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Version 0.29: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Torment is a difficult-to-resist 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 (usually including yourself) in the following ways:

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

  • Incurring Kikubaaqudgha's wrath
  • Xom will occasionally torment its followers
  • Nemelex Xobeh's wrath may invoke the Torment card against you
  • Suffering the death curse of a mummy

The spells Agony and Agony Range (monster only) also halve HP, but only against a single target. Negative energy resistance partially reduces damage from both spells. But unlike torment, these spells can be resisted entirely with high willpower.

Sources of Torment (Monsters)

The following enemies cast Symbol of Torment:

The following enemies may be able to cast Symbol of Torment, depending on their spell set:

This monster invokes torment upon its death:

Monsters 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 through Necromutation) or in Dithmenos's Shadow Form blocks torment damage entirely. Tree Form also provides immunity to torment and can be entered at will with a potion of lignification, but carries significant drawbacks (most notably, it prevents the user from escaping).
  • The spell Death's Door negates all damage from torment (in addition to all other damage), but leaves you at critical health after.
  • Kikubaaqudgha sometimes shields you from torment. At max piety, all torment damage will be blocked 33% of the time, and there exists a further 80% chance to then reduce damage by any random number.
  • The second rank of the Hurl Damnation demonspawn mutation halves torment damage.
  • Being a gargoyle or in Statue Form halves torment damage.
  • Negative energy resistance reduces torment damage by 10% (5% of your max HP) per level (so at rN+++, 35% HP loss).
    • Do not underestimate this protection: after suffering three consecutive 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.
  • An amulet of guardian spirit converts some of the torment HP damage into MP damage.

These sources of torment immunity should be avoided:

  • Having 3 HP or less renders you immune to torment, but at that point torment has done all its work.
  • A few bad forms also give immunity to torment: as stated before, Tree Form has some redeeming qualities and may be entered at will, but Fungus Form and Wisp Form are almost entirely disadvantageous.
  • Being petrified, which renders you helpless for the duration.


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 damnation-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. Fighting from a kill hole can help with this.
  • 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.
  • Only a few sources of torment can be silenced, but if you possess reasonable melee prowess, it's often a good idea if possible. Specifically, silence will only work on mummies: mummy priests, royal mummies, Menkaure, and Khufu. Be careful doing this in Tomb, as more tormenters may show up at the edge of LOS outside the range of Silence. Careful use of terrain can minimize this risk. Note that silence does NOT work on other undead, namely curse skulls, curse toes, or Murray, nor does it work on any form of demon.


  • Prior to 0.27, the second rank of the Black Mark demonspawn mutation had a 50% chance to completely negate any instance of torment, and the Hurl Damnation mutation had no torment resistance.
  • Prior to 0.25, the Pain card did not have a torment effect.
  • Prior to 0.23, the Sceptre of Torment did not protect the wielder from its torment.
  • Prior to 0.13, stepping on a Zot trap could also invoke torment as a random miscast. When Zot traps were given their own special set of effects in 0.13, torment was not included.
  • Prior to 0.8, players could also cast Symbol of Torment as a L6 Necromancy spell. The spell would not work for players immune to torment.