Consolidated Monster Proposals


The Infected

Drawing off contemporary concepts of “zombies” or quasi-zombie monsters would be “The Infected”. Such as the idea that “zombies” are created by a viral infection rather than unholy magic, and can thus be spread to victims. Rather than just attacking a player directly, “the infected” make a minimal attack other monsters they encounter throughout the dungeon. The monsters, having been attacked, over the course of a few turns become “the infected” themselves, although of their own monster type. Once the “infected” have attacked another monster, they will not attack the same monster again and will focus on the player, until another monster comes into their view which has not been infected. These monsters obtain a permanent “berserk/frenzy” like attribute. Much faster, greatly enhanced strength/attack bonus, except their original HP reduced to a fraction (half, perhaps?) and drastic drop of Int. The infected monsters will tend to bite and claw rather than use weapons and perhaps exhibit bite and claw attacks. A player may have a chance to be infected as well, with the same ill effects of having their HP drastically reduced and Int loss unless cured of their sickness. The infected are not undead. Concepts drawn from literature/cinema such as “I am Legend” and “28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later” — euph0ria 2011-08-07 13:10 UTC

Player Zombies and Lost Player monsters

In addition to player ghosts appearing, using morgues to create player zombies in a similar manner using reanimated corpses of dead players with zombie-like attributes. Additionally in later levels “Lost Explorer” monster types, neither ghost or zombie, but made from players who have died while exploring the dungeon, such as a player gone insane from being lost in the dungeon, especially those who have died while exploring the labyrinth, abyss, or other branches.

euph0ria 2011-08-07 12:05 UTC


This lives up to Tactical Monsters. Now that we have moths of wrath (can make adjacent monsters berserk, including the player) and ghost moths (invisible, will drain MP from afar, also stat-drain in melee range), we should build on that: moths should be more subtle participants of combat, dangerous not in damage. (See above link; these threats are also called “passive aggressive” or “wavering monsters” sometimes.)

Giant Moth

This would be kind of like a butterfly, but more thematic for a dungeon. It would also serve as a lead-in to the dangerous moths later in the game. This might work as a butterfly with reassigned properties, such as is done with archer statues.

Alternatively, the Giant Moth could be given the name of some real-world moth, such as Tiger Moth , Gypsy Moth, Peppered Moth, or such.

Invisibilising moth

Monsters adjacent to it can turn unspecified first (as a glyph, that is ~ as with antenna) and invisible later.

Tantalising moth

Makes adjacent monsters drop what they wield.

I could be misunderstanding the proposal, but it sounds to me like a monk, transmuter, or anyone else who doesn't rely on wielded weapons might want to drag one of these through the whole dungeon with them. — dtsund 2010-10-07-09:17

Carrier moth

Bat speed.Flees when it sees the player until it meets a monster,which it will load on its back.Than it will return to the player,unloads and starts searching for a new monster.

Alternative: flees when it sees the player and starts waking monsters. Monsters thus waked will move roughly to the spot where the moth saw the player. — dpeg 2010-10-11 17:37



  • Stats: 1HD, attack on par with bat, low AC
  • Abilities: Spit: range 2, 20% blind (or 10% blind, 10% fear) for 2-3 rounds
  • Non-poisonous chunks
    • Neither blindness of fear (for the player) exist. Personally I don't like blindness ideas much. Don't see how fear from poison would work. I like the confusion tarantella better. — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:34

Black Widow

Potentially dangerous to early characters, but easily killed.

  • Stats: 1HP, poisonous attack, bat speed
    • Could be somewhat interesting, if it was very frail but the poison would easily get through. — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:35
    • Redback = Australian black widow, so black widows are technically already in Crawl — Minced 2010-05-17 15:57

Fire ant

"These nasty little insects were imported from some southern land."
  • red a
  • HD3, AC3, EV10, speed 10, attack 5(fire)
  • poisonous chunk
  • can be summoned with Zin's Insect Plague invocation
  • native to dungeon and lair
Normal ants have a role in their colony: larva/worker/soldier/queen. What are these? Also, there are electric ants in reality too. — infiniplex 2012-07-31 14:27

Giant flea

  • fast, low AC, high-ish EV, HD1, melee attack with vampiric draining
    • Giant fleas should definitely hop… — jeffqyzt 2011-12-27 18:37

Monarch Butterfly

Appears early in dungeon, casts Summon Butterflies and smites. Has random move pattern weighted slightly in your direction, but is hostile. — lordsloth 2010-06-11 17:26

This sounds like it'd be rather tough for a normal early enemy - butterflies are high-EV and melee would need to burn turns chasing after the thing's random movement, which would both mean lots of smiting. I sort of think it'd be fun if it didn't smite or attack and instead just flapped around while summoning butterflies, though I'm not sure what you'd do with it. — og17 2010-06-12 05:04

Bombardier Beetle / Stink Bug

  • resistant to poison
  • greenish 'B' similar to giant beetle that will use mephitic cloud on itself when reduced to 50%hp or less
  • weaker version could perhaps be 's' glyph and called stink bug, would use mephitic cloud once - targeted at player before fleeing
    • I like my own “giant skunk” theme better for this idea. ;) — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:35


  • immobile, incapable of attacks
  • hatches after x turns and spawns a random moth or a harmless butterfly

Sacred Scarab

  • walks on tiles with a corpse on them and resurrects the dead monster
    • maybe the scarab dies after this? in this case it should seek out the strongest possible monster and even avoid weaklings entirely
  • not interested in attacking the player
  • does not have to be necessarily holy, however more holy monsters would not hurt


  • The fastest of flying insects. Based on Meganeura genus, i.e, they are large.
  • Swamp dweller only, merely for having more themed monsters for the branch.
  • Some gimmick suggestion?


Scarecrow (straw golem)

A Death Cob could be accompanied by 1-4 of these, as might Sigmund the scythe-wielding unique (though Sigmund would have to watch the thrown flames).

