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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Zin altar.png "Spread the light, my child."
Zin is a god of discipline. Followers must remain pure of body and soul, refraining from dark magic and chaotic acts. They must also tithe a fraction of all gold gained, preferably followed by donations of more. In exchange, worshippers may invoke Zin's wrath upon sinners, and eventually gain various divine protections. Zin's followers can convert to Elyvilon or the Shining One while keeping some piety.

Zin grants followers the ability to preach to the unenlightened masses, and powers to vitalise their bodies and gain divine stamina, protecting them from various afflictions. Later, followers gain the ability to imprison their foes temporarily. Followers can eventually find temporary safety in a divine refuge. As piety grows, followers will be protected from mutation, and Zin may even occasionally directly intervene to save a follower's life.

Zin likes it when you donate money and you or your allies kill unclean or chaotic beings.

Zin dislikes it when you attack monsters in a sanctuary. Zin strongly dislikes it when you use evil magic or items, you attack non-hostile holy beings, you attack allies, you transform yourself, you or your allies kill non-hostile holy beings, you deliberately mutate or transform yourself, you use unclean or chaotic magic or items or you polymorph monsters.

Racial Restrictions


Zin appreciates donations of gold.

  • On worship, and every time you pick up gold, Zin takes a 10% tithe. Zin counts remainders: 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. Also, if you are at maximum piety (200), there is no tithe.
For tithes, base piety gain = gold_taken * 141 / (40 + 2 * absolute_depth),[1] but this can be modified:
  • If the gold was obtained from the Orcish Mines, the piety is halved.
  • For the gold taken upon worship, and any gold from a scroll of acquirement, the tithe's effect is reduced. Gold from these sources is instead worth 30 * log2(gold_taken / 10) piety (max. 150 piety). If the tithe was reduced this way, ignore the Orcish Mines penalty entirely.
  • Zin knows if you try to save gold piles before worship ("Zin ignores your late donation.").
  • You may also donate half your current gold. The piety from donations = (gold) * ln(gold) / 200, which always gives less piety than a tithe of the same amount.[2] Piety is not given right away; it is distributed over a lengthy period of time. You'll receive an indication of what Zin's opinion towards you will be once the piety is fully distributed.
    • One time big donations are more efficient than multiple small ones. For example, five donations of 100 gold would give 8-12 piety, but one donation of 500 gold would give 15-16 piety.
    • Late-game converts can buy their way from 0* to 6* for ~3600 gold donated.
    • If you are at 200 piety, any piety from donations is saved until you drop below 200 piety.

Zin also appreciates killing evil or chaotic creatures, which has a chance to grant piety.


Your piety will decay by 1 every 340 turns, on average (1/17 chance every 20 turns).

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

  • You attack neutral monsters.
  • You deliberately mutate yourself. This includes deliberately making yourself glow and drinking potions of mutation when not at 6*.
  • You or your allies attack monsters in a sanctuary.

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

  • You use Necromancy.
  • 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.

If you use any talisman, you will be excommunicated. Also, Zin won't let you join while you're transformed.

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

Given Abilities

Piety level -: "Anchorite"

  • Zin may protect you from a fatal instance of damage. The chance increases linearly from 10% at 0 piety to 28% at maximum. (Passive, no cost)
  • Zin may protect you from the effects of Hell's mystical force. The chance increases with piety, up to 50% at maximum. (Passive)
  • Zin may protect you from mutation at a (piety/1.6)% chance, increasing up to 100% at 160 piety (******). (Passive)
  • Donate Gold - You may donate half your gold to increase your piety.

Also, Zin will identify if a monster is a shapeshifter ("Zin warns you: The <monster> is a foul <glowing> shapeshifter.").

Piety level *: "Apologist"

You Recite for three turns; each turn has a chance to affect enemies, but no enemy can be affected more than once per recite. You can move, fight, cast spells, read scrolls, etc. during this time. Being silenced, berserked, or disabled, e.g. paralysis, will end the effect. Recite is more powerful with higher piety and Invocations, though there's always a 50% chance (calculated for each individual monster, each turn) of nothing happening, and monsters can resist based on their HD (orbs of fire are immune). (1-39 turn -recite cooldown)

Piety level **: "Pious"

  • Vitalisation - Temporarily gives you the Vit status. While active, it gives full poison immunity, protects you from sickness, confusion, petrification, and stat drain, and boosts all your stats by Invocations/3. Lasts for 60 + 2d10 turns, regardless of skill.[4] (1-2 Piety)

Piety level ***: "Devout"

  • Imprison - Temporarily creates a silver-walled prison around an enemy, pushing away monsters adjacent to the target. It will fail if there is no space to push an adjacent monster to, or if you are adjacent to the monster. Duration depends on Invocations skill. Strong monsters may break themselves out before the effect ends on its own (chance of doing so depends on monster's HD). (5 MP, 4-6 Piety)

Piety level ****: "Orthodox"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level *****: "Immaculate"

  • Sanctuary - Creates a stationary Sanctuary centered on yourself, with a radius and duration dependent on your Invocations skill. 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. (7 MP, 15-23 Piety)

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

  • Clouds dissipate.
  • Your allies are recalled and protected against Abjuration.
  • Monsters inside are scared away.
  • Magical contamination discharges are greatly reduced.

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

  • Zin will cleanse potions of mutation. This means you will no longer lose piety from quaffing potions of mutation, and potions of mutation will only remove mutations, not add them.


