Snake Pit

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Version 0.11: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Home of the serpent, lair of the naga.

The Snake Pit is five levels deep and contains the serpentine rune. A dungeon features only two of the Snake Pit, Swamp, Shoals and Spider Nest branches. If the Snake Pit is present, the entrance is located between Lair:3 and Lair:6.

Here is the way to the home of the serpent, the lair of the naga.

The Snake Pit is a mid-game branch populated with poisonous snakes and nagas of all varieties. Those who explore it are rewarded with the serpentine rune of Zot. The Snake Pit and the Spider's Nest are mutually exclusive; if you come across the Snake Pit, the Spider's Nest will not generate in your current game.


The Snake Pit is five floors deep and found between Lair:3-6. The entrance stairs are guarded by a small group of nagas, usually in a distinct stone walled vault.

The Snake Pit's layout is very variable; floors can range from collections of small square rooms connected by hallways to wide open areas, occasionally spotted with bodies of water. The walls of the Snake Pits are made almost entirely out of rock. It most closely resembles a collection of floors from the Dungeon, though it cannot host some of the more exotic Dungeon vaults and layouts.

Snake:5 will always contain a stone-walled, heavily-guarded rune vault which is drastically different from the rest of the Snake Pits, but the specific design will vary from game to game. This vault will take up a large portion of Snake:5, but the rest of the floor will be made up of simple rooms and hallways.

Useful Info

The threats of the Snake Pit are cleanly divided between snakes and nagas. The snakes are generally the easier opponents; by the time you've reached this branch, you've already been dealing with the majority of them. Be careful when facing anacondas, however, as they deal obscene amounts of constriction damage and can outrun almost any character. As constriction attacks partially ignore AC, even tank characters should be wary about going into melee with them. Guardian serpents are also worth being careful around; these snakes will pelt you with Venom Bolt and a few other obnoxious spells from a distance. In any case, having poison resistance and good physical defenses will negate a lot of the threat snakes pose to you.

Nagas are by far the bigger threat here. They almost always appear in packs, and all nagas are capable of dealing constriction damage in melee and spitting venom at you from a significant distance away, dealing some damage even to poison-resistant characters. As such, it is very difficult to deal with them in perfect safety. Take advantage of their terrible movement speed and try to split up groups of nagas by luring individuals into already-cleared portions of the floor.

Taking on groups of nagas all at once is risky. Nagas wielding heavy weapons deal significantly more damage than unarmed ones, and the more advanced nagas can be very serious threats. Naga warriors are durable if they generate with shields, can land very heavy blows in melee, and often generate with polearms, making it difficult to limit the number of enemies able to reach you. Naga mages have access to fairly powerful conjurations and can effectively harm you regardless of your resistances, plus they can Haste themselves to increase their speed and damage output. Greater nagas are the worst of all, combining the traits of both with even greater durability. Several greater nagas are guaranteed to generate within the rune vault, but they can also rarely appear elsewhere. In general, divide-and-conquer strategies are recommended unless you're confident in your ability to wipe them out quickly.

Enchanters and others who rely heavily on Hexes may have a hard time here. Even normal nagas have decent magic resistance, and the more advanced ones are highly resistant or even immune in the case of greater nagas. You may want to hold off on this branch until you've gained some less subtle firepower.

Useful Traits



Prior to 0.10, nagas were unable to constrict you, making the branch much safer for melee characters.