  • brown 8
  • Stats: HD2, damage 5, speed 8, AC3, EV8
  • Abilities: vulnerable to fire, immune to cold/poison/magic
  • Spells: Cause Fear
  • Cause Fear is interesting against summoners. — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:35

Paper golem

"A rather flimsy magical construct."
  • grey 8
  • HD4, AC1, EV8, damage 6
  • magic immune, fire vulnerable
  • native to dungeon
    • The straw golem above is more interesting. (Has a niche) — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:44
    • Maybe it should drop 1-2 scrolls upon death. — danei 2010-01-15 12:40

Wax golem

  • If its set on fire, it goes berserk and leaves clouds of flame when it moves.

> I would love if any fire attack would set it on fire. Perhaps it should cause fire damage in all adjacent squares when burning - it'd create a lot of interesting tactical situations / hazards. — coolio 2010-12-29 17:16

How do constructs go berserk? Furthermore, adding a new monster for a gimmick so rare in actual play is ridiculous; give it to wood golems or replace them or something. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-30 22:47

Anti-Magic Golem

“A construct made out of a shimmering material that explodes violently on contact with magical enchantments.”

Basically, a golem that explodes under certain conditions, dealing damage to the surrounding area, as if you cast rapid deconstruction on a stone golem. Each explosion should damage the golem by around 1/5th of its HP. It has anti-magic brand attacks.

  • If you have buffs active, each buff has 50% chance of being removed any time you are hit by the golem. Each removed buff adds to the explosion's damage. So if 3 buffs are removed from one attack, the explosion is three times as powerful (and the golem will take 3 times the damage).
  • If you have temporary brands on your weapons, if you make a successful attack against it, the brand is removed and there is an explosion. If you make unarmed attacks against the golem, buffs active on yourself is removed and causes explosions as if the golem hit you.
  • It's immune to enchantments like invisiblity and haste being cast on it, in addition to standard magic immunity against hostile enchantments. It'd be neat if spells like that caused it to explode, but that seems a bit gimmicky. — ledtim 2010-10-12 19:15


Call it whatever you wish; the terracotta army might make a cool theme too.

  • gets a boost to its power (all stats?) for each nearby legionary (besides itself of course)
There's little reason to add new monsters for new behavior, and this could work very well for wights (or ghouls, or the mix of both), especially if the focus was more on speed than just power/stats - isolated monsters would be relatively “unresponsive,” but as the pack grows, they'd become more and more animated, sprinting and clawing away. Their starting speed could be lowered, if that ends up making the effect more pronounced. Adjust generation so early floors have just one or two, increasing to later areas/crypt with full packs - they're still distinct from skeletal warriors, as they're not nearly as durable or hard-hitting, and these monsters could really use something to make them stand out. — og17 2010-12-30 16:54

Strange idol

  • causes insanity in monsters in FoV
  • causes unresistable confusion in the player (might be annoying to escape from it?)
  • drains the player's MP
  • immobile

Gold Golem

Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity. These shiny golems seem to crackle with energy. Gold golems would be smaller than other golems, and act as pack creatures that resist electricity damage and cast Static Discharge, which would allow non-adjacent members of the pack to contribute to damage. I'm envisioning this to be a midgame enemy. I thought of this while thinking about things for the “swarming monsters” concept I mentioned in the misc section.

  • yellow 8
  • Stats: HD 10, damage 20, speed 9, AC10, EV6 (arbitrary decisions, extrapolated these numbers based on slime creatures and iron golems)
  • all the typical golem immunities. Possibly they should be completely immune to electricity? I think rElec still allows them to damage themselves.
  • Spells: Static Discharge
  • perhaps they should leave a pile of gold as a corpse?

Bronze Golem

This golem's body is shaped like a bell. It vibrates strangely as you look at it. Bronze golems would also travel in packs, but rather than home in on you they would try to spread out while still keeping you in sight. They would smite-target a sonic “ringing” attack, but you could disable the ability for perhaps 3-4 turns each time you strike them (“The golem ceases vibrating!”). This would be extra-important for sneaky characters, because their smite attack can attract other monsters with its sound. Like the golem above, I thought of this while brainstorming ideas for the “swarming monsters” concept.

  • some unused color of 8
  • Stats: HD 11, damage 20, speed 8, AC12, EV5 (same goes as I said for gold golems)
  • golem immunities,
  • Spells: Sonic smite

Silver Golem

You see a small silver figure, moving slowly. Its body is covered in tiny runes. The idea behind this monster is that it would be a low-level construct – all the resistances, relatively high AC, but not the ridiculous amount of HP that later golems get. As Silver Statues summon constantly, I thought it would be interesting if silver golems summoned a few low-level demons upon death.

Aside from silver statues, silver in Crawl normally is anti-chaos. If I saw a silver golem, I would assume it was somehow Zin-associated, so summoning demons seems a bit out of place. — infiniplex 2012-07-31 14:24

Transparent Monster

(mumra 2012-03-28 20:44)

I had this idea in response to cerebovsquire's Glass Golem thread ( Rather than “magically invisible”, this monster is physically transparent. In the case of a glass golem this would be “supernaturally transparent magically-forged glass”. See Invisible doesn't help - you can technically see it, it's just that the thing you're looking at is actually transparent and therefore functionally mostly invisible, only visible by noticing refractive distortions (or cloud/water disturbances).

The idea is: on any given turn you have a chance to see the monster. This chance is higher the nearer the monster is to you, and also affected by eyesight mutations. Clarity/Ash could have an effect. Traps & Doors could help spot the monster, because this skill is about “noticing dungeon features that don't look quite right”, which is actually somewhat close to identifying Predator-style visual distortions. Telepathy if the monster has a mind. The monster uses a slightly randomised path to get to the player, so even though you might see it on some turns, you don't know exactly which square it's moved to the next turn.

This mechanic would give you a monster that can surprise a player by getting into melee range at a stage of the game when you typically already have a source of SInv.

cerebovssquire pointed out this could kill you while resting, the solution is to have a “you sense movement” message which cancels resting if one is in LOS.

The idea started a feature of the glass golem; cerebovssquire thought the glass golem should be early game and not have this feature. So I'm just suggesting the mechanic here for a new mid-game monster or unique.

