Improved ADOM Guidebook

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Spells - Learning mechanics - Spells table - Writing scrolls - Mindcraft - Confusion blast - Mindcraft abbreviations


Books and scrolls can be read. Learned spells are cast - Z. You can also mark learned spells for quick selection via the :Z command. Mindcraft is invoked by pressing Ctrl-i. It only works for Mindcrafters though. As of R+, spells cannot be cast while wielding two shields.

0.5.1 Spells

There is a description of available spells except Wish in the ADOM Manual. The range and damage information has been removed from the manual in ADOM 1.1.x+. Accordingly they are tabulated below.

Wizards, Priests, Druids, and Necromancers are 10 times more likely to find spellbooks. Paladins 2,5 times. Casting

Note that spells become more costly to cast (in terms of PP) as the number of available castings decreases. Thus a spell will increase in cost as the number of available castings decreases below 100 or so, becoming very noticeable as the number drops below about 30. This is class dependent but will affect all classes to differing extents. Note also that the number of available castings is not a simple "decrement by one each time the spell is cast" type of formula. Again depending on class, the difficulty of casting the spell and probably other factors this will vary. For example, casting Light with 1000 castings available to a level 40 Wizard may decrease the available castings by one, while casting Death Ray with 20 castings available with a level 30 Archer may reduce the available castings to zero. These are purely hypothetical examples but should give an idea of the trends. Ball spells

Ball spells are extraordinarily useful since no monsters shrug them off. They are wonderful when the PC is surrounded, of course. It is worth switching to Coward tactics and waiting to be completely surrounded before casting. Since they are relatively costly in terms of PP, it is useful to destroy the maximum number of enemies with each casting. Fire magic is particularly effective against cold-based creatures and undead including mummies. Cold magic is particularly effective against fire-based creatures. The diameter of ball spells is dependent upon Willpower / 8. However, this diameter only increases as a multiple of sixteen since ball spells radiate symmetrically; the minimum diameter is two. Therefore getting Willpower to 24, for instance, does not increase the diameter. Willpower must be increased to 32 for the diameter to increase to four, 48 for the diameter to increase to six, 64 for the diameter to increase to eight, 80 for diameter of 10, and 96 for diameter of 12. Wish

Wish is a unique spell. It is very difficult to learn, probably impossible if the PC has teleportitis. Such PCs must travel to a location where teleportation is impossible, such as the the Assassin's Guild, the Tomb of the High Kings or the elemental temples (the desirability is in that order due to background corruption in all of those locations). Furthermore, PCs will usually reach Starving! status while attempting to learn Wish. Removing all artifacts (except those that increase Learning) and invisibility-granting items prior to reading the book is recommendable. Otherwise, their food consumption penalties really stack given the long amount of time it takes to learn Wish. Other tactics to deal with this include eating a blessed stomafillia to become Bloated, waiting just until the PC returns to Satiated, then eating another blessed stomafillia. It may be necessary to drink additional satiating potions, such as potions of toughness or potential toughness, even when the double blessed stomafillia tactic is used. Alternatively, PCs without teleportitis can use a room that has the "rich flavour" special effect, where PCs will never become hungry. Wish is extraordinarly expensive to cast and also drains a random attribute -10 when cast. If the PC must cast it, be prepared for the attribute drain. Plan to cast it in a special room that lowers spell costs, and on Silvernight or Darknight, if possible, according to the PC's alignment. Note that teleporting no longer interrupts reading, making learning Wish a bit easier. Other spells

Bless damages undead. Healing spells can be cast at monsters including companions (but don't use them on slaves!). Lightning, Magic Missile, Stun Ray and Death Ray bolts will bounce off the walls, but not doors. Nothing is resistant to a Magic Missile. Magic Lock will close and lock a door in one turn. Anywhere Earthquake generates rocks will be turned into a normal ground tile - this can be used to destroy water tiles and make them passable. Some spell durations stack. Bless, Strength of Atlas, Invisibility and Farsight all stack. Calm Monster doesn't work on monsters generated in tension rooms, threat rooms and vaults. It just results in "The [monster] ignores your spell". In addition, arena opponents and Keethrax' animals won't be affected by the Calm Monster spell. Mystic Shovel damages stone monsters. Scare Monster is only effective against humanoids, animals, and all unclassified monsters except wall beasts. Learning spells mechanics

Book charges
Books start with 2d3 charges and disappear when it reaches 0. The number charges left is hidden to the player. Successfully reading a book deducts one charge.

