ADOM Manual

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Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM for short) is a rogue-like game which means that it is a single-user game featuring the exploration of a dungeon complex. You control a fictional character described by race, class, attributes, skills, and equipment. This fictional character is trying to achieve a specific goal (see below) and succeed in a difficult quest. To fulfill the quest, you have to explore previously undiscovered tunnels and dungeons, fight hideous monsters, uncover long forgotten secrets, and find treasures of all kind.

During the game, you explore dungeon levels which are randomly generated each game. You might also encounter certain special levels, which present a particular challenge or are built around a certain theme.

IMPORTANT: If you are a first-time player you should read the 'How to start' section of this manual.

The Coming of Chaos

For 6000 years, the world of Ancardia was left untouched by the incursions of Chaos, but finally the sinister forces of evil and darkness have found this young and teeming world. In a remote mountain complex, huge dungeons were formed by great magical powers. They seem to contain some kind of dimensional gate which allows terrors from unknown dimensions to enter the world of Ancardia and wreak havoc.

For years, nobody understood the true cause of sudden ambushes by evil monsters, incursions by hideous monster armies, and the rising tide of Chaos. Finally Khelavaster, the great sage, uncovered an ancient prophecy foretelling the Coming of Chaos -- a dark and sinister time when the skill, power and valor of a single hero would determine the future of the world. The ancient scrolls of prophecy hinted at a remote mountain range -- the Drakalor Chain -- which was destined to be the final battle ground for an epic fight between Chaos and Order. Khelavaster quickly made this known to all the intelligent races of Ancardia.

Within weeks, many heroes set out to find the source of the chaotic forces and destroy it. Khelavaster was among the first to enter those dungeons. Many heroes have followed him since then but no one has ever returned from the dungeons. Thus the forces of Chaos continue their conquest and threaten to defile Ancardia...

You are one of those young heroes willing to risk your life to defeat the forces of Chaos, gain fame, fortune, power, and ultimately save your world and your people. After weeks of arduous travel, you have finally reached the center of the Drakalor Chain and now face the entrance to those dungeons of mystery which must contain a means to save your world. You were told to visit a small village by the name of "Terinyo" and talk to the village elder for he might have the latest information about the region. Steady yourself and be prepared to engage in a heroic struggle for the fate of your home world!

The Price of the Game

ADOM is available for free as long as you honor the license of the game (either see the file 'license.doc' or type 'adom -b' at your command line). If you want to thank me (Thomas Biskup) for creating ADOM, maintaining it, fixing all discovered bugs, providing support and generally spending a lot of time on the game and if you are having fun with the game, please consider rewarding my efforts by sending a postcard to the following address from wherever you are living:

                Thomas Biskup
                Zu den Tannen 5
                58456 Witten
I *love* receiving postcards from all over the world. Weigh the fun ADOM gave you against the ten minutes you probably need to write and send such a postcard -- and if you find that you like and enjoy the game -- please do it. I'm really not asking much... am I?

To further the development of the game

ADOM contains a number of bugs as is normal for one huge piece of software being developed by a single person (about 135,000 lines of code as of ADOM 0.9.9 Gamma 13). Thus it's absolutely necessary to send bug reports in to me if you experience problems with the game.

Bug reports are submitted at

and should contain at least the following information:

  1. your real life name and your email address
  2. the version of ADOM you are using (exact version)
  3. the operating system you are using (exact version)
  4. a description on what you did to produce the error
  5. all dumps ADOM might have created

Unless asked you should *not* include any binary files.