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Zin altar.png "Spread the light, my child."

Zin the Lawgiver is a God for those focused on inner strength. Followers must remain pure of body and soul, refraining from unholy, evil, unclean or chaotic magic; the use of mutations and the consumption of intelligent beings' flesh. They may preach to or imprison the unenlightened, and can ultimately gain a divine refuge. Zin values selflessness, demanding a tithe of 1/10 of all gold gained, preferably followed by donations of more. Zin's followers can safely convert to Elyvilon and the Shining One.

Along with Elyvilon and the Shining One, Zin is considered a good god. No backgrounds start the game following this religion.

Racial Restrictions

Zin does not accept demonspawn or undead species (ghouls, vampires, or mummies) as followers. Demigods may not worship Zin or any other deity.


  • Zin takes a 10% tithe every time you pick up gold, unless you're already at max piety. This tithe counts remainders (e.g., if you pick up two piles of 15 gold one after the other, Zin will take 1 gold piece from the first and 2 from the second). However, Zin knows if you try to save gold piles before converting to him ("Zin is a bit unhappy you did not bring this gold earlier."), and the tithe has a reduced effect in the Orcish Mines and on gold acquired. Paying a tithe has a chance to increase piety based on its size.
  • Similarly, praying at Zin's altar will donate half your gold, granting a chunk of piety which will be distributed as you gain experience. You'll also receive an indication of what Zin's opinion towards you will be once the piety is fully distributed.
  • Upon conversion, Zin takes some gold, but this provides more piety than a regular donation.
  • Killing the spawn of chaos has a chance to grant piety. See the list of chaotic monsters and abilities for more details.


Zin dislikes it (i.e. piety loss) when:

Zin strongly dislikes it (i.e. penance) when:

  • You perform cannibalism.
  • You desecrate holy remains.
  • You use Necromancy. Casting Necromutation instead causes excommunication.
  • You use unholy magic or items.
  • You attack non-hostile holy beings.
  • You or your allies kill non-hostile holy beings.
  • You attack allies.
  • You polymorph monsters.
  • You use unclean or chaotic magic or items.
  • You eat the flesh of sentient beings.

Zin will forgive accidental transgressions, i.e. performing a forbidden action via an unidentified item.

On average, your piety will decay naturally by 1 every 340 turns.

Given Abilities

Piety level -: "Anchorite"

  • Zin may protect you from a fatal instance of damage. The chance increases with Piety. Passive. No piety cost.
  • Zin may protect you from the effects of Hell's mystical force. The chance also increases with Piety. Passive. No piety cost.
  • Zin may protect you from mutation at a (Piety/2)% chance. Passive. No piety cost.

Piety level *: "Apologist"

  • Recite - Preaches a verse from one of the four books of the Axioms of Law:
    • Abominations, which harshly deals with chaotic monsters: Chance to cause bleeding, to smite, to illuminate, to sear their flesh, or to turn them into pillars of salt.
    • Ablutions, which punishes unclean monsters and walking corpses: Chance to cause bleeding, to smite, to cause rot, to illuminate, to cast holy word, or to turn them into pillars of salt.
    • Apostates, which applies to unbelievers and heretics (i.e. monsters who worship a god other than Zin, such as orcs of Beogh): Chance to put to sleep, to daze, to confuse, to fear, and to paralyze unbelievers, while heretics may suffer bleeding, smiting, blindness, muteness, illumination, paralysis, madness, and dumbness.
    • Anathema, which combats demons and undead: chance to daze, to confuse, to fear, to illuminate, to cast holy word, or to turn them into pillars of salt.

If multiple books could apply, you are allowed to choose which to read from (e.g. whether to use Ablutions or Anathema on a skeleton). Recite takes three turns, during which you can move, fight, and evoke; anything that interrupts your speaking (potions, scrolls, spells, shouting, or using a breath weapon) will cancel the Recite status. The effect of Recite is more powerful with higher piety and Invocations; stronger effects only occur at high power, but there's always a chance of weaker effects (or even no effect at all). Costs Breath.

Piety level **: "Pious"

  • Vitalisation - Temporarily gives you the Vit status, which, while active, protects you from sickness, poisoning, confusion, petrification, rot, and stat drain, and boosts all your stats by Invocations/3. Also protects against the status effects caused by curare and the stings of red wasps and yellow wasps, while active. Gives a small amount of nutrition, but won't go past Full. Costs 1-2 Piety.

