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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

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 5 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 5 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. You will only be unable to butcher a corpse when in Fungus Form or Wisp Form.
    • Vampires can instead "eat" (that is, drain) corpses without needing to butcher them first.
    • Butchered (or drained) corpses may leave behind skeletons.
    • Butchering the corpses of trolls and dragons may also leave behind hides (66% chance), which can be enchanted into powerful body 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. Notably, the spell Animate Skeleton not only works on whole corpses (if they're a species with a skeleton), but leaves the meat behind.
  • You can sacrifice corpses to Lugonu or Trog for piety by standing over them and praying (command p). Sacrificed corpses are annihilated, leaving nothing for other purposes.
  • Followers of Fedhas Madash may pray 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. Butchering it will only create generic chunks, but any hides produced will retain the name of the unique. These named hides will not have any special powers, however.

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. Furthermore, not all monsters leave clean meat. Some produce chunks that are poisonous, mutagenic, or so vile that they are only fit for ghouls.

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)
  • Poisonous: These chunks cannot be eaten without poison resistance (e.g., kobolds, many insects)
  • Rot-inducing (formerly "HCL/Hydrochloric acid"): These chunks can only be eaten by ghouls.
  • Mutagenic: These chunks will cause random mutations (or bad mutations if the corpse/chunks are rotten) (e.g., ugly things, giant orange brains)

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 0.16, 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. 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.

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.