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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Dungeon Crawl is a turn-based game. Every action your character takes progresses the turn counter forward by one, and the game is paused between each of your actions. However, you can quickly observe that character and monster behavior can't simply be measured in raw turns.

Every character action has an associated delay, measured in aut (arbitrary units of time). Your delay determines how much time passes during a given turn for monsters to take their own actions. Monsters that do not act during a turn are still accumulating time for their next action.

The standard time required for a single turn is 10 auts, or one decaAut. The time that actions actually take is dependent on what type of action, but other factors like haste, slow, or weapon skill may change them. Most species and monsters move at 1 decaAut, and it is the normal time it takes to consume an item. Keep in mind that some monsters are significantly faster (or slower) than this speed.

The player will always have their full turn before monsters have their turn. For example, if it takes 2.0 decaAut to swing a weapon, then you spend the full 2.0 turns first, and then monsters have the full 2.0 decaAut to retaliate. (If you kill a monster with your weapon swing, then that monster will have 0 aut, since they died)

"Delay" vs "Speed"

"Delay" is the time taken per action; higher numbers are slower. "Speed", which is used for monster stats, is a measure of time; higher numbers are faster. For example, a 10 speed monster takes 1 decaAut to move, but a 5 speed monster takes 10/5 = 2 decaAut, while a 20 speed monster takes 10/20 = 0.5 decaAut to move.

The game doesn't track time past single aut. Monsters with a decimal delay will be rounded up or down in a weighted fashion. A monster with a calculated 0.54 decaAut (5.4 aut) delay has a 40% chance to take 5 aut and a 60% chance to take 6 aut for their action. The same rounding applies to any other non-granular delay, such as your own weapon speed.


  • Prior to 0.29, all hostile monsters were subject to energy randomisation. If they were moving, they had a 33% to gain and 33% to lose 1 aut of time.