Learning spells
Reading a spellbook takes 3 + Cost turns, succeed or fail. "Shelves of books" room effect halves this time. There are 11 possible bonuses to learning a spell:

  1. We start off with class. Priests and Wizards have +30, Mindcrafters -40, other classes in between.
  2. Learning is counted in next; +1/8*Le for Barbarians, +3*Le for Wizards, and in between for others.
  3. Next comes the difficulty based on the specific spellbook (Darkness and Light are lowest with +6, Wish is highest -100).
  4. Pure spellcasters (except Elementalists) attempting to learn purely arcane spells get -10, other combinations get +10.
  5. You are penalized -1 per remaining turn of drunkenness.
  6. You are rewarded +20 for a blessed book and penalized -20 for cursed.
  7. You are rewarded for your level. Pure spellcasters (Druids, Priests, Wizards, Necromancers, and Elementalists) get +Min(75,2*level). All other non-Mindcrafter non-Trolls get +1*level. Mindcrafters and Troll non-casters get nothing.
  8. +Concentration/5.
  9. +Literacy/10.
  10. Druids and Necromancers receive +40 for their specific starting book, lightning bolt and frost bolt, respectively.
  11. Characters born under Book receive +20.

All of this combines together for some kind of BaseValue. Now you choose whether to cast or read the book. If you read it, there's a straight up Literacy roll. Basically, your Literacy skill is a percentage chance of successfully reading the book. If you fail the check, you "cannot decipher the runes" and nothing else happens (even with 100 Literacy there is 1% chance of automatic failure). Now if BaseValue > 1d100 you succeed in learning the spell. Otherwise, you fail. SuccessMargin = BaseValue-1d100 previously rolled.

On success
You gain castings and train Learning. Learning training is 2*Cost, or Cost/2 if you had some castings already.

If ExistingCastings < 30, then CastingsGained = Min(200 + Le*4, Max(20, Max(5, SuccessMargin - ExistingCastings) * Max(1, Le/4))); else CastingsGained = Max(5, Max(1, Le/8) * SuccessMargin).

CastingsGained is then reduced by ExistingCastings and level - CastingsGained *= (100 - 3 * (ExistingCastings/50 + lvl/3)) / 100. Reduction is never worse than 25% of previous value and never reduces CastingsGained below 1.

Next, Cup is +20% CastingsGained, Good and Great Book Learner talents are each +10%.

On failure
If you fail to read the book successfully, it depends on SuccessMargin (negative in this case) plus a base value for each class (shown below) your chances of the book doing something nasty versus your chances to just not learning anything.

If the value is now positive, nothing happens. Otherwise, you get a random penalty from the 11 equally probable effects:

Failed spellbook reading
1The spellbook is suddenly gone! spellbook disappears
2The spellbook bursts into flames and is destroyed!
3You are stunned by the power of the runes! stunned for 4d(Cost/2) turns
4You suddenly feel very confused. confused for 5dCost turns
5Your eyes refuse to further concentrate on this spellbook! blinded for 2dCost turns
6The magical energies drain your healh! -1 To
7The power of the spell partially drains your life force! 1dCost damage
8The spellbook explodes into a ball of fire! fireball - 4d(Cost/4) fire damage to PC, equipment and inventory; spellbook is destroyed
9Suddenly you stand somewhere else. teleportation
You feel dizzy.would have teleported, but the dungeon level doesn't allow it - so confuse for 5d5 turns instead
10Your feel your power draining away! reduce PP by 2*Cost
You feel hollow. would have reduced PP, but PP is already 0, so no effect
11Suddenly a pit opens beneath your feet. You fall into it! pit is created [1]; some HP might be lost during the fall
The ground suddenly rumbles! would have created a pit, but the dungeon level doesn't allow it (wilderness); no effect

[1] If you're standing on a grave, it'll dig the grave. Gravedigging is always a chaotic act though, even when done in this way.

To sum up, chance of successfuly learning a spell predominantly depends on class (pretty self explanatory to the extent spellcasters read better). Also birthsign (Book helps), whether you're drunk, the difficulty of the spellbook, whether you're a Mindcrafter/Troll, B/U/C status of the spellbook, Learning, Concentration, Literacy, and the PC's level factor in - the higher of these the better. Spell list

Notation for spells:

For Darkness, Light, and ball spells, "Range" means "Diameter". Chance is relative probability of a spellbook to be generated. It also hints at spell difficulty.