Except that in many places SInv is described as being able to see those little distortions due to uncannily sharp eyesight, rather than having magical sight. — KiloByte 2012-04-02 11:12
Ah, I never saw that. I guess it's a side-effect of Tiles - since once you have SInv you can see the monster's true appearance and colour, it feels like some magical veil has been lifted. It's an interesting point - for an invisible draconian, if you were only seeing distortions then how would you know its colour?
I'd still like to see some new behaviours to get monsters into melee range. — mumra 2012-04-02 11:30



Everyone's favorite from the old D&D games, should be dangerous only if you can't fight them in a corridor.

"A nasty little hairy winged blood-sucking thing."
  • red b
  • Stats: 1HD, fast, attack on the level of giant cockroach, 0AC, moderate EV, moderate accuracy
  • Abilities: flying
  • pack monster

Dragons / Drakes

Ancestral Dragon

An ancient dragon that is said to give bad luck to all who would harm it.

A dragon that resembles and eastern dragon. It breathes colored smoke that harms the players attributes. Other names: Spirit Dragon, Luck Dragon. When killed its corpse can be cut into ancestral dragon hide, which, when enchanted, becomes armor (similar to pearl dragon armor) that sustains abilities and resists rot. It would be a stronger dragon, with stats around a Golden dragon. When you killed it, it would have a curse similar to a mummies. It would be encountered in the lowest dungeon floors.

DoubleG96 2011-08-14 22:17


A small dragon. It is under speculation whether these creatures are juveniles or just psuedo-dragons of sorts.

A small dragon encountered on D:2-6. They could come in packs on lower floors, or with other dragons.

AC 2, EV 0, HP 15-20, Attack1 1d10. Breathes a single puff of black smoke, which lowers EV, and does a little damage.

DoubleG96 2011-08-15 18:31

IMO the name sucks. I'd prefer “dragon whelp” or perhaps hatchling.
Also, their niche is already occupied by lindwurms and drakes – redundancy isn't good unless justified by a flavour need. — kilobyte 2011-08-15 22:01
True, but lindwurms and drakes come on harder and deeper levels. Ill edit the levels encountered on. — DoubleG96 2011-08-17 06:02


A many-headed dragon, appearing as a typical, albiet tougher (and deeper), creature. Likely a Zot-level beast.

  • Has multiple heads and the blade-based head regeneration of a hydra.
  • Has all attributes of the dragon color base.
  • Can breathe whenever it wants.
  • Does not have the hydra super-fast movement speed.

Of note, I just came up with the name this morning and have no idea if it is actually anything (a quick internet search brings up a Pokemon). — XuaXua 2012-08-22 21:25


Similar to the Hydragon concept above. Currently implemented on the balaur branch in the repository (in terms of functionality, not in terms of balance).

  • Each head acts individually but simultaneously, like hydras.
  • Each head independently has a unique flavor, of fire, ice, electric, poison, antimagic, acid, and sticky flame.
  • Heads have a breath attack and a bite attack, of the appropriate flavor.
  • Spawns with 3-7 heads, but heads don't regrow on being chopped off (I think it'd be pretty hard to balance getting hit with 20+ breath weapons in a single turn). To compensate, heads are a bit harder to chop off.
  • Non-flying, but amphibious

The idea was for them to be a Depths/Zot-specific monster. A few remaining questions:

  • How much damage should they do? Right now, they're just doing default breath weapon damage and hydra melee damage, but we probably want to tune up the melee damage and tune down the breath weapon damage (although I haven't run any tests yet).
  • How should resistances be handled? Right now, they just resist fire/cold/shock/poison, mostly because they need poison res if they're going to breathe poison clouds, and it feels weird from a flavor perspective to have them breathe a damage flavor that they don't resist. It might be better to have them work like chimeras where they only resist the elements that they actually have as heads, but that was more complicated to implement and slightly more difficult to justify from a flavor perspective, so I held off for now.
  • What glyph should they use? At the moment, D is all full up on colors, so I made them ETC_ELEMENTAL for now, but that really doesn't look great.



Either a unique, or shows up in Zot. Can cast/permanently travels in a field of silence. Has a cantrip where it pretends it is stuck in a box. Can imprison you as well! Pantomimes cutting your throat for a ranged 'melee' attack with it's weapon. Finally, can pantomime strangling you for an asphyxiation attack that ignores ac. — lordsloth 2010-06-11 17:23

Could possibly call it 'Murderous Mime', for a parallel with Killer Klowns. — danei 2010-10-08 19:45
A creature with a permanent silence field (which is much more interesting and appropriate than the alternative) should probably either move slower than the player or use bat movement AI, or have something else in place to prevent it from getting “stuck” to a player who can't then get out of silence range to use an escape item or spell or ability but can run around with the monster tailing him. Bat movement is probably preferable since that scenario should ideally be avoided for ANY character. Besides, a bat-AI centered piece of silence wandering around sounds like a fun tactical oddity. — brickman 2010-10-30 23:27
Here's a random suggestion: Mimicry - the mime can only move on a turn if the player has moved. It is immune to missile attacks (stuck in a box) and the silence aura prevents spells from hitting it. — coolio 2010-12-29 17:16

Kobold Assassin

Apply the wandering mushroom AI to a Kobold with a venom dagger and blowgun with poisoned needles. They would remain unnoticed and out of range until you try to retreat, then they attack! Alternately, they remain invisible until they attack, and follow you *within* your line of sight, trying to keep at a distance of six tiles, not moving if closer than that. If you get involved in a big fight, or drop below half your health, they'll attack. If you wander adjacent to them, you'll get stabbed. Mininum depth d:7. Want to give the player a chance to at least find the temple, regular kobolds with poison are hassle enough. — lordsloth 2010-04-26 02:48

What happens once they're unmasked? Here's what I think: priority one in movement is to stay as many tiles away from you as possible, and the blowgun is the default mode of attack. They should shoot you either a couple of times (3-4) or until you enter within 3 spaces of them or deal 30% of his health in damage (which sounds much more fun–ignoring them won't make them go away), then flee. For pure melee characters this'd make him nearly impossible to kill, but there's no rule saying you have to kill him instead of just making a note of his presence and skipping the rest of the level like he was Sigmund. If and only if the assassin finds himself somehow trapped in a situation where he can't avoid coming within two squares of you he switches to his dagger and stays still; if you wander next to him he'll stab you and either flee or fight depending on your HP. In both cases, he would never flee if he sees you at less than 20% of your max HP. — brickman 2010-10-30 23:27

Kobold Slinger

(HD1) – 'K' Sling using kobold, naturally. This'll make blowgun-wielding plain-old-kobolds seem strange, so we could optionally disqualify plain-old-K from blowguns and add kobold assassins that always get blowguns (HD2?), or merge kobold hurlers and slingers into kobold archers.

