ADOM Manual

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The Races

In ADOM, a wide variety of fantasy races can be chosen for your player character. While humans are the dominant race of the current age many other races have a long history and helped shape the world for better or worse.

Effects of Choosing a Race

Each race has certain advantages and disadvantages and receives different equipment and attributes. Each race also gains some default skills as their cultural heritage (see the section on skills for a complete list of available skills in the game).

Race List

You can choose among the following races:


Humans are the most generic of all races. They tend to be adaptable, suited for every profession and generally well equipped. They are also very fast learners (getting two free skill increases whenever they advance a level). While humans do not have any other special advantages, they don't suffer from any disadvantages either.

Humans train in the following skills: Climbing, Food Preservation, Haggling, and Swimming.


Trolls are extremely huge and strong creatures with large muscles, pointy teeth, big horns and a lot of hair all over their body. They are nearly always in a bad mood. Most races shun them because of this. Trolls are by far the strongest and the dumbest race available in this game. They make excellent fighters and lousy magicians. Trolls are somewhat disadvantaged by their great size (good targets!) and the great amounts of food they need to sustain their bulk. They also learn very slowly and need a lot of experience points to advance in their profession. On the positive side, they are by far the toughest and strongest race in the game and heal real fast.

Trolls train in the following skills: Athletics, Bridge Building, Food Preservation, Gemology, and Mining.

High Elf

High Elves are a beautiful race of extremely long-lived creatures. High Elves are of slender build, nearly six feet 10 inches tall and generally have golden or auburn hair and amber or purple eyes. Their ears are very pointed and their skin is very fair. They live in the forests where they like to hunt, frolic, engage in musical and romantic affairs and generally have a good time. They tend to shun the other races, partially because of their arrogance and partially because they have had conflicts with most other races in their long history. High Elves are excellent fighters (and also great shots with their deadly long bows!) and mages. Their magical powers are especially noteworthy. On the negative side, they are not very well-liked and somewhat frail.

High Elves train in the following skills: Dodge, Listening, Literacy, and Stealth.

Gray Elf

Gray Elves are the most noble of all elven races. Their beauty is ethereal, they move with unsurpassed grace and are among the greatest mana-wielders in the game. Gray Elves look similar in appearance to High Elves, although most of them sport silver or golden hair and purple or light blue eyes. They are of even more slender build than their lesser cousins. But besides their great beauty, they are arrogant and haughty beings, generally disliked by most other races that have contact with them (which is next to no one on a regular basis… mostly you will meet Gray Elves in a chance encounter – if you notice them at all!). Gray Elves tend to regard all the non-elven races as lesser beings, more closely related to animals than to "True Beings", as they like to call themselves. They are also even more frail than their lesser cousins, which they balance with a greatly enhanced agility and magical powers of which other races only dream.

Gray Elves train in the following skills: Dodge, Listening, Literacy, and Stealth.

Dark Elf

Dark Elves are as evil as Gray Elves are beautiful. Many millennia ago they were exiled into the Underdark after a long and hateful war with the other elven sub-races. Dark Elves worship Lol'th, the evil demon queen of all spiders. During the millennia beneath the earth, they were corrupted by the dark secrets they managed to unearth. Their skin is as black as their souls. In contrast, their hair is of pure white color. Dark Elves are of very slender frame and slightly smaller than their surface-dwelling cousins. Dark Elves are hated and feared by almost everyone because of their cruelty and lack of mercy. They possess great magical talents, are very nimble and have an excellent perception in the underground. Because of their long absence from the sunlight, they are almost blind when adventuring in the daylight. Their greatest enemies are their surface cousins. Despite the general evil disposition of this race over the centuries, they have spawned some very rare individuals who have left their homelands and are eternally remembered in legends and song because of their valor, goodwill, and courage.

Dark Elves train in the following skills: Alertness, Climbing, Find Weakness, and Stealth.

Mist Elf

Mist Elves are a truly ancient race, literally born from the mists of time. They are almost immortal and some of their ancient members are believed to have been present at the dawn of creation. Their incredible lifespan gives them a very different and aloof outlook on life and civilization as they regard even Gray Elves as mere toddlers. Combined with the fact that Mist Elves are a very magical race, their bodies being made from magically solidified mist, they appear frightening, uncaring, cold and wise at the same time. They scoff at the views of the younger races and life doesn't mean much to them, having seen many empires rise and crumble within the span of a single Mist Elf's life.

