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DCSS Beginner's Guide

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  1. Here are the races, classes, and religions as of 0.12/0.13 as *I* see them, in alphabetical order because shut up:
  3. Centaurs (Ce): I imagine you know what a centaur is. They're faster than normal and best with bows, but their hooves make stealth difficult and their size means they have to eat more often than normal.
  5. Deep Dwarves (DD): They don't regen health. That is the most important thing you need to know about DD. It makes them (in my opinion) very difficult to play. On the other hand, they have an intrinsic ability that "shaves" damage by a flat amount every time they take damage at all. They also begin with a wand of Heal Wounds (presumably of the highest-quality craftsdwarfship), and their inherent dwarvenliness lets them recharge magical objects at the cost of 1 max MP. (Be careful though, this probably isn't enough to get you through the entire game; once you're out of max MP, you're in some serious trouble). With a reliable method of external healing, whether necromantic or divine (see Elyvilon or Makhleb), they make very strong fighters or mages, as long as you stick to what they're good at.
  7. Deep Elves (DE): These are your glass cannon mages. They are good at magic and that's about it. As long as you can keep them off the front lines, you can lay down some serious devastation with a DE mage.
  9. Demigods (Dg): Demigods have great attributes and large pools of HP and MP. However, they're unable to worship any god, ever, and that can be a big deal over the life of a character. They also level very slowly, which means you'll usually be lower-level at every point in the game as compared to other races, a con that may not be fully offset by the aforementioned stats and HP/MP bonuses.
  11. Demonspawn (Ds): A fairly average race, generally able to follow any path and leveling/learning only slightly slower than average. They are especially good at Necromancy and Invocations, and they gain (usually) 5 semi-random permanent mutations over the course of their lives. These mutations are drawn from a special list, and though they can be prematurely improved, they can never be removed. Be careful, your infernal heritage renders you weak to holy powers (e.g. holy wrath weapons, scrolls of holy word).
  13. • Demonspawn mutations, addendum: You will gain 1 mutation to your skin (scales, bone plates, repulsion field), 1 mutation to your body (claws, hooves, talons, horns, or antennae), and 3 other mutations, (2 from one list, 1 from another). You cannot gain both a fire and an ice mutation.
  15. • Monstrous Demonspawn mutation, addendum: There is a 1 in 10 chance that you will be a 'monstrous' Demonspawn. The game will tell you this when you first mutate a body-slot. Monstrous Demonspawn do not get a skin-slot mutation, but instead mutate 3 body-slots instead of just one (for a total of 6 mutations of the course of a life instead of only 5).
  17. Djinn (Dj) [0.13 only]: Magical beings of fire; they are completely immune to all sources of fire (including hellfire and holy fire). They have no food clock and do not need to eat--they also do not have separate bars for HP and MP. Instead, these are combined into one bar called "Essence". Spells cost them more EP than they would cost MP, and instead of food, they cause magical contamination which can give Djinn temporary negative mutations. (Mutations derived from other sources are still semipermanent as usual). They also intrinsically have full resistance to negative energy (rN+++). However, they have a vulnerability to cold and will take 50% increased damage from it. They prefer longer weapons that demand a degree of finesse to simply hacking or stabbing, and armour rather than dodging; and they have a good affinity for certain types of magic over others (most notably fire and air magic). Interestingly, they also do not have feet, and can cross lava or water (regardless of depth) by hovering over it, though this reduces their speed.
  19. Draconians (Dr): Half-dragon humanoids who cannot wear any body armour. Their scales are usually tough enough to make up for this AC-wise, but that's an entire slot where you won't be able to get any magical plusses or resists. At level 7, they gain a color, which changes their skills/stats and also (usually) gives them a breath weapon.
  21. • Draconian colors, addendum: These can be what you expect, (red=fire, white=ice), what you might not expect (black=lightning, yellow=acid), apparently useless (pale=steam, green=poison), or just weird (mottled=napalm, purple=energy, grey=breathless). Each breath weapon has its own rules and restrictions, and even the seemingly-useless ones like steam breath can be excellent if played correctly. These colors also (as mentioned above) change their aptitudes, which retroactively affect their skills. See the Draconian Colors article on the wiki ( for more details, and don't think that you necessarily need to immediately give up just because you don't like what you got.
  23. Felids (Fe): It's a talking cat. They can't hold weapons, wear armour, use wands, or throw things. They make up for it by being fast on their paws, needing to eat less than normal, and dodging reasonably well. They also gain extra lives as they level, to a maximum of 9 lives...though they can only have 2 extra lives at a time.
  25. Gargoyle (Gr) [0.13 only]: It's a nonliving, walking, stony...thing. They're completely immune to petrification, and come with a suite of other resistances, like poison, and electricity; as well as some resistance to negative energy and torment, a slower-than-normal metabolism, and bonus AC that increases over their life, which is kinda neat altogether. They're also good with clubs and claws, and have a strong affinity for Earth Magic. They are also forbidden to begin as death knights; or to worship Yredelemnul at all.
  27. Ghouls (Gh): It's a zombie. They heal slowly, and they rot (temporarily lose max HP) as they walk around, making them tend to move rather quickly. They can eat meat whenever, and prefer to eat rotted meat (although regular meat is okay). Eating heals their HP directly, and has a chance to heal their rot (rotten meat does both better). They are decent hand-to-hand because of their claws, and certain branches of magic make them quite dangerous, but they can be in trouble if there are no corpses around. Plus, they're undead, which I'll discuss later.
  29. Halflings (Ha): It's a hobbit. Despite what you might remember from Tolkien, they don't need to eat as much as bigger races. They're very sneaky, and good with knives and slings. They also have an innate resistance to mutation, which may or may not be a good thing.
  31. High Elves (HE): Snooty and good with both weapons and magic, though not the purely-offensive magic of their Deep Elf cousins. High Elves prefer charms and buffs, and to kill things with long swords while dodging every attack aimed at them. They level slower than humans, though.
  33. Hill Orcs (HO): Orcs tend to be bullies, but they make great adventurers. They're excellent with armour, axes, and religion, making a zealot background a great choice. Orcs also have access to the Orc-god Beogh, which no other race may worship (in version 0.12 they can even start with this religion by picking Priest as a class). They have some skill at certain types of magic too, making them far from pushovers.
  35. Humans (Hu): As usual, humans are your standard jack-of-all-trades who level fast and can learn almost anything at about the same rate. This places them behind some of the more exotic races in a particular niche, but humans make excellent hybrids and can make up the difference by being flexible and adaptable, and are particularly good at using religion for all it's worth.
  37. Kobolds (Ko): They're small, they're sneaksy, and they can and will eat pretty much anything. Despite the cannon-fodder kobolds you wipe out *en masse*  in the first few levels of the dungeon, Kobolds make damn fine adventurers, able to excel in most roles if played well. Their drawbacks are their size (they can't use some bigger weapons), and their fragility (a stiff wind can kill you if you aren't braced for it).
  39. Lava Orc (LO) [0.13 only]: A species of magma-men (*magmen*?) who look rocky, like cooled lava. They have similar attributes to Hill Orcs, but also incorporate a "heat" mechanic, which increases their move speed and affinity for fire magic as they heat up. They also emit enough heat to damage enemies that strike them, and at higher levels, they passively damage surrounding enemies, though this second effect is suppressed if worshipping Beogh. Heat is affected by tension. They can also superheat themselves instantly by berserking or going swimming in lava. At full heat, they fully resist fire damage, though they become vulnerable to cold; at these time they are unable to read scrolls, but they are very good at protecting scrolls from being destroyed by heat.
  41. Merfolk (Mf): Good with polearms (because you can't swing a mace underwater) and ice magic (related to the lost art of water magic), merfolk make excellent choices for adventurers, for both beginners and advanced players. Additionally, they don't have to worry about water being an obstacle (indeed, they are **more** agile and faster in water) and their aptitudes make them some of the best light-armoured hybrid-fighters in the game.
  43. Minotaurs (Mi): Minotaurs are your big, burly, beefy bastards. They like weapons, all weapons. They also prefer heavy armour, though they make competent dodgers, and are decent with religion as well. What they are bad at is magic. They make a good choice for beginners, able to bully their way through most situations by brute force, without having to deal with fiddly spells.
  45. Mummies (Mu): Mummies are a challenge race, plain and simple. Not having a food clock (at all) sounds awesome at first, but they are also incredibly squishy, and sitting on the first floor for a million turns doesn't work anymore. They level slowly and have wretched aptitudes for literally almost everything. They also have a weakness to fire, in addition to the usual 'perks' of being undead (see below), and are unable to drink potions, depriving them of the most common method of healing. They make good summoners or necromancers, but are best in the hands of an advanced player.
  47. Nagas (Na): Snake-people. They move very slowly and have trouble with armour, but they're immune to poison, great at sneaking, and altogether make pretty good mages or hybrids. They can also spit poison, which makes a useful subweapon in the early game, and they can use their tail to constrict an enemy for extra damage output.
  49. Ogres (Og): Generally a pretty challenging race. They're big, meaning they hunger quickly and don't fit in most armour, but they can swing huge clubs that other races can't even lift. They're very good at smashing things, and are surprisingly adept at the basics of magic, though higher-level spells tend to give them some trouble.
  51. Octopodes (Op): A magic-affine animal similar to a Felid, but this is an Octopus. Most armour isn't shaped to fit them (except hats!), but they're quite sneaky, and have an innate camoflage ability that makes them harder to spot. Their tendrils can constict up to 8 surrounding enemies, though they're squishy enough to generally avoid melee combat. They tend to make excellent mages, and can draw great power from the ability to wear up to 8 rings, instead of just 2.
  53. Sludge Elves (SE) [0.12 only; gone in 0.13]: An outcast breed who favor darker magics than other elves. They're handier in a fight than Deep Elves, but less so than High Elves, and they specialize in Transmutation and Necromancy. When forced into melee, they usually fight hand-to-hand, often taking advantage of transmutative gifts to give them the advantage.
  55. Spriggans (Sp): Spriggans are tiny fey, who run incredibly fast and are able to see invisible. They are incapable of eating meat, although their extremely small size means their metabolism can sustain this. They're too small to wear most armour or wield many weapons, and in general prefer to hold knives in melee, but they are extremely sneaky and good at many forms of magic, although spell hunger can be a problem if they aren't careful.
  57. Tengu (Te): Tengu are bird-people. They gain the ability to fly at level 5, and at level 15 they never need to stop flying. They cannot wear helmets (hats are OK though) or boots, but they are excellent with both weapons and offensive magic (specifically, conjurations and summoning), as well as having an affinity for Air Magic. However, they tend to be very fragile, so training defenses may be a good idea.
  59. Trolls (Tr): Trolls are big, ugly, furry, and stupid. They are also very, VERY strong. With their claws, they prefer Unarmed Combat (they get a huge bonus to it), and generally just like to rip apart and eat everything they come across. They have an intrinsic Gourmand and Saprovore effect, allowing them to eat any non-poisonous food anytime they want, even if it's rotted. However, they have an absurdly fast metabolism, meaning they actually *have* to eat pretty much everything they kill or risk starvation. Their intelligence is low and they're generally pretty terrible at magic.
  61. Vampires (Vp): Crawl's vampires are creatures who drink blood to become more alive. As they become thirsty, they become gradually more undead, meaning increased stealth, loss of active mutations, and slower regeneration. The more they drink, the more alive they become, allowing mutations to take effect, and regeneration to occur. A fully-blooded vampire regenerates health very quickly, but is unable to turn into a bat until he becomes undead again. They're generally a stealthy/stabby sort of race, with an affinity for magic and death. Also, they do not need to breathe. Unclear if they're affected by sunlight, since the game takes place underground. No, they don't sparkle.
  63. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  65. Being undead in Crawl means invulnerability to some things that affect normal characters (like poison, negative energy, draining, or torment), but vulnerability to other things that either don't do anything extra to living beings (e.g. holy) or to things that don't affect living characters at all (e.g. dispel undead). Undead characters are unable to mutate (they rot, instead, so avoid sources of mutation) or go berserk (unless one is a vampire that is currently alive). Being undead is also considered 'evil', so undead characters (or characters who become undead through the spell Necromutation) are not allowed to worship the 'good' gods (see below) or Fedhas Madash. If you are a worshipper and become undead, you will be excommunicated immediately and severely punished.
  67. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  69. Classes are as follows. (I'm not going to cover *every* nuance of every class, nor every spell in each starting spellook):
  71. Air Elementalist (AE): Pretty much what it says on the tin. The starting book provides access to lots of useful utility spells like Repel Missiles, Flight, and Swiftness.
  73. Abyssal Knight (AK): A fighter who starts with light armour and a +2 weapon of choice, dedicated to the worship of Lugonu, the goddess of the abyss. They actually start in the abyss kneeling on an altar of Lugonu, but there will always be an exit close by. If you get jumped by demons before you find it, you also start with enough piety to use Lugonu's first power (a, a) to gate yourself out of the abyss.
  75. Arcane Marksman (AM): A ranged combat specialist (in a skill of choice, allowing one to choose javelins, a bow, a crossbow, or a sling) who also dabbles in charms and hexes, to debilitate enemies and buff themselves. Trolls and Ogres can opt to start with large rocks instead of javelins.
  77. Artificer (Ar): Artificers specialize in the use of evocable magical items, such as wands, rods, decks, and other gadgets like lamps of fire or fans of gales. They start with 3 wands (enslave, flame, random effects), which each have 15 charges.
  79. Assassin (As): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They rely on stealth, backstabbing, and poison needles to kill their enemies. A challenging class to start with; if the playstyle appeals but you're having trouble, try an Enchanter instead.
  81. Berserker (Be): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They enter the dungeon with a loincloth, a weapon of choice, and a three-word objective from their god, Trog: "Kill them all!".
  83. Conjurer (Cj): Begin with the spell Magic Dart, and a book containing a variety of non-elemental conjuration spells, many of which have additinal effects such as knockback, blind, or explosions. In version 0.13, the spell Force Lance, which may push an enemy back, is replaced by the spell Searing Ray, which can be cast multiple times for increased damage as long as nothing else is done in the interim.
