Zot clock

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
No one knows who or what Zot is: demon, god, wizard, something else entirely? But adventurers seeking the Orb will, in turn, be hunted by Zot, and if it finds them, their existence will end.

Zot is very slow moving, and can only sense adventurers once they've spent an inordinately long time in one area of the dungeon. Even once this happens, adventurers will have plenty of warning to either descend to new depths in the area (diffusing Zot's attention once more) or to leave the area entirely.

The Abyss is beyond Zot's comprehension, and adventurers there are safe from it (albeit subject to many other hazards). The Hells, along with their Vestibule, are a single area as far as Zot is concerned. Rumours claim there are ways to escape Zot's pursuit forever, but what magics could be mighty enough to forestall such an implacable entity?

The Zot clock is a game mechanic that limits the time you can stay in a dungeon branch; in order to replenish the clock, you must visit new levels.

Useful Info

The Zot clock is measured in decaAuts, or 1 turn acting at normal speed. Normally, you'll get 6,000 decaAuts for entering new floor. You can store a maximum of 27,000 decaAuts at any one time. Certain effects may modify the timer speed:

  • Cheibriados slows down the clock by 1.5x (9,000 decaAut/level and 40,500 decaAut max)
  • Finishing a Ziggurat or picking up the Orb of Zot immediately stops the clock for all branches.
  • Dungeon Sprint negates the clock entirely.

When the clock reaches zero, Zot will find and instantly kill you. Felids will revive; as a bonus, they regain a floor's worth of Zot time regardless of how they died.

For the most part, each branch has its own Zot clock. The Abyss doesn't have a Zot clock, and you can explore it for unlimited time. Hell branches, including the Vestibule, share the same Zot clock.

You can see the remaining time by pressing E. When the clock reaches 1,000, you will get a warning and the Zot(number) status effect, which shows how much time you have left. The rcfile option always_show_zot = true will display your time in the status bar in less pressing situations.

Tips & Tricks

  • The clock is designed not to hinder regular gameplay - the average character can fully clear a floor, even with continuous rest, retreat, and autoexplore, in less than half the time.
  • However, it might become an issue for characters with a lot of HP and slow regeneration rate, e.g. ogres. If you spend a lot of time restoring HPs after fights, an amulet of regeneration might help you to not run out of Zot time. Remember that the warning gives you plenty of time to at least visit the next floor.
  • Slow moving species, especially Nagas, should be aware that backtracking for shops and items can deplete their time faster than for other species.


  • In 0.29, when the Zot clock ends, you only die if you have less than 10% maximum HP. Otherwise, you'll get drained for ~38% true maximum HP, extending the clock 1k turns.
  • Prior to 0.27, finishing a ziggurat did not stop the clock.
  • The Zot clock was added in 0.26 as a replacement for the food clock. Unlike the previous clock, it affects all species, including mummies and vampires.