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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Delvers have, through some mishap, found themselves several floors below the surface of the dungeon. They're equipped with a wide variety of magical escape tools, and are well advised to use them to travel to earlier dungeon floors as quickly as possible.

Preferred Species

Gnoll, Felid, Spriggan, Kobold, and Vampire are the recommended species if you pick a Delver Background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Delvers start on Floor 5 of the Dungeon, always on top of a downstair.

While in the Dungeon proper, Delvers cannot be shafted by the malevolent force. (This is because they are already considered "shafted", and you can only be hit with 1 shaft effect per dungeon branch).

Starting Skills and Stats

Adjusted for your species' aptitudes:

Choosing Delver adds 4 to your starting Strength, 2 to your starting Intelligence, and 6 to your starting Dexterity.


Delvers are bound to luck; a stray orc priest or centaur noticing you can end your game instantly. Thankfully, you start with high Stealth to (hopefully) avoid said encounters; playing as a naturally stealthy species like a Spriggan or Gnoll boosts Stealth even higher. Use your starting equipment wisely:

  • A scroll of fear can scare away just about any living monster in sight reliably.
  • A scroll of fog blocks line of sight, preventing ranged monsters from attacking you until they are in sight again.
  • A scroll of revelation can let you scout a floor for escape routes or potentially dangerous vaults.
  • A potion of haste gives you the speed to run away from foes, including fast ones like adders. Haste also gives you a noticeable combat boost.
  • The wand of digging can help in getting to a stair safely, most useful in conjunction with magic mapping.

Attempting stabs on dangerous monsters is as likely to go poor as it is to provide a massive starting advantage. Trying to skewer a water moccasin may rocket you to level 4 instantly, or oneshot you. If playing for consistency, it is preferable to use upstairs whenever possible, and arrive in D:1 taking out "safe" monsters.

One strategy, albeit unreliable, is to use your magic mapping in order to find an altar or the Temple early. This may be considered start scumming, but gives you a competent god as soon as D:1. For example, the former lowest turncount game used Delver in order to enter the Temple on turn 21.


  • Prior to 0.30, Delvers did not have any special immunity to shafts.
  • Delvers were added in 0.26.
Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterBrigand
Zealots BerserkerChaos KnightCinder Acolyte
Warrior-mages WarperHexslingerEnchanterReaver
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistAlchemist
Adventurers ArtificerShapeshifterWandererDelver