  85. Chaos Knight (CK): Chaos Knights worship Xom, and start the game with a weapon of choice and +2 leather armour. In version 0.12, the chosen weapon is enchanted to +2; in version 0.13, the chosen weapon is unenchanted (+0), but carries the Chaos brand, which does assorted random things.
  87. Death Knight (DK): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They worship Yredelemnul and begin with a +1 weapon of choice.
  89. Earth Elementalist (EE): Pretty much what it says on the tin. Their starting book provides access to a variety of spells which cannot be resisted, though damage is checked against AC. Good overlap with Transmutations.
  91. Enchanter (En): Starts with a dagger and some darts, and dabbles in Hexes to debilitate enemies before finishing them off. Excellent for sneaky characters who like stabbing things.
  93. Fire Elementalist (FE): Pretty much what it says on the tin. Their starting book contains lots of spells for "killing it with fire", whatever 'it' may happen to be. (Also, don't underestimate the power of using Conjure Flame to block 1-tile-wide corridors and fleeing).
  95. Fighter (Fi): Your basic heavy-armour melee class, they start with a weapon of choice, a shield, and scale mail. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that one can begin with long blades if they wish, and also with a trident instead of a spear if they choose polearms (tridents are significantly better than spears.
  97. Gladiator (Gl): Your basic light-armour melee class, they start with a weapon of choice, some throwing nets, and leather armour. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that one can begin with long blades if they wish, or a quarterstaff, or with a trident instead of a spear if they choose polearms (tridents are significantly better than spears.
  99. Healer (He): A class that begins with various healing potions and in the service of Elyvilon. They can choose to fight normally, or to use their goddess' healing powers to pacify monsters, who will then seek to leave the level and disappear.
  101. Hunter (Hu): A ranged combat specialist (in a skill of choice, allowing one to choose javelins, a bow, a crossbow, or a sling). Trolls and Ogres can opt to start with large rocks instead of javelins.
  103. Ice Elementalist (IE): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They use ice magic to freeze things until they die. Their starting spell, Freeze has only 1 range, but bypasses AC to deal damage.
  105. Monk (Mo): They walk in wearing a robe and that's pretty much it. They start with skill in Unarmed Combat. Although monks start with no religion, gods appreciate their ascetic lifestyle. Upon joining a religion, monks automatically start with two stars of piety (**).
  107. Necromancer (Ne): More or less what you think it is--They use "negative energy" magic to raise zombies and inflict magical pain. (This pain can be resisted).
  109. Priest (Pr) [0.12 only; gone in 0.13]: Priests start the game worshipping Zin, wearing a robe, and carrying a quarterstaf. Hill Orcs instead begin wielding a hand axe and worshipping Beogh.
  111. Skald (Sk): In version 0.12, they start with a +0 weapon of choice, leather armour, and a Book of War Chants, which contains various charms for buffing themselves before battle. In version 0.13, they instead start with a +1 weapon of choice, leather armour, and a Book of Battle, which contains different, non-elemental charms for buffing themselves before battle.
  113. Summoner (Su): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They summon creatures, demons, monsters, etc., from the ether in order to fight for them. These summons have a limited duration, and in version 0.13 there is a cap on the number of creatures that can be maintained by any single spell.
  115. Transmuter (Tm): They fight by transforming themselves, their enemies, or their surroundings, into other things. They start with the spell Beastly Appendage, which temporarily turns one of your extremeties into a monstrous equivalent. As of version 0.13, this means you will (temporarily) get either horns or talons.
  117. Venom Mage (VM): Pretty much what it says on the tin. They start with a variety of spells revolving around poisoning opponents and unpoisoning themselves. They have a fairly easy start, but will need to diversify, because later monsters are almost universally resistant to poison.
  119. Wanderer (Wn): This is another challenge class -- their starting skills, equipment, and items are completely random. They can start with any basic weapon or armour, (which may be enchanted), a spellbook, a memorized level 1 spell, or identification knowledge of certain items (eg. curing potions, teleport scrolls).
  121. Warper (Wr): Light-armoured melee class with a weapon of choice, some darts, a scroll of blinking, and a book of Spatial Translocations, which allows access to interesting translocational spells.
  123. Wizard (Wz): This is the nonspecialist magic class; they begin with the spell Magic Dart and a book of Minor Magic, which contains Blink, Call Imp, Repel Missiles, Slow, Conjure Flame, and Mephitic Cloud. They are the magical jacks-of-all-trades, but masters of none, and will probably need to specialize in order to get very far.
  125. Note that certain characters cannot choose certain classes:
  126. • Demigod characters cannot begin as any class that starts with a religion.
