Abandonware DOS title

Dungeon Crawl manual

                     Dungeon Crawl version 3.40
            (Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999 Linley Henzell)

Crawl is a fun game in the grand tradition of games like Rogue, Hack and
Moria. Your objective is to travel deep into a subterranean cave complex and
retrieve the Orb of Zot, which is guarded by many horrible and hideous

Detailed instructions for playing Crawl follow. If you want to get into the
game quickly, read the quick-start guide (README.TXT) and learn as you play.
Otherwise, it may be worth your while to read at least part of this file
(although it will probably confuse you somewhat). Read at least the disclaimer
at the end of this document and the LICENCE.TXT file, though.

                            CHARACTER SPECIES

You have a number of different species to choose from. This affects several

     o  Your choice of classes
     o  Your initial attributes
     o  Occasional bonus points added to some abilities
     o  The amount of hit points you get each level
     o  The amount of magic points you get each level
     o  Your initial equipment
     o  Your rate of level advancement
     o  Your rate of skill advancement
     o  Various special abilities and powers

Note: Some species are slower than humans in most/all skills.  For some
classes these races may seem to have very few skills because they haven't
quite earned the first level of several of their skills (Centaurs are
notable in this regard... although non-human Wanderers can appear to
start with no apparent skills at all).  This isn't a bug or an oversight,
these species are just particularly weaker than humans at these classes.

If you practise the skills you think or know are missing early on, they
should pick up the remaining skills very quickly (and their training will be
more complete).

The species:


  Humans tend to be hardworking and industrious, and learn new things quickly.
  The human race is the most versatile of all the species available to
  players. Humans advance quickly in levels and have equal abilities in all
  skills. Humans can also be of any class.


  There are a number of distinct races of elf in the world. Elves are all
  physically slight but long-lived people, quicker-witted than humans but
  sometimes slower to learn new things. Elves are especially good at using
  those skills which require a degree of finesse, such as stealth, sword-
  fighting and archery, but tend to be poor at using brute force and inelegant
  forms of combat. They find heavy armour uncomfortable, and make the finest,
  lightest armours to be found anywhere. Elves are particularly good at using
  elven weapons.

  Due to their fey natures, all elves are good at using enchantments and air
  elemental magic and most are poor at invoking the powers of earth and death

  Those of the most common strain are referred to simply as elves or, when
  they're not listening, as common elves. Common elves have good intelligence
  and dexterity, but suffer a bit in strength. They have slightly fewer HP and
  slightly more magic than humans, and advance in experience a bit more

  High elves are a tall and powerful elven race who advance in levels very
  slowly, requiring half again as much experience as do humans. They share the
  same attributes as common elves in most respects, but their strengths and
  weaknesses tend to be more pronounced.

  Grey elves also advance slowly, but not as slowly as high elves. They excel
  at using short and long swords and bows, but are poor at other fighting
  skills. They are excellent at all forms of magic except for necromancy.

  The deep elves are an elven race who long ago fled the overworld to live in
  darkness underground. There they developed their mental powers, evolving a
  natural gift for all forms of magic (including necromancy and earth magic),
  and adapted physically to their new environment, becoming shorter and weaker
  than other elves and losing all colouration. They are poor at hand-to-hand
  combat but excellent at fighting from a distance.

  Sludge elves are a somewhat degenerate race of elves. They are mirror images
  of normal elves in some respects: they have no special proficiency with bows
  or swords (long or short), nor do they have any aptitude in the traditional
  areas of high elven magic (enchantments, conjurations and divinations). On
  the other hand, they are superlative transmuters, and are comfortable
  dabbling in necromantic, poison and elemental magic. As fighters they are
  often more dangerous unarmed than armed. They advance in level slightly
  faster than their common brethren.


  Dwarves are short, hardy people. They love to fight, and often venture forth
  from their subterranean cities to seek fame and fortune through battle.
  Their armour and weapons are very well-crafted and much more durable than
  the products of lesser artisans. Dwarves are particularly dangerous when
  using dwarven weaponry.

  Hill dwarves are extremely robust but are poor at using magic. They are
  excellent at hand combat, especially favouring axes or bludgeoning weapons,
  and are good at using armour and shields, but are poor at missile combat or
  at using polearms (which are usually too big for them to wield comfortably).
  The only forms of magic which they can use with even a minimal degree of
  aptitude are earth, fire and conjurations. They advance in levels at a
  similar rate to common elves.

  Mountain dwarves come from the larger, more civilised communities of the
  mountains. They advance slightly more quickly than hill dwarves and are
  almost as robust while having similar aptitudes, but are slightly worse at
  fighting while being slightly better at more civilised pursuits.


  Halflings, who are named for being about half the size of a human, live in
  small villages. They live simple lives, and have simple interests. Some
  times a particularly restless halfling will leave his or her village in
  search of adventure.

  Halflings are very small and are among the least robust of any character
  species. Although only average at most fighting skills, they can use short
  blades well and are good at all forms of missile combat. They are also very
  stealthy and good at dodging and stabbing, but are poor at magic (except
  enchantments and, for some reason, translocations). They advance in levels
  as rapidly as humans. Halflings cannot wield large weapons.


  Gnomes are an underground-dwelling race of creatures, related to the
  dwarves but even more closely in touch with the earth.

  They are quite small, and share many of their characteristics with
  halflings (except for the great agility), although they advance slightly
  more slowly in experience levels. They are okay at most skills, but
  excellent at earth elemental magic and very poor at air magic.

  Occasionally they can use their empathy with the earth to sense their
  surroundings; this ability increases in power as they gain experience


  Hill orcs are orcs from the upper world who, jealous of the riches which
  their cousins the cave orcs possess below the ground, descend in search of
  plunder and adventure.

