Instadeath stands for instant death. An instadeath causes death in zero time and allows no intervention.
Causes of instadeaths are:
- Stoning by a chickatrice, cockatrice, or Medusa (unless stoning resistant):
- Touching a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse without worn gloves.
- Eating a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse, or eating the corpse of Medusa.
- Kicking a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse without worn boots.
- Trying to sacrifice or tin a cockatrice corpse without worn gloves, even if it is already lying on the altar.
- Falling into a pit, or down a hole or trapdoor while wielding a cockatrice corpse.
- Includes deliberately flying down a hole, although flying over a pit is safe
- Falling down stairs due to being burdened while wielding a cockatrice corpse.
- Attacking a cockatrice while polymorphed into a creature with a contact attack, or when not wielding a weapon and not wearing gloves.
- Seeing Medusa's gaze, unless blind or reflecting. Invisibility protects her, not you.
- Having a cockatrice egg thrown upwards hit you.
- Being hit by a death ray while not having magic resistance, and not polymorphed into a demon or undead. This can be achieved by:
- Zapping yourself with a wand of death or a finger of death — this will kill you even if you do have magic resistance. ("You irradiate yourself with pure energy!")
- Zapping a wand of death or finger of death, and being hit by the ray reflecting off a wall, or a monster's reflection. Reflection will protect against this.
- Having a monster with a wand of death zap you. Reflection can also protect against this.
- Being touched by the touch of death while not having magic resistance, not polymorphed into a demon or undead and not hallucinating.
- Being fatally poisoned, by a monster attack, a poisoned weapon, or a spiked pit unless you have poison resistance. Quaffing a potion of sickness or eating a poisonous corpse will never instakill you (but may kill you by hitpoint loss or strength drain).
- Choking on your food
- Starving to death
- Drowning in a body of water
- Standing near a collapsing drawbridge.
- Genociding your own race, by scroll of genocide or sitting on a throne. Reading a non-cursed scroll of genocide while confused always results in self-genocide.
- Falling into lava without fire resistance.
- Intentionally level teleporting yourself to level 0 or any "higher" level - level 0 is nowhere, -1 to -8 is "above the clouds", -9 is Cloud Nine and -10 and above is Heaven. Teleporting to a level "above" 0 will not instakill you if you have levitation or flying, but the game will end anyway.
- Being hit by a disintegration breath (from a black dragon or the Chromatic Dragon) without reflection or disintegration resistance. If you are wearing a shield, it disintegrates, saving you; if not, but are wearing body armor, that and any cloak disintegrate, again saving you (but likely leaving you with a very poor armor class and vulnerable to the rebound).
- Being hit by a lightning bolt from an angry god without reflection or shock resistance.
- Being hit by a wide-angle disintegration beam from an angry god without disintegration resistance. An amulet of reflection, shield of reflection or any kind of body armor will not protect you in this case.
- Being hit by Vorpal Blade or The Tsurugi of Muramasa (5% chance, 10% in SLASH'EM).
- Cheating by modifying the save file ("death by trickery").
- Being level drained below experience level 1
- Eating any of the Riders' corpses (note that food appraisal does not warn you)
- Digesting any of the Riders
- Having your brain eaten by a mind flayer
Dealing instadeath unto other monsters
In many situations, it is very helpful for your player to have a way to instantly kill other monsters. Here are some methods of instantly killing monsters, listed roughly in order from most common to most obscure. Note that not all methods work on all monsters; for example, undead monsters resist death rays, etc.
- Zap a monster with a wand of death or finger of death
- Hit a monster with a poisoned weapon (10% chance)
- Zap a monster with a wand, potion or spell of polymorph (small chance of fatal system shock)
- Hit a monster with a wielded or thrown cockatrice corpse or cockatrice egg
- Disintegrate a monster with a black dragon's disintegration breath
- Engulf a monster with a swallowing monster such as a purple worm or trapper
- Open, close, or destroy a drawbridge on top of a monster (see dig for victory)
- Attack a monster with Vorpal Blade or The Tsurugi of Muramasa (5% chance, 10% in SLASH'EM)
- Displace a pet into water or lava
- Cause a monster engulfing you to be struck by a lightning bolt from an angry god
- Cause a monster engulfing you to be struck by a wide-angle disintegration beam from an angry god (requires it to survive the aforementioned lightning bolt, generally by being shock resistant)
- Polymorph into a sea monster with a drowning attack, and repeatedly attack monsters while being in water (breathless monsters will survive this type of attack). The chance of wrapping around a target monster is only about 10% but if it's successful, the next melee attack will instakill the monster.
SLASH'EM features several new instadeaths. They are:
- Being hit by a gaze of death from a Catoblepas or the Beholder.
- Asking a gypsy to read your fortune and drawing Death while not having magic resistance.
- Being hit by Thiefbane. (10% chance)
- Being hit by Serpent's Tongue without poison resistance. (10% chance)
- Being hit by a wooden stake while either polymorphed into a vampire and wearing an amulet of unchanging, or being a racial vampire. (10% chance)
- Invoking the Eye of the Beholder with your luck less than -9.
- Being hit by Houchou, an artifact weapon-tool.
Delayed instadeath, which also results in sudden death but allows for emergency intervention.