Comestibles and satiation

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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Comestible items are, as the name implies, items that you can eat. They are very important, as almost all species need to eat, or they will grow hungry and eventually die of starvation. Luckily, there are plentiful sources of nutrition in the Dungeon for the resourceful adventurer.

Overview

Hunger and food in Dungeon Crawl are rarely significant issues but, if ignored, can be fatal. Characters start with a satiated stomach, but grow steadily hungrier over time. Some races require less food than others, but all characters burn food more quickly when fighting and/or casting spells.

Types of Food

Food is provided in two main forms: temporary chunks of raw flesh that rot over time, and "permafood" in the form of rations that does not rot.

Chunks of flesh

Chunks are edible pieces of meat carved from freshly slain corpses using the butcher (c) command. The number of chunks that a corpse provides is somewhat random, but larger monsters generally provide more chunks. Most species can eat chunks only when hungry, though carnivorous species can always eat chunks and get more satiation from doing so. Some species cannot eat meat at all (spriggans, which are completely herbivorous, and vampires and mummies, which are completely incapable of eating). Butchering a corpse always takes one turn (10 auts).

You will most commonly encounter edible meat, which has no ill effects. Some creatures will instead produce inedible meat. For spriggans, all chunks will appear inedible, whereas for ghouls, all chunks will appear edible. Regardless of type, chunks of meat will rot away completely about 200 turns after its source corpse was slain. Each individual chunk has its own freshness and will rot away at its own interval, regardless if they are stacked together into one inventory slot.

Being a carnivore, troll, or wearing an amulet of the gourmand will allow you to eat chunks even when not hungry and gain more nutrition from them (though the amulet takes some time for its effects to kick in after you put it on). Ghouls, felids, and kobolds are all carnivorous, making these species easier for players who are having trouble keeping other species well-fed. Trolls, meanwhile, start with the gourmand trait as an intrinsic. Spriggans, being herbivorous, gain no benefit from the amulet. The ability to easily stuff yourself to Very Full or Engorged levels of satiation allows you to ignore the hunger costs of spell hunger, and god abilities to a greater degree.

Chunk type Monster Effects
Clean Most monsters. No harmful side effects. Your satiation increases by 1,000 (more for a carnivore). They cannot be eaten by herbivores. Ghouls will be healed (1d5 − 1) + 1d(experience level) damage and restore 1 point of rotted HP.
Inedible Poisonous or otherwise toxic monsters, unnatural monsters, and ghoul-type undead. Non-ghoul races cannot eat them, but ghouls get the effect of a regular chunk.

Religious Restrictions

Beogh and all of the good gods (Zin, The Shining One, Elyvilon) forbid their followers from cannibalism, or eating the meat of their own species. In addition, Zin forbids followers from eating monsters with human levels of intelligence. The game will not allow the player to butcher any forbidden corpses.

Gozag Ym Sagoz imposes no formal dietary restrictions, but since it turns all corpses into gold, followers will not be able harvest chunks and must instead rely on permafood. Gozag does provide food shops which the player will likely have to call on throughout the game to ensure they do not starve.

Permafood

Permafood refers to rations which are found throughout the dungeon. They never rot like chunks do, and as such can be collected and stored for future need.

Nutritional values of food items

Note that rations are less nutritious for both herbivores and carnivores. All food takes 1 turn to eat.

Food Normal Carnivore Herbivore
Ration 3,400 1,900 1,900
Chunk of flesh 1,000 1,300 0

Satiation

Your satiation level is determined by the number of nutrition units you have remaining. Most characters will use at least three food points per turn and will use more if actively fighting. Using spells can incur spell hunger, which can only be reduced by the player's Intelligence and Spellcasting ability. Many special abilities also use up nutrition.

Label Nutrition
Fainting 0 - 500
Starving 501 - 1,000
Near starving 1,001 – 1,533
Very hungry 1,534 – 2,066
Hungry 2,067 – 2,600
Satiated (nothing displayed) 2,601 – 7,000
Full 7,001 – 9,000
Very full 9,001 – 11,000
Engorged 11,001 – 12,000 (max)

Effects of satiation

  • If you are at level "Satiated" or more, most characters get no special bonus or penalty, although at level "Engorged", you cannot eat anything (with no other special penalties).
  • At level "Hungry" or lower, non-carnivores are allowed to eat chunks.
  • At "Starving", you suffer a −3 penalty to hit when fighting, and the damage you inflict is reduced by (1d5 − 1). You cannot cast spells or use most abilities.
    • If you are under 500 points of satiation ("Fainting"), there is a 1/40 chance that you will lose consciousness for 1d8 + 5 turns. If you fall to 0 points, you will automatically eat one ration if you are carrying any; otherwise, your character will immediately die of starvation.

Undead characters are handled differently:

  • Mummies and players under the Necromutation spell do not have a hunger clock and are not susceptible to the effects of hunger, nor can they consume food.
  • Instead of a hunger system, Vampires can use abilities to switch between "Alive" (fast regeneration) and "Bloodless" (frail, but stealthy and can use undead resistances and abilities). See the Vampire page for more details.
  • Ghouls cannot become Full no matter how much they eat; any food points accumulated above 6,999 are wasted. They cannot starve to death, but will gradually rot over time (and will rot much faster when Hungry or worse). Ghouls are still susceptible to spell hunger, but unlike other species, they can cast spells and use abilities while starving. Eating chunks both repairs rot and restores some HP; rations do not provide these benefits, but help stave off rot from being hungry.

