Sticky Flame

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Sticky flame.png Sticky Flame
Level 4
School1 Alchemy
School2 Fire
Source(s) Everburning Encyclopedia
Book of Flames
Casting noise 4
Spell noise 1
Power Cap 100
Range 1
Flags Dir or target, Needs tracer
Unleashes a short-ranged spray of incindiary goo that clings to an adjacent creature and deals armour-ignoring fire damage over several turns. If the victim is allowed to move, it will put out the fire prematurely.

“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm
for the rest of his life.”
-Terry Pratchett, “Jingo”. 1997.

Spell Details
Damage Formula 2d(2 + power/9) fire
Max Damage 2d13
Max Power 100
Range 1
Targeting Touch
To-hit Never miss
Special Inflicts Fire status

Sticky Flame is a level 4 Alchemy/Fire Magic spell which causes the target to burn for several rounds.

Alchemists start with this spell in their libraries.

Useful Info

Sticky Flame deals direct fire damage, then inflicts the Fire status (covered in liquid fire). The Fire status deals 2d(3 + power/14) fire damage per turn, ignoring AC.[1] It also causes the target to become backlit, making them easier to hit, and revealing invisible creatures.

The Fire status lasts for 3 + power/20 to 3 + power/10 turns.[2]

When the target physically moves, the Fire status will quickly run out. For monsters, each movement reduces duration by 5 turns. For players, each move reduces duration by 6 turns. For players only, if your post-movement duration is ≤ 2 turns, the status automatically ends. Also, entering or being in water (even when flying) will immediately end the Fire status.

Insubstantial creatures are immune to the Fire status, but still take impact damage from the spell.


A moderately strong damage spell, good for those who don't mind getting into melee range. You can open a fight with Sticky Flame, then use Flame Wave or a melee attack. The main downside is the 1-tile range, which isn't great for squishy casters. Many monsters, such as hydras, are too dangerous to engage in melee.

Note that Sticky Flame deals a fair amount of impact damage. You should use other spells if available, but if you have nothing better, this spell can be decent to spam.

Tips & Tricks

  • Sticky Flame can be used to reveal invisible monsters (use Z on a suspected tile). This isn't useful against unseen horrors, since they constantly move around. Neither can it be used on shadows, since they are insubstantial. But it does work against sky beasts and casters of Invisibility.

Monster Version

Most monsters use Pyre Arrow, which inflicts the Fire status from range, but doesn't deal impact damage.

Player ghosts will cast Sticky Flame, however.


  • In 0.31, Sticky Flame was reworked. Prior to this version:
    • Sticky Flame was a level 4 Conjurations/Fire spell, and it only dealt 2d(1.5 + power/24) impact damage.
    • The Fire status dealt always dealt 2d4 damage; it did not depend on power.
    • The duration was equal to 4.5 * levelsturns, for levels = (pow/96 + 1.37).
    • The Fire status did not expire faster when the target moves.
  • Prior to 0.29, the Fire status dealt 2d4 - 1 damage per turn. However, attacks of opportunity didn't exist, so the spell was more viable to normal speed species.
  • Prior to 0.28, Fire Elementalists started with this spell.
  • Prior to 0.27, the Fire status wasn't dispellable.
  • Earlier versions had more ways for players to gain resistance to sticky flames:
  • Prior to 0.22, Sticky Flame would spread between adjacent sheep and dream sheep.
  • Prior to 0.15, Sticky Flame's enchantment level depended on the victim's HD rather than the power of the spell.


  1. (0.31-b1)
  2. (0.31-b1)