  Hill orcs are as robust as the hill dwarves, but have very low reserves of
  magical energy. Their forte is brute-force fighting, and they are skilled at
  using most hand weapons (with the exception of short blades, at which they
  are only fair), although they are not particularly good at using missile
  weapons. They prefer to use their own weapons. Orcs are poor at using most
  types of magic with the exception of conjurations, necromancy, and earth and
  fire elemental magic. They advance as quickly as humans.


  Kobolds are small, ugly creatures with few redeeming features. They are not
  the sort of people you would want to spend much time with, unless you happen
  to be a kobold yourself.

  They have poor abilities and have similar aptitudes to halflings, without
  the excellent agility. However, they are better than halflings at using
  some types of magic, particularly summonings and necromancy. They often
  live as scavengers, surviving on carrion, but are carnivorous and can
  only eat meat. They advance in levels as quickly as humans.

The Undead:

  As creatures brought back from beyond the grave they are naturally immune to
  poisons and negative energy, have little warmth left to be affected by cold,
  and are not susceptible to reductions in their physical or mental abilities.

  There are two type of undead available to players: Mummies and Ghouls.


  Mummies are undead creatures who travel into the depths in search of
  revenge, redemption, or just because they want to.

  Mummies progress very slowly in level, half again as slow as humans, and in
  all skills except fighting, spellcasting and necromancy. As they increase in
  level they become increasingly in touch with the powers of death, but cannot
  use some types of necromancy which only affect living creatures. The side
  effects of necromantic magic tend to be relatively harmless to mummies.
  However, their dessicated bodies are highly flammable. They also do not need
  to eat or drink, and in any case are incapable of doing so.


  Ghouls are horrible undead creatures, slowly rotting away. Although ghouls
  can sleep in their graves for years on end, when they rise to walk among the
  living they must eat flesh to survive. Raw flesh is preferred, especially
  rotting or tainted meat, and ghouls gain strength from consuming it.

  They aren't very good at doing most things, although they make decent
  fighters and, due to their contact with the grave, can use ice, earth and
  death magic without too many difficulties.


  The Naga are a race of hybrids: humanoid from the waist up, with a large
  snake tail instead of legs.

  They are reasonably good at most things and advance in experience levels at
  a decent rate. They are naturally immune to poisons, can see invisible
  creatures, and have tough skin, but their tails are relatively slow and
  cannot move them around as quickly as can other creatures' legs (this only
  affects their movement rate; all other actions are at normal speed). Their
  body shape also prevents them from gaining full protection from most armour.

  Every now and then, a naga can spit poison; the range, accuracy and damage
  of this poison increases with the naga's experience level.

Ogres and Ogre Mages:

  Ogres are huge, chunky creatures related to orcs. They are terrible monsters
  who usually live to do nothing more than smash, smash, smash, and destroy.

  They have great physical strength, but are bad at almost everything except
  fighting and learn quite slowly. Because of their large size they can only
  wear loose robes, cloaks and animal skins. Although ogres can eat almost
  anything, their size means that they need to do so more frequently than
  smaller folk.

  Ogre-mages are a separate race of ogres who are unique among the beefier
  species in their ability to use magic, especially enchantments. Although
  slighter than their common ogre relatives they nevertheless have great
  strength and can survive a lot of punishment. They advance in level as
  slowly as high elves.


  Trolls are like ogres, but even nastier. They have thick, knobbly skins of
  any colour from putrid green to mucky brown and their mouths are full of
  ichor-dripping fangs.

  They can rip creatures apart with their claws, and regenerate very quickly
  from even the most terrible wounds. They learn very slowly indeed - even
  more slowly than high elves - and need a great amount of food to survive.


  Draconians are a race of human-dragon hybrids: humanoid in form and
  approximately human-sized, with wings, tails and scaly skins. Draconians
  start out in an immature form with brown scales, but as they grow in
  power they take on a variety of colours.

  Some types of draconians have breath weapons. Draconians advance very slowly
  in level, but are reasonably good at all skills but armour (most types of
  which they cannot wear) and missile weapons.


  The Centaurs are another race of hybrid creatures: horses with a human
  torso. They usually live in forests, surviving by hunting.

  Centaurs can move very quickly on their four legs, and are excellent
  with bows and other missile weapons; they are also reasonable at the
  Fighting skill while being slow learners at specific weapon skills. They
  advance quite slowly in experience level and are rather sub-average at
  using magic. Due to their large bulk, they need a little extra food to


  Demigods are mortals (humans, orcs or elves, for example) with some divine
  or angelic ancestry, however distant; they can be created by a number of
  processes including magical experiments and the time-honoured practice of
  interplanar miscegenation.

  Demigods look more or less like members of their mortal part's race, but
  have excellent abilities (strength, int, dex) and are extremely robust; they
  can also draw on great supplies of magical energy. On the downside they
  advance very slowly in experience, gain skills slightly less quickly than
  humans, and due to their status cannot worship the various Gods and Powers
  available to other classes of being.


  Spriggans are small magical creatures distantly related to elves. They
  love to frolic and cast mischevious spells.

  They are poor fighters, have little physical resilience, and are terrible at
  destructive magic - conjurations, summonings, necromancy and elemental
  spells. On the other hand, they are excellent at other forms of magic and
  are very good at moving silently and quickly. So great is their speed that a
  spriggan can keep pace with a centaur.


  The minotaur is yet another hybrid - a human body with a bovine head. It
  delves into the Dungeon because of its instinctive love of twisting

  Minotaurs are extremely good at all forms of physical combat, but are
  awful at using any type of magic. They can wear all armour except for
  some headgear.


