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Version 0.12: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

The vampiric brand (not to be confused with draining) adds a healing effect to your weapon's melee attacks against living monsters (natural holiness). Although it deals no additional damage, its rapid recuperative abilities make it one of the best brands in the game, though using it is not without some drawbacks.

For most wielders, the brand activates on 80% of your attacks against susceptible opponents, healing you for 1d(Damage) HP. Vampires can use these weapons more effectively; along with the initial healing, they also gain a small amount of satiation and a second healing effect which is dependent on whether or not the victim can bleed, as well as the kind of corpse the victim would normally leave when defeated. Attacks against bleedable monsters that leave clean corpses will heal an additional 2d(Damage), while attacks against monsters with contaminated or poisonous corpses will heal an additional 1d(Damage). In either case, this secondary healing effect can never heal you for an amount higher than your current character level. Ranged attacks with thrown vampiric weapons receive no benefit from this brand.

If the victim has negative energy resistance, there is a 33.3% chance that the healing effect will fail per rank (100% failure rate at rN+++).

Use of this weapon is considered to be Necromancy, so good gods forbid its use.


The act of initially wielding a weapon of vampiricism has a hunger cost attached. Living characters will be unable to wield it unless they have a Full or better satiation level, and they immediately lose a tremendous amount of nutrition upon doing so. Undead characters are not subject to this hunger effect, and can wield or unwield them with impunity.

For as long as you are wielding a vampiric weapon, it will inflict no further hunger costs, and it does not increase the rate at which you go hungry. Unwielding it inflicts no penalties either, but wielding it again will require another large hit to your satiation.

Alive, Full+: "As you grasp it, you feel a great hunger."
Alive, Not Full: "As you grasp it, you feel a great hunger. Being not satiated, you stop."
Undead: "You feel an empty sense of dread."
Vampire: "You feel a bloodthirsty glee!"

Attack Flavour

Certain monsters have innate vampiric attacks that are slightly different from the weapon brand. These attacks can heal the attacker only if the defender can bleed. This means that the following player conditions will prevent the monster's vampiric attacks from providing healing:

Tips & Tricks

  • Vampiricism is usually one of the best brands in the game, but bear in mind that it will provide little benefit when exploring branches with few or no natural monsters (the Crypt, the Tomb, Hell, and Pandemonium in particular).
  • Vampiricism is an excellent way for deep dwarf and bloodless vampire characters to heal.
    • Characters that intend to switch weaponry often will find themselves burning through food rapidly when using a weapon of vampiricism. Don't expect to use a rod or ranged weapon along with a vampiric weapon.


In 0.13 this brand will be activated only on 60% of the attacks.

Prior to 0.12, this brand was safer when found on sharp weapons, since blunt weapons didn't allow you to butcher corpses.

Prior to 0.6, vampiric weapons massively increased the hunger cost for all actions (giving an average character the metabolism of a troll) instead of having a large set hunger cost. Vampires received a smaller hunger penalty. Also, all species received satiation with each attack, although in practice this was never enough to offset the increased hunger without some extremely tedious weapon-switching before and after fights.

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDragon slayingDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingReapingSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
Launchers ElectrocutionEvasionFlameFrostPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPenetrationPoisonedReturningSilver