What can I find in the Dungeon?

Hints and Spoilers
Crawly Links

In addition to many dangers, the Dungeon contains many wonders. Here is a list of some of the things that you may be able to find:


Shops in Crawl aren't quite the same as those found in other roguelikes such as Angband and Nethack. Unlike those in Nethack, shops in Crawl are only one character in size (looking roughly like an upside-down 'U' in the DOS version, usually). Unlike those in Angband, shops in Crawl are buy-only: you can't sell things to them

There are quite a few different types of shop: some sell a selection of everything ('general stores'), while others sell just one type of item. Some shops have everything for sale pre-identified, while others work on the 'sold-as-seen' principle. The latter type can provide some real bargains, but the problem is that you often don't know what you are buying until you've bought it!

hintIf you find a potion or scroll shop in the early levels, take the opportunity to identify useful items! If the shop sells a useful item which you haven't already identified (scrolls of remove curse, for example, or potions of cure wounds) then if you buy it you will recognise that item in future. This can be a life-saving feature.

hintEven better, if a shop has cursed or worthless items for sale, then it's usually worth buying these if you haven't already identified them. They will generally cost peanuts, and it is far preferable to waste 1 gold buying a potion of degeneration from a shop than to accidentally drink an unidentified one later!


Occasionally you will find altars to various gods scattered throughout the dungeon. By praying ('p') on an altar you can convert to that deity's religion. Be warned: if you already worship another god that god is unlikely to be happy about your defection. The effects can range from 'nothing happens' to the offended god periodically gating in powerful demons to destroy you, or worse!

Somewhere in the upper levels of the dungeon lies a stairway to the Ecumenical Temple. The Temple holds an altar to each of the gods in Crawl.

Very occasionally, a temple other than the Ecumenical Temple will be generated. This will take the form of a small room studded with alcoves, each alcove holding an altar to a god. These temples can be very useful indeed if your god is one of those who appreciates sacrifices!


Deeper in the dungeon you may occasionally come across a vault. These are generally of three types:

  • Lesser - Lesser Vaults are small rooms containing either collections of gold or collections of items. The contents can vary in quality, and these vaults are generally not guarded. Often there is no access to a Lesser Vault from the level it is on: you will have to try and find a staircase to it from the level above or below.
    hint If you find a rectangular area of around 12 by 10 squares or so with no apparent doors into it in the middle of a level, it may be a vault. Try mapping it (with magic mapping or sense surroundings) if you can, or alternatively try all of the stairs on the levels above and below to try to get into it!
  • Greater - Greater Vaults take up between a third and a half of the level. They usually contain some great treasure (both gold and items), along with some nasty opposition. Expect to meet creatures much tougher than usual for that dungeon level: it's usually a good idea to only tackle a greater vault if you have some method of running away if you meet a really bad nasty.
    hint Granite statues often indicate areas of interest. If you find one, look around!
  • Naga - Guardian Nagas can sometimes be found in the deeper dungeon in their lairs. Such lairs take the form of small rooms full of items. Guardian Nagas aren't that tough, so such lairs are a good source of cheap goodies!


Deep in the dungeon you will find portals to different places such as Hell, the Abyss, Pandemonium, Labyrinths and the Realm of Zot. All of these are dangerous in their own way, and some can be deadly even for powerful characters. What's worse is that some types of portals are one-way: enter with care!
spoilerMore details are available in the section on dungeon branches


Copyright (C) Mark Mackey 2001