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Version 0.30: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Corpses are the deceased remains of monsters, and may be left behind (50% chance[1], or 100% in certain vaults) when you kill them. They are not randomly generated on the floor. Like skeletons, these items cannot be picked up. Corpses will eventually decompose into skeletons, which will decompose themselves into nothing. The corpse of any unique monster you kill will retain its name.

Corpses are mostly cosmetic, but are still used for a few mechanics in the game.


  • Followers of Beogh can resurrect their allies only if they leave a corpse.
  • Cigotuvi's embrace converts corpses into an AC bonus.

Death Drops

Certain enemies may drop items if they leave behind a corpse, first. Effects like Gozag's gold touch and Yredelemnul's reaping will prevent corpses and their drops from appearing at all. Note that all displayed chances are effectively halved due to requiring a corpse in the first place.

These monsters will still drop items, even if their body has otherwise exploded (such as from a wand of mindburst).

Corpse Destroying Effects

While most effects are no longer tied to corpses directly, some require that the corpse isn't "destroyed". The following effects conflict with each other, in order of highest priority to lowest:[4]

1. The monster spell, Bind Souls, takes priority over all player effects. Gozag prevents this effect from happening, however.
2. The Infestation spell takes priority over all other player effects, even those granted by gods.
3. Gozag's gold touch. Gozag turns flesh into gold, preventing the corpse from being used.
4. Kills from a wand of mindburst, orb of destruction, and deaths during Inner Flame will cause monsters to explode, leaving gory bits and an unusable corpse. Followers of Gozag spray gold all over the place. Does not prevent any form of death drop.
5. Yredelemnul's zombie reaping. If the corpse is intact, a zombie is made. If the corpse was destroyed, or the monster couldn't drop a corpse, a spectral thing is made instead.
6. Other Necromancy effects, in the following order:
7. There's a 50% chance for a corpse item to be created on the floor, creating death drops if a monster can leave one.
8. Cigotuvi's embrace absorbs corpses on the floor, increasing the armour's AC bonus.

These do not rely on the corpse itself dropping. Effects like Infestation and Gozag's gold touch will work on monsters that won't ever leave a corpse.


  • Prior to 0.29, corpses could be used for Necromancy.
  • Prior to 0.26, you could but'c'her corpses for food. See below for more details.
  • Prior to 0.24, vampires could either immediately "eat" corpses, draining the blood out of them, or "butcher" them, bottling their blood to save for later.
  • Prior to 0.24, Fedhas Madash appreciated allowing corpses to decay and allowed its followers to grow toadstools and ballistomycete spores from them.
  • Prior to 0.17, followers of Lugonu or Trog could sacrifice corpses for piety by praying over a fresh corpse..
  • Prior to 0.16, corpses would become rotten after some time had passed, but before they decayed into skeletons. Also, followers of Okawaru or Makhleb could sacrifice corpses for piety.
  • Prior to 0.15, players were able to pick up and transport corpses. Also, contaminated and contaminated + poisonous corpses existed.
  • Prior to 0.12, corpses also sprouted toadstools even when the player was not a worshiper of Fedhas.
  • In 0.8, contaminated + poisonous corpses were added.


  • Prior to 0.23, butchering a corpse did not always leave a skeleton.
  • 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 armour.
  • Prior to 0.16, butchering took 4 turns instead of 1.
  • Prior to 0.15, players in Wisp Form or Fungus Form could not butcher corpses.
  • Prior to 0.14, players could not butcher corpses while in Spider Form, Pig Form, or Porcupine Form.
  • Prior to 0.12, the player character was unable to butcher corpses while wielding cursed blunt weapons.
  • Prior to 0.9, you needed to carry an edged weapon to butcher.