  Demonspawn are horrible half-mortal, half-infernal creatures - the flip side
  of the Demigods. Demonspawn can be created in any number of ways: magical
  experiments, breeding, unholy pacts, etc. Although many demonspawn may be
  indistinguishable from those of pure mortal stock, they often grow horns,
  scales or other unusual features. Powerful members of this class of beings
  also develop a range of unholy abilities, which are listed as mutations (and
  can sometimes be activated with the 'a' command).

  Demonspawn advance quite slowly in experience and learn most skills at about
  the same rate as do Demigods. However, they are a little better at fighting
  and much better at conjurations, summonings, necromancy and invocations.


  The Kenku are an ancient and feared race of bird-people with a legendary
  propensity for violence. Basically humanoid with bird-like heads and clawed
  feet, the kenku can wear all types of armour except helmets and boots.
  Despite their lack of wings, powerful kenku can fly and very powerful
  members of this race can stay in the air for as long as they wish to do so.

  They are experts at all forms of fighting, including the magical arts of
  combat (conjurations, summonings and, to a lesser extent, necromancy). They
  are good at air and fire elemental magic, but poor at ice and earth magic.
  Kenku do not appreciate any form of servitude, and so are poor at using
  invocations. Their light avian bodies cannot sustain a great deal of injury.


  The Merfolk are a hybrid race of half-human, half-fish that typically
  live in the oceans and rivers and seldom come onto the land.  The merfolk
  aren't as limited on land as some myths suggest, their tails will quickly
  reform into legs once they leave the water (and, likewise, their legs
  will quickly reform into a tail should they ever enter water).  Their
  agility is often misjudged, and they tend to be surprising nimble on
  land as well as in the water.  Experts at swimming they need not fear
  drowning as they can quickly slip out of any encumbering armour during
  the transformation into their half-fish form.

  The Merfolk have developed their martial arts strongly on thrusting
  and grappling, since those are the most efficient ways to fight
  underwater.  They, therefore, prefer polearms and short swords above
  all other weapons, although they can also use longer swords quite well.

  As spellcasters, they tend to be quite good in specific areas.  Their
  mystical relationship with water makes it easier for them to use
  divination, poison, and ice magics... which use water occasionally
  as a material component.  The legendary water magic of the merfolk
  was lost in ancient times, but some of that affinity still remains.
  The instability of their own morphogenic matrix has made them very
  accomplished transmuters, but most other magics seem foreign to them.


  Some species have special abilities which can be accessed by the 'a'
  abilities menu. Some also have physical characteristics which allow them
  to make extra attacks using the Unarmed Combat skill.

                            CHARACTER CLASSES

In your quest, you play as one of a number of different types of characters.
Although each has its own strengths and weaknesses, some are definitely
easier than others, at least to begin with. The best classes for a beginner
are probably Gladiators, fighters and Berserkers; if you really want to play
a magician, try a Conjurer. Each class starts out with a different set of
skills and items, but from there you can shape them as you will.


  Fighters start with a decent weapon, a suit of armour and a shield. They
  have a good general grounding in the arts of fighting.


  The Gladiator is trained to fight in the ring, and so is an expert in the
  art of fighting but is not so good at anything else. In fact, Gladiators are
  pretty terrible at anything except bashing monsters with heavy things. They
  start with a nasty weapon, a small shield, and armour.


  Berserkers are hardy warriors who worship Trog the Wrathful, from whom they
  get the power to go berserk (as well as a number of other powers should they
  prove worthy) but who forbids the use of spell magic. They enter the dungeon
  with an axe and a set of leather armour.


  The Hunter is a type of fighter who specialises in missile weapons. A Hunter
  starts with a bow and some arrows, as well as a hunting knife and a set of


  The Monk is a member of an ascetic order dedicated to the perfection of
  one's body and soul through the discipline of the martial arts. Monks start
  with very little equipment, but can survive without the weighty weapons and
  spellbooks needed by other classes.


  The Thief is one of the trickiest classes to play. Thieves start out with a
  large variety of useful skills, and need to use all of them to survive.
  Thieves start with a short sword, some throwing darts, and light armour.


  An Assassin is a thief who is especially good at killing. Assassins are like
  thieves in most respects, but are more dangerous in combat.


  The stalker is an assassin who has trained in the use of poison magic.


  The Crusader is a decent fighter who can use the magical art of enchantment
  to become more dangerous in battle. Crusaders start out lightly armed and
  armoured, but equipped with a book of martial spells.


  Reavers are warriors who learn the magics of destruction in order to
  complement their deadliness in hand combat.

Death Knights:

  The Death Knight is a fighter who aligns him or herself with the powers of
  death. There are two types of Death Knights: those who worship and draw
  their abilities from the Demon-God Yredelemnul, and those who study the
  fearsome arts of necromancy.

Chaos Knights:

  The Chaos Knight is a fighter who chooses to serve one of the fearsome and
  unpredictable Gods of Chaos. He or she has two choices: Xom or Makhleb.
  Xom is a very unpredictable (and possibly psychotic) entity who rewards
  or punishes according to whim. Makhleb the Destroyer is a more purposeful
  God, who appreciates destruction and offers a variety of very violent
  powers to the faithful.


  The Paladin is a servant of the Shining One, and has many of the abilities
  of the Fighter and the Priest. He or she enters the dungeon with a sword,
  a shield, a robe, and a healing potion.


   Priests serve either Zin, the ancient and revered God of Law, or the
   rather less pleasant Death-God Yredelemnul. Although priests enter the
   dungeon with a mace (as well as a priestly robe and a few healing
   potions), this is purely the result of an archaic tradition the reason
   for which has been lost in the mists of time; Priests are not in any way
   restricted in their choice of weapon skills.