Zin does not punish followers who leave Zin's service; however, those who take up the worship of evil or chaotic gods will be scourged. (Kikubaaqudgha, Yredelemnul, Makhleb, Lugonu, and Beogh are evil, and Xom and Jiyva are chaotic.)

Those under Zin's wrath will find their beneficial mutations stripped away, their enemies alerted, and their senses confounded by the axioms of Law; confusion, fainting and complete paralysis will be their lot.

Zin will only dispense punishments to those who enter the service of an evil or chaotic god. Switching to other gods or breaking Zin's conduct will not result in any wrath. Switching to Elyvilon or The Shining One will transfer half of your piety to them.

  • 1/3 chance: If possible, remove 1-7 random good mutations. Otherwise, reroll from the remaining options.
  • 1/2 chance: Recites the Axioms of Law at you, inflicting confusion, sleep, or paralysis (equal chance of each).
  • 1/6 chance: Makes an extremely loud noise at your current position.


Zin is more subtle than most gods. Instead of killing enemies directly, Zin offers a variety of defensive abilities and buffs. From trapping enemies with Imprison, or debuffing them with Recite, Zin is great for strong characters (and/or strong players) who can sacrifice power for tools that can handle the toughest of situations.

Zin is also useful for the extended game. With so many evil monsters, piety is gained quickly. Defensive tools are useful when torment can make any situation nasty. Zin also blocks mutations and Hell's mystical force, which is a nice benefit.

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. And as long as you do not worship an evil or chaotic god at any point later on in the game, you will not incur wrath if you leave any of these three gods. Note that Zin isn't "free" to worship before you find other gods, since Zin takes a tithe.

Ability Strategy

  • In spite of the fact that Zin abhors chaos, Recite produces a variety of random effects. Weak effects are always possible, but since Recite is a practically free ability, you might as well use it. It lasts for 3 turns, each turn can produce an effect, and you can do anything (including spells, scrolls, and other "spoken" abilities) during the time.
  • Vitalisation is fairly cheap. It offers a stat boost, poison immunity, and blocks a few statuses. It won't cure statuses, however, so be proactive and know what inflicts what status. The poison immunity blocks the effects of curare or a hornet's sting.
  • Imprison is a strong ability whenever you need to get away from a scary monster. Whether it'd be a unique or just an out of depth monster, the silver walls will allow you to avoid them. Then, you can explore a different area, skip the floor, or even swap branches. Keep in mind that Imprison won't work if you are adjacent to your target. It tries to displace monsters adjacent to your target - if there's no space, it will also fail.
  • Sanctuary is one of the most powerful emergency abilities in the game. Use it when you're surrounded and/or the situation is quickly going pear-shaped. Make sure you have an actual way to escape, lest Sanctuary only delay your death. Note that you can't recast Sanctuary while you already have one still active, and that it costs a hefty 15 piety to invoke.


There are 4 volumes of the Axioms of Law: Abominations, Ablutions, Anathema, and Apostates.


  • In 0.32, Zin's wrath will be able to inflict blindness when reciting the Axioms of Law.
  • Prior to 0.27, Sanctuary provided a holy word effect inside it.
  • Prior to the removal of the food system in 0.26, Zin forbid eating the flesh of monsters with human intelligence, holy beings, and cannibalism. Species with high hunger costs, namely Trolls, were more difficult to play as a result.
  • Prior to 0.21, Zin had a one-time ability at 6* which would remove all mutations, instead of cleansing mutation potions. Also, Zin's mutation protection was 100% at max piety instead of 6* (200 piety instead of 160).
  • Prior to 0.20, potions of cure mutation existed, which Zin allowed the use of.
  • Prior to 0.18, Recite would be interrupted by many things that "prevent you from speaking", including: casting spells, reading scrolls, drinking potions, using god abilities, eating, and using breath weapons.
  • Prior to 0.17, Vitalisation also gave a small amount of nutrition, though never enough to go past Full.
  • Prior to 0.16, Zin would completely protect followers from Hell's effects at maximum piety.
  • Prior to 0.15, followers of Zin would on occasion be seen as allies by holy monsters. The chance of this occurring rose with piety. Also, Recite prompted you to choose a book - each book had different effects (e.g. one book only affected "demonic & undead", one only affected "chaotic").
  • Prior to 0.14, Vitalisation simply blocked the poison status effect, without resisting poison; it didn't protect from impact damage from spells like Venom Bolt or Poison Arrow. Also, Zin was displeased when your sentient allies were allowed to die.
  • Prior to 0.13, Recite had a 3-turn delay instead of a 3-turn duration, essentially paralyzing the player while they hoped Zin did something. Also, the Priest background was removed, making it impossible to begin play worshiping Zin.
  • Prior to 0.12, Vitalisation did not protect from the paralysing sting of yellow wasps and red wasps.
  • Prior to 0.6, Zin's wrath could summon insect plagues and eyes.
  • In older versions, Zin's wrath could summon several hostile angels.


Good ElyvilonZinThe Shining One
Neutral AshenzariCheibriadosFedhas MadashGozag Ym SagozHepliaklqanaIgnisNemelex XobehOkawaruQazlalRuSif MunaTrogUskayawVehumetWu Jian
Chaotic JiyvaXom
Evil BeoghDithmenosKikubaaqudghaLugonu *Makhleb *Yredelemnul
* Chaotic & Evil