Magic contamination is a dangerous condition caused by miscasts and some magical effects.
Various activities cause harmful magical energies to accumulate in your body. A small amount of magical contamination (a dark or light grey "Contam" status) is mostly harmless, and will dissipate over time without any further effect. Larger amounts of accumulated magic contamination (a yellow, red, or dark red "Contam" status) will make you start to glow with magical contamination.
Any amount of contamination can cause ugly things adjacent to you change their colour.
|>0||Light grey||You are very lightly contaminated with residual magic.|
|3.5||Dark grey||You are lightly contaminated with residual magic.|
|5||Yellow||You are contaminated with residual magic.|
|15||Light Red||You are heavily infused with residual magic.|
|25||Red||You are practically glowing with residual magic!|
|40||Red||Your entire body has taken on an eerie glow!|
|60||Red||You are engulfed in a nimbus of crackling magics!|
- Zapped by wand: 0.75 to 1.25
- Extending haste: 0.75 to 1.25
- While active: 0.03 per turn (no dissipation)
Haste like effect from berserk does not cause contamination.
- Disjunction: 0.75 to 1.25 per cast
- Controlled Blink: 0.75 to 1.25 per cast
- Irradiate: 1 to 1.5 per cast
- Every miscast: Amount depends on severity etc.
- Charms, Hexes or Translocation level 3 miscast (1 in 4 chance): 3d18 / 3 - 1
- Transmutation level 2 miscast (1 in 5 chance): 3d18 / 3 - 1
- Transmutation level 3 miscast (1 in 3 chance): 3d34 / 3 - 1
- Scroll of blinking: 0.75 to 1.25 
- Removing an artefact with *Contam: 7
- Mutagenic fog: 1.3 to 2.55
- Zot trap: 2 to 15 (one of many possible outcomes)
- Jiyva penance: 0 to 0.5 * penance (one of many possible outcomes)
- Wearing Maxwell's Etheric Cage doubles all contamination effects
One likely bad mutation (about 95% chance) is gained that bypasses mutation resistance. If contamination is higher than 10, there is also a damaging explosion. The damage is 3d(contamination / 2), and doubled for the non-living. Explosion size also increases with the contamination level. After the negative effects contamination is reduced by 1 to 1 + (contamination / 4).
Tips & Tricks
- Prior to 0.26, magic contamination decayed much slower: -0.025 per turn instead of -0.075. Also, reading a scroll of blinking contaminated the player.
- Prior to 0.20, drinking a potion of haste contaminated the player.
- Prior to 0.19, the light grey contamination level didn't exist.
- Prior to 0.10, this effect was simply called glow, a term which ambiguously referred either to magic contamination, or to the relatively harmless glow from Sticky Flame or Corona.
- player.cc:4142 (0.19.0)
- status.cc:733 (0.19.0)
- player.cc:4178 (0.19.0)
- ability.cc:2040 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:718 (0.19.0)
- beam.cc:3547 (0.19.0)
- player.cc:4767 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:721 (0.19.0)
- spl-transloc.cc:71 (0.19.0)
- spl-transloc.cc:315 (0.19.0)
- spl-damage.cc:1508 (0.19.0)
- spl-cast.cc:1532 (0.19.0)
- spl-miscast.cc:2124 (0.19.0)
- spl-miscast.cc:2143 (0.19.0)
- spl-transloc.cc:315 (0.19.0)
- player-equip.cc:326 (0.19.0)
- cloud.cc:1085 (0.19.0)
- spl-miscast.cc:3276 (0.19.0)
- godwrath.cc:1325 (0.19.0)
- player.cc:4209 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:709 (0.19.0)
- potion.cc:457 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:949 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:800 (0.19.0)
- timed_effects.cc:745 (0.19.0)