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The Crucible is a DLC that introduces a challenging new arena gameplay mode to Grim Dawn.

The Crucible was conceived as a stretch goal during Crate's successful Kickstarter campaign. Originally called Survival Mode, it was described as follows: “In survival mode players will fight to stay alive against increasingly difficult waves of monsters.” The DLC was made available for free to those who purchased the game prior to or during the Kickstarter campaign.


The Crucible features three difficulty modes for the player to test their characters: Aspirant, Challenger, and Gladiator. Each contains 150 waves of enemies for the player to face (170 with the Ashes of Malmouth expansion). Defeating the first 100 waves of enemies of a difficulty will unlock the next. Each difficulty presents tougher challenges, but also greater rewards.


The Crucible features ten battlegrounds, each with different layouts and defensive positions. The player can select their preferred map or opt for it to be randomized.


Crucible Mechanics[]

Treasure Chamber[]

In the Crucible, death marks the end (particularly for Hardcore players). Every 10 waves of enemies, the player has the choice of continuing on for the next 10 encounters for a chance of greater reward, or cash out what they’ve earned and not risk their own demise.

Should the player die, they cannot continue further in the Crucible. However, in (softcore) Multiplayer, it is possible to revive if another party member finishes the wave.

The quality of the treasure contained within the Treasure Chamber, the experience earned and the Tributes earned depend on the difficulty of the Crucible, how many waves are defeated and whether the player died or chose to cash out, with an additional treasure chest earned for successfully completing the Crucible.


Tributes are the currency of the Crucible, granted after every 10 waves. Tributes can be spent to restart the Crucible at various checkpoints (wave 50 or 100), or to increase the odds of survival with the aid of Celestial Blessings and arcane Defenses.


Tribute points can be spent to create defenses around the arenas, giving the player an advantage against the increasingly difficult waves of enemies. All defenses can be upgraded twice; the first adds a new ability, the second empowers their abilities.

Defense Abilities Upgrade 1 Upgrade 2
Deathchill Beacon Launch icy orbs at distant enemies, slowing their advance and reducing offensive/defensive abilities, with a chance to freeze, but with relatively low damage. Icy orbs are 33 % stronger, periodically Freeze is cast on all nearby enemies reducing their resistances. Damage is further increased by 33%, Freeze is cast more often and on a larger area, other effects are amplified.
Inferno Beacon Release intense bursts of flame at nearby enemies, reducing their armor and damage within a limited range. Flame bursts are 33 % stronger and cover a larger area, Fire Storm is periodically unleashed on the target area. Damage is further increased by 33%, Fire Storm is cast more often, other effects are amplified.
Stormcaller Beacon Occasionally release a bolt of chain lightning at distant enemies, reducing their resistances, but the bolt hits a limited number of targets and travels slowly. Chain lightning is 33 % stronger, periodically Shock is cast at nearby enemies for heavy damage with a chance to stun. Damage is further increased by 33%, the Shock is cast more often and affects two nearby enemies, other effects are amplified.
Stonewall Banner Grant nearby players bonus Health, Defensive Ability and Health Regeneration. Periodically cast an area Heal. The range and effectiveness of the Aura and Heal are increased.
Vanguard Banner Grant nearby players bonus Damage, Offensive Ability and retaliation damage. Periodically cast an area Frenzy Buff, increasing total speed. The range and effectiveness of the Aura, and the duration of Frenzy, are increased.

Celestial Blessings[]

Tributes can also be spent to purchase Celestial Blessings from the NPC Torralia, the Immortal Archmage.

Each Blessing costs 12 Tributes and provides a buff to players for a duration of 25 minutes.

