Derived undead

From CrawlWiki
Revision as of 14:11, 16 January 2024 by Hordes (talk | contribs) (History: specify)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Derived undead refers to a subset of undead monsters which take their stats from a base monster. For example, a hydra zombie is a modified version of a hydra.

There are four kinds of derived undead: zombies, skeletons, simulacra, and spectral things. Other types of undead, such as Infestation's death scarabs, may be created from a monster, but their stats are independent of their host.

Useful Info

All derived undead take stats and modify them from their base form. The following properties apply to all types of derived undead:

  • HD is retained.
  • AC, EV, and speed are taken from the base form, then generally reduced (depending on the type of undead).
  • Melee attacks' quantity and damage are taken from the base form, then the damage is reduced by 20%.
  • All attack flavours except reach, constrict, and trample are lost.
  • New attack flavours may be added, based on undead type. For any attack without reach/constrict/trample, simulacra gain cold attacks, while spectral things gain draining attacks.
  • Resistances are lost and replaced with the usual undead resistances (poison immunity, rC+ or higher, rN+++, rMiasma, vulnerable to holy).
  • All derived undead become mindless.

A few other properties will also be retained by undead monsters, if their base form had it:

  • The ability to fly, even for skeletons of winged monsters and other creatures which arguably shouldn't be physically capable of flight.
  • The monster's natural habitat. Kraken zombies are still confined to deep water, but sea snake zombies will not suddenly forget how to swim.

All other properties, including any spells or innate abilities, are lost. Derived undead creatures cannot use stairs, and most player-created undead will fall apart after a time. Undead created by Yredelemnul's passive reaping aura will last until destroyed or you exit the current floor.

Allied derived undead won't betray you if you attack them.

Yredelemnul's bound soul is an exception to many of these rules - the bound soul retains its spells/abilities, can use stairs, and is not mindless.


Zombie human.png The most basic form of derived undead, zombies are usually sturdier than their base monster, but are also slower and clumsier.

  • HP: (HD)d5 + 6*HD
  • AC: Original - 2
  • EV: Original - 5
  • Speed: Original - 2 (at least 3)
  • Cold resistance: rC++
  • Attack flavour: Plain

Zombies and skeletons do not regenerate HP over time. They cannot use items, unless a vault generates the undead with an item.


Skeleton medium humanoid.png Skeletons are similar to zombies, but weaker. Note that some monsters can be made into zombies, but not skeletons (most notably insects, who lack internal skeletons, but other examples exist).

  • HP: (HD)d4 + 5*HD
  • AC: Original - 6
  • EV: Original - 7
  • Speed: Original - 2 (at least 3)
  • Cold resistance: rC++
  • Attack flavour: Plain


Simulacrum small humanoid.png Simulacra are the most fragile derived undead, but those with high HD or multiple attacks (or both) can deal massive cold damage very quickly.

  • HP: (HD)d4 + 1*HD
  • AC: Original - 2
  • EV: Original - 5
  • Speed: Original - 2 (at least 3)
  • Cold resistance: rC+++
  • Attack flavour: Cold (does an extra HD to 3*HD - 1 cold damage per attack)
  • Special: Leaves behind a freezing cloud when destroyed

Like zombies and skeletons, they do not regenerate.

Spectral things

Spectral small humanoid.png Spectral things are the only derived undead to retain their original speed. They have less HP than skeletons and zombies, but make up for this with slightly increased AC and several useful intrinsics.

Spectral things created by the spell Death Channel will eventually fade. Yredelemnul's reaping will create spectral things for monsters without corpses that last until you leave the floor.

Bound Soul

Bound soul.png Bound souls are created by Yredelemnul's Bind Souls ability. They are functionally similar to spectral things. However, they retain all spells, abilities, and equipment the monster had in life, and bound souls have much more health than regular spectral things.

Unlike regular derived undead, bound souls are permanent allies so long as you continue to worship Yredelemnul. They will not fade over time and will follow you through stairs.

  • HP: (HD)d4 + 8*HD


  • Prior to 0.31, allied derived undead would become hostile if you attacked them.
  • Prior to 0.29, zombie creation was based off corpse generation. This meant that corpseless monsters, like slime creatures and Orb Guardians, could not be zombies. Yredelemnul's zombies could attack from outside line of sight.
  • Prior 0.28, derived undead used their species to determine stats, so an orc warlord zombie was only as strong as an orc. Yredelemnul's Enslave Soul created a spectral thing (still with spells and abilities) instead of a bound soul. Also, spectral things lost reach, constrict, and trample upon revival.
  • Prior to version 0.19, most derived undead would take damage from their maximum HP, making it more difficult to determine how injured they were.
  • Prior to version 0.17, player-generated zombies and skeletons were permanent, allowing necromancers to leave shambling hordes on previous floors.
  • Prior to version 0.16, derived undead would only use the base monster's genus to identify themselves -- thus, both an orc knight and an orc wizard would make "orc zombies", though both would have different stats.
  • In earlier versions, spectral things were more intelligent than other derived undead and could use stairs.