  The Healer is a priest of Elyvilon. Healers begin with minor healing
  powers, but can gain far greater abilities in the long run.


  The magician is not a class, but a type of class. A magician is the best
  at using magic. Magicians start with a dagger, a robe, and a book of
  spells which should see them through the first several levels. There are
  various kinds of magicians:

  A Wizard is a magician who does not specialise in any area of magic.
  Wizards start with a variety of magical skills and the magic dart spell in

  The Conjurer specialises in the violent and destructive magic of
  conjuration spells. Like the Wizard, the Conjurer starts with the magic
  dart spell.

  The Enchanter specialises in the more subtle area of enchantment magic.
  Although not as directly powerful as conjurations, high-level enchantments
  offer a wide range of very handy effects. The Enchanter begins with
  lightly enchanted weapons and armour, but no direct damage spell (since
  enchantments does not deal with direct attacks).  Instead they begin
  with the "confusing touch" spell and some enchanted darts, which should
  help them out until they can use the higher level enchantment spells.

  The Summoner specialises in calling creatures from this and other worlds
  to give assistance. Although they can at first summon only very wimpy
  creatures, the more advanced summoning spells allow summoners to call on
  such powers as elementals and demons.

  The Necromancer is a magician who specialises in the less pleasant side of
  magic. Necromantic spells are a varied bunch, but many involve some degree
  of risk or harm to the caster.

  Elementalists are magicians who specialise in one of the four types of
  elemental magic: air, fire, earth, or ice.

    Fire Magic tends towards destructive conjurations.

    Ice Magic offers a balance between destructive conjurations and
    protective enchantments.

    Air Magic provides many useful enchantments in addition to some
    unique destructive capabilities.

    Earth Magic is a mixed bag, with destructive, defensive and utility
    spells available.

  Venom mages specialise in poison magic, which is extremely useful in the
  shallower levels of the dungeon where few creatures are immune to it. Poison
  is especially effective when used against insects.

  Transmuters specialise in transmigrations, and can cause strange changes
  in themselves and others.

  Warpers specialise in translocations, and are experts in travelling long
  distances and positioning themselves precisely.


  Wanderers are people who have not learned a specific trade.  Instead,
  they've travelled around becoming "Jacks-of-all-trades, master of none".
  They start the game with a large assortment of skills and maybe some
  small items they picked up along the way, but other than that they're
  pretty much on their own.  Non-human wanderers might not even know which
  skills they have (since they haven't quite learned enough for one full
  level), and therefore make for an additional challenge.  You shouldn't
  expect human wanderers to be easy either, as this class is typically
  harder to play than the other classes.


When you kill monsters, you gain experience points (xp) (you also receive
one half experience for monsters killed by friendly creatures). When you
get enough xp, you gain an experience level, making your character more
powerful. As they gain levels, characters gain more hit points, magic
points, and spell levels.

Additionally, the experience you gain is used for your experience pool.
This pool of points is used up whenever you practice a skill.


Your character has a number of skills which affect his or her ability to
perform certain tasks. You can see your character's skills by pressing the 'm'
key; the higher the level of a skill, the better you are at it. Every time
your character gains experience points, those points become available to
increase skills. You convert experience points into skill levels by practising
the skill in question (eg fight with a certain type of weapon, cast a certain
type of spell, or walk around wearing light armour to practise stealth). The
amount of unassigned experience points is shown next to your experience total
on the main screen as well as on the skills screen, and the number in blue
next to each skill counts down from 9 to 0 as you get closer to gaining a
level in that skill.

You can elect not to practise a particular skill by selecting it in the skill
screen (making it turn dark grey). This means that you will be less likely to
increase that skill when you practise it (and will also not spend as many
experience points on it). This can be useful for skills like stealth which use
up points whenever you move. It can also be used on a specific weapon skill if
you want to spend more points on Fighting, and similarly with magic skills and

The species you have chosen for your character has a significant effect on
your rate of advancement in each skill. Some races are very good at some
skills and poor at others. If your character is naturally quick to learn a
skill, they will require less experience and take less time to advance in it;
being bad at a skill has the opposite result.

Here is a description of the skills you may have:

Fighting skills:

  Fighting is the basic skill used in hand-to-hand combat, and applies no
  matter which weapon your character is wielding (if any). It is also the
  skill which determines the number of hit points your character gets as
  they increase in level (note that this is calculated so that you don't get
  a long run advantage by starting out with a high fighting skill).

  Weapon skills affect your ability to fight with specific melee weapons.
  Weapon skills include:

     o  Short Blades
     o  Long Blades
     o  Maces & Flails
     o  Axes
     o  Staves
     o  Polearms

  If you are already good at a weapon, say a long sword, and you practise
  for a while with similar weapon such as a short sword, your practise will
  be speeded up (and will require less experience) until both skills are
  equal. Similar types of weapons include:

     o  Short Blades and Long Blades
     o  Maces & Flails and Axes
     o  Polearms and Axes
     o  Staves and Polearms

  Being good at a specific weapon improves the speed with which you can use
  it by about 10% every two skill levels. Although lighter weapons are
  easier to use initially, as they strike quickly and accurately, heavier
  weapons increase in damage potential very quickly as you improve your
  skill with them.

  Unarmed Combat is a special fighting skill. It allows your character to
  make a powerful attack when unarmed and also to make special secondary
  attacks (and increases the power of those attacks for characters who get
  them anyway). You can practise Unarmed Combat by attacking empty-handed,
  and it is also exercised when you make a secondary attack (a kick, punch
  etc). Unarmed combat is particularly difficult to use in combination with
  heavy armour, and characters wearing a shield or wielding a two-handed
  weapon other than a staff lose the powerful punch attack.