Kobold netcaster

(HD2) – 'K' Slings nets at the player. The netcaster typically has a stock of 2+d3 nets to throw, after which it falls back to a dagger.

  • I think this would make more sense as a gnoll, since they sometimes start with nets anyway. — ogaz 2010-05-02 22:54

Kobold Scavenger

  • grey K
  • Stats: as normal kobold, except HD2
  • doesn't carry darts, consumes any corpses or comestibles it comes across, will occasionally set new level-appropriate traps

Insane Kobold Shaman

Like a normal kobold, but he summons. Only he doesn't summon anything sensible. He summons plants and fungi. Perhaps a unique.

  • Summon butterflies! — doy 2009-12-09 01:59
  • Kobold Shaman with some interesting buff spells (plus the butterflies) might be nice for kobold rooms and so. I'm not that fond of the other above kobold ideas though. Goblins have slings, gnolls have nets, kobolds have darts. That's a good set and differentation. — evktalo 2010-01-15 20:35

Naga Stalker

Nagas that when woken up, slowly sneak up to you to stab you for alot of damage. They start out unseen, including when asleep, and remain so until they stab you or are spotted by you, in which case they lose the ability to stab you, and will attack you head on like a normal, but less well equipped Naga. The chance to spot one should probably be determined by Traps and Doors Skill. — psyshvl 2010-01-15 20:35

Mobile blade trap. This would probably result in a lot of unavoidable sudden deaths. — coolio 2010-12-29 17:16


  • A big, strong giant type monster that is able to destroy dungeon features
    • Essential dungeon features like up / down stairs are naturally unaffected. Shops, doors, orcish idols etc. are free game.
    • Maybe he could “pick up and throw” the features at the player - e.g. get a free, powerful ranged attack when it destroys a feature.
  • Maybe able to create shafts somehow?
    • Perhaps punching you through the dungeon floor (that might be a bit silly)
    • Maybe just a chance of a shaft being created on any tile that the Brute attacks (and if the player / a monster) is standing on it, act as though it had just walked on a shaft and give a chance of avoiding.

Mind Stealer

  • A spellcaster whose spell list is picked at random from spells the PC has memorized
    • Emphasis on lower/middle/higher - level-spells can be used to balance this
  • Its purpose is to be a threat that primarily affects spellcasters and is easy to deal with for pure melee PCs.
    • However, it could also be able to copy abilities like berserk
    • To make it even tougher / more annoying, spells taken by it could be disabled from the PC. This could be tricky when there's multiple Mind Stealers on a map.


Corpse Mold

Not much of a threat in itself except that it takes some time to kill and can keep up the pressure of other foes.

  • black f
  • Stats: stationary, either high HP or high AC, weak melee attack
  • Spells: Raise Dead

Tangle vine

This plant hits back - how else does it subsist without sunlight? Meant to block corridors.

"A mass of thorny vines bearing succulent fruit."
  • red P
  • Stats: AC4, EV0, immobile, HD1, HP 20, damage 1/1/1
  • Abilities: leaves a snozzcumber as a corpse

Carnivorous plant (could use a better name)

  • Stats: damage 3, HD1, immobile
  • Abilities: reaching (mouth on an extensible tentacle)

Tar Weed

  • green P
  • Stats: HD4, AC10, EV0, immobile, no attacks
  • Abilities: generated in packs, “sticky” effect - if the player moves adjacent to it, moving away will be difficult until the plant is destroyed


"There's nothing unusual about this shrub covered with sharp thorns -- except for the velocity with which it fires them."
  • cyan P
  • HD5, AC8, EV1, immobile, plant, ranged attack with damage 4
  • native to dungeon and Lair


A fragile mushroom that expels a cloud of { spores / smoke / mephitic gas / poison } when destroyed.

  • Immobile, 1HP, AC/EV 0/0
  • Panicked / fleeing intelligent enemies could take advantage of these.
    • Ranged monsters too (and the player too, naturally)
  • Could come as a camouflaged variety that works like trapdoor spiders.


Simply put, plant with DS's spines mutation. Immobile and harmless under most circumstances.

  • They can block the player's route, but are not as simply disposed of as plants or fungi.
  • Confused monsters can hurt themselves beating them up.


Faceless Ghost

Each time the faceless ghost hits you in melee, it gains a fraction of your abilities - perhaps a spectral copy of your weapon, perhaps one of your spells, or perhaps your base race, resulting in messages about the ghost gradually gaining a face. When fully developed, it's as powerful as Mara's player illusion. — Minced

Why do this when it hits in melee? Sure, it's the simple choice, but that's the thinking that led to the imbalanced gameplay we have right now and anyways isn't as interesting as it could be. Instead the face stealing should be a spell it casts as a free action, possibly resistable, every couple turns as long as it can see you. Also, what happens if you change your equipment? Should the ghost follow your changes to differentiate itself better from Mara or act like her illusion does? Probably the former since aping uniques isn't a good way to get a creature accepted. — brickman 2011-02-17 22:14

Skeletal caster

The counterpart to skeletal warriors, can come in bands together with them.

Has various necromantic spells (there could be more than one spell set):

  • abjuration, dispel undead, draining
  • call on the dead I: hands coming from the ground, grabbing the player's feet; trying to move will fail with a chance of (2/3)^N*10/(10+Str), where N is the number of consecutive tries before this one
  • call on the dead II: summons zombies (or skeletons) from their graves, forming a ring around the player (this works best if this skeletal mage has some strike targeting spells)

This would implement a similar idea (the hands) from Crypt in a meaningful way: unlike traps which mostly hit when nobody is around, the presence of the caster (and quite possibly other monsters) would make the hands relevant.