  127. • Felid characters cannot begin as Gladiators, Hunters, Assassins, Artificers, or Arcane Marksmen.
  128. • Gargoyle characters cannot begin as Death Knights.
  129. • Evil characters (ie. Demonspawn or undead) cannot begin as Healers or (in 0.12) Priests.
  131. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  133. The pantheon of Crawl is sprawling and somewhat confusing. Here is the list of gods:
  135. Ashenzari the Shackled: The cursed god of knowledge. He likes it when you explore the dungeon, particularly while wearing cursed items, and he can corrupt scrolls of remove curse to make them curse scrolls instead. At high piety, he grants divination abilities, clarity, and See Invisible. The more cursed you are, the better in Ash's mind, and the more he will boost your skills. He also allows you to move experience from one skill to another, at a slight cost. A good god for the extended late-game, less so for the beginning.
  137. Beogh the Brigand: The Orcfather. Beogh can only be worshipped by orcs. He likes it when you kill things, and when you pray over the corpses of orcs. Gaining piety gives you bonuses while using orcish gear, allows you to smite enemies at the cost of piety (that's how the green-robed enemy orc priests do it), and causes other orcs to recognize you as their prophesized messiah and become allied (hence the colloquial name "Orc Jesus"). Beogh disapproves of attacking orcish allies (be very careful if you are confused!) and of cannibalism.
  139. Cheibriados the Contemplative: The god of time. Commonly called the Slow God, he slows your movement speed (though not your attack speed) as you gain piety, and you gain piety by killing things which are faster than you. He also boosts your stats the slower you are, halves the effects of poison and sickness, and slows your metabolism by 1 level. He also provides several excellent god-spells to punish enemies who move too fast or save you by letting you step out of the flow of time. Chei dislikes hastiness, and will punish you if you knowingly try to increase your speed (by haste, speed, berserk, etc), though he will forgive you ONCE if it was accidental (i.e. unidentified).
  141. Elyvilon the Healer: The goddess of healing. She grants god-spells of healing and purification, and gives piety for sacrificing weapons. It is not necessary to be entirely pacifistic, but healing enemies may pacify them, making them neutral and giving you piety and half the XP you would have gotten from killing them. Ely is probably the most easygoing of the good gods, not placing restrictions on your diet or punishing you for killing enemies unless you have currently prayed for protection. Evil beings (ie. demonspawn, undead) are not allowed to worship Elyvilon (or any 'good' god); see the alignments section below for more information.
  143. Fedhas Madash: The god of nature and the cycle of life. Refuses undead worshippers because they are outside the cycle of life and decay (he also hates certain necromantic spells that desecrate corpses). He likes it when you pray around corpses, which causes them to decay. He also lets you walk through plants, and upgrade certain plants into allied dangerous plants. Often these upgrades and nature abilities cost fruit, as well as piety. He dislikes when you harm plants.
  145. Jiyva the Shapeless: The god of the slimes. Jiyva is one of the most ancient deities in the pantheon, and the one with the fewest sentient followers (actually, only one, unless you worship him). He likes it when you let slimes devour items, and dislikes it when you attack or kill slimes. He will rearrange your attributes, alter your mutations, and give you other slimy powers. His name also changes slightly in each game (e.g. Jiyva Juub, Jiyva Jichodgh, Jiyva Jojaun), indicating his shapeless nature. Also of note, since gods depend on worship in order to exist, if you kill the Royal Jelly without being a worshipper of Jiyva yourself, all altars to Jiyva will immediately vanish and you will have successfully committed deicide (no, you don't get XP for Jiyva). SLIME FOR THE SLIME GOD.
  147. Kikubaaqudgha the Terrible: The demon-god of necromancy. Kiku likes it when you kill things, but does not request corpse sacrifices. He offers you necromantic spellbooks at one (*) and three (***) stars of piety, offerings of corpsesand grants you resistance to torment, rising with piety. At five (*****) stars, you can pray over a corpse to invoke torment on everything in line of sight (including you!); and at full piety (******), you can pray at an altar of Kiku to receive EITHER a permanent Pain brand on your current weapon OR a Necronomicon (you can only choose one, and only receive it once).
  149. Lugonu the Unformed: The goddess of the abyss. She appreciates killing (as long as you're not in the Abyss) and corpse sacrifices, and offers flexibility and escape from dangerous situations, as long as you understand that it's going to hurt a bit. You can leave the abyss at the cost of some piety (useful, as Abyssal Knights *start* in the abyss), perform an uncontrolled blink at the cost of some HP, banish other monsters to the abyss, corrupt the level you're on (only once per level) with the nature of the abyss (and also summon some neutral demons), or gate yourself *to* the abyss at the cost of some max-HP. Finally, at full piety (******) you can (once per game) permanently place the distortion brand on a weapon of your choice.
