Stat zero

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Version 0.21: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

When one of a character's primary attributes (strength, intelligence, or dexterity) is lowered to 0 or below, the character suffers crippling penalties until that attribute is restored and stays above 0 for a period of time equal to: 10 + 1d10 + the number of turns it was below 0 (Max: 200 turns).


The following can all drain your attributes:

As you gain experience, you regain stats lost through any of these means (except malmutate).

Stats can be more permanently lowered by the following means:

  • Mutations which affect attributes (this lasts until the mutation is removed somehow).
  • Equipment with negative stat modifiers (but you can remove the equipment to restore the stat).
  • Jiyva's stat shuffling. (will never reduce a stat to zero)

The last two never lower a base stat to zero. Sustain attributes provides no help with any of these, and the stat does not restore naturally.


The following effects occur when any stat reaches 0:

  • you immediately suffer 2-4 turns of paralysis which ignores a Formicid's stasis
  • you are slowed until the stat completely recovers. (doesn't stack)

The following effects are dependent on the specific stat which was drained to 0:

Collapse (Strength)

Brainless (Intelligence)

  • You can't memorise or cast spells
  • You fail to read scrolls 80% of the time

Clumsy (Dexterity)


Any character with a particularly low attribute should be aware of the dangers involved. Any attribute below 5 could conceivably be reduced to 0 by a single unfortunate effect, and below 10 are vulnerable to stat zero from repeated effects.

  • Cursed artefact equipment can reduce an attribute by up to 6 for as long as it's equipped, so be cautious about wearing unidentified items if you're at risk.
  • Miscast effects, Hell effects, Zot traps, and mummy death curses can temporarily reduce an attribute by up to 4 in one go. You may wish to bring all of your attributes up to a minimum of 8 to guarantee that you can survive a single worst-case scenario shot from either one.


Prior to 0.19, sustain attributes existed which would halve stat damage. Hence, multi-point stat damage was roughly halved in 0.19.

Prior to 0.17, taking further stat damage after a stat reached 0 would inflict HP damage.

Prior to 0.15, items had mass, and strength determined your carrying capacity. The "collapse" status effect serious reduced this.

Stat zero was added in 0.13, replacing stat death.