Uniques (Existing)

Many new uniques were added, and many old ones deserve to be improved or removed.

Per-unique discussion


This guy is worth less experience than an azure jelly. Considering that his eyeballs paralyze and mutate you, this is too little - he is much harder to take than an acid blob. — minmay 2011-03-19 00:49


by Minced

Frances' appearance (stout, scarred warrior) and profile (bested a Pan lord) have a lot of personality, but aren't matched by her generic speech and spell list.

Here's an idea: instead of getting scared during her battle with a Pan lord, she lost her eyes, making her a blind unique! She has a demonic guardian (possibly a smoke demon); while the guardian lives she can still “see.” When the guardian dies, Frances acts as if you are invisible and only has the “sense invisibility” intrinsic. In addition, she summons lorocyprocas (invisible type 2 demon) instead of using the normal “summon demon” spell.

I think it'd be better if Frances's sight was tied to having any companion demon present, rather than being tied to a specific “guardian.” She could have a small timer on summoning another demon, so that the player has a chance to take advantage of the blindness, and she could also start with a rather small band of lorocyprocas (and/or shadow demons), so as to give her a head start. She should probably be made more dangerous overall in herself, too, so that Frances with sight would actually become a bad thing. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Crawl's current implementation of invisibility would make this worthwhile, but it's definitely a neat idea. — og17 2010-05-03 06:28
If she can just summon a swarm of demons that can see it spoils the blindness thing. Invent a new type of demon who is also blind to be her minions. Have her come with and/or summon those demons, and then have the ability to summon one seeing-eye-demon at a time (smoke demon feels like a fun choice).
What's wrong with her current implementation anyway, beyond it being purely flavour and needing to be tweaked a bit with regards to skills, weapon, etc? — due 2011-01-08 03:44
What's wrong with the current implementation other than the current implementation? I don't get this objection, she's a bigger orc high priest and the new concept is built from her current flavor. — og17 2011-01-08 06:07

A stout warrior who once bested a powerful Lord of Pandemonium in combat, gaining control over the demon's realm and thanes. She lost her eyes in the battle, but all the better to rule over a realm of utter darkness…

“My realm is void of all light, bellowing like the sea in tempest.” (taken from Dante's inferno…)

“None have seen the horrors of my realm…”

“I'll hook out your eyes and make you my slave!”

“Having naught but demons for company can be tiresome.”

“Darkness take you!”

“Kneel before the Lord of Shadow!”

“My scars carry honor. Yours will fester with humiliation.”


FR was 1818.

Wields his signature axe, desc and speech are based on being an eager executioner.


  • agony (meh)
  • pain, haste (like real executioners)
  • torment (probably too much, but then, he spawns in Pan…)


  • Pan, 1/20ish chance per level (very rough approximation)
  • currently guaranteed if you scum long enough, probably bad

He's enabled in trunk, but I have some second thoughts. In the core, he's just an “executioner with an executioner's axe”. This is better than 90% of humans (Jozef, Harold, all that junk), but not sure if that's interesting enough for a new unique. — kilobyte 2011-04-28 15:22

I've had 6 fights with Ignacio, and none of them were very interesting. He's basically just a regular Executioner with more damage and HP, and can be dealt with in the same way. Most random Pan lords are more unique than this unique is. (There are other uniques with this problem too: Jozef is a wussy guardian serpent and Polyphemus is a buffed cyclops, and both of these uniques are boring.) — minmay 2011-09-29 21:08


Boring, boring, boring. No unique qualities to set her apart from common spellcasting monsters. No own speech lines and generally lacks flavour. Tile misrepresents her true qualities (heavily armoured caster)

Louise is a trademark banisher. Certainly needs her own speech. og17 suggest nagafying below, which is good flavour-wise but slow movement speed would nerf her too much imho. — evktalo 2011-01-06 16:40
her speech should be all about banishing MEN. — t0d 2011-05-24 17:26
This is quirky, but she could be jealous about women as well. Jealous about their looks. How do you distinguish male from female Crawl players ? By name ! Assume names ending with “a” are female. Since it would only have effect on speech, no harm done ? — b0rsuk 2011-07-02 22:08


Her blinking spell is weak (easily resistable) and a little unthematic.

  • OG17 suggests (1069) to replace it by a wave of earth pushing the character inward. This could be unresistable. Maybe a better flavour explanation than being pushed by earth could be made?
  • A more extreme idea: Roxanne entombs you with her, i.e., conjures a ring of rock around herself with radius your current position, pushing you inwards.
  • Or maybe some great digging spell, moving both of you down a level, and the player closer to Roxanne.

