Corpses are the deceased remains of monsters, and may be left behind (50% chance, or 100% in certain vaults) when you kill them. Like skeletons, these items cannot be picked up. Once created, they eventually decompose, becoming a skeleton, which then rots away even later. Corpses have a variety of uses, depending on your species, religion, and set of spells.
- Corpses can be butchered (command c) into edible chunks of raw flesh. This process takes 2 turns, during which time enemies may attack you, though you'll be asked if you want to stop butchering when an enemy is spotted. Any butchering progress you made toward the 2 turns before your cancellation will remain. Characters do not need any specialized equipment for this, as they are assumed to carry a boot knife for this purpose.
- Instead of creating chunks when pressing c, player Vampires extract potions of blood to quaff later. They can also "eat" (that is, drain) corpses without needing to butcher them first, though this takes time and can be interrupted.
- Butchered (or drained) corpses leave behind skeletons, if the creature had a skeleton.
- In addition to a corpse, slain dragons may also leave behind scales (66% chance), which can be worn as powerful body armour. Similarly, killing trolls may leave behind (66% chance) troll leather armour.
- Corpses and skeletons can be reanimated into undead servants through Necromancy or the invocations of Yredelemnul. Various other necromantic spells also use corpses as raw material, such as Corpse Rot or Simulacrum. Notably, the spell Animate Skeleton not only works on whole corpses (if they're a species with a skeleton), but leaves the meat behind.
- Fedhas Madash appreciates it when corpses are left to naturally rot away. Followers may use their Fungal Bloom ability to sprout toadstools from all corpses in their line of sight (leaving behind skeletons), which grants piety for "contributing to the ecosystem". Advanced Fedhas worshipers can upgrade these toadstools into useful servants. They may also use the corpses to create giant spores.
Unlike treasure, corpses are never generated randomly on the Dungeon floor. Thus, finding a corpse that you didn't kill may indicate the presence of a trap or certain vaults. The corpse of any unique monster you kill will retain the name, though butchering it will only create generic chunks.
Types of Meat
Butchery is the most common use for corpses, but not all creatures are equally edible to every species. For example, trolls and kobolds enjoy meat enough that they can eat raw flesh until they're completely stuffed, while spriggans can't consume flesh at all. Many monsters do not leave corpses at all, and of those that do, not every creature has clean meat.
The "Meat" rating on a monster's page indicates what kind of corpse it leaves:
- No Corpse: The monster leaves no corpse (e.g., giant spores, zombies, summoned beings)
- Clean: These chunks can be eaten without risk (e.g., most animals)
- Inedible: These chunks are too toxic for most species to digest and can only be eaten by ghouls.
Luckily, a corpse's (or chunk's) description will always describe what type of meat it is. Furthermore, they are color coded as described on the Food page.
- Prior to 0.23, butchering a corpse did not always leave a skeleton.
- Prior to 0.21, there were mutagenic chunks, which would cause random mutations. These came from the corpses of mutants and other shapeshifting monsters, such as sky beasts, ugly things, and glowing orange brains.
- Prior to 0.19, butchering dragon or troll corpses sometimes left behind hides, which could then be turned into proper armour with a scroll of enchant armor.
- Prior to 0.17, players who worshiped Lugonu or Trog could earn piety by pressing p over a corpse to sacrifice it to their god. There were also poisonous chunks, which could only be eaten by those with poison resistance, and rot-inducing, which could only be eaten by ghouls.
- Prior to 0.16, corpses would become rotten after some time had passed, but before they decayed into skeletons. These corpses would only produce rotten chunks, suitable only for saprovores and ghouls.
- Prior to 0.15, players were able to pick up and transport corpses. In addition, players in Wisp Form or Fungus Form could not butcher corpses. Also, contaminated and contaminated + poisonous corpses existed; these were somewhat edible, but provided less nutrition than clean chunks. See below for further contaminated chunk details.
- Prior to 0.14, players could not butcher corpses while in Spider Form, Pig Form, or Porcupine Form.
- Prior to 0.13, eating contaminated chunks could cause nausea or sickness in non-ghouls; the Saprovore mutation reduced the risk of this.
- Prior to 0.12, the player character was unable to butcher corpses while wielding cursed blunt weapons. Corpses also sprouted toadstools even when the player was not a worshiper of Fedhas.
- The presumed boot knife for butchering was added in 0.9. In earlier versions, you needed to carry an edged weapon to butcher.
- Contaminated+Poisonous corpses were added in 0.8.