Throwing skills:

  Throwing is the basic skill used when throwing things, and there are a
  number of individual weapon skills for missile weapons as well:

     o  Darts
     o  Bows
     o  Crossbows
     o  Slings

Magic skills:

  Spellcasting is the basic skill for magic use, and affects your reserves of
  magical energy in the same way that Fighting affects your hit points. Every
  time you increase your spellcasting skill you gain some magic points and
  spell levels. Spellcasting is a very difficult skill to learn, and requires
  a large amount of practice and experience.

  Only those characters with at least one magic skill at level one or above
  can learn magical spells. If your character has no magic skills, he or she
  can learn the basic principles of the hermetic arts by reading and reciting
  the spells inscribed on magical scrolls (this stops being useful once you
  reach level one in Spellcasting).

  There are also individual skills for each different type of magic; the
  higher the skill, the more powerful the spell. Multidisciplinary spells use
  an average of the two or three skills.

  Elemental magic is a special case. When you practise an elemental magic
  skill (fire, ice, air or earth magic) you will improve much less quickly
  than normal if you already have one or more elemental magic skills higher
  than the one you are practising. This is especially true if those skills are
  'opposed' to the one you're practising: fire and ice are mutually opposed,
  as are earth and air.

  Say you have level 2 fire magic, level 4 ice magic, and level 1 air magic.
  Practising ice magic won't be a problem. Practising air magic will be a bit
  slow, as you have other elemental skills at higher levels. Practising fire
  magic will be very slow, as you have a higher level in ice magic. Right?

Miscellaneous skills:


  Having a high Armour skill means that you are used to wearing heavy armour,
  allowing you to move more freely and gain more protection.


  When you are wearing light armour, a high dodging skill helps you evade


  Helps you avoid being noticed. Try not to wear heavy armour or be encumbered
  if you want to be stealthy. Big creatures (like trolls and ogres) are bad at


  Lets you make a very powerful first strike against a sleeping/resting
  monster who hasn't noticed you yet. This is most effective with a dagger,
  slightly less effective with a short sword, and less useful (although by
  no means of negligible effect) with any other weapon.


  Affects the amount of protection you gain by using a shield, and the degree
  to which it hinders you.

Traps & Doors:

  Affects your ability to notice hidden traps and doors and to disarm traps
  when you find them. With this skill at a high level you will often find
  hidden things without actively looking for them.


  An easy-to-learn skill which affects your ability to call on your God for
  aid. Those skilled at invoking have reduced fail rates and produce more
  powerful effects. The Invocations skill affects your supply of magic in a
  similar way to the Spellcasting skill and to a greater extent, but the two
  are not cumulative - whichever gives the greater increase is used. Some
  Gods (such as Trog) do not require followers to learn this skill.

If your character does not have a particular skill, s/he can gain it by
practising as above.


Your character is further defined by his or her abilities, which initially
vary according to class and species.


  Affects the amount of damage you do in combat, as well as how much stuff
  you can carry.


  Affects how well you can cast spells as well as your ability to use some
  magical items.


  Affects your accuracy in combat, your general effectiveness with missile
  weapons, your ability to dodge attacks aimed at you, and your ability to use
  thiefly skills such as backstabbing and disarming traps. Although your
  dexterity does not affect your evasion score (EV) directly, any calculation
  involving your EV score also takes account of your dexterity.

Armour Class:

  Also called AC, when something injures you, your AC reduces the amount of
  damage you suffer. The number next to your AC is a measure of how good your
  shield (if any) is at blocking attacks. In both cases, more is better.


  Also called EV, this helps you to avoid being hit by unpleasant things.


  This is how much money you're carrying. Money adds to your final score,
  and can be used to purchase items in shops.

Magic Resistance:

  Affects your ability to resist the effects of enchantments and similar
  magic directed at you. Although your magic resistance increases with your
  level to an extent determined by your character's species, the creatures you
  will meet deeper in the dungeon are better at casting spells and are more
  likely to be able to affect you. MR is an internal variable, so you can't
  see what yours is.

Special Abilities:

  Sometimes characters will be able to use special abilities, for example
  the Naga's ability to spit poison or the magical power to turn invisible
  granted by a ring. These are accessed through the 'a' command.


In the dungeons of Crawl there are many different kinds of normal and magical
artefacts to be found and used. Some of them are useful, some are nasty, and
some give great power, but at a price. Some items are unique; these have
interesting properties which can make your life rather bizarre for a while.
They all fall into several classes of items, each of which is used in a
different way. Here is a general list of what you might find in the course of
your adventures:


  These are rather important. You will find a variety of weapons in the
  dungeon, ranging from small and quick daggers to huge, cumbersome
  battleaxes and pole-arms. Each type of weapon does a differing amount of
  damage, has a different chance of hitting its target, and takes a
  different amount of time to swing. You should choose your weapons
  carefully; trying to hit a bat with a greatsword is about as clever as
  bashing a dragon with a club. For this reason it is wise to have a good
  mixture of weapon skills. Skills affect damage, accuracy and speed.

  Weapons can be enchanted; when they are identified, they have values which
  tell you how much more effective they are than an unenchanted version. The
  first number is the enchantment to-hit, which affects the weapon's
  accuracy, and the second is its damage enchantment; weapons which are not
  enchanted are simply '+0'. Some weapons also have special magical effects
  which make them very effective in certain situations. Some types of hand
  weapons (especially daggers, spears and hand axes) are quite effective
  when thrown.

  You can wield weapons with the 'w' command, which is a very quick action.
  If for some reason you want to go bare-handed, type 'w' followed by a
  hyphen ('-'). Note that weapons are not the only class of item which you
  can wield.