  151. Makhleb the Destroyer: The god of Hell. He appreciates killing things (anything will do), and blood sacrifices. In return, he grants HP for killing things, and the ability to use (minor- or mid-power) basic conjuration or demon summoning "spells", making the basic advantages of magic accessible even to the lowest-intelligence, heaviest-armoured characters. Note that summoned demons have a chance to be hostile, and this chance can never be fully eliminated (though the chance becomes 8% at 10 invocations, 4% at 27 invocations). More or less the "standard" god for characters choosing not to follow Okawaru or Trog.
  153. Nemelex Xobeh: The trickster god of gambling. He likes it when you sacrifice items to him (the rarer the better), and when you draw unmarked cards. He grants decks that do various things based on the things you have sacrificed to him, with power based on your piety. While not necessarily perfectly up-to-date, the wiki has an in-depth guide here: (
  155. Okawaru the Warmaster: The god of battle. Okawaru appreciates killing living, undead, or demonic beings, and the more powerful the better. He also accepts blood sacrifices. (You can get piety for killing and sacrificing weaker beings, but the chance is much lower. Okawaru wants you to *prove* yourself in combat and bring him glory!) He only grants two invocations: At one (*) star of piety, he grants the ability Heroism, which increases all nonmagical combat skills by 5 points temporarily. At five stars (*****), he grants the ability Finesse, which (essentially) doubles your attack speed (though not your movement speed). He also grants gifts of weapons and armour (and ammunition, if you are trained in the use of a ranged weapon). More or less the "standard" physical god.
  157. The Shining One: The god of crusaders and paladins. He appreciates the killing of evil beings, (demons, undead, heretics), but demands that you fight honorably, punishing you if you attack allies, neutral monsters, or holy monsters; or if you attack unchivalrously (ie. using poison; attacking monsters who are fleeing, confused, distracted, tied up, petrified, paralyzed, or sleeping; or attacking any monster while you are invisible). However, TSO grants you resistance to negative energy (draining) attacks which rises with piety, restores your HP and MP when you kill evil beings, and offers several powerful invocations, including a passive halo, a holy shield, an AOE holy fireball, and the ability to summon friendly Angels or Daevas to fight alongside you. Finally, ONCE per game at full piety (******), TSO will bless your weapon and apply a permanent Holy Wrath brand to it, enchanting it and possibly even increasing its base stats depending on the weapon type. Evil beings (ie. demonspawn, undead) are not allowed to worship Elyvilon (or any 'good' god); see the alignments section below for more information.
  159. Sif Muna the Loreminder: The librarian goddess of magical knowledge. She likes when you train magical skills, and will reward you with the ability to channel MP at the cost of hunger, the power to forget spells (and reclaim spell levels) at will, protection from miscast effects, and finally with gifts of semi-random spellbooks (which will eventually grant access to literally every spell in the game). More or less the "standard" magical god.
  161. Trog the Wrathful: The god of killing and bloodlust. Trog appreciates killing and blood sacrifices, and doesn't much care what it is that you kill. He only requests that you never train or use magic (potions, scrolls, wands, or rods are okay, though). He grants the ability to go berserk (which increases your movement speed, attack speed, attack damage, strength, and current effective health, at the cost of a massive hunger hit). You can also call on him to regenerate your injuries and protect you from hostile enchantments (MR+), and request backup from a Brother In Arms, which is always friendly and will always berserk on appearance (Higher piety means stronger friends, from bears to ogres to trolls, etc). He also grants gifts of weapons (and ammunition, if you are trained in the use of a ranged weapon), the former of which is weighted to contain the Antimagic brand.
  163. Vehumet: The god of destruction. Some gods just want to watch the world burn, and Vehumet is one of them, appreciating killing of all creatures in all their forms. He grants MP for killing, a wizardry bonus (lower fail rate) for destructive spells, extra range (by 1 tile) for destructive spells, and the chance to memorize 15 different destructive spells over the course of the game, loosely weighted by your elemental skills. These spells can be 'M'emorized just like spells from a spellbook. More or less the "standard" god for magical characters choosing not to follow Sif Muna.
  165. Xom the Unpredictable: The god of chaos. Xom cannot be prayed to, has no conducts, and accepts no sacrifices. He does not use piety or gift timeouts like other gods. Instead, Xom has an attitude and an interest level. For more information, try here: ( Xom is not so much worshipped as he is experienced. In general, try to do "interesting" things, and Xom will probably shower you with gifts. Unless he decides you would be more interesting if you were fighting demons while naked. In which case, you'll probably promptly die. But don't worry: Xom thinks this is hilarious!
