| No one knows who or what Zot is: demon, god, wizard, something else entirely? But adventurers seeking the Orb will, in turn, be hunted by Zot. If it finds them, it will first drain their life and then, once they are sufficiently reduced, it will end their existence.
Zot is very slow moving, and can only sense adventurers once they've spent an inordinately long time in one area of the dungeon. Even once this happens, adventurers will have plenty of warning to either descend to new depths in the area (diffusing Zot's attention once more) or to leave the area entirely.
The Abyss is beyond Zot's comprehension, and adventurers there are safe from it (albeit subject to many other hazards). The Hells, along with their Vestibule, are a single area as far as Zot is concerned. Rumours claim there are ways to escape Zot's pursuit forever, but what magics could be mighty enough to forestall such an implacable entity?
The Zot clock is a game mechanic that limits the time you can stay in a dungeon branch; in order to replenish the clock, you must visit new levels.
The Zot clock is measured in decaAuts, or 1 turn acting at normal speed. Normally, you'll get 6,000 decaAuts for entering new floor. Felids dying will also restore a floor's worth of time. You can store a maximum of 27,000 decaAuts at any one time. Certain effects may modify the timer speed:
- Cheibriados slows down the clock by 1.5x (9,000 decaAut/level and 40,500 decaAut max)
- Meteorae have a clock that runs 10x faster (600 decaAut/level)
- Finishing a Ziggurat or picking up the Orb of Zot immediately stops the clock for all branches.
- Dungeon Sprint negates the clock entirely.
When the clock reaches zero, Zot will find you, drains you for ~36% of your maximum HP, and then give 1000 decaAut worth of time (200 for Meteorae). If you were already drained to 10% of maximum HP or less, Zot will kill you instead.
For the most part, each branch has its own Zot clock. The Abyss doesn't have a Zot clock, and you can explore it for unlimited time. Hell branches, including the Vestibule, share the same Zot clock.
You can see the remaining time by pressing E. When the clock reaches 1,000, you will get a warning and the Zot(number) status effect, which shows how much time you have left. The rcfile option
always_show_zot = true will display your time in the status bar in less pressing situations; this option is automaticaly enabled for Meteorae.
Tips & Tricks
- The clock is designed not to hinder regular gameplay - the average character can fully clear a floor, even with continuous rest, retreat, and autoexplore, in less than half the time. This even applies to high HP species like Ogres and slow species like Nagas, though they should watch out for backtracking time.
- Meteorae do not have regular gameplay; see their Strategy section for more details.
- In 0.30, the Zot clock will permamently reduce max HP by 16.6%, instead of just draining you.
- Prior to 0.29, the Zot clock ending would instantly kill you, even without drain.
- Prior to 0.27, finishing a ziggurat did not stop the clock.
- The Zot clock was added in 0.26 as a replacement for the food clock. Unlike the previous clock, it affects all species, including mummies and vampires.
- ↑ zot.cc:195 (0.29.0)
See ouch.cc:399 (0.29.0) for drain function. 270/750 is 36%.
- ↑ zot.cc:75 (0.29.0)