Piety level ***: "Devout"

  • Imprison - Temporarily creates a silver-walled prison around an enemy, pushing away monsters adjacent to the target (if applicable). Duration depends on invocations skill. Strong monsters may break themselves out (chance for jailbreak depends on monster's HD). Costs 5 MP, 125-250 Food, and 4-6 Piety.

Piety level ****: "Orthodox"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level *****: "Immaculate"

  • Sanctuary - Creates a stationary Sanctuary with a radius and duration dependent on your Invocations skill, centered on yourself. Its radius will decrease as its duration runs out. So long as you remain within the radius of Sanctuary, no enemies can attack you (this protection extends to your allies, as well). If you or one of your allies attacks, Sanctuary is instantly dispelled and Zin considers it an evil act. Costs 7 MP, 150-300 Food, and 15-23 Piety.

In addition to preventing enemy attacks, you enjoy the following effects from Sanctuary:

    • Traps are revealed.
    • Clouds dissipate.
    • Your allies are recalled and protected against Abjuration.
    • Monsters may be scared away.
    • Undead and demons are subject to Holy Word, which slows, damages, and scares them.
    • Magical contamination discharges are greatly reduced.
    • Hell's mystical force will not strike you; any previous effects will linger, however.
    • Blood is cleaned from tiles.

Piety level ******: "Bringer of Law"

  • Cure All Mutations - Immediately removes all mutations from your character, both good and bad. Can only be used once per game. No piety cost.


Zin will only dispense punishments to those who enter the service of an evil or chaotic god.

  • 20% chance: If possible, remove 1-7 random good mutations. Otherwise, reroll from the remaining options.
  • 30% chance: Summons either (1d3 + XL/10) hostile angels (more likely if you are high level) or a swarm of "creeping doom" (i.e. random insects, arachnids, and worms).
  • 20% chance: Recites the Axioms of Law at you, inflicting confusion, sleep or paralysis (equal chance of each).
  • 20% chance: Halves your current nutrition level.
  • 10% chance: Makes an extremely loud noise at your current position.


Zin works through somewhat more subtle means than other gods: giving monsters various status effects (Recite and Imprison) while protecting you from the same and buffing your stats (Vitalisation, protection from chaos).

In terms of overall god strategy, remember that you can switch amongst Zin, Elyvilon, and the Shining One without incurring wrath, and you even get some starting piety with your new god choice. All three of these gods use Invocations skill. So long as you do not worship an evil or chaotic god, you can also leave the religion of any of these three gods without incurring penance.

In spite of the fact that Zin abhors chaos, Recite produces a variety of random effects. Recite's list of effects grows along with your Invocations skill and your piety, but weak effects are always possible. Monsters resist it based on their hit dice, not their magic resistance. Do note that reading scrolls, using other Zin abilities, casting spells, and shouting or commanding allies via the (t)ell command will interrupt recite.

Vitalisation boosts all your stats for a low piety cost, and while active makes you immune to sickness, poisoning, confusion, petrification, rot, and stat drain, but it won't cure these ailments if you already have them, so cast it preemptively as soon as you encounter an enemy that can inflict such effects on you. (Something of a niche case, but vitalisation does prevent the status effects that curare, yellow wasps and red wasps cause via their poison.) Also note that Vitalisation prevents the poisoning status but does not actually provide rPois, and thus does not lower the damage from the impact of spells like Poison Arrow or Venom Bolt.

Sanctuary is one of the most powerful emergency abilities in the game. Use it when you're surrounded and the situation is quickly going pear-shaped, though make sure you have an escape route too, since otherwise Sanctuary will only delay the inevitable. Note that you can't recast Sanctuary while you already have one still active, and that it costs a hefty 15 piety to invoke.


In 0.14 Vitalisation will grant poison resistance, and Zin won't mind when you allow your sentient allies to die.

Before 0.13, Recite had a 3-turn delay instead of a 3-turn duration, essentially paralyzing the player while he hoped Zin did something. Also, the priest background was removed.

Prior to 0.12, Vitalisation did not protect from the paralysing attacks of yellow wasps and red wasps.