Other sources of satiation

  • Jiyva has a piety-dependent chance to give the player some nutrition whenever a slime eats an item, starting at **.

Hunger

Each turn, the player uses a certain amount of food. This is calculated as follows:

Base hunger: 3

This is modified as follows:

Species/mutations:

If you are currently:

After all things are considered, minimum hunger is still 1.

Base hunger rates by race

The "basic" hunger rate (taking account of racial factors and in-built mutations) that one can expect when playing a given race is listed below:

Race Hunger rate
Spriggans 1
Felids and Nagas 2
Trolls 9
Everyone else 3

Other sources of hunger

Normal food consumption isn't the only way to decrease satiation: fighting, abilities, and spells eat up sustenance, as well.

Fighting
  • Making a regular melee attack makes you consume an additional 3 points of satiation.
  • Entering a berserk phase decreases your satiation level by 700 (be careful!).
  • Taking damage from a hungry ghost has a 50% chance of decreasing your satiation by 1/4; if it hits you but does no damage, it still has a 5% chance of decreasing your satiation by 1/4.
Spell Hunger
Casting a spell reduces your satiation level by an amount depending on the spell level, your Intelligence, and your Spellcasting skill. This can be eliminated by wielding a staff of energy, being in lichform, or playing a Mummy or Vampire. See Spell Hunger for more details.
Divine abilities
Many invocable abilities cost satiation in addition to other costs such as piety or MP. These costs can all be found on the various gods' pages.
Natural abilities
Several intrinsic abilities have a food cost. This cost is random in the following range, with a bias toward average value:
Ability Cost
Blink 51 – 100
Draconian breath weapons 126 – 250
Channeling 31 – 60
Fly 101 – 200
Hurl Damnation 201 – 400
Invisibility 251 – 500
Spit Poison 41 – 80
Evoking an ability from an item has the same satiation cost as if it was your own ability.
Cards
Drawing the 'Famine' card from the Deck of punishments (only possible when under penance with Nemelex Xobeh) sets your satiation level to 500 (Fainting).

Tips & Tricks

  • Chunks are the main food source of most characters. Ghastly as it may be to eat raw flesh straight from a corpse, taking advantage of them will allow you to stretch out your permafood and avoid starvation more easily.
  • Certain spells and effects can directly generate chunks without wasting turns butchering. Most useful is Animate Skeleton, which is very easy to cast and leaves chunks from any zombifiable monster with a skeleton, i.e. most living, corpse-leaving monsters other than insects. Other effects that can leave chunks include wands of disintegration, the high-level Conjurations spell Orb of Destruction, and the aftereffects of Inner Flame.

History

  • Prior to 0.24, Vampires used blood from corpses/potions of blood to achieve a similar food conduct to other species. Additionally, gaining piety with Fedhas required allowing corpses to rot and many of its abilities required rations. Also, wielding a vampiric weapon required being at least "Full" unless you were undead and would immediately drain a large amount of satiation.
  • Prior to 0.21, different types of permafood existed. There were meat rations, bread rations, royal jellies, and fruit in order of satiation given. Meat rations were not edible for herbivores, and fruit and bread rations were not edible for carnivores. Also mutagenic chunks would be dropped by some chaotic enemies (such as ugly things or sky beasts) and would grant 0-1 random mutations when eaten.
  • Prior to 0.20, you could find beef jerky and pizza. Also, haste and invisibility had hunger-over-time costs.
  • Prior to 0.19, you could draw the Feast card from the deck of oddities, instantly setting your satiation to "Engorged". Players could not go berserk if they were Very Hungry or worse. Also, berserk's hunger cost was applied at the end of the effect.
  • Prior to 0.18, the amulet of regeneration and troll leather armour increased your metabolism.
  • Prior to 0.17, Zin's Vitalisation ability would give you small amounts of nutrition (but never past Full). Also, poisonous chunks existed, which were edible if you were resistant to poison, and putrefying chunks, which would cause rot when eaten. They have since been all merged into 'inedible chunks'.
  • Prior to 0.16, chunks would turn into rotten chunks before rotting away completely; these could only be eaten by ghouls or other species with the Saprovore mutation. Potions of coagulated blood were also removed.
  • Prior to 0.15, some monsters would produce contaminated chunks, which provided less nutrition than clean chunks to non-saprovores. This version condensed fruits and vegetables into the universal "fruit" item, and several other food items were removed (ambrosia, honeycomb, cheese, sausage, and sultanas). Royal jellies also had their potion of restore abilities effect removed.
  • Prior to 0.13, contaminated chunks occasionally caused nausea and offered less satiation.
  • Prior to 0.12, cursed blunt weapons or blunt weapons of distortion would prevent players from butchering corpses. Players could get around this with certain spells or mutations.
  • Prior to 0.9, characters did not have an emergency knife for butchering corpses and were required to carry an edged weapon for that purpose.
  • Prior to 0.6 turn hunger was not proportional to you.time_taken.