  The ' (apostrophe) key is a shortcut which automatically wields item a. If
  item a is being wielded, it causes you to wield item b instead, if possible.
  Try assigning the letter a to your primary weapon, and b to your bow or
  something else you need to wield only sometimes. Note that this is just a
  typing shortcut and is not functionally different to wielding these items


  If you would rather pick off monsters from a safe distance, you will need
  ammunition for your sling or bow. Darts are effective when simply thrown;
  other kinds of ammunition require you to wield an appropriate device to
  inflict worthwhile damage. Ammunition has only one "plus" value, which
  affects both accuracy and damage. If you have ammunition suitable for
  what you are wielding, the 'f' command will choose the first lot in your
  inventory, or you can use the 't' command to throw anything. If you are
  using the right kind of hand weapon, you will "shoot" the ammunition,
  otherwise you "throw" it.

  When throwing something, you are asked for a direction. You can either
  enter one of the directions on your keypad, or type '*' and move the
  cursor over your target if they are not in a direct line with you. When
  the cursor is on them, press '.' (period) or delete to target them (you
  can also target an empty space if you want). If you press '>' instead of
  '.', the missile will stop at that space even if it misses, and if the
  target space is water, it may hit anything which might be lurking beneath
  the surface (which would otherwise be missed completely). If you type '.'
  (or del) instead of a direction or '*', or if you target yourself as
  described above, you throw whatever it is at yourself (this can be useful
  when zapping some wands; see later). Also, if you type 'p' instead of a
  direction or '*', you will target your previous target (if still


  This is also rather important. When worn, most armour improves your Armour
  Class, which decreases the amount of damage you take when something
  injures you. Unfortunately the heavier types of armour also hamper your
  movement, making it easier for monsters to hit you (ie reducing your
  evasion score) and making it harder for you to hit monsters. These effect
  can be mitigated by a high Armour skill. Wearing heavy armour also
  increases your chances of miscasting spells, an effect which is not
  reduced by your Armour skill.

  A Shield normally affects neither your AC or your evasion, but it lets you
  block some of the attacks aimed at you and absorbs some of the damage you
  would otherwise receive from things like dragon breath and lightning
  bolts. Wearing a shield (especially a large shield) makes you less
  effective in hand combat. Shields are more effective when you're fighting a
  small number of foes than when you're surrounded.

  Some magical armours have special powers. These powers are sometimes
  automatic, affecting you whenever you wear the armour, and sometimes must
  be activated with the 'a' command.

  You can wear armour with the 'W' command, and take it off with the 'T'


  This is extremely important. You can find many different kinds of food in
  the dungeon. If you don't eat when you get hungry, you will eventually
  die of starvation. Fighting, carrying heavy loads, casting spells, and
  using some magical items will make you hungry. When you are starving you
  fight less effectively as well. You can eat food with the 'e' command.

Magical Scrolls:

  Scrolls have many different magical spells enscribed on them, some good
  and some bad. One of the most useful scrolls is the scroll of identify,
  which will tell you the function of any item you have in your inventory;
  save these up for the more powerful and inscrutable magic items, like
  rings. You can read scrolls (and by doing so invoke their magic) with the
  'r' command.

Magical Potions:

  While scrolls tend to affect your equipment or your environment, most
  potions affect your character in some way. The most common type is the
  simple healing potion, which restores some hit points, but there are many
  other varieties of potions to be found. Potions can be quaffed (drunk)
  with the 'q' command. Try to avoid drinking poisonous potions!


  Sometimes you will be lucky enough to find a stick which contains stored
  magical energies. Wands each have a certain amount of charges, and a wand
  will cease to function when its charges run out. You must identify a wand
  to find out how many uses it has left. Wands are aimed in the same way as
  missile weapons, and you can invoke the power of a wand by 'z'apping it.


  Magical rings are among the most useful of the items you will find in the
  dungeon, but can also be some of the most hazardous. They transfer various
  magical abilities onto their wearer, but powerful rings like rings of
  regeneration or invisibility make you hunger very quickly when activated.
  You can put on rings with the 'P' command, and remove them by typing 'R'.
  You can wear up to two rings simultaneously, one on each hand; which hand
  you put a ring on is immaterial to its function. Some rings function
  automatically, while others require activation (the 'a' command).

  Amulets are similar to rings, but have a different range of effects (which
  tend to be more subtle). Amulets are worn around the neck, and you can
  wear only one at a time.


  There are a number of types of magical staves. Some enhance your general
  spellcasting ability, while some greatly increase the power of a certain
  class of spells (and possibly reduce your effectiveness with others).
  Some are spell staves, and hold spells which you can cast without having
  to memorise them first, and also without consuming food. You must wield a
  staff like a weapon in order to gain from its power, and magical staves
  are as effective as +0 quarterstaves in combat. Spell staves can be
  Invoked with the 'I' command while you are wielding them.


  Most books contain magical spells which your character may be able to learn.
  You can read a book with the 'r' command, which lets you access a
  description of each spell, or memorise spells from it with the 'M' command.
  Some books have other special effects, and powerful spellbooks have been
  known to punish the attentions of incompetent magicians.


  If you manage to kill a monster delicately enough to avoid scattering bits
  of it around the room, it may leave a corpse behind for you to play with.
  Despite the fact that corpses are represented by the same '%' sign as
  food, you can't eat them without first cutting them into pieces with the
  'D' command, and being extremely hungry helps as well. Even then, you
  should choose your homemade food with great care.


  These are items which don't fall into any other category. You can use many
  of them by wielding and 'I'nvoking them. You can also use some other
  special items (such as some weapons) by invoking them in this way.

Racial Items:

  Some items have been crafted by members of a gifted race, and have special
  properties. In addition, items made by a specific race work better in the
  hands of people of that race.

