Stairs connect Dungeon floors and branches. They are the primary means of moving from one part of the Dungeon to the next. Normally only the player character uses stairs, but most monsters will follow you if they are adjacent to you when you use them. Using an up staircase on D:1 ends your game, whether or not you have the Orb of Zot.
Creatures may apparently randomly climb up stairs to the floor you're on, but this seems to be rare.
Each floor normally contains three up staircases and three down staircases. These always lead to the next floor above or below, never farther.
In addition to these, a floor may also contain escape hatches (which function as one-way staircases), as well as staircases (or portals) to other Dungeon branches. These have a different color than normal staircases. Also of note are shafts, a type of trap which can drop you 1-3 floors.
Tips & Tricks
- If you think you've explored the whole floor, use the minimap to count the number of up and down staircases you've found (normal ones, not escape hatches or branch entrances). If you see less than three of each, some hidden area of the floor is walled off from the area you're in. The best way to reach it is to exit the floor and then reenter through an unused staircase on the floor above or below.
- Be aware that going up or down staircases takes time (normally 1.5 turns). Nearby monsters may still hit you or cast spells before you escape your current floor. Climbing while encumbered takes an extra turn, while overloaded is impossible, and while confused you may trip and fall, taking damage and staying on the current floor.
- Most monsters will follow you if they are adjacent to you when you use a staircase. While this can make it difficult to escape a monster on your heels, it can also be used to separate hordes of monsters by "stair dancing" (luring them upstairs and slaying them a few at a time). This is especially useful for stairs placed against walls or corners, limiting the number of monsters that can follow you. Some monsters (player ghosts, zombies, skeletons, spectral things, silent spectres, simulacra, Geryon, and the royal jelly) cannot use stairs, trapping them on the floor they spawned on unless they step in a shaft. However, they can still attack you while you're leaving, and they may wait by the stairs for your return.