They are already implemented. Heck, they have a whole symbol dedicated to them, 'L'. — kilobyte 2010-09-20 21:41
I see. But my point was to eqip skeletal warrior bands with them and to make them appear often in Crypt. Do you think we can do that with liches? — dpeg 2010-09-21 10:58
Well, liches are too big for that. We'd need some other name, as “skeletal caster” or “skeletal wizard” is just a description of liches. It may be “demilich” (true to that word but in stark contrast to D&D usage) or, preferably, something better. — kilobyte 2010-09-21 11:01

Mummified Cat

  • Stats: same as rat
  • Abilities: Curses an item on death, but won't decay potions

> What about adding “foo mummy” or “mummified foo” as another type of derived undead, like skeletons, zombies, simulacra and spectral things? Makes little sense for human-sized humanoids (as a mummified human, elf or orc look exactly the same), but for pretty much everything else that's zombifiable, non-insect, non-snake, “$GENUS mummy” looks like a valid monster. — KiloByte 2012-04-02 11:06



"These fiery thin-skinned worms are a nuisance... avoid them if you can."
  • Stats: 2 HD, giant beetle speed, low AC, worm-level (non-elemental) attack
  • Abilities: Fire res, leave trail of fire behind them (like fire elementals)

Spore worm

  • darkgreen w
  • Stats: 2HD, speed of ooze, intelligence of worm (enough to avoid traps), damage similar to goblin
  • Abilities: Spits spores similar to a manticore, but with damage closer to a bat's attack

Slimy worm

  • a rock worm that makes walls that it moves through acidic

Aqua Slug

Slow, like a slug. Generated in water. Attacks and will leave the water. Leaves a poisonous trail. Spits a minor non corrosive acid for small damage from water. Slime melee on land.


Molitan (or Sprite or Fairy)

A training dummy of sorts for later encounters with UH's.

"A distant relative of the spriggans, the malevolent molitans delight in frustrating adventurers, even at the cost of their own lives."
  • Stats: 1 HD, attack on par with hobgoblin
  • Spells: cantrips in attack slots, Blink in escape slot.
  • Abilities: Invisible

Small slime

Meant to be the first regenerating foe, but lacking the imp's high EV and blink/teleport defense it won't last long.

"The immature form of a slime creature."
  • green J
  • Stats: AC1, EV4, HD2, speed 10, damage 2
  • Abilities: MR 33, poison immune, regenerates

Swarming Creature concept

Currently, players want to take on enemies one-at-a-time, in a corridor, if they have a choice. Several monsters defy this: cloud-spewing enemies like fire crabs and catoblepas are best dealt with out in the open, and of course with slime creatures we want to keep out in open spaces where they are less likely to merge together. But even in these situations, you ideally concentrate your fire on one monster at a time (barring AoE attacks). What if there were some kind of creature that appears as part of a pack, that has some kind of ranged option that it loses for a few turns when struck? Players would have to choose between concentrating on one (to put it down permanently) or distributing damage to all of them so they won't be as dangerous. — roctavian 2011-11-22 19:02

Sounds like it could be very interesting. But unless the ranged attack option is smite targeted it will be best to fight this monster in corridors, so they block each others ranged attacks. Using them only on fairly open levels (like vaults, vestibule, abyss) would help. Disabling weapon use after getting hit would be a neat way of doing this, especially with ranged weapons or polearms. Squishy tentacles or pseudopods (used for wielding) that regrow after a while when destroyed? Some kind of shadow demon or manifestation whose physical form gets disrupted when hit? The reverse could also be interesting, to penalize AOE attacks: a group of monsters that power up when hit (gain smite for example). Rabid animals that berserk when hit? A threat of this type would need to come late enough in the game to actually see some common aoe attacks, and be durable enough to withstand at least one typical aoe blast. A skeletal warrior level threat might work nicely. — galefury 2011-11-23 10:45
Yeah, on further thought either a smite-targeted attack or some kind of aura (a la Leda's Liquifaction?) would be much more appropriate than a standard ranged-type attack. — roctavian 2011-11-23 11:27

Red Wasp's Victims

What do Red Wasps do once they subdue their victims? Same thing wasps do in real life:

These monsters are spawned in bands with a Red Wasp, perhaps in mini-vaults. They look like normal monsters of that type, but are a bit slower and weaker. The description appends “This one looks glassy-eyed and sluggish. From time to time, something appears to be moving under its skin.” to the monster's normal description. The victims can be various low and mid-level monsters, like orcs, ogres, yaks, and trolls.

When these victims are killed, a few hostile Red Wasp Larvae are created in the adjacent areas. “Red Wasp Larvae squirms out of the <victim>'s body as he/it/she dies!” The larvae are similar in stats to killer bee larvae except they have paralyzing bites. — ledtim 2010-10-12 19:15


Packs of hippos

Hippos are enormous and weigh 3-9 tonnes. They are very agressive (by meatspace standards, not Crawl standards), but deceptively cute and kill more people than lions. They can run at 30km/h over short distances, and are aquatic. What's not to like ?

My vision of hippos in Crawl: Unique to Swamp. Appear in packs. Stats comparable to yaks or even death yaks. They remain neutral until you come within 2 squares of one, or a stray shot hits one. Then the entire pack becomes angry at the agressor. Hippos would be fast, swimming, and fearless. — b0rsuk 2011-07-02 22:16

Pink Elephant

“A levitating pink pachyderm with a freakish grin and even more freakishly long trunk waving to and fro, making disgusting sucking noises.”

In case hellephants weren't off-kilter enough, this one is a levitating elephant that sucks brains through its trunk at range 2. When its brain feed is successful it summons another pink elephant. Yes, “seeing pink elephants” is supposed to be a euphemism for drunkenness.

Stone Crab

“A crab with an extremely tough shell, prized by the merfolk as a delicacy.”

