Comestibles and satiation
Comestible items are, as the name says, items that you can eat. They are very important, as almost all species need to eat, or they will grow hungry and eventually die of starvation. Luckily, there are many sources of nutrition in the Dungeon for the resourceful adventurer.
Hunger and food in Dungeon Crawl are rarely significant issues but, if ignored, can be fatal. Characters start with a satiated stomach, but grow steadily hungrier over time. Some races require less food than others, but characters also use more food when fighting and/or casting spells.
Types of Food
Food is provided in two main forms: temporary chunks of raw flesh that rot over time, and "permafood" in the form of rations that does not rot.
Chunks of flesh
Chunks are edible pieces of meat, carved from freshly slain corpses using the butcher (c) command. The number of chunks that a corpse provides is somewhat random, but larger monsters generally provide more chunks. Most species can eat chunks only when hungry, though carnivorous species can always eat chunks and get more satiation from doing so. Some species cannot eat meat at all (spriggans, which are completely herbivorous, vampires, which subsist solely on blood, and mummies, which are completely incapable of eating). Butchering a corpse or bottling its blood always takes one turn (10 auts).
You will most commonly encounter edible meat, which has no ill effects. Some creatures will instead produce inedible meat. For spriggans and vampires, all chunks will appear inedible, whereas for ghouls, all chunks will appear edible. Regardless of type, chunks of meat will rot away completely about 200 turns after its source corpse was slain. Each individual chunk has its own freshness and will rot away at its own interval, regardless if they are stacked together into one inventory slot.
Being a carnivore, troll, or wearing an amulet of the gourmand will allow you to eat chunks even when not hungry and gain more nutrition from them (though the amulet takes some time for its effects to kick in after you put it on). Ghouls, felids, and kobolds are all carnivorous, making these species easier for players who are having trouble keeping other species well-fed. Trolls, meanwhile, start with the gourmand trait as an intrinsic. Spriggans, being herbivorous, gain no benefit from the amulet, nor do Vampires, who cannot eat food at all. The ability to easily stuff yourself to Very Full or Engorged levels of satiation allows you to ignore the hunger costs of berserking, spell hunger, and god abilities to a greater degree.
|Clean||Most monsters.||No harmful side effects. Your satiation increases by 1,000, more for a carnivore. They cannot be eaten by herbivores. Ghouls will be healed (1d5 − 1) + 1d(experience level) damage and restore 1 point of rotted HP.|
|Inedible||Poisonous or otherwise toxic monsters, unnatural monsters, and ghoul-type undead.||Non-ghoul races cannot eat them, but ghouls get the effect of a regular chunk.|
All of the "good gods" (Zin, The Shining One, Elyvilon) and Beogh forbid followers from eating the meat of their own species (cannibalism). In addition, Zin forbids followers from eating monsters with "human" intelligence. The game will not allow the player to butcher any forbidden corpses.
Worshippers of Fedhas Madash aren't formally limited in their diet, but since its abilities use rations, it is advisable to eat chunks as much as possible. Piety with Fedhas comes from allowing corpses to decay, so it may be prudent to limit the number of corpses you use for food (butcher large corpses instead of smaller ones).
Similarly, Gozag Ym Sagoz imposes no formal restrictions, but since it turns all corpses into gold, followers will not be able harvest chunks and must instead rely on permafood. Gozag does provide food shops which the player will likely have to call on throughout the game to ensure they do not starve.
Permafood refers to rations which are found throughout the dungeon. They never rot like chunks do, and as such can be collected and stored for future need.
Worshipers of Fedhas Madash use rations to power some of the god's special abilities.
Nutritional values of food items
Note that rations are less nutritious for both herbivores and carnivores. All food takes 1 turn to eat.
|Chunk of flesh||1,000||1,300||0|
Your satiation level is determined by the number of nutrition units you have remaining. Most characters will use at least three food points per turn—more if fighting. Using spells can incur spell hunger, which can only be reduced by the player's Intelligence and Spellcasting ability. Many special abilities also use up nutrition.
|Fainting||0 - 500|
|Starving||501 - 1,000|
|Near starving||1,001 – 1,533|
|Very hungry||1,534 – 2,066|
|Hungry||2,067 – 2,600|
|Satiated (nothing displayed)||2,601 – 7,000|
|Full||7,001 – 9,000|
|Very full||9,001 – 11,000|
|Engorged||11,001 – 12,000 (max.)|
Effects of satiation
- If you are at level "Satiated" or more, most characters get no special bonus or penalty, although at level "Engorged", you cannot eat anything (with no other special penalties).
- You cannot wield a vampiric weapon unless you are at least "Full".
- At level "Hungry" or lower, non-carnivores are allowed to eat chunks.
- At "Very Hungry", you cannot go berserk.
- At "Starving", you suffer a −3 penalty to hit when fighting, and the damage you inflict is reduced by (1d5 − 1). You cannot cast spells or use most abilities.
- If you are under 500 points of satiation ("Fainting"), there is 1/40 chance that you will lose consciousness for 1d8 + 5 turns. If you fall to 0 points, your character will die of starvation.
Undead characters are handled specially:
- Mummies and players under the Necromutation spell do not have a hunger clock and are not susceptible to the effects of hunger, nor can they consume food.
- Vampires have a unique hunger system based on the amount of blood that they have consumed, which will have different effects on the player. They cannot starve to death, but they will lose the ability to regenerate health at the "Bloodless" level of hunger, among other effects (see the Vampire page for more details). Their Bat Form ability cannot be used if they are Full or higher (be careful while drinking blood over deep water or lava!).
- Ghouls cannot become Full no matter how much they eat; any food points accumulated above 6,999 are wasted. They cannot starve to death, but when Hungry or worse, they will rot much faster. Ghouls are still susceptible to spell hunger, but unlike other species, they can cast spells while starving. Eating chunks both repairs rot and restores some HP; rations do not provide these benefits, but help stave off rot from being hungry.
- Any undead character may wield a vampiric weapon at any time.
Other sources of satiation
- Jiyva has a piety-dependent chance to give the player some nutrition whenever a slime eats an item, starting at **.
Each turn, the player uses a certain amount of food. This is calculated as follows:
Base hunger: 3
This is modified as follows:
- Slow Metabolism −1 for level 1, −2 for level 2
- Fast Metabolism +1 per level
- Troll +3 (on top of their Fast Metabolism 3)
If you are currently:
- Under the effects of the Regeneration spell +4
- Invisible +5
- Hasted (but not berserk) +5
- Worshiping Cheibriados with at least 30 points of piety: Halved
After all things are considered, minimum hunger is still 1.
Base hunger rates by race
The "basic" hunger rate (taking account of racial factors and in-built mutations) that one can expect when playing a given race is listed below:
|Felids and Nagas||2|
The hunger rate of Vampires depends on their hunger status:
|Bloodless, Near bloodless, Very Thirsty||1|
Other sources of hunger
Normal food consumption isn't the only way to decrease satiation: fighting, abilities, and spells eat up sustenance, as well.
- Making a regular melee attack makes you consume an additional 3 points of satiation.
- Ending a berserk phase decreases your satiation level by 700 (be careful!).
- Vampires who are unable to berserk (because they're at Satiated or less), but drink a potion of berserk rage, will lose 100 satiation right away.
- Wielding a vampiric weapon takes a huge amount of satiation, perhaps 5,000 points. It is only possible to equip one when Full or higher. Undead characters are immune to this effect.
- Taking damage from a hungry ghost has a 50% chance of decreasing your satiation by 1/4; if it hits you but does no damage, it still has a 5% chance of decreasing your satiation by 1/4.
- Spell Hunger
- Casting a spell reduces your satiation level by an amount depending on the spell level, your Intelligence, and your Spellcasting skill. This can be eliminated by wielding a staff of energy, being in lichform, or playing a Mummy or bloodless Vampire. See Spell Hunger for more details.
- Divine abilities
- Many invocable abilities cost satiation in addition to other costs such as piety or MP. These costs can all be found on the various gods' pages.
- Natural abilities
- Several intrinsic abilities have a food cost. This cost is random in the following range, with a bias toward average value:
Ability Cost Blink 51 – 100 Draconian breath weapons 126 – 250 Channeling 31 – 60 Fly 101 – 200 Hurl Damnation 201 – 400 Invisibility 251 – 500 Spit Poison 41 – 80
- Evoking an ability from an item has the same satiation cost as if it was your own ability.
- Drawing the 'Famine' card from the Deck of punishments (only possible when under penance with Nemelex Xobeh) sets your satiation level to 500 (Starving).
Tips & Tricks
- Chunks are the main food source of most characters. Ghastly as it may be, taking advantage of them will allow you to stretch out your permafood and avoid starvation more easily.
- Certain spells and effects can directly generate chunks without wasting turns butchering. Most useful is Animate Skeleton, which is very easy to cast and leaves chunks from any zombifiable monster with a skeleton, i.e. most living, corpse-leaving monsters other than insects. Other effects that can leave chunks include the beam from a wand of disintegration, the high-level Conjurations spell Orb of Destruction, and the aftereffects of Inner Flame.
- Prior to 0.21, different types of permafood existed. There were meat rations, bread rations, royal jellies, and fruit in order of satiation given. Meat rations were not edible for herbivores, and fruit and bread rations were not edible for carnivores. Also mutagenic chunks would be dropped by some unclean enemies (such as ugly things), and would grant 0-1 random mutations when eaten.
- Prior to 0.20, you could find beef jerky and pizza.
- Prior to 0.19, you could draw the Feast card from the deck of oddities, instantly setting your satiation to "Engorged".
- Prior to 0.18, the amulet of regeneration and troll leather armour increased your metabolism.
- Prior to 0.17, Zin's Vitalisation ability would give you small amounts of nutrition (but never past Full). Also there were poisonous chunks, which you could eat if you were resistant to poison, and putrefying chunks. They have been all merged into 'inedible chunks'.
- Prior to 0.16, chunks would turn into rotten chunks before rotting away completely. Potions of coagulated blood were also removed.
- Prior to 0.15, some monsters would produce contaminated chunks, which provided less nutrition than clean chunks. This version condensed fruits and vegetables into the universal "fruit" item, and several other food items were removed (ambrosia, honeycomb, cheese, sausage, and sultanas). Royal jellies also had their potion of restore abilities effect removed.
- Prior to 0.13, contaminated chunks occasionally caused nausea and offered less satiation.
- Prior to 0.12, cursed blunt weapons or blunt weapons of distortion would prevent players from butchering corpses. Players could get around this with certain spells or mutations.
- Prior to 0.9, characters did not have an emergency knife for butchering corpses and were required to carry an edged weapon for that purpose.
- Prior to 0.6 turn hunger was not proportional to you.time_taken.