  167. Yredelemnul the Dark: The god of death and undead. Yred likes when you or your undead allies kill living or holy creatures, will place you under penance for using holy powers voluntarily, and will excommunicate you for casting the spell Statue Form (because living constructs are not subject to death). He grants power over the undead without needing to study magical necromancy, as well as granting gifts of more powerful undead servants, and several other abilities, such as mirroring injuries onto enemies, draining HP from everything in your line of sight to heal yourself, or enslaving the soul of a particular monster to serve you personally. Not being truly alive, Gargoyles are forbidden to worship Yredelemnul.
  169. Zin the Lawgiver: The god of order. He hates chaos in all its forms; for the player, this typically means mutations. Zin's worshippers are not allowed to mutate willingly, and Zin will often protect against unwilling mutation. Zinnites are also forbidden from eating the flesh of sentient beings, from attacking in a Sanctuary, and using unclean or chaotic items or spells. He allows you to preach to unclean or unholy monsters, for varying effects, to invigorate yourself and become immune to many status effects, to temporarily imprison enemies, and to create a Sanctuary within which monsters will flee and not attack you. Also, at max piety (******) he will (once per game only) remove all of your non-racial mutations). Evil beings (ie. demonspawn, undead) are not allowed to worship Elyvilon (or any 'good' god); see the alignments section below for more information.
  171. • Note that while all gods are technically genderless, I have used what seems to be the common anthropomorphic perceptions of their supposed genders here, which is to say that Elyvilon, Lugonu (who was once called Lucy), and Sif Muna are considered female.
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  175. Each of the gods (and technically all items in the game) have an alignment (good, neutral, or evil).  
  177. Good: Elyvilon, The Shining One, and Zin are considered 'good'. Weapons of Holy Wrath belong to The Shining One, and are also considered good. Good gods cannot be worshipped by evil races (see below), nor can good weapons be wielded by them. Good gods can be switched between at any time without incurring wrath, and keeping one star of piety (*). You can also switch from a good to a neutral god without facing holy wrath, unless your new god is 'evil' (see below). Zin will punish you if your new god is chaotic, even if the god is otherwise neutral (see below). These three gods also have certain rules in common, such as:
  178. • No drinking of blood.
  179. • No cannibalism.
  180. • No Necromancy.
  181. • No unholy items (see 'Evil', below).
  182. • No attacking holy beings.
  183. • (Each god also has his/her own specific rules, see above)
  185. Neutral: Most gods are neutral, including some who seem like they should be evil. Ashenzari, Cheibriados, Fedhas, Jiyva, Nemelex Xobeh, Okawaru, Sif Muna, Trog, Vehumet, and Xom are all neutral gods, who have no alignment-related restrictions on worshippers, though each of them has their own quirks (see above).
  187. Evil: Beogh, Lugonu, Kikubaaqudgha, Yredelemnul, and Makhleb are considered 'evil' gods, and spells with a necromantic component and weapons with brands of pain, draining, vampiricism, and distortion are considered unholy and evil, as are demonic blades, tridents, and whips. Undead races and Demonspawn are considered 'evil', and many other spells and items are evil as well.
  189. Chaotic: Jiyva, Lugonu, Makhleb, and Xom are considered 'chaotic' in addition to their ordinary alignment. Chaotic spells or monsters typically deal with mutations or transformations. Zin hates chaos, and will punish you if you leave him for a chaotic god, use chaotic magic, or become heavily mutated. Additionally, silver is anathema to the spawn of chaos: chaotic monsters will take 75% more damage from silver weapons, and you will take +5% damage per mutation that you have.
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  193. And, just because I'm a masochist, I'm going to additionally briefly discuss stats and skills:
  195. Strength: Slightly increases accuracy and damage in melee combat. Reduces attack delay for launchers and unarmed attacks. Increases constriction damage and carrying capacity. Increases chance of doing auxiliary or retaliatory attacks. Increases the range of thrown Large Rocks. Mitigates encumbrance of Armour and Shields, and makes dodging slightly easier.
  197. Intelligence: Increases chance to successfully cast spells. Reduces spell hunger. Increases spell power. Also increases success rate of Sif Muna's channeling.
  199. Dexterity: Slightly increases accuracy and damage in melee combat. Reduces attack delay for launchers and unarmed attacks. Increases chance chance of doing auxiliary or retaliatory attacks. Decreases chance of making noise when opening or closing doors. Increases ability to disarm or avoid certain traps. Increases chance to successfully Stab monsters. Increases the effect of your Dodging skill on EV. Slightly increases stealth and SH bonus.
  201. Allowing any of your 3 main attributes to drop to 0 (or below) is extremely dangerous, and will render you unable to do certain things. Having 0 strength, you cannot carry anything. With 0 intelligence, you cannot read. With 0 dexterity, you will trip and fall when trying to use stairs. After 50 turns spent at or below 0 in a stat, you may pass out and become paralyzed for an uncertain amount of time.