Based on the stone crabs of Florida, this crab is very difficult to kill but can be eaten (by non-herbivores) at any satiation level. Meant as salvation for those who lost food to harpies. Om nom nom! — Minced


Not really dangerous except for very weak characters, but somewhat annoying becausehard to finish off when fleeing.

"A mythical beast from the deserts of the far southwest, combining the speed of the jackrabbit with the pointy horns of the antelope."
  • Stats: 2HD, killer bee speed, animal intelligence, 0AC, good EV, newt/iguana level attack


  • Stats: 2HD, slow, high AC, attack slightly better than rat
Does this really add anything new? Oozes and cockroaches together seem to satisfy all of these, and alone they're both probably more dangerous than tortoises anyway. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-30 22:47
There could be a sewer vault with four tortoises and a rat… — Minced


Weak, although it does have a rat-class attack if cornered. It will flee the player on sight if possible and fight only if it cannot flee. It is fast as a bat, but cowardly, not random. No experience for killing it, but it reliably leaves a single clean chunk if butchered.

Guard Llamas

  • Leads packs of sheep.
  • Maybe a bit tougher than a yak in melee, but has a physical spit attack.

Drop Bears

  • Hides on the ceiling and drops down when you step under it, like a net trap
  • q glyph, along with quokka; ideally, populate q with other marsupials as well; appears in lair or forest
This is a single-use non-venomous trapdoor spider, basically, which seems redundant. Also, it's silly to use one of the last glyphs here; U's a no-brainer, and also funny. — og17 2010-08-29 09:25
Maybe they should drop in packs (or sloths) then? Would make them a bit different from trapdoor spiders. — coolio 2010-10-30 19:44
Drop bears are a dumb idea, but drop bear clusters are a great idea. I fully support being suddenly surrounded by tiny bears. — og17 2010-10-31 18:18
Going on the idea of putting them on U for laughs, drop bear clusters would be easy enough to do with a trap vault and no actual new monsters, quite like the basket of spiders; just rename, recolour, and retile some bears, then make them drop. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-30 22:47

Coconut Crabs

  • reaches and constricts with pincers, meaning they can potentially hold you still at a safe distance
  • late shoals?


  • Has a short halo while surfaced, or possibly mesmerisation
  • “big fish” etc are really boring
    • This could replace big fish, using just the halo. There could be a mesmerizing upgrade that shows up later on, maybe (not in shoals, of course). — og17 2010-08-29 09:25

Giant Snapping Shrimp

  • Has a slow, short-ranged attack dealing high damage and confusing or stunning shortly


  • Purple (?) “r”
  • Mephitic Cloud (or similar) as escape spell
  • Shows up in Lair or before; more interesting animals are good to add variation


  • Hurts attacking players with spines.
  • Also uses spines passively, as the DS mutation.
Current grey rats could become green and green rats become grey porcupines - sewers might need to be adjusted, but non-orange rats are forgettable and there's a lot of them in type and quantity (rat, quokka, grey rat, green rat). The grey/green swap is to keep the player mammals summon from having spines and to free the color. Replacing quokkas is also a possibility, as they're almost literally slower grey rats, though then there's the question of the summon. — og17 2010-09-04 18:59

I support swapping some type of rat with porcupines. They are small mammals, rodents even, so we wouldn't have to change the glyph. And a group of critters with these passive attacks could actually be interesting. Porcupines are described as “mostly solitary”, so they could appear alone and very early (D:2 I think). Later on, they could come in groups. — dpeg 2010-09-20 19:07


  • Replaces gila monsters.
  • The same, but can become invisible.

Howler Monkey

  • When disturbed, will make lots of noise that will attract other monsters - the howler monkey's effectively a mobile alarm trap
  • Not particularly threatening in melee, perhaps even actively avoids the player


  • Hits strong and fast - basically a hydra-lite in bird form
  • Has a special 'pursuit' ability that gives it a free attack if you move away from it if you're standing next to it. Pillar dancing is not an option.
It'd be better to give pursuit to an existing enemy, if desired - between yaks, elephants, and frogs, a new melee animal would add very little. Maybe give it to griffons, they're pretty forgettable as-is. — og17 2010-08-29 09:25

Animal Familiar

  • “The animal familiar of some magical being, probably on a mission for the Orb.”
    • Knows a few spells, these chosen at random and are mostly enchantment effects (eg. no conjurations).
    • Can apport items on the ground and travels between down staircases. When weakened, it will descend the dungeon. If the player descends and doesn't kill it, it will also descend with the player.
    • Killing it will result in it disappearing in a puff of smoke, similar to a summon but the player gets XP.
  • Basically, it's a batty spellcaster r that darts around casting corona/slow/paralysis/confuse at you. Not dangerous on its own but difficult to hit without a ranged attack and thus will pose a considerable threat to melee fighters.
  • Its fast speed and ability to descend will mean unless killed on the level found, it will probably haunt you forever (until you get the Orb, in which case it apports it before you can and tries to ascend).
  • It is also invisible.

Warthog (charger)

How about a beast that can charge at the player? It speeds up for every turn it spends charging, up to some limit (maybe just 2-3 increments). Once it is going fast it is slow to change direction or slow down (momentum). It may end up hitting a fellow monster. If it hits a wall it will be confused for a number of turns equal to its speed.

