Experience

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Version 0.20: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

This page is about the character trait. For the card, see the article Experience card. For the potion, see the article Potion of experience.

Experience is a rating of how much your character has learned in their quest, particularly their ability to survive the Dungeon's many hazards. For some species, it is also a rating of your character's maturity. Like most video game RPGs, experience is measured in experience points (or XP) and awarded for defeating monsters, with more difficult monsters being worth more XP.

In Crawl, XP rewards your character in two ways: raising your experience level, and giving you skill experience.

Contents

Gaining Experience Points

Each monster is assigned a value in experience points. Normally, you gain that many experience points when you defeat the monster.

If you have an ally aiding you, however, the XP may be split between the two of you. If you do none of the work and allow the ally to kill the monster, you get a 50% share. If your ally does nothing and you kill a monster, you receive 100%. If you worked together to defeat the monster, the XP will be split to reflect the amount of damage you each dealt. Giving allies XP is a waste for summoned creatures which disappear or undead minions that can never be healed, but can result in very powerful allies for a priest of Beogh.

Experience Level

When you have gained enough XP, your character rises to the next experience level and receives various benefits. Leveling up increases the following:

  • Total hit points.
  • Total magic points.
  • Total number of spells that can be memorised.
  • The maximum spell level that can be learned (no character can memorize a spell whose level is higher than their own).
  • Stats. Every three levels, the character may add 1 point to their strength, intelligence, or dexterity, as they choose. Most characters gain additional stat bonuses every few levels (which stats increase and how often depends on their species).
  • Magic resistance. Characters gain points of magic resistance at each level, the number depending on their race.
  • Characters of certain races will gain special abilities (see Maturity below).

Every character starts at experience level 1 with no XP, reflecting a total lack of knowledge of the Dungeon. The maximum level is 27, but characters who have reached this can still use XP to improve their final score and their skills.

Different species require proportionally more or less experience to gain experience levels, as shown in the Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.12.0 in-game documentation:

Ba Ce DD DE Dg Ds Dr Fe Fo Gr Gh Ha HE HO Hu Ko Mf Mi Mu Na Op Og Sp Te Tr Vp VS
0 -1 -1 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 1 0 0 1 -1 0 1 1 0 -1 -1 0 0 0 -1 0 -1 -1 0

Note that a higher score translates into faster levelings; Humans, Halflings, Formicids and Kobolds level the fastest (with an experience aptitude of 1).

Experience Required

Level XP Diff. Increase in diff.
1 0 0 0
2 10 10 10
3 30 20 10
4 70 40 20
5 140 70 30
6 270 130 60
7 520 250 120
8 1010 490 240
9 1980 970 480
10 3910 1930 960
11 7760 3850 1920
12 15450 7690 3840
13 29000 13550 5860
14 48500 19500 5950
15 74000 25500 6000
16 105500 31500 6000
17 143000 37500 6000
18 186500 43500 6000
19 236000 49500 6000
20 291500 55500 6000
21 353000 61500 6000
22 420500 67500 6000
23 494000 73500 6000
24 573500 79500 6000
25 659000 85500 6000
26 750500 91500 6000
27 848000 97500 6000

These figures are multiplied by racial modifiers, above, which should be treated as percentages (i.e., human = 100%).

Maturity

Certain species 'mature' as they gain experience, gaining special bonuses or abilities:

  • Draconians begin as juveniles, and become adults at level 7. Some colors also gain further benefits at level 14. See the species page for more details.
  • Nagas and Draconians get tougher scales every 3 levels, increasing their AC.
  • Felids get thicker fur at levels 6 and 12, increasing their AC and giving them cold resistance (rC+) at level 12.
    • Felids also gain an extra life every three levels, but can hold no more than two at once. After losing one of those two, they can get one of the "overflow" lives upon gaining a level which would not otherwise have awarded an extra life. Note that each death also costs them an experience level.
  • Demonspawn acquire more of their demonic ancestry as they level up. This comes in the form of mutations, and Demonspawn can acquire special mutations unavailable to other species.
  • Tengu gain the ability to fly at level 5. At 15, they may fly continuously.
  • Mummies gain a bonus to Necromancy spell power at levels 13 and 26 and the ability to restore themselves at level 13.
  • Vampires may transform into bats at level 3 and can create potions of blood from corpses at level 6.
  • Deep Dwarves upgrade their Passive Mapping ability to rank 2 at level 9 and rank 3 at level 18. They also gain life protection (rN+) at level 14.

Skill Experience

On top of contributing to your character level, any XP gain also contributes to your skill levels. There are two methods available to control distribution: Standard or Manual. In standard mode, every time you gain experience, it is distributed between all the skills which you have used lately, with the most commonly used ones getting proportionally bigger shares. On top of that, you can set skills to "Disabled" (they receive no XP), "Enabled" (no change), or "Focused" (the skill gets a guaranteed share of the XP on top of what it receives through practice).

Alternatively, there is Manual mode. Here, XP is divided into equal shares between all skills. Again, you can set skills to be Disabled for no growth or Focused for double ordinary growth.

The maximum level for each skill is 27, but many skills suffer from diminishing returns, so it may not be worth raising your skill to its maximum allowable level.

History

Prior to 0.13 draining reduced the player's experience level, and most high level monsters gave much more experience points when killed.

In version 0.9, new skills (before they reached level 1) had to be actively used (casting a spell, hitting something, etc.) to start applying experience to it. Once the skill had reached 1.0, it could thenceforth be disabled or focused manually.

In version 0.8 and earlier, skill experience was dumped into an "experience pool" until assigned to a skill. This was done in small increments by repeatedly performing actions relating to the skill. This led to the custom of "victory dancing" after fights to guarantee the XP went to the desired skill. Skills could be "disabled" to reduce their growth to 25% of normal.