|The apparition of an unfortunate adventurer.|
A player ghost is generated when your character dies, unless at Dungeon level 1 or 2, or in the Ecumenical Temple.
Undead characters don't leave ghosts (but may carry previously existing ghosts on this level). If you die on a level that already has (player's) ghosts that were not killed, they will be added to the same ghost file, making several ghosts appear on this level later on.
The maximum number of ghosts that are saved (including the one you just generated unless you were an Undead) depend on the level depth:
- 1 for Dungeon levels 3-9, Orcish Mines level 1 or Lair level 1.
- 2 for Dungeon levels 10-15 or any other levels in the Orcish Mines or the Lair.
- 9 for any level in Pandemonium, the Abyss, the Crypt, the Tomb, the Realm of Zot or Dungeon levels 23-27.
- 1, plus 5*(L+1)% chance of a second one, plus 2.5*(L+1)% chance of another one on any other level, where L is the level depth.
Each time a player on the same server (or computer if you're playing locally) enters a level for which a ghost was saved, there's a 33% chance that this ghost (and eventual other ones it is carrying with it) will be generated in that level. The ghost file is deleted in the process, which means that it won't be generated again later, unless you die on this level without having killed the ghost(s), in which case the ghost may appear again if the level has enough space for it. For levels with multiple ghosts, the oldest ones will be deleted first, meaning that even extremely overpowered ghosts will rarely have more than one or two victims.
- When your ghost is created, its stats are defined as follow:
- Its max HP, AC and EV are equal to yours when you died.
- Its number of hit dice is equal to your experience level.
- Its cold, fire and electricity resistances are equal to yours when you died.
- It gains poison and sticky flame resistance.
- If you were able to see invisible, so does the ghost.
- Its base speed is equal to 10, minus 3 for Nagas, +2 for Felids, +3 for Centaurs and Spriggans, +2 if you were wearing boots of running. The final base speed can never be less than 6 or greater than 13. Ghosts are levitating, so it will be able to cross water or lava.
- If you were a Deep Dwarf, the ghost won't be able to regenerate,
- Its damage is determined by the weapon you were wielding and your skill levels:
- If you had a weapon in hand, the base damage is equal to the weapon's base damage, increased by 4% per skill level you had for this weapon. In addition, the attacks will have the eventual weapon brand.
- If you had no weapon in hand, the base damage is 4 plus your Unarmed Combat skill, plus your experience level if you were a Troll.
- This base damage is then increased by 3.3% per Fighting skill, then increased by 0.25 times your Strength. Total damage is capped at 50.
- If you knew spells, the ghost may still be able to cast up to 6 of them. See below for the mechanics.
- Ghosts of level 7+ Draconians also have a high chance of being able to breathe Bolts of Draining (30 accuracy, 3d(2*HD) damage where HD was your experience level).
The experience level of a ghost is indicated in their description with one of the following adjectives:
|Ghost description||Experience level|
|weakling||1 to 3|
|average||4 to 6|
|experienced||7 to 10|
|powerful||11 to 15|
|mighty||16 to 21|
|great||22 to 25|
Like all monsters, ghosts have six spell slots. Specifically, the code scans the deceased character's spells (excluding any with a failure rate of more than 50%) to try to come up with a set of six that fits the following pattern, biased towards the character's most dangerous spells:
- Slot 1: A conjuration.
- Slot 2: A second conjuration, distinct from Slot 1.
- Slot 3: A summoning or self-enchantment spell.
- Slot 4: A hostile enchantment spell, or, failing that, another conjuration (can be a repeat of Slot 1 or 2).
- Slot 5: Another hostile enchantment different from Slot 4, or, failing that, a conjuration different from Slot 4 (but not necessarily Slot 1 or 2). This spell slot will always be filled by Dig if the player possessed it, however.
- Slot 6: An emergency spell. The only one available to ghosts is Blink.
The specific logic is as follows:
The ghost wants the following (mostly) direct-damage spells, in order of preference. These spells fill the first, second, and possibly fourth and fifth slots. Note that not all of the spells on this and subsequent lists are possible for players to have. Pan lords are generated using the same code to pick random spells, and they can have such spells. Also, to some extent the code is simply outdated
Conjuration slot spells: Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Fire Storm, Ice Storm, Chain Lightning, Bolt of Draining, Agony, Disintegrate, Lightning Bolt, Airstrike, Sticky Flame, Iskenderun's Mystic Blast, Orb of Destruction, Bolt of Magma, Throw Icicle, Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Fireball, Delayed Fireball, Venom Bolt, Iron Shot, Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, Stone Arrow, Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Pain, Sting, Shock, Sandblast, Magic Dart, Ensorcelled Hibernation, Flame Tongue, Corona
These are the spells the ghost wants for its third slot, mostly Summonings and Charms, again in order of preference.
Self-enchantment/Summoning slot spells: Symbol of Torment, Summon Greater Demon, Summon Horrible Things, Summon Dragon, Haunt, Summon Hydra, Summon Demon, Haste, Silence, Summon Butterflies, Summon Elemental, Summon Swarm, Summon Ugly Thing, Swiftness, Summon Ice Beast, Animate Dead, Twisted Resurrection, Summon Scorpions, Call Imp, Summon Small Mammals, Malign Gateway, Controlled Blink, Blink
Hostile Enchantments Slots
These spells will be chosen for the fourth and fifth slots; if the dead character did not have any of them, the code will then try to pick a spell from the first list, possibly allowing duplicates.
Hostile enchantments: Shatter, Agony, Banishment, Freezing Cloud, Ozocubu's Refrigeration, Dispel Undead, Conjure Ball Lightning, Paralyse, Confuse, Mephitic Cloud, Slow, Petrify, Polymorph Other, Teleport Other, Dig, Corona
This sixth spell will be an "emergency spell". While previously this included Teleport Self and even some ancient self-healing spells, now it only includes Blink (monsters do not distinguish between the controlled and uncontrolled versions).
Tips & Tricks
If you are a NetHack player new to Crawl, be aware of the differences; Crawl's ghosts have no graves to loot, and are normally more than capable of killing you!
If you examine the ghost (press x to look at things, move the cursor to the ghost, and press v to examine) it will tell you what species and class the ghost was when it was living, which may give you a clue as to how fast it is and what its stats will be like.
A ghost doesn't follow you outside its level (if you take stairs or otherwise leave the level). If it had less than half of its max HP when you leave the level, it will teleport away (and thus probably won't be near the exit you used when you come back on this level).
If you are trying to fight a ghost in melee, but don't quite have the power to destroy it before it kills you, don't forget that a potion of might should easily be able to push the fight in your favour.