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This article was written by the god Morpheus, and posted on Nov 20, 2009.
It was last updated by Shadowfax on May 23, 2014.

What Ails You?

Throughout the game you might find yourself suffering from one or more ailments. This can be something as simple as being out of movement and unable to walk further, to being poisoned, too weak to wield your weapon or hungry and thirsty.

Ailments are often very specific, but many are caused by detrimental spells or curses. Others may be as simple as walking too quickly or being overencumbered. Most ailments have specific cures or workarounds.

Below are lists of the most common ailments and cures or workarounds for them.

Spells and Curses

Some offensive spells deal obvious direct damage instantaneously, like fireball, but there are other spells designed to persist and harm the target over a period of time. These are the kind of spells described in this section.

Curses are a category of these kind of spells. They often don't deal damage directly, but they do hinder you in other ways.

Some spells, such as fireweb and rotting sphere, have spell effect that persist but require unusual means of countering. These are described in the 'Other Spells' subsection below.

Using the 'score' command, you will see these spells as currently effecting you. Spells that you know well will have the name and duration, and those that you don't will give a message hinting at which spell they are.

Harmful spells and curses can be countered using the following methods:


This section covers all harmful spells with a duration that are not considered to be curses. These can be countered using the method described above and also the following:
  • Saving spell, spell resistance and magic resistance will help defend against debilitating spells.

  • If you're a spellcaster, use the undo spell to remove unwanted detrimental spells.

  • If you don't know the undo spell, you may still be able use dispel magic. This will also get rid of offending spells, but it may remove defensive spells at the same time.

  • The suppression spell will eliminate all spells, both beneficial and detrimental. That being said, suppression could be viewed as a detrimental spell itself.

  • Wait for the spell to wear off by sleeping or resting - though with certain spells, you may die before it wears off.

  • An uncommon way to get rid of some of spell ailments is to make use of items that naturally cast the spell when worn. If the spell cast when the item is worn is higher level than the ailment, the item's spell will destroy the ailment and the ailment will vanish when you remove the item.

Below is a list of spell ailments. Note that there are some spells that could be considered ailments if cast at an inappropriate time. These are not described below, as the means described above will remove these spells, as well.

Chill Touch

What you see:
  • You feel a light touch, then a bone-chilling cold that spreads throughout your entire body.
  • You shiver and shake from the cold.

This spell reduces strength while inflicting cold damage. Saving cold can help reduce the damage. You can use the 'melt' skill on yourself to remove 'chill touch'.

Tarrant's Spectral Hand

What you see:
  • You feel an icy hand grab the back of your neck, and all your limbs go numb!

This spell doesn't last long, but it inflicts instantaneous cold damage plus lower manaregen and dexterity for its duration.


These spells are part of a cleric spell group. This they are drawn from divine powers instead of earthly ones, they are not effected by the dispel and undo spells. Instead, they can be countered these ways:
  • Saving spell, spell resistance and magic resistance will help prevent curses from taking hold.

  • The remove curse spell can remove all curses from a character, including cursed objects.

  • You can sometimes wait out the curse. Often curses do not last long.

  • The suppression spell will eliminate all curses. Of course, it will cancel all other spells, too.

  • You can wear a piece of equipment with the same curse attached. If it is higher level that the one affecting you, it will cancel it out and disappear when you remove the item.

  • The 'curse ward' spell will prevent any curse except for faerie fire from taking effect so long as it is high enough level to do so.
A list of curses follows:


What you see:
  • You have been blinded! You can't see a thing!
  • You are blind!

In addition to the cures provided above, blindness has a specific counter: the 'cure blindness' spell. It is the most effective means of ending the blindness spell.

Confusion/Mass Confusion

What you see:
  • You are confused!

Confusion has strange effects, including the inability to see correctly. Names of mobs and objects may have strange names or you may not see them at all. A high intelligence and wisdom can help protect you against a 'confusion' curse.


What you see:
  • You suddenly feel like a clumsy oaf.

Clumsiness can be countered, but not ended, with the dexterity spell.

Faerie Fire/Fairy Fog

What you see:
  • You are surrounded with a pink halo.

This reduces your armor class and makes stealth more difficult.


What you see:
  • Someone blows a handful of dust at you.
  • You feel a gnawing pain in your stomach.
  • You are thirsty.
  • You are hungry.

Being famined is the only time throughout the game where eating or drinking is needed to survive. While famined, you will need to eat and drink large amounts, but by doing so you can wait out the curse. Trying to wait it out by sleeping alone will most likely result in death.

Feeble Mind

What you see:
  • A fuzzy cloud of magic numbs your mind, making thinking really difficult.

Feeble mind can be canceled with the brew-only clear thinking spell.


What you see:
  • A fuzzy cloud of magic numbs your mind, and you find you can't remember anything!

The clear thinking spell can help counter the effects of this curse.


What you see:
  • Everything around you suddenly speeds up, happening in a blur of motion.

Many of lethargy's effects can be countered with the haste spell.


