| It is still a mystery how this bizarre place was created. Some claim that it is the playground of bored gods, whereas others maintain that it was shaped by all kinds of species who fled the overworld and shunned the light. No matter what its origin, this deep cavern is filled with riches unheard of as well as with ample dangers to any intruder. Few have escaped alive, and even fewer have kept some sliver of sanity sufficient to tell the tale.
The dungeon is 27 levels deep, but, honestly, this is only the beginning.
The Dungeon is the main setting of Dungeon Crawl. It is 27 levels deep, not counting its many branches, and the final level contains the portal to the Realm of Zot, which in turn holds the object of your quest: the Orb of Zot.
The Dungeon consists of 27 randomly generated floors filled with rooms, corridors, doors, and sometimes vaults. Most walls are made of rock, but sometimes from other materials such as stone, metal, or green crystal. You can travel between floors using stairs.
Each floor has three stairs leading up and three stairs leading down; sometimes you'll also encounter hatches, which are one-way staircases. Save those for emergencies, and never use them to enter a new floor if you can take the stairs, as you will be unable to flee back up them if you encounter trouble right away.
If you go upstairs on floor 1, you return to the overworld and the game ends (whether or not you have the Orb of Zot). Although your character did not die, they have retired all the same and you will have to create another.
Unlike certain other roguelikes, floors in Crawl are permanent, once generated. They do not change if you leave, then return.
The Dungeon's difficulty increases the deeper you delve into it. The first few levels are populated by goblins and rats, the midgame levels can host hill giants, cyclopes, and hydras, while the last few levels play host to stone giants, yaktaurs, and their yaktaur captains. The unique monsters you encounter also rise in difficulty the lower you go.
As you descend, try to gauge the difficulty of the level's monsters. If they seem too difficult, you should retreat and go explore one of the many Dungeon branches instead. Exploring the branches is ultimately necessary in any case, as the main Dungeon contains none of the runes of Zot that you need to enter the Realm of Zot.