The Dungeon

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
It is still a mystery how this bizarre place was created. Some claim that it is the playground of bored gods, whereas others maintain that it was shaped by all kinds of species who fled the overworld and shunned the light. No matter what its origin, this deep cavern is filled with riches unheard of as well as with ample dangers to any intruder. Few have escaped alive, and even fewer have kept some sliver of sanity sufficient to tell the tale.

The dungeon is 15 levels deep, but, honestly, this is only the beginning.

Dungeon exit.pngThe Dungeon is the main setting of Dungeon Crawl. The first area you arrive in upon creating a new character, it is 15 floors deep, not counting its many branches. The final floor contains an entrance to the Depths, where portals to more dangerous branches are found, including the Realm of Zot.


The Dungeon consists of 15 randomly generated floors filled with rooms, corridors, doors, and vaults. Most walls are made of rock, but sometimes from other materials such as stone, metal, or green crystal. You can travel between floors using stairs and (not always intentionally) shafts.

Like most areas in the game, each floor has three stairs leading up and three stairs leading down; sometimes you'll also encounter hatches, which are one-way staircases. Save those for emergencies, and never use them to enter a new floor if you can take the stairs, as you will be unable to flee back up them if you encounter trouble right away.

Going upstairs on Dungeon:1 will return you to the overworld and end the game, whether you have the Orb of Zot or not. Although your character did not die, they have retired all the same, and you will have to create another.

Unlike certain other roguelikes, floors in Crawl are permanent, once generated. They do not change if you leave, then return.


i Agnes.png Agnes 6 Amaemon.png Amaemon R Azrael.png Azrael o Blork the orc.png Blork the orc
g Crazy Yiuf.png Crazy Yiuf e Dowan.png Dowan e Duvessa.png Duvessa @ Edmund.png Edmund
x Erica.png Erica O Erolcha.png Erolcha @ Eustachio.png Eustachio e Fannar.png Fannar
@ Frances.png Frances w Gastronok.png Gastronok 5 Grinder.png Grinder g Grum.png Grum
@ Harold.png Harold g Ijyb.png Ijyb @ Jessica.png Jessica g Jorgrun.png Jorgrun
@ Joseph.png Joseph @ Josephine.png Josephine @ Kirke.png Kirke O Lodul.png Lodul
@ Louise.png Louise @ Maggie.png Maggie f Maurice.png Maurice M Menkaure.png Menkaure
h Natasha.png Natasha o Nergalle.png Nergalle c Nessos.png Nessos K Pikel.png Pikel
F Prince Ribbit.png Prince Ribbit @ Psyche.png Psyche T Pargi.png Pargi g Robin.png Robin
8 Roxanne.png Roxanne @ Rupert.png Rupert @ Sigmund.png Sigmund T Snorg.png Snorg
K Sonja.png Sonja @ Terence.png Terence o Urug.png Urug


If you're trying to win each and every game, the first few floors of Dungeon are the hardest part of Crawl. While the monsters may be weaker, you won't have as many potions or scrolls to bail you out of a bad situation. If you meet an out-of-depth monster, you have only a few options.

The Depths are a sudden difficulty spike from D:15 - unless you're looking for a challenge, you shouldn't enter right away. Instead, explore other dungeon branches first.

Branch Order

The main Dungeon goes down to 15 floors, where each floor increases in monster strength. If a floor gets too difficult, you can enter a new dungeon branch. You'll need to enter a branch eventually, to get their runes of Zot (3 of which are required to win the game).

The recommended branch order can vary based on character, item selection, and player preference. A rough outline is as follows:

  1. Dungeon: 1-9 or 1-10
  2. The Lair: 1-5
  3. Dungeon: 11-12
  4. Orcish Mines: 1-2
  5. Dungeon: 13-15
  6. Other branches.

For more detailed branch order advice, check out the Walkthrough.

Malevolent Force

Experienced players may want to skip D:10 until after completing part/all of Lair. This is because, when entering D:10 or any branch of the Dungeon, the chance of malevolent force increases:

Branch Malevolent Force %
D:1-9 1/9
D:10-15 2/9
Lair 2/9
Orcish Mines 2/9
Other branches 2/9 - 4/9
(Depending on depth)

While D:10-15 and Lair have the same chance of a malevolent force effect, a shaft in the Dungeon is worse than a shaft in the Lair. First, going from D:10 -> D:13 is a greater difficulty spike, on average, than Lair:1 -> Lair:4. Second, the possible out-of-depths are worse in Dungeon. The worst case out-of-depth in Dungeon are the likes of sphinxes and storm dragons in a vault, which are much harder than the hydras and skysharks you'd find in Lair.

That being said, if you feel that your character isn't strong enough to handle the 'common' enemies in Lair, you'll probably want to do D:10-11 first, even when considering the malevolent force increase. Being able to deal with common enemies is much more important than the rare chance of a malevolent force happening.


  • In 0.27, the Dungeon's monster distribution was changed; many "chaff" monsters were removed, making floors generally harder.
  • Prior to 0.14, the Dungeon was 27 floors deep, with the Realm of Zot located on D:27. The Depths were introduced to help better control the amount of experience a player acquires throughout the game, and to help force the player to explore side-branches earlier in the game.
Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal