Improved ADOM Guidebook

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Metalman games - Other challenge-man games - Restricted games - Archmage

Appendix R - Not hard enough? - challenge games

Metalman games

Eternium Man

A challenge game that has very simple rules. The PC must proceed directly from the starting point to the Small Cave. Ideally no wilderness encounters will occur along the way. The PC must stay in the Small Cave until experience level 50 is achieved.

The first example was completed by Barry Kearns who reported it November 18th, 2006. It was done with a Dwarven Bard (for the cave bear companion) who was born under the Raven birthsign with pick pockets and food preservation. The experience level of the PC was deliberately kept at a minimum so the cave bear was able to kill enemies until the PC accumulated enough ingredients to start a wish engine via the "gremlin bomb" technique, then kamikazeing ancient karmic wyrms via amulet of life saving + wand of far slaying combo. It has since been completed without a pet using similar strategy.

Iron Man

The Ironman challenge is very, very difficult to complete. The PC must travel from the starting point in the Drakalor Chain to the Infinite Dungeon immediately. Stopping in Terinyo or anywhere else is not allowed. Wilderness encounters on the way to the Infinite Dungeon are allowed in principle, although ideally they should not occur.

The PC enters the Infinite Dungeon immediately upon arriving at the appropriate wilderness square. The PC must descend to the next level of the Infinite Dungeon every time a down staircase is found. No delay is allowed for any reason.

The objective is to retrieve the Sceptre of Chaos from the SIL, return to the surface and leave the Drakalor Chain. It is not necessary to kill MaLaKaI to do this, although in practice it may be unavoidable.

This challenge game has been successfully completed perhaps ten times by various players.

Lithium Man

Lithium is the simplest possible metal. The simplest possible ADOM game would be to travel immediately to the CoC, visit the ToEF when necessary and finish the game. No other locations can be visited.

This challenge game has been completed about ten times by various players.

Plutonium Man

Plutonium is the most complex metal that occurs naturally. One possible version of the most complex ADOM game possible would be to kill at least one of every monster in the game. This is impossible, since some monsters are mutually exclusive, for instance Gaab'Baay vs Andor Drakon, Jharod and Yrrigs vs Keethrax. So in practice the objective of this game would be to kill as many different types of monsters as possible. Bear in mind that some monsters are exceptionally rare, such as solars, ki-rins and eternium golems and may have to be wished for. Finding and killing all great -color- wyrms would also quite likely be a significant challenge.

Rachel Walmsley came up with the idea for this challenge game and notes some interesting consequences:

It would probably be easiest to forfeit Andor Drakon, finish a normal game, thus stopping background corruption, and finish the game with an unlimited amount of time to accomplish the goal.

There are undoubtedly other implications.

Petri Sihvola shocked the entire ADOM community by completing the first example of this challenge game on March 15th, 2002. ;-) His PC killed at least one example of every monster available in the game with the exception of Andor Drakon and Keethrax, which are mutually exclusive with Gaab'Baay and Yrrigs + Jharod, respectively. Petri used the technique outlined above, closing the chaos gate as soon as feasible, then finishing the game. Eleven wishes for rare monsters were used which required a marathon session in the blue dragon caves after the gate was closed. A total of 3802 ancient blue dragons were killed.

Markku Rikola posted a UCG Plutonium Man entry March 20th, 2002. The monsters which escaped this PC were: Gaab'Baay (of course), Keethrax (the PC chose to slay Yrrigs and Jharod), ancient karmic dragon, emperor lich, fairy dragon, frost giant jarl, great black wyrm, great white wyrm, greater mimic and small dwarf.

Steel Man

Again, very simple. Enter the wilderness and do not leave it until the PC is experience level 50 (optionally never eat the food the PC starts with). Entering any game locations is not allowed. The first example of this challenge game was posted January 20th, 2004 by Alex Pinachos. Extreme tactics were required.

Titanium Man

The objective here is to finish the game with the lowest experience level character possible. The Chaos Gate must be closed. Trolls have an obvious advantage, and should be considered separately for this challenge game. Alex Pinachos completed the first example of this game on February 3rd, 2004, with an "ordinary" Chaos God ending. The only monster the PC killed was Andor Drakon, who is worth only one experience point. The PC ended the game at experience level one, with 87 total experience points.

Brimstone Man

Enter ToEF at level 1, retrieve the Chaos Orb of Elemental Fire and leave. No other locations can be visited. There is a 'wuss' version, which allows leaving the ToEF to single wilderness square. For added challenge, do not use altars. Gut scored a brimstone win on October 2012.

Other challenge-man games

(credit Malte Helmert)

Pacifist Man

Win the game while killing as few monsters as possible. The total number of kills in the kill list counts (the lower, the better).

Ecological Balance Man

Win the game while avoiding to kill many monsters of the same type. The maximum of all numbers in the kill list counts (the lower, the better).

Mediocre Man

Win the game with low attribute values. The highest attribute value (as displayed on the screen, i.e. including items, boosts and corruptions) ever encountered during the game counts (the lower, the better). Exception: If an attribute is raised by a corruption and that corruption is removed on the turn after the character obtains it, the higher value does not count.

Restricted Games

Players have completed the game with a variety of different restrictions, for a challenge, to demonstrate that it is possible, or to point out a game feature that they regard as abusable or flawed.

Restricted games can involve almost anything: methods of attack, equipment used and religious attitude among others. The game can be completed without using the ratling traders as a food source. It can be completed without using the food the PC starts with and never buying from Munxip. It can be completed without eating any corpses. Never buy from shops. Kill every shopkeeper. The list is infinite...

Restricted attack games

The game has been completed using offensive attacks limited to: only magic, only thrown rocks, only unarmed fighting and only kicking. A game has also been completed where all missile and melee weapon skills were equally developed.

Restricted equipment games

Brass Man

Markku Rikola has completed the game with a PC who picked up no artifacts other than the Chaos Orbs and never used them. The PC was crowned; sixteen artifacts were generated during the entire game.

Steven desJardins improved upon this: he completed a game (June 2002) in which only the seven required artifacts (the si, Moon Sickle and the Chaos Orbs) and Whirlwind (randomly generated in the Casino) were generated. The artifacts were never used.

Proton Man

Petri Sihvola has completed the game (December 2001) without ever equipping any items. This means no armor can be worn, no missile or melee weapons can be wielded, no tools can be equipped and no Chaos Orbs can be used in the tool slot.

Carbon Fiber Man

Malte Helmert has completed the game with the most severe equipment restriction posssible - only 100s of inventory can be carried at any given time. This is the ultimate restriction possible since the Chaos Orbs themselves weigh 100s. This means the PC must be naked with no equipment or food when carrying a Chaos Orb. It also means the Chaos Orbs located above the Casino, the Fire and Water Orbs, must be brought past the Eternal Guardian one at a time without the Ring of the High Kings. Since climbing sets weigh 180s, the Tomb of the High Kings, the Rift and the Library are all inaccessible in this challenge game.

Upon first consideration, this game might seem impossible due to food considerations, but Malte reports that this was not a huge problem, although there were a few tense moments. The PC, a Trollish Monk, was careful to maintain high piety at all times in case of a food emergency. In addition, strategic caches of food, SoCRs, holy water and an amulet of death ray resistance among others were stored throughout the game, initially in Dwarftown then lower and lower for the dive into the CoC.

Malte reports the most significant problems in this challenge game were surviving the early game then getting the two early orbs and the PC's equipment past a hostile Eternal Guardian in stages.

Restricted tactics games

Atheist Man

The Atheist challenge is one where the PC does not acknowledge the existence of the gods, never asks for divine assistance and never uses an altar for any reason. A successful completion of this challenge game has been reported only once, by Griffin Knodle on April 14th, 2001. A more restrictive variant involves denying the existence of holy water. Holy (or unholy) water cannot be acknowledged or used for any reason. This challenge has been completed first by Steven des Jardins on October 27th, 2001. There is another atheist win from February 2012.

Berserker Man

Barbarians are an obvious choice for this challenge: never change Tactics from Berserk, and optionally never wear body armor. This challenge game has been completed at least once with a Dwarven Barbarian. Note that the PC has to be very careful during this challenge game. No messages along the lines of "Do you really want to attack the -foo-" will be generated. True Berserkers simply do not receive this message. Be very careful about moving into a shopkeeper, for instance.


An Archmage is a PC who is capable of bookcasting Wish indefinitely. This means that they have to be able to sustain the PP cost of bookcasting, either with PP or HP, even as the entirety of their attribute scores are reduced to 1. Commonly this is achieved by playing a Wizard and reaching level 50, plus draining a couple of wands or drinking blessed PoUH from Jharod. Great Book Caster is pretty much essential.

It is the road to ultimate power, because once PCs are capable of casting Wish with all attributes reduced to 1 (regenerating PP/HP afterwards), they can wish indefinitely provided they stay in a spot inaccessible to enemy interference (such as the small island in Terinyo, which apparently also regenerates PP quickly). Well, old age or running out of food could stop them in theory, but... You can wish for potions of longevity and of course stomafillia herbs (or elvish bread, or large rations - with infinite wishes it doesn't matter). Usually archmages will use their infinite wishes for potions of -attribute-, weapon marks, spellbooks of all the spells in the game, any item one could ever possibly want with the best possible attribute bonus (you can wish for 100 girdles of giant strength and keep the one that has +16, for instance), and so on and so forth, several thousand potions of ultra healing to slowly inflate HP score to ridiculous amounts, 50 lumps of gelee royal to remove all the scars from corrupted tissue, or whatever who cares.

Eventually, the player exits Archmage mode, drinks all the potions and breezes through the rest of the game, happily, with 99 in everything, all spells at 30000, Grand Mastery in everything, every mundane item in the game, over 10k HP and PP and so on.

Updated November 27th, 2009