Blessing Effect
Blessing of Ulo Icon.png Blessing of Ulo
  • 33% resistance to all crowd control effects (except Slow)
  • 25% resistance to all damage
  • 8% Physical Resistance
  • 50% reduction in duration of damage-over-time effects
Empyrion's Guidance Icon.png Empyrion's Guidance
  • +80% Health
  • +50% Health for pet-scaled pets
Might of Amatok Icon.png Might of Amatok
  • All damage modified by 26%
  • +75 Offensive Ability
  • All damage modified by 10% for pet-scaled pets
Ulzuin's Pact Icon.png Ulzuin's Pact
  • +100% Energy Regeneration
  • -25% Skill Energy Cost
  • 5% + 30 Offensive Ability
  • 5% + 30 Defensive Ability


As the player progresses through the Crucible, various Mutators will be introduced into the gameplay. Mutators are global effects applied to all monsters or players, each one strengthening monsters/players in one way, but weakening them in another.

The Crucible begins without any Mutators, and the first one is introduced at Wave 31. Every 10 waves, the Mutators are randomized.

The number of active Mutators increases in later waves, up to a maximum of five.

Wave # 1 31 61 91 111 131
Mutators 0 1 2 3 4 5

Monster Mutators[]

Mutator Description Effect
Mutatoricon monster aetherwarped.png Aetherwarped Monsters are resistant to the Aether, but more susceptible to Chaos.
  • 8/12/15% Aether Resistance
  • -8% Chaos Resistance
Mutatoricon monster armored.png Armored Monsters are nearly impervious to physical harm and armor piercing, but are more susceptible to the elements.
  • 8/12/15% Physical Resistance
  • 20/25/30% Pierce Resistance
  • -8% Elemental Resistance
Mutatoricon monster berserking.png Berserking Monsters are berserking, attacking faster but also becoming more susceptible to attacks.
  • -5% Defensive Ability
  • +8/10/12% Attack Speed
Mutatoricon monster brutal.png Brutal Monsters land critical strikes more often, but deal reduced damage.
  • Total Damage Modified by -8%
  • +25/35/50 Offensive Ability
  • +5/6/8% Offensive Ability
Mutatoricon monster corrupted.png Corrupted Monsters are resistant to Chaos, but more Susceptible to the Aether.
  • -8% Aether Resistance
  • 8/12/15% Chaos Resistance
Mutatoricon monster crippling.png Crippling Monster attacks slow opponents, but they attack slower.
  • 15/20/35% chance to cause -12/18/25% Attack Speed for 3 seconds
  • -8% Attack Speed
Mutatoricon monster cruel.png Cruel Monster critical strikes are extra lethal, but their attacks are more likely to miss.
  • -5% Offensive Ability
  • +30/50/75% Crit Damage
Mutatoricon monster ignited.png Ignited Monsters are infused with fire, dealing additional fire damage and retaliating fire damage, but are more susceptible to cold.
  • x Burn Damage over 3 seconds
  • +20/25/30% Fire Damage
  • +20/25/30% Burn Damage
  • -8% Cold Resistance
  • x Burn Retaliation over 2 seconds
Mutatoricon monster leeching.png Leeching Monsters leech health back with every attack, but have reduced health.
  • 200/300/500% Attack Damage converted to Health
  • -10% Health
Mutatoricon monster poisonous.png Poisonous Monsters are tainted with poison, dealing additional poison damage and retaliating poison damage, but are more susceptible to vitality-draining attacks.
  • x Poison Damage over 5 seconds
  • +20/25/30% Poison Damage
  • 8% Poison & Acid Resistance
  • -8% Vitality Resistance
Mutatoricon monster regenerating.png Regenerating Monsters have highly enhanced health and energy regeneration, but are more susceptible to acid, poison and bleeding.
  • +x Health Regenerated per Second
  • +30/50/75% Health Regenerated per Second
  • +30/50/75% Energy Regenerated per Second
  • -8% Poison & Acid Resistance
  • -8% Bleeding Resistance
Mutatoricon monster resistant.png Resistant Monsters are nearly impervious to magical attacks, but are more susceptible to physical harm.
  • 8/12/15% Elemental Resistance
  • -8% Physical Resistance
Mutatoricon monster swift.png Swift Monsters have greatly increased movement speed, but are more susceptible to crowd control.
  • +8/12/15% Movement Speed
  • -15% CC Resistance
Mutatoricon monster time-warped.png Time-Warped Monsters have greatly reduced spell cooldowns and increased casting speed, but deal reduced physical damage.
  • -15% Physical Damage
  • +15/20/25% Skill Cooldown Reduction
  • +8/10/15% Cast Speed
Mutatoricon monster toughened.png Toughened Monsters have greatly increased health, but have reduced health regeneration.
  • +15/25/40% Health
  • Health Regeneration increased by -50%
Mutatoricon monster unstoppable.png Unstoppable Monsters are highly resistant to crowd control, but move slowly.
  • 15/20/30% resistance to CC effects
  • -8% Movement Speed
Mutatoricon monster vengeful.png Vengeful Monsters have greatly enhanced retaliation effects, but have reduced armor.
  • x Pierce Retaliation
  • -10% Armor

Player Mutators[]

Mutatoricon player aethermarked.png Aethermarked Players experience slowed attacks, but are more resistant to the Aether.
  • -8/10/15% Attack Speed
  • 6% Aether Resistance
  • +6% Maximum Aether Resistance
Mutatoricon player afflicted.png Afflicted Players have reduced health, but are more resistant to vitality drains.
  • -15/20/25% Health
  • 6% Vitality Resistance
  • +6% Maximum Vitality Resistance
Mutatoricon player drained.png Drained Players have reduced health regeneration, but are more resistant to poison and bleeding.
  • -30/50/75% Health Regenerated per Second
  • 6% Poison & Acid Resistance
  • +6% Maximum Poison & Acid Resistance
  • 6% Bleeding Resistance
  • +6% Maximum Bleeding Resistance
Mutatoricon player exposed.png Exposed Players have reduced armor, but cooldowns are also reduced.
  • Increases Armor by -10/15/20%
  • +10% Skill Cooldown Reduction
Mutatoricon player marked.png Marked Players have reduced defensive ability, but damage is magnified.
  • -30/70/100 Defensive Ability
  • +8% Total Damage
  • +100% Elemental Damage
Mutatoricon player shattered.png Shattered Players have reduced damage and retaliation effects, but armor is increased.
  • -5/8/10% Total Damage
  • +8% Armor
Mutatoricon player slowed.png Slowed Player movement speed is greatly reduced, but crowd control doesn't last as long.
  • -5/8/10% Movement Speed
  • 15% reduced CC effect duration
Mutatoricon player tainted.png Tainted Players are slowed, but critical damage is increased
  • -5/6/8% Total Speed
  • +20% Crit Damage
Mutatoricon player voidmarked.png Voidmarked Players experience slowed casting but are more resistant to Chaos.
  • -15/20/25% Casting Speed
  • 6% Chaos Resistance
  • +6% Maximum Chaos Resistance
Mutatoricon player weakened.png Weakened Player critical attacks are weakened, but attacks are more likely to hit.
  • -15/25/33% Crit Damage
  • +70 Offensive Ability


The Crucible scores each game to let players measure their performance and compare it with that of other players. Each time an enemy is killed, the score is increased based on the type of the monster, the current wave, and the game difficulty. Beating the bonus timer applies an extra multiplier to the score.

Score is only saved if the player claims the reward or dies.

Bonus Timer[]

At the start of each wave, a bonus timer is reset and starts counting down to 0. If all enemies are slain before the timer expires, the score multiplier will increase by 1 to the maximum of 10. This in turn magnifies all the points earned for each subsequent enemy slain. However, each time the multiplier is increased, the bonus timer for the next round is reduced. At the end of the Crucible, an extra chest is awarded based on the player's final score, so maintaining a high multiplier helps receive better loot.

Defeating a Hero, Boss or Nemesis monster will add several seconds to the current bonus timer.