Improved ADOM Guidebook

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Why start in the wilderness? - Strategy and problems - Survival - Wilderness encounters - Chance for ambush - Weather - Unremarkable Cave


Color map

The wilderness is the overland map of the Drakalor Chain - you start the game in the upper right corner of the wilderness, and you may enter a wilderness location immediately by pressing >. It may be useful to learn spells, equip starting items etc. When no monsters are around, a wilderness location may be left with <.

The wilderness is often regarded as a curse by new players, whose PCs are killed in wilderness encounters and have difficulty keeping their PCs fed during treks across the wilderness. Advanced players with PCs who are well equipped to deal with the wilderness regard it as a wonderful resource.

The Survival skill can be useful for lengthy stays in the wilderness, but note that applying it wastes a lot of game time.

1.1.1 Why start the game in the wilderness?

Many players will start the game in the wilderness, at least for the first kill, because the first monster killed can be controlled according to what type of wilderness square generates an encounter.

1.1.2 Strategy and problems in the wilderness

In order to avoid wasting too much time in the wilderness (e.g. because of the dreadful 90 day limit), it is good to know how long it actually takes to do things in the wilderness.

All times are approximate since there are slight variations of some minutes. It is also the case that without apparent reason walking times are sometimes doubled. This can happen for any terrain type and might be a bug. Being burdened or strained does not cause this and has marginal, if any, effect on movement time in the wilderness.

Wilderness time
Time Spent Action
nothing changing body armor
60 min changing other parts of equipment
60 min resting
60 min moving onto a plains, road, water, or special square
90 min moving onto a hills square
120 min moving onto a forest square
180 min moving onto a swamp square
300 min moving onto a mountain square (provided you own a climbing set)
240 min applying Survival (Rangers level 1-5 and non-Rangers)
120 min applying Survival (Rangers level 6-50)

In many cases one turn in wilderness counts as 30 turns elsewhere (while actual turn count is increased by one). This 30x effect includes:

However status giving spells like casting Bless or Slow monster on yourself (gaining Blessed, Slowed) will go at 1:1 speed.

Note that the Swimming skill and water breathing intrinsic have no effect on the time needed to move onto a water square. Likewise, the Climbing skill and the B/U/C status of a climbing set have no effect on the time needed to move onto a mountain square.

Note that a climbing set is required to move onto mountains. It is important to know the status of a climbing set, in particular making sure it is not cursed. A cursed climbing set will fail at the most inopportune moment. At a minimum, the resulting slip while mountaineering will cause extensive equipment destruction. It is often fatal. The blessed vs uncursed status seems to have little or no effect.

1.1.3 Survival skill

Successfully applying the Survival skill when not bloated increases the satiation value of the PC by about 100 (equivalent to 1/5 large ration, see Appendix G). This is roughly tripled for Rangers of level 6 or above. These values hold for both water and land squares.

If the PC is already bloated, his satiation value isn't increased. Instead, he gathers plant seeds (on land squares) or goes fishing (on water squares). The amount of seeds gathered does not depend on terrain type or skill value and averages at about 5.2. Rangers of level 6 or above receive triple amount.

When fishing is successful, the PC obtains exactly one piece of fish meat.

The chances of success when applying the Survival skill depend on skill value, terrain type, the Ranger level 6 class power, and the Falcon birthsign. The Falcon birthsign gives a 1/3 chance of success even if you fail the initial check. The following success rates were measured by applying the Survival skill 100 times, with a skill value of 100. The "normal" column applies to non-Rangers and Rangers of level 1-5, the "high" column to Rangers of level 6-50. Level is the terrain difficulty level.

Terrain Symbol Normal High Level
Special * o 100% 100% 1
Forest & 100% 100% 1
Hills ~ 98% 100% 2
Plains " 96% 100% 3
Road . 93% 100% 4
Swamp " 80% 99% 5
Mountains^ 79% 99% 5
Water = 43% 72% 6

1.1.4 Wilderness encounters

The following table specifies chance of a wilderness encounter per step in the wilderness. The Doomed column also applies if the PC is both cursed and doomed.