What you see:
  • Your feet suddenly feel very heavy and hard to move!

Leadfoot hinders a few combat skills, such as kick.

Noxious Cloud

What you see:
  • A stinking cloud of greenish gas surrounds you, causing you to choke and gag!

This spell will cause some damage as well as greatly reduce your charisma and regeneration. Saving breath and saving poison can help defend against the damage.


What you see:
  • Your mind dulls for a moment, and you suddenly feel much more couragous.

This discourages its victims from fleeing when they otherwise normally would.


What you see:
  • Your skins turns soft and you suddenly feel vulnerable to everything!

This brew-only curse will reduce your overall defense against most attacks.


What you see:
  • Your strength suddenly ebbs! You feel weaker.

Weaken can be countered, but not canceled, with the strength spell.

Room Spells

Spells whose effects continue in a room after its casting are room spell. Though there are some beneficial spells of this type, this section will describe only those with detrimental effects.


What you see:
  • The air about you turns to a thick black fog!
  • The air is filled with a magical darkness...
  • The magical darkness is impenetrable, and you can't see your hand in front of your face.
The spell can darken a room that will blind and hide anyone not carrying a light source. 'Dispel magic' and 'suppression' will dissipate it, as will a casting of a 'release sunlight', 'sunblind' or 'sunstorm' spell. A room cannot be darkened while under the effect of magical sunlight.

Dying Breath

What you see:
  • A dark mist begins rising from Someone's body...
  • You can't breathe!
  • You gasp for air but can't seem to get any!
  • You choke and sputter, unable to breathe!
  • Your vision dims, you are choking to death!
The effects of dying breath are swift and powerful. Saving breath is the only defense against it.


What you see:
  • You suddenly feel very peaceful and non-violent.
  • An aura of calmness fills the area.
When cast on a room, 'solace' repress the aggressive urges of everyone therein. Both spells can also be cast on individual targets, which causes them to immediately stop fighting.

Poison/Choking Cloud

What you see:
  • A cloud of greenish poison gas fills the air around you!
  • Your throat burns as you breathe in the poison gas!
  • A choking and blinding cloud of gas fills the air around you!
Saving breath and saving poison will help reduce effects and the amount of damage, but the best defense is to leave the area.


What you see:
  • You feel a sense of great loss, but you are unsure why.
'Suppression' has already been described as a means of ending unwanted spells, but one should note that it also prevents spells from functioning throughout its duration. There is no defense or counter against it.

Ward Evil/Good

What you see:
  • You are repulsed by a feeling of immense evil.
  • You are repulsed by a ward against evil, and cannot approach.
You can continue to try and push through the ward, but you will take hp and mana damage should you linger in the room effected by the spell. It is possible for a room to be affected by both 'ward evil' and 'ward good'. 'Dispel magic' and 'suppression' can cancel out both spells.

Other Spells

Some spells last beyond the initial casting, but do not show up on the score screen.


What you see:
  • Someone taps his life, and a swarm of blood red demons fly quickly toward you!
  • A blood red demon bites you!

The summoned demons will harry and harass the target, even if the target leaves area. You can fight them or use dispel magic to kill them.

Entangling Roots

What you see:
  • A circle of roots and vines burst forth from the ground around you!

The roots will hold you down and interfere with combat and other commands. You can kill them normally, use 'dispel magic' to kill them, or use the 'peace' spell to end combat with them, in which case they will immediately retreat. Being plants, they are resistant to whipping/piercing weapons and vulnerable to slashing weapons.


What you see:
  • A beautiful web of blazing fire bursts forth from Someone's hands and engulfs you, setting you on fire!
  • You are on fire!

Fireweb inflicts a large dose of fire damage and sets the target on fire.

Poison Ivy

What you see:
  • A circle of thin leafy vines bursts forth from the ground around you!
  • You are stabbed by hidden thorns on the poison ivy vines!
  • More poison ivy grows out of the ground to entangle you!

'Poison ivy' restricts you like 'entangling roots', and the same methods (fighting the roots, using a 'peace' spell, or using 'dispel magic') work against it. Additionally, saving poison can help protect you against its poison damage.

Rotting Sphere

What you see:
  • You are engulfed in a writhing mass of biting ethereal mouths, and your flesh begins to rot before your eyes!

Once the spell takes hold, the only counter is to reduce one's size in order to present the offending spirits less of a target to bite.

Shadow Bind

What you see:
  • Someone drives a stake through your shadow, pinning it in place!
  • You are pinned in place by your shadow.

Shadow bind can be prevented and canceled by casting darken on the room.

Vampiric Vines

What you see:
  • A circle of thick, cordlike vines bursts forth from the ground around you!
  • More vampiric vines grows out of the ground to entangle you!
  • Vampiric vines are latched onto you and are draining your life force!
The 'vampiric vines' spell behaves like and can be countered like 'entangling roots' and 'poison ivy', by fighting the vines or using 'peace' or 'dispel magic'.

Next - Part 2 - Other Ailments

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