Faded altar

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
An ancient altar, stripped of all identifying characteristics by the passage of aeons. Praying at it will convert you to an unknown god, and the altar's deity will greatly appreciate conversion at so ancient a site of worship.

Faded altar.png Praying at a faded altar allows the player to convert to one of 3 displayed gods, chosen randomly between them. You will see the 3 possible gods when inspecting the altar (< or >). If there are multiple faded altars in a game, each one will have a separate list of gods. Any god that your species can worship can be a possibility for the faded altar.

When worshipping at a faded altar, you will gain a bonus of +20 piety. Gods that don't use the usual piety system will get a special effect (see below). If you're already worshipping a god, you will convert to the new god. If you're worshipping a god, and the god from the altar is the same as the current god, then nothing happens. Your god won't become angry and your piety will stay the same.

Faded altars have a 25% to spawn on each floor, from D:1 to D:3. After use, the altar will become a normal altar of the given god.


The following gods have unique behaviors with the faded altar bonus[1]:

  • Ashenzari: The first set of curses are provided much sooner.
  • Gozag: Worshippers skip the entry fee.
  • Ru: A set of sacrifice options is immediately given upon conversion.
  • Xom: Xom finds this hilarious (and amusement is set to 200).
  • Yredelemnul: Create multiple allied derived undead.

Monks get both the bonus from a faded altar and their initial piety bonus.


Faded altars can be incredibly powerful. Not only do you get +20 piety from the faded altar, but you get all the piety from D:1, D:2, etc. By the time you reach the Temple, a faded altar worshipper can be at 2* or even 3*, which is an amazing early game boon.

Of course, some gods will be better than others. If you have 3 great gods, such as {Makhleb, Okawaru, Trog} on a Minotaur Fighter, then it's a no brainer. But there are at least a few gods that will hurt your prospects of winning. That same Minotaur won't get much benefit from Sif Muna, for instance. Most characters will suffer with Cheibriados and Xom. In these cases, its up to you if you want to take the risk.

Most gods are beneficial. Even "bad" or "suboptimal" gods will help you survive the early game when you reach 2* or 3* by the time you reach the temple. For streak play, the first few floors is considered the hardest part of DCSS. In this case, faded altars are often the optimal choice if Chei or Xom (gods that hurt the early game) aren't a possibility.


  • Prior to 0.30, faded altars would pick from every possible god that your species could worship, instead of being limited to 3 per altar. Also, faded altars had a 1/2 chance to spawn per floor (on D:1 - D:3).
  • Prior to 0.27, faded altars had a 1/6 chance to spawn per floor (on D:1 - D:3).
  • Faded altars were added in 0.17. They were called "ecumenical" altars during development.