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Version 0.14: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Necromutation.png Necromutation
Level 8
School1 Transmutation
School2 Necromancy
Casting noise 6
Spell noise 0
This spell first transforms the caster into a lich - a powerful skeletal figure. The caster gains some powers of death, and becomes more resistant to cold and hostile enchantments and completely immune to poison, rotting, and negative energy, and requires no food at all for the duration of the spell.

The caster also gains some of the more dubious benefits of having an undead body, such as a vulnerability to holy weapons and an inability to consume potions.

Contrary to what one would expect, this spell works on octopodes, although what foul necromantic tissue serves as an analogue for bones remains a mystery.

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 gains the following:



  • Cannot quaff potions
  • Vulnerability to Dispel Undead, scroll of holy word, and holy wrath weapons
  • Cannot cast spells that require you to be alive (many Necromancy and Transmutations spells)
  • Unwields/prevents wielding of holy weapons
  • Mutations instead cause rot damage. This might be beneficial if used as a defense against bad mutations.


Having this spell is a game-changer. No hunger means that you can play like a mummy (but with the aptitudes and stats of your race), as long as you recast the spell once in awhile. Spam your big spells, wear amulet of regeneration and abuse Sif Muna's channeling; the hunger won't affect your living form as long as you do it all as a lich. Unlike a real mummy, you can just stop recasting this spell and heal your stats and rot as a living person. You can also go back to the world of the living to kill pesky creatures 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 rotting, large amounts of magic contamination, direct malmutation, and massive stat drain.

Becoming undead through Necromutation restricts the use of many useful spells. Borgnjor's Revivification and Death's Door, not to mention Regeneration, are uncastable in lich form, so 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 during confusion. 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 have LOS to a Shining eye, casting Necromutation is a useful way to avoid malmutations.

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


Users of this spell may want to add this to their runrest_messages.txt (in settings directory) file:

stop = Your transformation is almost over.

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

Humanoid Centaur Naga Octopode Felid
Lichform.png Lichform centaur.png Lichform naga.png Lichform octopode.png Lichform felid.png


Prior to 0.13, the caster also received +3 strength and a bonus to stealth.