This has long been rotting on mantis, but Roxanne needs to lose the generic casting flavor text (eg point and gesture). She's petrified, she has back-scratching and bending lines, she has no attack, etc - the lady can't move. — og17 2011-01-06 15:17

Not if you imagine her petrified, or even paralysed from waist down. — b0rsuk 2011-07-02 22:11

It'd be highly appropriate and a good way to at least slightly upgrade her threat levels if she had a permanent Leda's Liquefaction halo. — claws 2011-09-16 14:17


He should be aquatic, as he's always surrounded by water and easily avoided and drowned. An alternative might be to give him rP and more MR, but while that would keep him closer to his yaks, the guy has all of four kills (ten with yaks), so he'd likely enjoy swimming's added speed and mobility. — og17 2010-10-22 01:31

Yeah, needs a buff. Amphibiousness sounds good to me, and we could rebrand the death yaks to death hippos (swimming). — evktalo 2011-01-06 16:40
I know I'm nitpicking and that I'ts just flavour but Polyphemus was a shepherd, he should have sheeps/yaks or nothing. Not hippos it would not fit :). But Yeah, he definitely needs some kind of protection from drowning.— co 2011-01-06 17:18
How about.. woolly hippos? I think that would be Crawl-silly enough. Or perhaps just aquatic death sheep? — evktalo 2011-01-06 17:44
Obviously gameplay goes before flavor, but flavor-wise, he shouldn't be aquatic. I suggest giving him rPois and MR (or maybe just make him flat-out immune to confusion), and increase the size of his stack of large rocks drastically (is that easily doable?). — danei 2011-01-07 21:39
What flavor says he shouldn't swim? — og17 2011-01-08 01:14
Another option is to get rid of the yaks and buff him in other ways. How about him throwing away the player when next to him? (blink and damage the player) This would work well with his rockthrowing, as well as being consistent with the legend. — co 2011-01-08 22:17


A fighter who really wants to kill you. Stats-wise an orc with twice the hp, but with better equipment. Vanilla as hell, but appears so early it probably doesn't matter.

Has good equipment, which could count as his 'gimmick'; might be nice if it was alluded to in the in-game description.

Terence is currently extremely similar to Ijyb, except without the high-tier wands. Equipment might work to distinguish him but he'd need to actually get good equipment - a ring mail and hand axe is not good equipment. I think he'd need at least a plate armour, and maybe a war/broad axe too, or even a shield. Otherwise he might be a good candidate for outright removal, as early game has an awful lot of uniques anyway. — minmay 2012-02-10 20:54
What about ripping out his spine and making him more huggy? We could use an octopode unique, and Edmund is an early medium armour fighter too so there'd be no loss of this niche. — KiloByte 2012-02-12 21:33
That might actually result in something too similar to a ball python, since he would need poor defenses - otherwise the high damage from constriction would result in a unique you'd never melee until much later, not very interesting. Unless you also increased his depth by a lot, of course. I don't think I like giving him rings either, there aren't really any ring effects that would be interesting on monsters. Maybe there are some appropriate spells? Anyway, changes this large should probably rename him as well since he'd basically be a completely new unique. — minmay 2012-02-13 18:21
This is another take on changing the idea, but what if he was a priest of Elyvilon? Nothing like that is in the game. He could pacify you, restoring a few hitpoints but making it so you can't attack anyone for several (I have no idea how much or little would be appropriate) rounds. Unless you get hit, then it drops the pacification effect. Or is this a little too weird? — roctavian 2012-02-29 10:39


In Real Life Mythology, Terpsichore is a goddess (or demi-goddess, depending on which origin story you look at; multiple-choice backstory!) and the Muse of Dance (also Epic Poetry, I think). For some reason her Crawl counterpart is undead, implicitly meaning she is evil and vulnerable to holiness. Is there a reason for this flag being set, or can it be removed? I don't like it :-) – GreyKnight


A strong dragon, but a bland one. Some kind of flame cloud-related power could be interesting. Possibly Ring of Flames or spawn cloud of flame on last non-wall square it travels through, much like red drac. The latter would Xtahua deadly in corridors - the cloud would cut off the escape route (and trampling Xtahua would push you into the flame !). And if there's no space behind player, he'd immediately take lots of extra damage from the cloud. — b0rsuk 2011-07-02 22:02

General discussion

These are almost as bad, too:

  • Blork
  • Urug
    • Does Urug have the orc knight's battlecry? If not, he should, maybe with a modest orc band. — og17 2010-03-29 01:43

Return from Abyss

Why only player could return from Abyss? Let uniques go out by some chance and buffed. Or give them Lugonu-related abilities. When level with Abyss gates generated - check all banished uniques for coming back. With new speech script, related to its adventures in the horrors of Abyss. Piu 2012-02-27

Species changes

Something I've noticed is that non-human races tend to get one token unique each (ignoring orcs). Why is that? It certainly doesn't reflect player race frequency. Regardless, swapping races would be a fairly simple way of making some uniques more interesting, either mechanically or otherwise. Also, a reminder that non-human uniques don't necessarily need gimmick emotes any more than humans get special lines for being human, and that stats can be adjusted for depth. Here's some ideas: — og17 2010-03-29 01:43

