also deals 1 point of negative energy damage to the caster unless they are undead (living vampires do not qualify), a deep dwarf, or has only 1 HP left.

For Pain to affect an enemy, its enchantment power must pass the enemy's willpower:

Enchantment Power: 3.5 × spell power

Early on, this spell is effectively 3.5 times more powerful than the "typical" Hex, meaning you are unlikely to see orc warriors resisting it three times in a row, as can happen with Confusing Touch or Ensorcelled Hibernation. However, it has such a low power cap that it becomes virtually useless against later mid-game and end-game enemies.


  • While Pain works best with characters immune to the HP cost, other characters can use Pain to soften approaching monsters, then hit them with Vampiric Draining to regain the lost HP once the enemy is in range.

Monster Spell

The monster version of Pain has an enchantment power of 50, and does damage given by:

1d(7 + Power/20)

Minimum power of the spell is limited to 150, leading to most monsters doing equal damage with it.

The following enemies cast Pain: