The player must join, then betray, the Forest Hunter covenant to obtain this ring, preventing progress in that Covenant until the next playthrough unless an absolution is obtained from Oswald of Carim.
Joining the covenant causes Shiva of the East and his invisible bodyguard to spawn, just outside of Alvina's location in the direction of the sealed door. The bodyguard is standing very close to the cliff, and when killed will always drop the ring; but killing him will betray the covenant and make all NPC's hostile again, which can be reverted through absolving your sins at Oswald of Carim in the Undead Parish.
Alternately, Shiva and his bodyguard can be found at the bottom of the elevator in Blighttown after speaking with him in the Darkroot Garden, so long as the player still belongs to the covenant. Here, it is possible to lure a nearby Cragspider into attacking and killing the bodyguard for you, although it still counts as a betrayal to the covenant and causes Shiva to become hostile.
The Dark Wood Grain Ring changes the player's roll animation to a flip, granting more invulnerability frames and smaller recovery time than the fast roll. The ring's ability only activates when the player has 25% or less equip burden(50% pre-patch 1.06). When attempting to roll in speed reducing areas (such as the swamp in Blighttown or the water in Darkroot Basin) the ring's effects are nullified, resulting in only the general fast roll rather than the flipping animation. However, if you have the rusted iron ring equipped, you can flip through slowing hazards.
Player suffers less damage in lava when flipping rather than when running through it.
The Dark Wood Grain Ring's roll has enough invulnerability frames to prevent Stagger Damage.
- The Throne Watcher can use a backflip which looks very similar to the one used with this ring.
- The Soul of Cinder can also use a backflip very similar to the one used with this ring as part of its Curved Sword/Pyromancy moveset.
- If you equip the Rusted Iron Ring in addition to this one, you can go through terrain such as the Blighttown swamps without only fastrolling, which makes a quick and easy way to get to the swamps, provided you equip a poison-resistant set such as the Shadow Set.