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I started a new game playing Crawl Stone Soup and have noticed that my weapons and armor get weaker over time.

My weapon started at +2/+2 and is now at +2/-4. My armor went from +1 to -1.

What is causing this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The most likely cause is that you fought a jelly (a red capital J). Hitting a jelly can cause your weapon to degrade, while being attacked by a jelly can cause your armour to degrade. In both cases there is a message that displays, but that is easy to miss.

The best way to fight an early jelly is stones, assuming you don't have a ranged magical attack. Stones are always lying around the first levels and throwing them is effective, even if you don't have a sling. Also, stones are one of the few items that the jelly will not eat - and every time it eats, it heals itself, so shooting a jelly with arrows or bolts can actually make the fight more difficult, as the jelly will split into two jellies once it has eaten enough items.

As the majority of the races are faster than a jelly, you can run away from them and pelt them with rocks from afar.

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I just fought a room full of them. Wished I wouldn't of used my best dagger! – Pubby Nov 1 '11 at 1:58
@Pubby8 - A room of jellies was probably just a single jelly and a bunch of items when the level was created. Jellies eat items and then split into more jellies. Whenever you see the message that you hear a slurping noise, be careful, as that means a jelly just ate something. – au revoir Nov 1 '11 at 15:02

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