Piety is a hidden characteristic, which measures how pleased or displeased the deitys of each alignment are with the PC. When the PC sacrifices on an altar, one of the messages below is generated as feedback on the PC's piety. At the start of the game, piety will be positive with the god of the PC's alignment, and 0 with the other gods. Druids and priests start with 1500 piety, Paladins start with 1200 piety, and other classes start with 200 piety.

Piety levels (in ascending order)[]

Message Notes Value
"MORTAL, YE HAVE PESTERED ME FOR TOO LONG!" The lowest level of piety. The deity will summon ~10 monsters to attack the PC. Chaotic deities summon greater daemons, neutral ones summon holy slayers, and lawful ones summon solars. -1000000
"Mortal, ye art a pest." A bolt of damaging energy hits the PC for ~70 penetrating damage. Chaotic gods send chilling energy, neutral ones True Matter, and lawful ones flaring fire. -20000
"*I* hereby punish thee, puny mortal!" The PC's equipped items will be destroyed. If wearing no equipment, the PC will be doomed. Nothing happens if the PC is wearing or wielding only artifacts ("You barely notice some thoughts: I can't believe it!"). -15000
"Take this for yer impudence!" The PC's entire inventory is cursed. Exploitable with preparation. -8000
You hear <deity> grumbling in anger. -3000
For some seconds the ground rumbles. -1000
<deity> seems unconcerned. -50
<deity> seems to be pleased. 50
<deity> seems to be very pleased with you. This is the minimum piety required for Paladins and Priests to use their class powers. Potions of Water dropped on co-aligned altars at this stage or higher will be blessed. 1000
You feel inner peace. (if non-chaotic)
You burn with the anticipation of power! (if chaotic)
Upon the first time the PC reaches this piety level, the message "You feel your spirits rise!" or "You feel an inner strength lifting your spirits!" is generated; this is a once-off effect that grants the Lucky intrinsic. If the PC loses the intrinsic, they can gain it again by this effect. 3000
You feel spiritually invincible. If the PC reaches this level for the first time, bypassing the previous level, the message "You feel spiritually elated!" is generated; this has the same effect as "You feel your spirits rise!" above. The piety checks from reading a religious tract are prevented at this stage or higher. 8000
<deity> seems to be very close to you. Whenever the PC sacrifices at this level or above, they will lose the Cursed and Doomed intrinsics (if they have them) and gain Lucky and Fate Smiles (if they don't have these). The message "You feel that a sinister curse is lifted from you" or "You feel relieved" means cursing was removed. "You feel a terrible gloom being lifted from you" indicates either the Doomed status or both were removed. 15000
<deity> favors you. The required piety level for this message increases whenever the PC pre/post-crowns. 18750
<deity> favors you greatly. The required piety level for this message increases whenever the PC pre/post-crowns. 26250
<deity> seems to be extremely close to you. (PC not of extreme alignment)
<deity> seems to be absolutely close to you. (PC of extreme alignment)
PCs of extreme alignment can pray for a crowning. PCs not of extreme alignment can pray for a first precrowning/postcrowning if they have satisfied the level requirement. The required piety level for this message increases whenever the PC pre/post-crowns; however, the required piety level for crowning does not change. A character that has pre-crowned one or more times will be able to crown at "very close" provided that the actual piety level is 30000+. 30000

Increasing piety[]

Sacrificing items or monsters on an altar increases piety. Items of insufficient value are not accepted. Gold is always accepted. With the exception of antediluvian dwarven map fragments and food, selling an item to a shop and sacrificing the gold gives more piety than sacrificing the item. This is true even for item types that gods of the PC's race favor. For most characters (non-dwarf, non-paladin, non-priest), 1 gold piece is worth 0.32 points of piety.

Reading a religious tract will increase piety with the tract's alignment by around 200.

Using a holy symbol to pray will raise piety by 0 or 1 and give a message that hints at the PC's piety level.

Eating a non-cursed mushroom of meditation increases piety.

Angering a deity increases piety with the others by around 1/30 of the amount of lost piety.

Increasing piety with a deity decreases piety with the others by around 1/30 of the amount of piety gained.

Changing alignment increases new deity's piety to -1000 if it was less

Using piety[]

Each time the PC prays for a favor, their piety will decrease by an amount depending on the favor granted (e.g. removing doomed status costs a lot more piety than simply healing the player) and how many times they have previously prayed for that specific favor.

For instance, if a player prays for healing for the first time, they will only incur the base piety cost of that favor. However, a second healing prayer would cost 3x as much piety as the first, while a third healing prayer would cost 6x as much, and so on. The specific multiplier applied to each favor's base cost is n(n+1)/2, where n is the number of times that the player has received that favor before.

The escalating cost of repeat favors does not decay over time, and continues to apply even if the PC changes alignment and prays to a different deity.

Using a holy symbol to turn undead costs piety unless the PC is a sufficiently high level paladin, priest, or necromancer.

Decreasing piety[]

In addition to bothering your god for favors, there are other ways of annoying a deity without any reward.

  • Piety will decay naturally over time. 1% of piety is lost every 220 turns. This cannot reduce piety below the higher of 99 and the PC's starting piety with the alignment in question (0, 200, 1200, or 1500 depending on class and starting alignment).
  • Destroying an altar greatly angers the corresponding deity. Kicking the altar may immediately result in divine retribution if the deity was already angry.
  • Sacrificing a gift granted by a deity, as part of pre-, post- or regular crowning, back to them will cause a huge drop in piety.
  • Converting an altar will reduce the PC's standing with the deity previously associated with the altar. This can occur unintentionally if the PC repeatedly sacrifices lawful creatures to lawful deities or neutral creatures to neutral deities, or if the PC sacrifices a companion on a non-chaotic altar (this seems to count as a sacrifice to the PC's chaotic deity).
  • Eating a cursed mushroom of meditation decreases piety.
  • Changing alignment reduces old deity's piety by 10000 or even halves it at higher positive values

Strategies for reaching high piety[]

Sacrificing gold[]

The Merchant Guild usually contains enough gold for a crowning in the two rooms that are easily accessible with digging. Since the guild contains four artifacts, this is not a good strategy for pre/post-crowning.

A dwarf merchant with all of the wealth-increasing talents starts with enough gold for two pre-crownings.

Sacrificing map fragments[]

The antediluvian dwarven map fragments are worth a large amount of piety. Two blessed fragments are enough for a crowning. Since the fragments count as an artifact, this is less than ideal for pre/post-crowning.

Live sacrifices[]

Sacrificing monsters on an altar yields a lot of piety. Simply waiting by an altar should eventually produce enough piety for one or two precrownings. It may be necessary to re-explore or leave and re-enter the level if monster generation slows. Cavernous levels are ideal for this, but normal levels work as well.

The altar in the Borderland Settlement can be used for live sacrifices. Kill all the townsfolk, convert to lawful, and then lure the respawning mercenaries to the altar by targeting behind them to "accidentally" hit them with missile attacks. This is sufficient for one precrown, but more tedious than live-saccing on a normal level.

Piety scumming[]

It's possible to take advantage of the fact that angering one god makes the others happy. Repeated unheard prayers increase in cost, just like any other favor. Praying around 200 times once the PC has reached summoning wrath is sufficient to reach the maximum piety of 1000000 with the two unaligned gods.

Of course, the various wrath effects have to be dealt with. Item cursing and dusting can be managed by dropping and unequipping items appropriately. The PC needs enough HP to survive energy bolts. Finally, it's necessary to prevent the summons from reaching the PC. Lawful and chaotic summons can be blocked by locked doors, with the High Mountain Village stairs being a convenient place to do this. Monsters can't be summoned on snow tiles, making the Ice Queen Domain a safe place for this purpose. Finally, monsters can only be summoned into empty spots within 5 squares (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) of the PC. If all of these squares are filled, e.g. with breeding monsters, then summoning wrath won't do anything.

Once piety scumming is complete, the PC can simply convert to a different alignment.