  Dwarven weapons and armours are very durable, and do not rust or corrode

  Orcish bows/crossbows are particularly effective in combination with orcish

  Elven armour is unusually light, and does not affect the dodging or stealth
  of its wearer to the extent that other armours do. Elven cloaks and boots
  are particularly useful to those who wish to be stealthy, and elven bows are
  particularly effective in conjunction with elven arrows.

Getting Items:

  You pick items up with the ',' (comma) command and drop them with the 'd'rop
  command. When you are given a prompt like "drop which item?" or "pick up
  ?", if you type a number before either the letter of the item, or 'y' or
  'n' for yes or no, you will drop or get that quantity of the item.

  Typing 'i' gives you an inventory of what you are carrying. When you are
  given a prompt like "Throw [or wield, wear, etc] which item?", you can type
  the letter of the item, or you can type '?' or '*' to get an inventory list.
  '?' lists all appropriate items, while '*' lists all items, appropriate or
  not. When the inventory screen is showing "-more-", to show you that there
  is another page of items, you can type the letter of the item you want
  instead of space or enter.

  You can use the adjust command (the '=' key) to change the letters to which
  your possessions are assigned. This command can be used to change spell
  letters as well.

  Some items can be stickycursed, in which case they weld themselves to your
  body when you use them. Such items usually carry some kind of disadvantage:
  a weapon or armour may be damaged or negatively enchanted, while rings can
  have all manner of unpleasant effects on you. If you are lucky, you might
  find magic which can rid you of cursed items.

  Items like scrolls, potions and some other types each have a characteristic,
  like a label or a colour, which will let you tell them apart on the basis of
  their function. However, these characteristics change between each game, so
  while in one game every potion of healing may be yellow, in another game
  they might all be purple and bubbly. Once you have discovered the function
  of such an item, you will remember it for the rest of the current game. You
  can access your item discoveries with the '\' key.

  A very useful command is the 'v' key, which gives you a description of what
  an item does. This is particularly useful when comparing different types of
  weapons, but don't expect too much information from examining unidentified


There are a number of Gods, Demons and other assorted Powers who will accept
your character's worship, and sometimes give out favours in exchange. You can
use the '^' command to check the requirements of whoever it is that you
worship, and if you find religion to be an inconvenience you can always
renounce your faith (use the 'a' command - but some Gods resent being

The 'p' command lets you pray to your God. Anything you do while praying, you
do in your God's name - this is how you dedicate your kills or corpse-
sacrifices ('D' command) to your God, for example. Praying also gives you a
sense of what your God thinks of you, and can be used to sacrifice things at

To use any powers which your God deems you fit for, access the abilities menu
with the 'a' command; God-given abilities are listed as invocations.

Some classes start out religious; others have to pray at an altar to dedicate
themselves to a life of servitude. There are altars scattered all over the
dungeon, and your character has heard rumours of a special temple somewhere
near the surface.


Although it would doubtless be a nice thing if you could remain genetically
pure, there are too many toxic wastes and mutagenic radiations in the Dungeon
for that to be possible. If your character is so affected by these that he or
she undergoes physiological change, you can use the 'A' command to see how
much of a freak they've become and the 'a' command to activate any mutations
which can be controlled.

You can also become mutated by overusing certain powerful enchantments,
particularly Haste (not the kind you get from being berserk) and Invisibility,
as your system absorbs too much magical energy - but you would have to spend
almost all of your time hasted or invisible to be affected. However, some
powerful items radiate dangerous levels of magical energy. More often than
not, the mutations caused by magical radiations express harmfully.

Any demonic powers your character may have are listed in red; these are
permanent and can never be removed. If one of your powers has been augmented
by a mutation, it is displayed in a lighter red colour.


Magical spells are a very important part of surviving in the dungeon. Every
character class can make use of magical spells, although those who enter the
dungeon without magical skills must practise by reading scrolls before they
can attempt spellcasting.

Spells are stored in books, which you will occasionally find in the dungeon.
Each spell has a Level, which denotes the amount of skill required to use it
as well as indicating how powerful it may be. You can only memorise a certain
number of levels of spells; type 'M' to find out how many. When you gain
experience levels, you can memorise more, and you will need to save up for
several levels to memorise the more powerful spells. When you cast a spell,
you temporarily expend some of your magical energy as well as becoming
hungrier (although more powerful spellcasters hunger less quickly from using

High level spells are difficult to cast, and you may miscast them every once
in a while (resulting in a waste of magic and possibly dangerous side-
effects). Your chance of failing to cast a spell properly depends on your
skills, your intelligence, the level of the spell and whether you are wearing
heavy armour. Failing to cast a spell exercises your spell skills, but not by
as much as casting it successfully.

Many of the more powerful spells carry disadvantages or risks; you should read
the spell description (obtained by reading the spellbook in which you found
the spell) before casting anything.

Be careful of magic-using enemies! Some of them can use magic just as well as
you, if not better, and often use it intelligently.

                          EXPLORING THE DUNGEON

You can make your character walk around with the numeric keypad (turn numlock
off) or the "Rogue" keys (hjklbnyu). If this is too slow, you can make your
character walk repeatedly by typing shift and a direction. They will walk in
that direction until any of a number of things happen: a hostile monster is
visible on the screen, a message is sent to the message window for any reason,
you type a key, or you are about to step on anything other than normal floor
or an undiscovered trap and it is not your first move of the long walk. Note
that this is functionally equivalent to just pressing the direction key
several times.

If you press shift and '5' on the numeric keypad (or just the number '5' on
the keyboard) you rest for 100 turns or until your hit points or magic return
to full, whichever is sooner. You can rest for just one turn by pressing '.',
delete, 's', or '5' on the keypad. Whenever you are resting, you are assumed
to be observing your surroundings, so you have a chance of detecting any traps
or secret doors adjacent to you.