  • Eustachio - vampire. Being an early vampire with invisibility might actually make him a vague threat. He'd become vulnerable to dispel dead, but seriously he's Eustachio, who's going to notice? Gimmick emotes are okay here, though the current ones should stay.
  • Rupert - merfolk. Merfolk's the go-to crusader choice, and while he doesn't exactly need a buff, just imagine how infuriating it would become to face him near water. How can you say no to that? Polearms are an option, but not necessary.
    • If he goes fishy, his name should change. Rupert just doesn't sound “mer-ish”. — jeffqyzt 2011-01-06
      • What does? There's only one named merfolk in the game. — og17 2011-01-06 15:01
  • Josephine - ghoul. Lose the dagger and have her become something of a danger in melee, what with “claws” and rot. As with Eustachio, dispel undead is a consideration, but currently if you're dispelling you've taken her band out anyway, so it shouldn't be a huge difference.
  • Louise - naga. Sting would be replaced with poison spit. The slower speed would be a nerf, but I think it's reasonable since she has banish, and she'd get a barding out of the deal. Swiftness isn't out of the question, anyway.
  • Maurice - halfling. No one likes halflings, no one likes Maurice. It's perfect. Also sneaky, etc.
    • Spriggan would be an interesting change too. — jeffqyzt 2011-01-06
      • That's a lot of speed and EV for an early invisible thief. — og17 2011-01-06 15:01
  • Frederick - demigod. This too is more flavor than anything else, but it seems fitting.
  • Margery - high elf. Again, just feels right. Not too attached to this one.
    • I'd rather see her become a demonspawn. — jeffqyzt 2011-01-06
      • DS unique would be cool, but Margery already has a lot of in-game personality even with lame speech - she has a tough flavorful pack and I really like how her abilities are “fire” and “fire.” She doesn't need the complexity of random “mutations,” which would be a given for a DS. — og17 2011-01-06 15:01

Uniques that ought to appear more often

  • Purgy and Murray could both stand to appear a little more often. — ogaz 2010-05-03 01:29
    • I personally think Purgy is not that interesting out of his natural habitat. (So his appearance frequency in D is ok.) Maybe his sewer maps should be more common? — evktalo 2010-10-01 22:04

Lack of (mechanic) variety

  • Few ranged weapons. Unfortunately, vast majority of uniques are still easily classified as either melee fighters, summoners, or conjurers (The Crawl Trinity). Joseph uses a sling, Roka might have a crossbow but usually just smites. I noticed this while thinking about strong targets for the Warp Wood spell.
  • For some reason, no uniques panic.

b0rsuk 2010-10-07 09:26

Non-threatening uniques

Please add to the list uniques generally considered to be pushovers:

  • Frances
  • Louise
    • An earlyish banisher is a pushover? — og17 2011-01-06 00:56
  • Mnoleg (rather non-threatening by the time you encounter him, especially for a pan lord) — evilmike 2011-01-06 02:51
    • Mnoleg has summon eyeballs (instead of greater demons), blink away (and an AF_BLINK attack), and a mutating attack, now. This may or may not be enough. — mrmistermonkey 2011-03-15 23:02


No speech

These don't even have speech of their own:

  • Louise
  • Snorg
  • The royal jelly
    • Probably shouldn't speak, but could have unique visuals or sounds.
  • The Enchantress

Sucky speech

These do have custom speech of their own but it's of poor quality. In fact, many lines are copied literally. These guys don't stand out. Applying an axe to some of the boring human uniques seems to be tempting.

  • Antaeus
    • Has no unique speech. Stuff along the lines of “I'll bury you in a tomb of ice!” is probably appropriate. vandal
      • He's no random unique, no static ones are supposed to have speech. — kilobyte 2010-10-01 23:57
  • Agnes
    • not as bad, but her speech still sucks
  • Cerebov
    • Has Imp speech. This is not befitting of a Pan Lord! vandal
      • That's the generic demon speech, which indeed is bad for higher ranks.
      • Put it in caps, job done. Totally serious. — og17 2011-01-06 15:17
        • This is the best idea. — pepperfez 2011-15-22 22:03
  • Edmund
  • Frances
  • Frederick
  • Harold
  • Joseph
    • I like changing his name to David, both for the slings reference and to avoid the Jozef confusion. — og17 2010-03-29 01:43
      • I think the abundance of Joes is an intentional joke of some sort, but I'm fine with David. — vintermann 2011-03-17 10:30
  • Josephine
  • Jozef
  • Margery
    • Die! Die! Die! might be a fitting theme, but the lines are really uninspired. — og17 2011-01-06 15:01
  • Terence
  • Rupert

Pre-inscribed weapons

Just like players like to inscribe their weapons (or some other items, but mostly weapons), uniques inscribe theirs. This would serve dual purpose: 1) keeping track where the weapon was found 2) flavor.

This doesn't necessarily have to be unique's name, although it should be default. It could be variation on name, like Sigmund's Faithful, or something silly or off-the-wall, interesting, amusing. Extra space for creativity.

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dcss/brainstorm/monster/uniques/existing_uniques.txt · Last modified: 2012-02-29 10:42 by roctavian
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