Chance of an encounter
Terrain Chance Cursed Doomed
Swamp 18% 48% 90%
Road 15% 45% 75%
Plains 7.5% 22.5% 37.5%
Hills 5% 15% 25%
Mountains3.5% 10.5% 17.5%
Forest 2% 6% 10%
Water 0% 0% 0%

Wilderness encounter types are specified next. If the PC is level 25+, the chance is 16.7% for high-level (lvl 25+) encounter, 33% for mid-level (lvl 15+) and 50.3% for low-level (lvl 1+) encounter. For lvl 15-24 PCs, 33% for mid-level and 67% for low-level encounter. For level and terrain, each of the types has equal chance.

Wilderness encounter types
LevelTerrain Name (type) Monsters Evade Evade2
[1] All a group of roving raiders 1 raider lord, 3d4 raider, 1d2 goblin, 1d3 kobold 50% 90%
1+Forestan orcish patrol 3d4 orc, 1d2+1 orc scorcher, 1d2-1 orc chieftain 35% 85%
a group of bandits 4d3 bandit, 1d2 outlaw 30% 90%
a wandering brown bear 1 brown bear 70% 98%
a huge grizzly bear 1 grizzly bear 40% 85%
Hills a pack of wolves 4d4 wolf, 1d4 dire wolf 25% 55%
a hill orc patrol 3d3 hill orc, 2d2 hill orc sergeant 35% 70%
an outlaw band 2d4 outlaw 30% 90%
a wandering wizard 1 black wizard 80% 50%
Plains a large jackal pack 8d4 jackal, 1d6-4 jackalwere 20% 95%
a hobgoblin patrol 3d3 hobgoblin, 1d2 hobgoblin leader, 1d6-3 hobgoblin chief 75% 95%
a roving barbarian group 4d3 barbarian, 1d3 barbarian leader 65% 90%
a pack of wild dogs 4d3 large dog 30% 90%
Road a group of outlaws 2d4 outlaw, 1d2 outlaw leader 20% 95%
a pilgrimage of chaos monks 6 chaos brother, 6 chaos sister 75% 95%
a skeleton patrol 1d40+6 skeleton 30% 90%
a lone necromancer 1 necromancer 50% 90%
Mountains a lone stone giant 1 stone giant 75% 95%
a gnoll warband 4d4 gnoll, 2d4 large gnoll, 1d2 gnoll chieftain 70% 95%
a cave bear 1 cave bear 60% 95%
a pack of cave lions 2d2 cave lion 30% 90%
Swamp a horde of lizard men 5d3 lizard man, 1d3 cave lizard 40% 90%
a group of lost souls 3d3 zombie, 2d4 ghul, 1d3 wight, 1d2-1 wraith 15% 50%
a horde of huge frogs 3d3 giant frog 50% 95%
a lone hydra 1 swamp hydra 65% 95%
15+Foresta giant boar 1 giant boar 30% 90%
a wandering giant 1 fomorian giant 90% 95%
Hills a hunting party of hill giants 2d3 hill giant, 1d3-2 hill giant chieftain 50% 95%
a party of assassins 5d4 assassin 0% 90%
Plains a horrible Dorn Beast 1 Dorn Beast 80% 95%
a wild air elemental 1 air elemental 30% 95%
Road a party of assassins 5d5 assassin 0% 95%
a gnoll war party 10d6 gnoll, 10d3 large gnoll, 1d4 gnoll chieftain 70% 95%
Mountains a warband of stone giants 2d4 stone giant, 1d3-2 stone giant lord 45% 95%
a lone red dragon 1 red dragon 80% 20%
Swamp a horde of plague bearers 4d4 chaos plague bearer 60% 95%
a lone black dragon 1 black dragon 60% 10%
25+Alla lone corruptor 1 corruptor 20% 75%
an entourage of chaos knights 2d2 chaos knight, 4d4 chaos plague bearer, 1d6+2 chaos servant 50% 80%
a group of horribly deformed beings2d4 chaos mutant 50% 90%
a dark hooded figure 1 chaos wizard 30% 60%
a lone knight surrounded by an aura of hate and fear1 chaos warlord 50% 85%
a black unicorn 1 black unicorn 50% 50%
an ogre army 1 ogre emperor, 3d3 ogre lord, 2d2 ogre magus, 10d6 ogre 40% 40%
a herd of rust monsters 1d2 giant rust monster, 2d2 large rust monster, 2d6 rust monster20% 50%
a quickling raiding party 1d3 quickling lord, 2d4 quickling 15% 15%

[1] if the Kranach quest is received, PC is max level 5, has max 5000 xp, there is 25% chance of an encounter being a group of roving raiders Chance for ambush

After the encounter is generated, 3 possible situations may occur:
  1. you are ambushed
  2. you are given choices of ambush, evade, fight
  3. your choices are only evade or fight

Case 1 cannot happen to invisible PCs, lvl 6+ Druids and lvl 25+ Merchants. For others, there is 3.3% chance to get ambushed, then another 6.7% chance for cursed PCs, then another 12.5% chance for doomed PCs. This gives about 21% chance if the PC is both cursed and doomed. However, you still avoid ambush if Pe>1d100, or if Alertness>1d150, or if you have the Scout talent and 10%.

Case 2 will happen if not case 1 and if Stealth+Survival+X > 1d1000, where X = 500 - Level*10 if invisible (yes, being high level is worse here), X = 0 otherwise.

Otherwise case 3. Chance to evade

Lvl 6+ Druids and Lvl 25+ Rangers evade automatically. Others must pass at least one of the following four checks:
  1. Evade chance for an encounter type as in the above table. This chance is tripled if you had a choice of ambush
  2. Evade2 chance for invisible PCs only
  3. Stealth > 1d(200 - Min(Evade,Evade2))
  4. you have the Scout talent and 33%

1.1.5 Weather

ADOM has command for describing the weather: :W, which works in the wilderness only. While in the widlerness PC's will occasionally receive messages about weather. Most of them can be safely ignored, except the ones which indicate rain. Rain can potentially damage worn/wielded items (rust) or items in backpack (especially scrolls and books). Backpack can be protected by waterproof blanket and inventory by cloak. Some messages are specific to Silvernight or Darknight. Rangers gain immunity to rain at character level 6, Elementalists and Druids at level 18, Merchants at 25.

Rain related messages:

Silvernight: Darknight:

1.1.6 Unremarkable Cave

This dungeon is meant to be an easy location for beginners. Entering it is believed to lower the final score. It is two keystrokes away from the starting position (1SW, 1W). The entrance is labeled as an Unassuming Cave, but deaths show as dying in an Unremarkable Cave (note the difference from Unremarkable Dungeon). Once entered, it displays the message "You enter a rather unremarkable cave complex. An easy wind is going and you feel that life is rife with new experiences to make!" The dungeon can be in two forms. With less than 30 character deaths or if in Tutorial mode it comes as one level with a number of features listed below. With >30 deaths, it is generated as 3 level dungeon seemingly similar to Village Dungeon (the only dungeon features are altars and tension rooms).

In Tutorial mode, there is a goblin rockthrower at tunnel entrance, who always drops potion of healing and scroll of identify, then there is a special cache with wand of cold, long bow and 40 arrows (SE part after entering tunnel), then a minotaur accross a river, followed by random trap in tunnels after river, a secret door circumventing the trap, and finally 3x3 room full of goblins in western part. New players might want to grab items since having attack wand and ammunition with long bow can increase PC's survivability.

Updated June 29th, 2018