  • Momentum logic might be somewhat tricky to handle. I guess you could have a direction vector, and allow changing the vector by a certain angle within one turn. Then proceed down the new vector (should avoid walls if it can).
  • Could also use this mechanic for bullfighting, warthog, etc. Or something with Yaks. Or something like a spearfish creature for the water, or some flying creature that dives at you in this manner. Or something that rolls at you in a ball form. Certain creatures could warn the player by preparing to charge (e.g. paw the ground). — tigen 2010-10-13-10
  • I don't know how well a charging mechanic would work in a roguelike, but if it is implemented the best monsters (i.e. one's that would be most strongly associated with charging attacks) would imho be either a rhino or a bull. — coolio 2010-12-29 17:16


  • All monsters will attack the scapegoat and chase after it; preferring it to the player.
    • Monsters will only seek out the scapegoat if they've seen it (possibly on in the player's FoV)
  • The scapegoat will not fight, but will run away
    • It should be slightly faster than the average monster
  • Has no effect on the player. The player's allies, however, will attack the Scapegoat and will not listen to any commands while chasing it.
  • Scapegoats should spawn naturally but it'd be a useful summon too.
Unless I'm severely mistaken, this sounds annoying and hard to balance. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-30 22:47


  • Based on ancient mythology, the chimera is a monster with the head of a lion, a snake and a goat.
  • Abilities
    • Three attacks (bite / poison / ram)
    • Can breathe fire
  • Stats
    • Like a manticore, but stronger


Described extensively on the Swamp page (direct advice/criticism there instead). Highlights:

  • Submerging amphibious horse, does not flee
  • Engages player in melee until the kelpie lands a hit, at which point its adhesive skin bonds the player to it, reducing player EV and negating bonuses from flying over shallow water
  • Once bonded, attempts to drag the player to the nearest shallow water
  • Intended not so much as a legitimate threat by themselves, but as a threat multiplier due to debuffing the player in ways that other swamp monsters can exploit

Holy Monsters

These would go along with the Holy Monster Overhaul.

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things, or Beauties, are pack creatures; a concept based on the ugly things. They all have weak holy branded melee attacks to go with their primary behaviors. They change to other forms when more of them are together, with a greater chance of becoming a type that is not in LOS. There's a stronger version of each. Should the stronger ones be called very beautiful things? Beauteous things? Holy things? Perfections? “Resplendenter Beauties?” I don't know. I don't know if the glyphs should be u or 8 or * or p or something else. I thought about using some kind of perfect regular mathematical solids for names instead of the sesquipedalian accolades, but I haven't looked any up yet because I kind of like what I got from these names. Maybe those can be used for the tiles. The taxonomy isn't based on colors and brands as with ugly things, but rather on different aspects of beauty:

  • Resplendent Beauty:
    • When in LOS, non-holy creatures can not move closer to it. It acts like a passive mermaid ability in reverse.
    • Very beautiful version damages everything non-holy in LOS every turn. No AC check, but weak. Stronger against demonic and undead. Also has repel missiles.
  • Inexorable Beauty:
    • Conjurer. Casts IMB or Iron Bolt or something flavorful that can't be resisted.
    • Casts Blink Towards Resplendent when there's a Resplendent in LOS, otherwise casts Blink Away from player.
    • Very beautiful version has LCS or some strong irresistible conjuration.
  • Alluring Beauty:
    • Summons holy creatures, perhaps Apis, Adonis, Royal Stag, Golden Eagle (explained below).
    • Very beautiful summons Daevas and Angels.
  • Perpetual Beauty:
    • Stands on any corpse and prays to create a new beautiful thing.
    • Very beautiful version prays to turn all corpses in LOS into beautiful things.
  • Inspirational Beauty:
    • Buffs other holies: healing, swiftness, halo, partial haste?
    • Very beautiful thing buffs all holies in LOS at once.
  • Graceful Beauty:
    • Fast melee attack
    • Fast mover
    • Dodges well
    • Very beautiful version has phase shift.

* Please, for the love of god, don't call them “things” - calling a living creature a thing is derogatory and only fits foul beings like chaos monsters… I suggest 'beautiful being'. — coolio 2010-12-29 17:16

* Wouldn't the ONLY way to kill resplendent beauties as a melee character be to hide around a corner? Or does it still move towards you, thus undermining its own ability? — brickman 2011-02-17 22:25

* Please no monsters that exist solely for the sake of symmetry.

Well, wands and javelins work from a distance. No, Resplendent Beauties shouldn't move toward the player. I suppose they would be better moving like wandering mushrooms than remaining stationary. They are really there to keep you from using melee or summons against the Inexorable Beauty or Alluring Beauty that would be standing next to them. And I suppose a scroll of blinking could put you next to one of them, though I'd probably walk away rather than waste that. A scroll of fog or a lantern of shadows could be enough to get close. Or awkwardly throw a potion of invisibility at it, and maybe it will pick up the potion and quaff. When you can't see it, it shouldn't affect you.— jejorda2 2011-02-18 01:40


Einherji (p): Like a holy version of a zombie or skeleton. Its strength is a fraction (maybe 1/4?) of the HD of the monster that died to form it. No magic, scroll, melee, missile, or wand can hurt it, but maybe some god can. Conjurations and missiles pass through it like a bush or an empty space. It fades by halving its hit dice every turn and disappears back to the afterlife when it reaches anything under 2. It moves and attacks at one quarter the speed of its base form, with a maximum speed of 8. It is limited to melee no matter what abilities the base monster had. Holy creatures and Demigods can displace it when moving.

Comment: “holy” undead have already been vetoed, sorry! — due 2010-12-29 07:36

Royal Stag

Royal Stag or Red Hind (Y): worshiped as quickener of dead spirits by Scythians of Iran and as a guide to the underworld by some Celts. It stands at a distance like a wandering mushroom and turns anything that dies in its LOS that would have left a corpse into an Einherji, kind of like passive reaping. Its melee attack has a chance of banishment, possibly to the Vestibule instead of the Abyss. I'm not sure these need to fly (Holy overhaul page states all holy monsters fly), but it doesn't hurt.


Valkyrie (@): Humanoid fighter with good weapons and armor. Turns corpses into Einherjar when walking on them. Calls Einherjar of uniques that have been slain to surround the player, with a maximum of six to exist at any time.


Adonis (C or @): I'm thinking of the more modern sense of a perfect physical specimen, as opposed to the deity. A giant or humanoid bruiser, with the gimmick that its attacks are perfect, that is to say that they do not miss. They can be blocked or repelled or resisted with AC, but they can not be dodged. Attacks are slower than similar giants or humanoids. Spawns with one or two javelins or spears for throwing and sometimes a weapon. I'm not sure these need to fly, but it doesn't hurt.