The section of the viewing window which is coloured (with the '@' representing
you at the centre) is what you can see around you. The dark grey around it is
the parts of the level which you have visited, but cannot currently see. The
'x' command lets you move the cursor around to get a description of the
various dungeon features, and typing '?' when the cursor is over a monster
brings up a short description of that monster. You can get a map of the whole
level (which shows where you've already been) by typing the 'X' key. This map
specially colour-codes stairs and known traps, even if something is on top of

You can make your way between levels by using staircases, which appear as '>'
(down) and '<' (up), by pressing the '>' or '<' keys. If you ascend an up
staircase on level one, you will leave the dungeon forever; if you are
carrying the magical Orb of Zot, you win the game by doing this.

Occasionally you will find an archway; these lead to special places like
shops, magical labyrinths, and Hell. Depending on which type of archway it is,
you can enter it by typing '<' or '>'.

Doors can be opened with the 'o' command and closed with the 'c' command.
Pressing control plus a direction also opens doors. If there is no closed door
in the indicated space, you will attempt to attack any monster which may be
standing there (this is the only way to attack a friendly creature hand-to-
hand). If there is no creature there, you will attempt to disarm any trap in
the target square. If there is apparently nothing there you will still attack
it, just in case there's something invisible lurking around.

A variety of dangerous and irritating traps are hidden around the dungeon.
Traps look like normal floor until discovered. Some traps can be disarmed with
the control-direction commands

When you are in a shop, you are given a list of the shopkeeper's stock from
which to choose, and a list of instructions. Unfortunately the shopkeepers all
have an enterprise bargaining agreement with the dungeon teamsters union which
prevents them using non-union labour to obtain stock, so you can't sell
anything in a shop (but what shopkeeper would trust a scummy adventurer like
you, anyway?).

You goal is to locate the Orb of Zot, which is held somewhere deep beneath the
world's surface. The Orb is an ancient and incredibly powerful artefact, and
the legends promise great things for anyone brave enough to extract it from
the fearsome Dungeon. Some say it will grant immortality or even godhood to
the one who carries it into the sunlight; many undead creatures seek it in the
hope that it will restore them to life. But then, some people will believe
anything. Good luck!

A full list of the commands available to you can be accessed by typing '?'
(question mark). If you don't like them, they can be changed by the use of:


You can change the keys used to perform specific functions by editing the
macro.txt file (or creating a new one). The K: line indicates a key, and the
A: line assigns another key to that key's function.

You can also redefine keys in-game with the ` key, and save them with the ~

(Thanks to Juho Snellman for this patch)


In the caverns of Crawl, you will find a great variety of creatures, many of
whom would very much like to eat you. To stop them doing this, you will need
to fight. To attack a monster, stand next to it and move in its direction;
this makes you attack it with your wielded weapon. Of course, some monsters
are just too nasty to beat, and you will find that discretion is often the
better part of valour.

Some monsters can be friendly; friendly monsters will follow you around and
fight on your behalf (you gain 1/2 the normal experience points for any kills
they make). You can command your allies using the '!' key, which lets you
either shout to attract them or tell them who to attack.

                         MISCELLANEOUS STUFF

The scores file does not have to be present (as of v2.02), and is not included
in the distribution. You can unpack the zip file into your old crawl directory
and the new version will keep using the old scores file (scores files from any
version are usable by any later version).

The initfile, INIT.TXT, lets you set various options affecting the game's user
interface, like the conditions for Autopickup and a default name for your
character. You can alter it with any reputable text editor.

As of 2.60, a -c command line switch activates the alternative character set
for non-IBM graphics displays. A -nc switch activates the non-IBM char set
and, for Linux systems, disables colour.

Crawl is available for a number of different systems, including Linux, DOS,
the Mac, etc.

One strange thing you may notice about Crawl is that it does not keep your
saved games if you die. This is not a bug, it is a feature! If you could
restore your game after dying, you would probably finish the game rather
quickly and lose interest, because most of the fun in Crawl is in the
discovery of its bizarre secrets while taking risks with your characters. It
is possible to cheat by messing around with the save files, but you're only
cheating yourself out of experiencing this game as it was supposed to be
played. If you think Crawl is too difficult, tell me!

Crawl was compiled using the djgpp compiler, and comes with the files
CWSDPMI.EXE and CWSDPMI.DOC. You can contact the author of CWSDPMI.EXE at
sandmann@clio.rice.edu. Read CWSDPMI.DOC for more details.

Although version 3 of Crawl is a complete and finished game, it probably
contains a few unwanted features which crept in without me noticing (all of
the earlier versions did). So, if you find anything which you think may be a
bug, please send details of it to me, including version number, details of
your system, what you were doing (in the game) when it happened, and just what
exactly did happen. Hopefully this will never be necessary, but if it is you
can (as of 26/3/99) reach me at:

You can also discuss this game on the newsgroup rec.games.roguelike.misc.

The object of your quest in Crawl (the Orb of Zot) was taken from Wizard's
Castle, a text adventure written in BASIC.

A lot of people have been sending me feedback and bug reports, which is
extremely encouraging. I really appreciate that people have been taking the
time to play my game. Keep it up!

Read Licence.txt for information about the Crawl licence (which is practically
identical to the nethack GPL).

Source Code:
The source code for the current version of Crawl is, at the time of writing
(30/12/97) available from the Crawl web site:
Source for some earlier versions can be obtained from me, although
unfortunately I've lost most of it.


This software is provided as is, with absolutely no warranty express or
implied. Use of it is at the sole risk of the user. No liability is accepted
for any damage to the user or to any of the user's possessions.