  202. In 0.12, having 0 or lower in a stat will cause you to die in 90 turns, either by being crushed to death by your possessions, by forgetting to breathe and suffocating, or by stumbling and breaking your neck.
  203. In 0.13, you can no longer die directly from stat loss, but it will cause irresistible damage until corrected that can very easily kill you.
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  207. Fighting: Increases melee damage slightly. Increases max HP. Less important than you think.
  209. Short Blades: Governs daggers, quick blades, short swords, and sabres. Slightly increases damage dealt with these weapons, and reduces their attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  211. Long Blades: Governs falchions, long swords, scimitars, demon blades, double swords, great swords, and triple swords (as well as the TSO-blessed versions of those weapons, including eudemon blades). Slightly increases damage dealt with these weapons, and reduces their attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  213. Axes: Governs hand axes, war axes, broad axes, battleaxes, and executioner's axes. Slightly increases damage dealt with these weapons, and reduces their attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  215. Maces & Flails: Governs whips, clubs, rods, hammers, maces, flails, morningstars, demon whips, sacred scourges, dire flails, eveningstars, great maces, giant clubs, and giant spiked clubs. Slightly increases damage dealt with these weapons, and reduces their attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  217. Polearms: Governs, spears, tridents, halberds, scythes, demon tridents, blessed trishulas, glaives, and bardiches. Slightly increases damage dealt with these weapons, and reduces their attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  219. Staves: Governs staves, quarterstaves, and lajatangs. Slightly increases damage. Reduces attack delay by .5 aut per point, down to a minimum that is established per-weapon-type.
  221. Unarmed Combat: Increasing the damage, accuracy, and speed of your unarmed attacks (Does NOT affect your auxiliary attacks such as those from horns, teeth, etc., EXCEPT for your offhand punches if you are wielding a 1-handed weapon with no shield.) Attack delay is reduced by 1 aut approximately every 5.5 levels.
  223. Bows: Governs bows and longbows. Affects accuracy and attack speed, and slightly increases damage done with arrows.
  225. Crossbows: Governs crossbows. Affects accuracy and attack speed, and slightly increases damage done with bolts.
  227. Throwing: Governs stones, large rocks, javelins, darts, and throwing nets, as well as blowguns. Increases accuracy and either damage (or efficacy, if it does no damage) of the ammunition.
  229. Slings: Affects accuracy and attack speed, and slightly increases damage done with stones or sling bullets when fired from a sling.
  231. Armour: Governs your ability to effectively wear armour. Each point increases your effective AC by about 4%. Also affects how much your armour encumbers you (in combat, magic, etc.).
  233. Dodging: Governs your ability to not get hit by things trying to hit you.
  235. Stealth: Increases your chance to not be noticed by monsters. Also lets you open and close doors silently. (Also in 0.13, used along with the relevant weapon skill to calculate stabbing damage with the removal of the Stabbing skill).
  237. Shields: Governs your ability to effectively wear a shield. Increases your effective SH, and affects how much your shield encumbers you (in combat, magic, etc.).
  239. Stabbing [0.12 only; gone in 0.13]: Affects the amount of bonus damage done when attacking a creature that cannot defend itself. Removed in 0.13; this is now calculated by an average of your Stealth and the related Weapon Skill.
  241. Traps [0.12 only; gone in 0.13]: Increases your chance to detect (and if mechanical, to disarm) traps hidden in the dungeon. Removed in 0.13; chance to detect traps appears to be dependent on your experience level. Also formerly called Traps & Doors, allowing you to find hidden doors. (Hidden doors have been removed as of 0.12)
  243. Spellcasting: Slightly increases the spell power of any spell you cast, reduces the spell hunger generated, and grants you extra spell levels to memorize more spells. Also (if higher than your Invocations skill) factors into calculation of your MP pool.)
  245. Conjurations: Spells that create something to directly attack enemies. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  247. Hexes: Spells to debilitate enemies or otherwise make them easier to hurt. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  249. Charms: Spells to make yourself stronger, tougher, faster, etc. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  251. Summonings: Spells which temporarily summon creatures to fight for you. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  253. Necromancy: Spells which govern negative energy and undeath. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  255. Translocations: Spells which govern magically moving items, objects, or entities. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  257. Transmutations: Spells which govern changing of things into other things, or changing the properties of matter. Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  259. Fire Magic: Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  261. Ice Magic: Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  263. Air Magic: Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  265. Earth Magic: Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  267. Poison Magic: Improves success rate and spell power of spells in the school.
  269. Invocations: Improves success rate and power of invoc'a'ble abilities granted by gods. Also (if higher than your Spellcasting skill) factors into calculation of your MP pool.)
  271. Evocations: Improves success rate and power of e'V'ocable items, such as wands, rods, decks, and other gadgets like lamps of fire or fans of gales.