Stabbing

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This article is about the Stabbing skill. For the weapon brand, see Vorpal.

The Stabbing skill enhances the damage of attacks made against monsters unaware of your presence. The term "stabbing" can also refer to the act of making such an attack.

Stabbing odds

A monster has a chance of being stabbed if paralyzed, petrified, confused, fleeing, held in a net, unable to see through your invisibility or simply unaware of your presence due to your stealth level. The odds are (Stabbing skill + Dexterity + 1) in 155, or in 140 in the case of invisibility. A monster that is sleeping will always be stabbed.

Stabbing damage

The Stabbing skill increases your stabbing damage, but not all stabbings are equal. Your stabbing bonus is determined by your Stabbing skill, the stabbing "tier" (the target's state), and your choice of weapon.

Tiers:

  • Stabbing attacks against creatures that are sleeping, paralyzed, petrified, or held in a net are tier 1 stabbings, the most effective kind.
  • Creatures that are confused, fleeing, or being invisistabbed fall under tier 2 stabbings.
  • Creatures that are simply distracted (or haven't noticed you yet) fall under tier 3 stabbings, and are the least effective.

Weapons:

  • Short blades provide a bonus to damage before the stabbing multiplier is applied.This extra damage is significantly increased if you are wielding a dagger, but is capped at 30. With sufficiently high Stabbing skill and Dexterity, other short blades can also hit the cap. To get the maximum bonus you need to have dex*(1 + stabbing skill) above 300 with a dagger or 600 with another short blade. Even without this bonus, short blades are still the best for stabbing.
  • Long blades provide the second-largest bonus after short blades.
  • All other weapon types get the same, significantly smaller, bonus for stabbing.

The table below details the total damage bonus from your Stabbing skill, tier, and weapon type:

Stabbing skill Short Blades Long Blades Others
Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
1 +19.2% +9.4% +6.2% +13.7% +7.6% +5.3% +8.3% +4.2% +2.8%
2 +40% +19.2% +12.6% +28.3% +15.6% +10.8% +16.7% +8.3% +5.6%
3 +62.5% +29.4% +19.2% +43.8% +23.8% +16.5% +25% +12.5% +8.3%
4 +86.7% +40% +25.9% +60% +32.2% +22.2% +33.3% +16.7% +11.1%
5 +112.5% +51% +32.9% +77.1% +41% +28.1% +41.7% +20.8% +13.9%
6 +140% +62.5% +40% +95% +50% +34.2% +50% +25% +16.7%
7 +169.2% +74.4% +47.3% +113.8% +59.3% +40.3% +58.3% +29.2% +19.4%
8 +200% +86.7% +54.8% +133.3% +68.9% +46.7% +66.7% +33.3% +22.2%
9 +232.5% +99.4% +62.5% +153.8% +78.8% +53.1% +75% +37.5% +25%
10 +266.7% +112.5% +70.4% +175% +88.9% +59.7% +83.3% +41.7% +27.8%
11 +302.5% +126% +78.4% +197.1% +99.3% +66.5% +91.7% +45.8% +30.6%
12 +340% +140% +86.7% +220% +110% +73.3% +100% +50% +33.3%
13 +379.2% +154.4% +95.1% +243.7% +121% +80.3% +108.3% +54.2% +36.1%
14 +420% +169.2% +103.7% +268.3% +132.2% +87.5% +116.7% +58.3% +38.9%
15 +462.5% +184.4% +112.5% +293.8% +143.8% +94.8% +125% +62.5% +41.7%
16 +506.7% +200% +121.5% +320% +155.6% +102.2% +133.3% +66.7% +44.4%
17 +552.5% +216% +130.6% +347.1% +167.6% +109.8% +141.7% +70.8% +47.2%
18 +600% +232.5% +140% +375% +180% +117.5% +150% +75% +50%
19 +649.2% +249.4% +149.5% +403.7% +192.6% +125.3% +158.3% +79.2% +52.8%
20 +700% +266.7% +159.3% +433.3% +205.6% +133.3% +166.7% +83.3% +55.6%
21 +752.5% +284.4% +169.2% +463.7% +218.8% +141.5% +175% +87.5% +58.3%
22 +806.7% +302.5% +179.3% +495% +232.2% +149.7% +183.3% +91.7% +61.1%
23 +862.5% +321% +189.5% +527.1% +246% +158.1% +191.7% +95.8% +63.9%
24 +920% +340% +200% +560% +260% +166.7% +200% +100% +66.7%
25 +979.2% +359.4% +210.6% +593.8% +274.3% +175.3% +208.3% +104.2% +69.4%
26 +1040% +379.2% +221.5% +628.3% +288.9% +184.2% +216.7% +108.3% +72.2%
27 +1102.5% +399.4% +232.5% +663.8% +303.7% +193.1% +225% +112.5% +75%

Other considerations

The Stealth skill makes monsters less likely to notice you and thus increases your stabbing opportunities. Monsters can also be made stabbable by putting them to sleep with Ensorcelled Hibernation or by confusing them in a variety of ways, including Confuse or Mephitic Cloud spells.

Stabbing is used mainly by the Stalker and Assassin backgrounds, and by Enchanters because they have Ensorcelled Hibernation and Confuse in their starting spellbook.

The Shining One considers stabbing dishonorable and will put you under penance for it. The game will provide a warning and a prompt ("Really attack the helpless <foo>?") if your attack would count as stabbing, though. This restriction only applies to intelligent, non-undead, non-demon enemies - TSO does not mind if you backstab a fleeing worm, or rip an Ice fiend open in its sleep.

Stabbing aptitudes

From Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup in-game documentation:

Hu Ce Dg Ds Dr DD DE HE SE Fe Gh Ha Ko Mf Mi Mu Na Op Og HO Sp Te Tr Vp
0 -3 {{{Dg}}} {{{Ds}}} 0 -1 +1 -1 0 +3 0 0 +2 +2 0 -2 0 0 -2 +2 +4 +1 -2 {{{Vp}}}


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