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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Evil (also "unholy") is a label used to describe immoral deeds, objects, forces, or beings. Evil is usually contrasted with good, which describes things that are beneficial and actively make the world a better place. In Crawl, there are many sources of evil.

Note that the game does not shoehorn players into a "good" role. Your character has free will and may make use of evil items, magic, or gods as you please, or be completely indifferent to issues of good or evil altogether.

Evil beings

Undead and demonic creatures, both player and monster, are invariably evil.

The following player species are evil:

Evil beings are weak to holy damage and holy wrath. Players of an evil species cannot worship good gods or wield holy wrath weapons. Note that playing an evil species does not mean you automatically have to traffic in evil (perform evil deeds, worship an evil god, etc).

Evil deeds

Good gods will punish followers for perpetrating any of the following acts.

In addition, good gods may dislike other things, depending on the god:

Luckily, if you follow a good god, the game will prompt you before any forbidden action, asking you if you're sure you want to do that. This prevents you from accidentally violating your god's commandments (and incurring divine retribution).

Evil items

These dreaded items are related to demons, necromancy, or other sorts of evil acts. Good gods find the use of such items to be offensive and will punish followers for intentionally using them.

Evil gods

These gods are malevolent and require constant killing to gain their favour. They often rule over demonic or undead beings, as well. Good goods will severely punish worshipers who abandon them for one of these gods. Otherwise, a god being 'evil' has no extra effect.

Evil places

Otherworldly realms of evil, home to demons or the undead. Visiting these places is not an evil act in and of itself, but you are certain to encounter much evil here. Worshippers of The Shining One or Zin can expect to rapidly accumulate piety by clearing these branches.


  • Prior to 0.31, distortion weapons and the macabre finger necklace weren't evil.
  • In 0.29 and 0.30, Amulet of Vitality was considered evil.
  • Prior to 0.26, cannibalism was possible, and was considered evil.
  • Prior to 0.20, monsters with evil magic/abilities took 100% from holy damage (other non-evil creatures took 50%). Players worshipping an evil god also took this extra damage.
  • Prior to 0.19, the amulet of harm was considered evil.

Ambiguity in the Crawl notion of 'Evil'

Although the good gods in Crawl are portrayed as adhering invariably to moral absolutes, to the extent that even the unwitting use by the player's character of items tagged 'evil' is cause for divine punishment, there is a certain degree of ambiguity in the notion of evil in Stone Soup. Consider that the ordinary practice of an adventurer is to kill an entire dungeon full of living beings, many of them sapient. In other words, a player can expect, even in low-rune runs, to perform actions constitutive of genocide. Devotion to one of the good gods hardly alters this. It would not be unusual for a favored worshipper of The Shining One, for example, an ostensibly “good” god who frowns on indiscriminate slaughter, to nevertheless kill all of the elves, orcs and nagas in the entire dungeon.

It is unclear what if anything the various societies of dungeon denizens, who, judging by the absence of intra-monster violence within the dungeon, are wholly peaceful, have done to deserve this horrific retribution. On the face of it, the adventurer is simply seeking the Orb. Since “evil”-aligned adventurers act in essentially the same way that “good” ones do in pursuit of this goal, it is unlikely that the finding of this orb is a sufficiently good act in itself to justify the avalanche of butchery.

In the final analysis, it seems that Crawl is the story of a peaceful, multi-cultural and multi-species society falling victim to a single adventurer's avarice and quest for glory. By the time the worshiper of Zin has waded through the rivers of blood he must spill in order to claim the Orb, it is more than a little difficult to distinguish him from a devotee of Makhleb.

Against the background of the game's overarching narrative, namely murder, genocide and theft on an industrial scale introduced to utopia, the Necromantic spell “Borgnjor's Revivification”, a spell anathematised as “evil” by the “good” gods, hardly compares.