Improved ADOM Guidebook
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Objectives and strategy - Descend or not? - Unremarkable Dungeon - HMV Intro
Small Cave and Unremarkable Dungeon
The Small Cave is a single level dungeon found to the north-west of Terinyo. The Unremarkable Dungeon
is the 8 levels under the Small Cave.
1.4.1 Objectives, strategy for survival and items found in the Small Cave
The Small Cave is a popular place to start the game. It contains one very
useful guaranteed item and few other non-guaranteed desirable items.
The guaranteed items in the Small Cave are:
- scroll of information (at entrance) ?
- scroll of warning (at entrance) ?
- waterproof blanket (in the room farthest from entrance) ]
- armor [
- 3x one-handed weapon (((
- 2x two-handed weapon ((
- shield [
- cloak [
The scroll of information simply tells how
many paces away the waterproof blanket is. The scroll of warning gives some
advice about tactics for the Small Cave. It reads "Time is working against you!"
This is true. When the PC enters the Small Cave, monsters are generated on the
level as is true of any dungeon level. As the original monsters are killed off,
new monsters are generated. The new monsters are generated differently than
on any other level in the game. They have approximately double the experience
level of the PC. As might be imagined, this quickly gets very difficult to
cope with and is the basis for the eternium man challenge game (see
Appendix R). This offers a way to
quickly gain experience levels, but as a rule, PCs should get out of the Small
Cave by experience level 5 at most.
The Small Cave also contains a down staircase which leads to the Unremarkable
Dungeon. The Unremarkable Dungeon is normal in terms of danger and monster
generation. It is also essential to enter the Unremarkable Dungeon at some
point if the PC plans to try a special ending.
Out of depth weapons are sometimes found in the Small Cave. Eternium two-handed
swords and halberds of defense are examples. Artifacts can be generated in the
Small Cave, but this is rare. Altars can also be generated in the Small Cave.
The general strategy for the Small Cave is to get in, find the waterproof blanket
as quickly as possible, optionally find the down staircase and get out. Getting
out can be via descent through the Unremarkable Dungeon or ascent back to the
Note that the monsters generated in the Small Cave are in general common types:
goblins, kobolds, bats, rats and the like. Making a first kill in the Small Cave
is not a good idea if a special ending is planned (see section 0.9.1).
1.4.2 Should PCs descend through the Unremarkable Dungeon?
After retrieving the waterproof blanket and locating the down stairs in the Small
Cave (easier said than done), PCs may choose to descend through the Unremarkable
Dungeon. As mentioned, it is essential to go through this dungeon in order to
complete a special ending. If the PC chooses to do this, the Kranach quest will
be lost, since the PC will be greater than experience level six by the time the
Unremarkable Dungeon is traversed. The chance to complete the Puppy quest
successfully will also be lost, since the four day time limit will expire by the
time the PC manages to get back to Terinyo. Despite the fact that monsters are
generated in the Small Cave at twice the PC's experience level, it is possible
to leave the Small Cave and reenter it later in order to gain access to the
Unremarkable Dungeon. It can be done using invisibility. The monsters generated
are high level relative to the PC, but they are not in general "special" monsters
that have the ability to see invisible. Thus a high level PC can use invisibility
to make a quick dash through the Small Cave and descend to the Unremarkable Dungeon.
Items that grant invisibility are by no means guaranteed so this strategy is not
available to every PC. Many players will descend through the Unremarkable Dungeon
every time if possible. Alternatively, a higher level PC can attempt to avoid killing
anything on his search for the down staircase. This is sometimes impossible and risky
in any case.
Starting the game in the SMC and descending through the UD is considered somewhat
of a challenge, often rewarded with superior equipment (eg. tower crystal shields,
mithril scale mails) and very quick level and power increases and access to the HMV
- provided the PC has what it takes.
1.4.3 Unremarkable Dungeon
The Unremarkable Dungeon is (probably deliberately by TB) misnamed. It is quite
remarkable. It generally contains more special features - altars, pools, forges,
herbs, shops and the like, than any other dungeon in the game. These are all nice
features. The Unremarkable Dungeon also seems to contain more door traps and tension rooms than any
other dungeon, which is not so nice.
However, there are no truly guaranteed features in the UD. It is very possible to get a streak of
entirely mundane levels. While there is arguably no increased chance to find a river,
if they appear they may be more of an issue, since the route back through the Small Cave
may well turn out to be virtual suicide.
In any case, the bottom of the Unremarkable Dungeon, UD:8, contains two up staircases.
One of the staircases leads to the High Mountain Village.
1.4.4 High Mountain Village - introduction
The High Mountain Village is an interesting wilderness location. It contains a shop
and various NPCs who are mostly useful to chaotics and essential for those PCs
attempting a special ending. One significant problem is the possibility of meeting
a Stone Giant Lord upon entering the High Mountain Village. This monster is very
difficult to defeat for a relatively low level PC that has descended directly from
the Small Cave through the Unremarkable Dungeon to the High Mountain Village. The
Stone Giant Lord is not generated every time, but the possibility is an argument
against entering the Unremarkable Dungeon directly from the Small Cave with a low
level PC. If that is the plan, enter with full HPs and Coward tactics. It is possible to
lure the Stone Giant Lord, and monsters in general, to the right side of the map, leave
and reenter from the left. If you can swim or create an ice bridge, you can also evade
monsters by entering through a small opening in the north part of the moat, where water
flows inside the village.
The High Mountain Village contains a hidden exit to the northern
central part of the wilderness map. It is found from the inside of the western village wall.
This means that the PC need not go all the way back through the Unremarkable Dungeon and the
Small Cave in order to exit.
More on the High Mountain Village is found in section 2.1.
Updated March 12th, 2013