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle (b): Native Americans worshiped eagles of symbols of balance and purity, and they reportedly try to keep ceremonial eagle parts away from ceremonial mind altering substances. Perhaps Eagles are iguana-strength animals that use bat movement patterns. On a hit, sometimes, to balance the player's stats, the player's lowest stat is raised and the highest stat is lowered by the same amount, temporarily a la sickness. Sometimes, to balance HP and MP, MaxHP is lowered to MaxMP + (MaxHP-MaxMP)*2/3 a la rot. If MaxMP is higher than MaxHP, the reverse happens, perhaps to be recovered by potions of magic or restore abilities. Sometimes, to increase purity, a buff or transformation is removed. When an eagle hits a monster, maybe the hit dice are lowered? Or averaged with MaxHP? Golden Eagles or Bald Eagles are more interesting names than Fish Eagles or Snake Eagles.


Unicorn (U or 1? Y or H?): As already mentioned on the Mountain Branch page, I'd like to see Unicorns guaranteed at the end of some branch, perhaps a branch with a Forest or Mountain theme. I think they would provide a challenge that would encourage special preparation in the same way players prepare for Hydras when visiting the Swamp.

  • They reflect any damage done to them onto all living, non-demonic, non-holy beings in LOS, whether friendly or hostile. There might be a message about your soul being torn by witnessing the suffering of an innocent beast. Damage reflected from Yred followers onto Unicorns is not reflected back by unicorns, and damage reflected onto Yred worshipers is not reflected against Unicorns. So if you're not a demon or undead, you'd need to summon some demons or use fog or corners or the lantern of shadows to put them out of LOS to attack them.
  • Eating unicorn chunks removes mutations.
  • Immune to enchantments and poison
  • Strong as a yak
  • Fast as a centaur
  • Regenerate their health
  • Run away after just a little damage
  • Holy wrath branded melee attacks
  • Good Gods don't like Unicorn killers
  • When butchered, there's a chance of leaving a Unicorn horn that can be wielded as a renamed dagger of holy wrath that grants a level of magic resistance.
  • Perhaps Unicorns would be neutral to living non-demonic beings until something dies in their LOS.

jejorda2 2010-10-19 8:46


Martyr: a holy living humanoid wearing only rags. The more pain it takes the mightier it gets in spirit. (Alternate names: Exemplar, Succotash)

  • A “suffering meter” builds up over time. This builds its spiritual strength. Suffering is a function of taking a hit. Taking more smaller hits gives more suffering than taking fewer large hits. Wounds continue to increase suffering on successive turns. Being burned to death etc. is great suffering.
  • Low AC, low evasion. But somewhat higher hit points than normal.
  • Wounding it may cause a bloody splash which works as a kind of holy water. You may be “stained” by the blood of the righteous.
  • If wounded it will continue to bleed and suffer from its wounds on following turns. Being adjacent to it while it is wounded can cause more blood to splash on you. The blood may become more powerful if suffering is high?
  • May gain a larger halo with high suffering? (Visual indicator to the player)
  • Allies who see it take damage get a bonus. (Maybe also those who can hear its piteous moans?)
  • Some buff or berserk rage is conferred on allies who hear or witness its death; the power of this effect is determined by the “suffering meter”.
  • Eating chunks of its corpse has minor curative properties.
  • If it suffered more than a certain threshold, then it can resurrect after a short time in another form. The power of this form is governed by how much it suffered before it died.
  • Need to work out more details for the resurrected form… it would be a combat unit and inspire allies. Perhaps instead of a unique form it's just an existing holy monster, either more or less powerful.

tigen 2010-10-10

So the suffering score is something like the total of the number of missing hit points over the time that it is alive? Maybe with added points for any attack with a brand? Should confusion or sleep reset or prevent increasing the suffering score? Maybe the resurrected form would be something with as many hit points as the martyr's suffering score. As to the name- technically, it can't be a martyr until it's dead, can it? Perhaps call it a supplicant or a petitioner, someone who is praying? Its deity pays attention to its suffering because it was praying. Maybe we could have Bedesmen who track the suffering of everything in their LOS and resurrect all of it. That may be more interesting than my Valkyrie and Royal Stag ideas. It certainly is a lot tougher to beat something a multiple of the original's strength than a fraction, but I don't know which the game needs more.— jejorda2 2010-10-11
You may be right about the name. I'm not sure what to call it. Of course the idea is sort of a play on certain religious stereotypes and historical behaviors (e.g. self-flagellating monk cults, but also the general “if you're holy you may suffer in this life, but be rewarded in the next” theme). And the “holy martyr” aspect too which seems relevant in religious contexts, being a mortal exemplar of faith and inspiring outrage in his holy allies. In this case the monster is not actually self-harming (though I considered that) but behaves near-suicidally having absolute faith in his deity to take care of him. He/she has lived a holy life and has adopted a sort of Jesus-like or monk-like saintly attitude. Not violent, but neither a hermit… is willing to get “in your face” and provoke enemies to action.
Maybe we could call it a Succotash (as in Sufferin' Succotash… ;)
Other name ideas: Exemplar. Actually, one of the definitions of martyr is just “great and constant sufferer” so that works.
The main mechanics are the blood splashing thing which would be sort of like a “holy acid”. And the suffering score which could lead to tactical choices. It has passive defenses, and buffs allies by getting hurt. And can come back after death as an avenging angel or whatever.
For suffering, it's not so much about losing hit points. There should be a “base suffering” that applies to any damage taking event. The idea is that, for example, getting your head chopped off in one blow is less painful than having someone hack at your neck 10 times to achieve the same effect ;) Or just consider what techniques are used in torture (low damage, many attacks). And yes, brands or certain other attacks should multiply the score.
The idea about the bleeding wounds was to add another tactical dimension… once it gets damaged, it will build more suffering each turn so you better do something about it. I guess you can just say it has hemophilia ;)
Perhaps if you can kill it with one clean blow then maybe you could bypass most of the effects… it would just have a score of 1. But burning it to death could give a score of 3-5.
Perhaps if you're worshipping an evil deity, then you will get more piety if you inflict a high suffering score. But that could get dangerous.
What about “ascetic” for a name, given the self-mortification angle? — dolorous 2010-10-30 04:21
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