SpellPictBase costRange or DurationDamageItems with Similar EffectChance
Acid Ball / Rain Of Sorrow (A)Acid Ball35 M{2, W / 8}M{3, L / 4 + 2}d9 + L + E  40
Acid Bolt (A,C)Acid Bolt15 W / 4 + L / 4 + 2 M{4, (L + E) / 3}d8 + rwand of acid40
Bless (C)Bless8 1d{W} + (M + E) * 2   40
Burning Hands / Baptism of Fire (A,C)Burning Hands8   m{15, L}d3 + L + Etorch, everburning torch100
Calm Monster (A,C)Calm Monster8    100
Create Item / Divine Favor (A,C)Create Item250   scroll of item creation4
Cure Critical Wounds (C)Cure Critical Wounds15  cures 4d8 + 4 + E[2]20
Cure Disease (C)Cure Disease8   curacia mancox40
Cure Light Wounds (C)Cure Light Wounds5  cures 1d8 + 1 + E[2]100
Cure Serious Wounds (C)Cure Serious Wounds10  cures 2d10 + 2 + E[2]20
Darkness (A,C)Darkness4 1 + M{4, (W + E) / 4} / 2  scroll of darkness, crystal of darkness300
Death Ray / Greater Divine Touch (A,C)Death Ray100 M{2, m{16, (W + E) / 8}}  wand of death20
Destroy Undead / Dispel Undead (C)Destroy Undead8  {L + 1}d6 + W + E holy symbol20
Disarm Trap (C)Disarm Trap10    40
Earthquake (C)Earthquake80   wand of earthquakes4
Farsight (A,C)Farsight17 (M + E) * 10 necklace of the eye40
Fire Bolt / Hellish Flames (A,C)Fire Bolt10 W / 4 + L / 4 + 2M{4, (L + E) / 3}d6 + rwand of fire100
Fireball / Major Punishment (A)Fireball20 M{2, W / 8} M{3, L / 4 + 2}d6 + L + Ewand of fireballs40
Frost Bolt / Nether Bolt (A,C)Frost Bolt12 W / 4 + L / 4 + 2 M{4, (L + E) / 3}d6 + rwand of cold100
Greater Identify / Greater Enlightment (A,C)Greater Identify100   scroll of great identify4
Heal (C)Heal40  cures 10d6 + 10 + E[2]4
Ice Ball / Freezing Fury (A)Ice Ball25 M{2, W / 8} M{3, L / 4 + 2}d7 + L + E 40
Identify / Enlightenment (A,C)Identify75   scroll of identify4
Improved Fireball / Invoked Devastation (A)Improved Fireball30 M{2, W / 8}{2 + (L + E) / 5}d8 + Lcrystal of fire20
Invisibility / Veil Of The Gods (A)Invisibility10 {L + E + 3}d6  potion of invisibility, ring of invisibility, cloak of invisibility100
Knock / Divine Key (A)Knock12   wand of knocking200
Know Alignment (C)Know Alignment10    40
Light (A,C)Light3 1 + M{4, (W + E) / 4} / 2  wand of light, scroll of light, crystal of light300
Lightning Ball / Heavenly Fury (A)Lightning Ball30 M{2, W / 8} M{3, L / 4 + 2}d8 + L + E  40
Lightning Bolt / Divine Wrath (A,C)Lightning Bolt13 W / 4 + L / 4 + 2 M{4, (L + E) / 3}d6 + r wand of lightning100
Magic Lock / Seal of the Spheres (A)Magic Lock8   keys, cursed wand of knocking100
Magic Map / Knowledge of the Ancients (A,C)Magic Map40   scroll of magic mapping, crystal of knowledge40
Magic Missile / Minor Punishment (A)Magic Missile8 W / 4 + L / 4 + 2 M{2, (L + E) / 3}d4 + r wand of magic missiles200
Mystic Shovel / Divine Digger (A,C)Mystic Shovel100 M{2, m{10, (W + E) / 5}} wand of digging, pickaxe20
Neutralize Poison (C)Neutralize Poison10   potion of cure poison, alraunia antidote40
Petrification (C)Petrification120    4
Remove Curse (A,C)Remove Curse50   scroll of uncursing40
Revelation (C)Revelation33   potion of insight40
Scare Monster / Holy Awe (A,C)Scare Monster12 (L)d4 + E  40
Slow Monster (A)Slow Monster7 3d{W + E} cursed potion of quickling blood200
Slow Poison (C)Slow Poison6   cursed potion of cure poison, cursed alraunia antidote100
Strength Of Atlas / Lordly Might (A) [1]Strength of Atlas10 (W + E) * 20 blessed girdle of carrying100
Stun Ray / Lesser Divine Touch (A,C)Stun Ray8 M{3, m{12, (W + E) / 4}} wand of stunning100
Summon Monsters (A,C)Summon Monsters30   wand of monster creation, scroll of familiar summoning, figurine of wondrous power20
Teleportation / Ethereal Bridge (A)Teleportation22 [3]  wand of teleportation, scroll of teleportation100
Web (A)Web12 M{3, m{12, (W + E) / 4}} wand of webbing100
Wish / Divine Intervention (A,C)Wish3000   wand of wishing, blessed ring of djinni summoning1

[1] Increases carrying capacity by Mana * 1000.

