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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Necromutation.png Necromutation
Level 8
School1 Necromancy
School2 Transmutation
Source(s) Necronomicon
Casting noise 6
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 200
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Chaotic, Helpful
Transforms the caster into a lich — a powerful skeletal figure. The caster becomes stronger-willed, more resistant to cold and completely immune to poison, miasma, negative energy, and torment for the duration of the spell. The caster's necromancy spells are increased in power, and they gain a draining melee attack. The caster also gains some of the more dubious benefits of having an undead body, such as a vulnerability to holy damage and Dispel Undead, and an inability to consume potions.

Necromutation is a level 8 Transmutations/Necromancy spell which transforms the caster into a lich. This state is often referred to by Crawl players as lichform. A higher spell power boosts the duration of the spell.

Under the effects of Necromutation, the caster becomes undead, gaining the following:




Having this spell is a game-changer in late-game areas rife with effects that do not affect the undead, such as torment, negative energy, and mutations. The Hells, Pandemonium, and the Tomb in particular are good places to be a lich. Unlike naturally undead species, you can also go back to the world of the living to deal with foes that use Dispel Undead.

If your power with Necromutation is somewhat marginal, recasting it before it has expired is preferable, since the spell will take advantage of its own Necromancy enhancer and last longer. Casting it at a low success rate is usually a bad idea however, as the miscast effects from Transmutations and Necromancy are both fairly nasty, including heavy negative energy damage or large amounts of magic contamination.

While lich form boosts Necromancy, being undead restricts the use of many useful Necromancy spells. Sublimation of Blood, Borgnjor's Revivification, and Death's Door are uncastable in lich form, so watch your MP and take care when facing powerful enemies. Additionally, confusion is extremely dangerous: the regular cure, quaffing a potion of curing, is not available, and leaving lich form is impossible while confused. This makes a source of clarity invaluable for would-be liches.

Being in lich form makes you vulnerable to the devastating effects of Dispel Undead: see that article for a list of opponents to watch out for. A useful side effect of being in lich form is immunity to mutation: should you have dangerously high magic contamination or be staring down a shining eye, casting Necromutation is a useful way to avoid malmutations.

Finally, note that casting this spell while worshiping a good god will cause you to be immediately excommunicated.


Users of this spell may want to add this to their rcfile:

runrest_ignore_message -= transformation is almost over\.

This will stop autotravel if the spell is nearly over and allow you to recast it before it runs out.

Humanoid Palentonga Naga Djinni Octopode Felid
Lichform.png Lichform palentonga.png Lichform naga.png Lichform djinni.png Lichform octopode.png Lichform felid.png


  • Prior to 0.26, lichform stopped your hunger clock.
  • Prior to 0.24, Fedhas strongly disliked the use of this spell (penance).
  • Prior to 0.13, the caster also received +3 strength and a bonus to stealth.
Transmutations Beastly AppendageBlade Hands
Spider FormIce FormStatue FormDragon FormStorm FormLich Form
Bad Forms Bat FormFungus FormPig FormTree FormWisp Form
Divine Shadow Form