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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
A disposable arcane formula inscribed on parchment by a professional scribe or sorceror. Anyone can evoke the power of the arcane formula by reading it out loud, but the nature of that power is not a priori apparent.

Scroll.pngScrolls are consumable items which, when read (command r), provide a wide variety of magical effects. They can be found as randomly generated loot or bought in certain shops. Unidentified scrolls will have gibberish names until you've identified them, either by reading them or through use of a scroll of identify. These names are randomly generated each game, and provide no clues as to the scroll's effect.

Unlike certain other roguelikes, in Crawl every character is able to read by default. However, you will have difficulty reading scrolls under the following circumstances:

  • The Blurry Vision mutation will impose a time penalty upon reading the scroll (similar to equipping or removing armour), during which you are vulnerable to attack (length increases per rank). This penalty occurs before using the scroll, so if you should cancel the effect before finishing (e.g. targeting a location with a scroll of blink), the time will have already passed and the scroll's effect will not take place.
  • The brainless status effect gives you a flat 80% failure rate.

The following status effects disable scroll-reading entirely:

Reading an unidentified scroll will always destroy it. If you read an identified scroll with an effect that requires you to make a decision, however, you can safely change your mind by pressing Escape and without spending any time doing so. However, you cannot do this with a scroll of acquirement; you must choose an option after reading it.

List of Scrolls


Prior to 0.16, the Blurry Vision mutation imposed a flat failure rate upon attempting to read a scroll that increased per rank.

Prior to 0.15, any time you suffered fire or hellfire damage, there was a chance your scrolls would be subject to item destruction. The conservation ego reduced the chance of this happening, as did having a high AC.

Prior to 0.14, reading scrolls at inappropriate times (a scroll of remove curse when you have no cursed items equipped, for example) would waste the scroll without actually identifying it.

  • Prior to 0.10, reading scrolls was the only way for a character without magical abilities to gain access to them, allowing you to train Spellcasting.

Obsolete Scrolls

AcquirementAmnesiaBlinkingBrand weaponEnchant armourEnchant weaponFearFogHoly wordIdentifyImmolationMagic mappingNoiseRandom uselessnessRemove curseSilenceSummoningTeleportationTormentVulnerability