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Torment is a nearly irresistible effect that cuts the HP of its targets by half.

Sources of Torment (Player)

You can invoke torment against all living creatures in your line of sight (including you) in the following ways:

Unless you have torment resistance, the damage you take will make this a dangerous technique. The spell Agony is a safe alternative: although it only halves the HP of one monster, can't affect monsters with any life protection, and can be blocked by magic resistance, it does not harm you when cast.

You can also accidentally invoke a torment effect against only yourself in the following ways:

Sources of Torment (Monsters)

The following monsters can invoke torment against all living creatures in their LOS at will:

As well as the following uniques:

They won't cast Symbol of Torment if their target is immune to it. Friendly monsters, like the ones you can get by casting Summon Greater Demon, won't cast symbol of torment while you are in their LOS.

If a monster invokes torment, you will see the message

"The <monster> calls on the powers of darkness!"

Torment Resistance and Immunity

There are only a few sources of torment resistance or immunity, but fortunately they all stack. In order of effectiveness:

  • Being undead (mummy, ghoul, bloodless vampire, or lichform through Necromutation) blocks it entirely.
  • The spell Death's Door negates all damage from torment. It's risky to use around smiting monsters, but may be worth it.
  • The demonspawn mutation Torment Resistance completely negates 20% of all torment attempts per rank, but does nothing against those that hit you.
  • Kikubaaqudgha provides torment protection that rises with piety, reducing it to 1/5 of your HP lost on average at max piety.
  • Being in Statue Form halves torment damage.
  • Life Protection reduces torment damage by 10% (5% of your max HP) per level (so at rN+++, 35% HP loss). Do not underestimate this protection: over three torments (an unfortunate but not uncommon situation), rN+++ will leave you with over twice as much HP as you would have had without it. When stacked with protection from other sources, this takes a lot of the bite out of torment.
  • Deep dwarf damage shaving will reduce torment damage by 1-11 HP (amount rises with experience level).
  • An amulet of guardian spirit will convert some of the torment HP damage into MP damage.
  • Having 3 HP or less renders you immune to torment. Not recommended.

There are also some common-sense methods of avoiding torment which shouldn't be overlooked:

  • Removing LOS from monsters - if they can't see you, they can't torment you! A scroll of fog, simply closing a door, retreating at speed or teleporting away can be the wisest option if unprepared to deal with multiple torment-capable enemies, especially if there are smiting- or hellfire-capable monsters around.
  • Fighting torment-capable monsters one at a time - you can only kill one enemy at a time in most situations, so you're just giving the others time to torment you down if you fight multiple enemies.
  • Or, of course, kill the source of the torment! In most situations it's wise to prioritise killing monsters capable of tormenting you, and there's no point in spending a turn casting statue form to avoid torment if you can reliably kill all torment-capable monsters in sight with a fire storm...