Faded altar

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Version 0.28: 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 a randomly selected god with a bonus +20 piety. Faded altars are also generated very early on: for a given game, there is a 50% chance of one spawning between D:1 and D:3. There is no way to know which god the altar will select for you, but it will be one your character is normally eligible to worship. After use, the altar will become a normal altar of the given god.

If you already worship a god, using a faded altar will most likely result in you angering your former god when you convert. However, the conversion allowances offered by the good gods still apply as normal, and it is possible (though unlikely) that the randomly selected god will be the one you currently worship, in which case the only effect of your actions is the immediate gain of 20 piety.

Special

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.

Strategy

If you want a good chance of winning your game, praying at a faded altar is nearly always a bad idea. For any given character, there are usually two or three gods that will make life very difficult. A caster will not do well worshipping Trog, a Spriggan would suffer from Cheibriados, and almost any character does not like Xom.

However, if you're playing for fun and not too worried about the possibility of dying or being severely inconvenienced, faded altars can provide you with an early power boost or at least create a very interesting situation to deal with. The inital piety boost also gives species/backgrounds with a tough early game some leverage; and most gods remain beneficial to a player.

History

  • In 0.27, faded altars were made much more common on D:1-3.
  • Faded altars were added in 0.17. They were called "ecumenical" altars during development.

References