[2] Potion of healing, potion of extra healing, potion of ultra healing, spensesweed, pepper petal, crystal of health.

[3] Teleportation cost is 22 + (1.5*DL), rounded down.

0.5.2 Writing scrolls

Scrolls can be written if the PC is literate, has seen an example of the scroll, has a magical writing set and a blank scroll to write on. Blank scrolls can be found in the dungeons (usually an unlabeled scroll, although this is not guaranteed), or they can be created by dipping other scrolls into normal water - not holy water or unholy water. Be aware that the cost for writing scrolls of chaos resistance is high - there is a permanent loss of two or three Mana points for Wizards, apparently depending on the blessed vs uncursed status of the magical writing set. The Mana cost for non-wizards is significantly higher, ten Mana points is typical. In addition, any combination of a blessed MWS with an uncursed blank scroll or an uncursed MWS with a blessed or uncursed blank scroll will result in a loss of hitpoints. This loss range from 70 to 145 HP with an experience level one Wizard PC. The HP loss may go down with increasing experience level for Wizards. The HP consequences for non-wizards may be more dramatic (i.e. deadly).

Writing other scrolls does not have such drastic consequences, though the exact effects have yet to be worked out. Scrolls which are particularly hard to write (in order of decreasing difficulty) include: scroll of chaos resistance (*10 Mana cost), scroll of education (*7), scroll of protection/defense (*6), scroll of increase melee accuracy/damage (*5), scroll of item creation (*4). Monks don't lose Mana when creating scrolls.

0.5.3 Mindcraft

ADOM Manual has a section describing Mindcraft, containing descriptions, formulaes and level availibilities for all mindcraft powers.

Mindcraft PP cost Credit Malte Helmert.
1 N/A8
2 N/A8
3 N/A724
4 N/A724
5 N/A724
6 N/A62318
7 N/A62318
8 N/A62318
9 N/A522175/T
33N/A3149 2/T271832454
34N/A3149 2/T261832452
35N/A3149 2/T2518324505/T
36N/A3138 2/T2418323485/T
37N/A3138 2/T2318323465/T
38N/A3138 2/T2218323445/T
39N/A3127 2/T2118322425/T
40N/A3127 2/T2018322404/T35
41N/A3127 2/T1918322384/T35
42N/A3116 2/T1818321364/T35
43N/A3116 2/T1718321344/T35
44N/A3116 2/T1618321324/T35
45N/A3105 2/T1518320304/T3535
46N/A3105 2/T1518320284/T3535
47N/A3105 2/T1518320264/T3535
48N/A39 5 2/T1518319254/T3535
49N/A39 5 2/T1518319254/T3535
50N/A39 5 2/T1518319253/T353550

N/A: this is for free
x/T: x per turn Confusion blast

Note that Confusion Blast, available to experience level one Mindcrafters, works analoguously to Ventriloquism (see section 0.4). It confuses a monster who then does not alert other monsters on the level. It has a range of 3 + (Willpower + Level) / 8 squares. If it hits an undead monster, the PC takes 4d4 damage (4d4/2 at level 50) and no further effect. Mindless monsters, including insects and the Eternal Guardian, are immune, as are all unlife. Corrupting monsters will corrupt the PC as for a single melee hit (divided by 4 at level 32); however they ARE affected normally. The monster will not be affected if it passes a spell resistance save with an attack power of Level. If it is affected, it will be confused for Level + 1dWi-1 turns. Mindcraft abbreviations and power types Credit ADOM Wiki - Mindcraft.
AbbrPict Mindcraft PowerTypeLevel
TPC TPCTeleport Control   1
COB COBConfusion Blast TP 1
COW COWConfusion Wave TP 3
MBL MBLMind Blast TP 6
MSH MSHMental Shield S 9
MWV MWVMind Wave TP 13
TBL TBLTelekinetic BlastTK 15
EOM EOMEyes of the Mind TP 18
GMB GMBGreater Mental BlastTP 25
GTB GTBGreater Telekinetic BlastTK30
REG REGRegeneration S 35
TPS TPSTeleport Self TK 40
TPO TPOTeleport Other TK 45
GMW GMWGreater Mental WaveTP 50

Type of power:

Updated September 20th, 2016