Mist Elves are even larger than Gray Elves but thin and frail beings. Their skin is almost white, their hair is pearly white and it seems to move with a slight breeze all the time. Their breath is misty and their eyes are pearly, violet, pink or yellow. Mist Elves move almost without sound. Their physique is weak and they are not very strong. Additionally they are the most fairy-like of elves, going so far that the prolonged touch of mundane metal burns their skin like acid. Thus they prefer to wear and wield weapons and armaments of precious metals, like mithril or adamantium. Despite their weak physique they are dangerous warriors as the mist-like makeup of their body greatly reduces damage taken in melee combat.

Gray Elves despise Mist Elves, viewing them as uncaring beings devoid of emotion and lacking the general elven love for life. Mist Elves just chuckle about the antics of their baby cousins. Mist Elves, having been lifted from the mists of time themselves during creation, have a very specific grasp of necromancy. Most of them – if not drawn towards Chaos due to boredom – hate undead and are very powerful in combatting them by using their magical powers to wreak great harm upon undead. Mist Elf necromancers are able to create special creatures and engage in an act of creation rather than infusing dead beings with unholy energies, called white necromancy by themselves.

Mist Elves are the rarest of all elves. You will encounter a thousand Gray Elves before you see one Mist Elf. They are rumored to live in misty areas high in mountain valleys or deep in the hills, but no known mortal has ever seen one of their settlements. Some sages believe them to be physical manifestations of the dreams of gods, others regard them as leftovers from the act of creation itself. Mist Elves just chuckle and move on at such useless ponderings.

Mist Elves train in the following skills: Alertness, Concentration, Dodge, Literacy, Necromancy and Stealth.


Dwarves are a small, hardy and taciturn race. They barely grow to be four and a half feet. Their body is stocky and their endurance is legendary. Dwarves are especially proud of their long beards and their great craftsmanship with metals. The dwarven race has spawned the greatest of all smiths. Their skill in forging weapons and armor is unsurpassed, as is their greed for gold. They are able warriors, brave to a fault, have an excellent sight in the underground and are experts at detecting secret doors and traps.

Dwarves train in the following skills: Climbing, Detect Traps, Metallurgy, Mining, and Smithing.


Gnomes are the smaller cousins of dwarves. They live in rolling hills and wooded valleys. They are great connoisseurs of gems and the best gem carvers known in the whole world. Gnomes are famous for their very black humor and their great magical skills. They are about four feet high and not so stocky as dwarves. They groom their beards very well, although they generally favor short cropped beards. Gnomes are great leather workers and gnomish boots are a quality product every race greatly enjoys (except trolls and maybe hurthlings). Their greatest enemies are the kobolds living in the tunnels below the mountains. They normally attack each other on sight. Gnomes are excellent crossbowmen who prefer to utilize light crossbows for ranged attacks.

Gnomes train in the following skills: Gemology, Listening, Mining, Pick Pockets, and Ventriloquism.


Hurthlings are the smallest of the little people. They grow to be an average three to three and a half feet high. They are sturdy and brave. Most hurthlings prefer to walk without shoes. Their feet are very well accustomed to this as they sport a leathery sole and are covered with thick and bushy hair. Hurthlings rarely wear beards and generally prefer short-cut hair. They (mostly) are not an adventurous people. They enjoy their burrows, like to farm and sit together to tell stories. Their greatest pride are their beautiful gardens and the good tobacco they produce. Hurthlings generally mistrust outsiders and foreigners and shun them most of the time. A hurthling needs six meals a day to be happy and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Those few hurthlings who chose to be adventurers are mostly very talented thieves. Because of their small size and their low strength, hurthlings are not very well suited to be fighters. One of their favored sports is tossing rocks (with or without slings) at distant targets – consequently many hurthlings are deadly shots both with slings and thrown rocks.

Hurthlings have been known as hobbits in later ages and in other areas.

Hurthlings train in the following skills: Archery, Cooking, Food Preservation, Gardening, and Stealth.


Orcs belong to the dark races, created in the same dark pits as trolls. They mostly are the arch nemesis of many of the intelligent races, as they reproduce quickly and enjoy plundering, killing and spreading havoc in general. The average orc is five and a half to six feet high, weighs 130 to 150 pounds and has a gray to black skin. Their eyes glow red in the dark. Orcs shun sunlight, as it tends to hurt their eyes greatly. Because orcs mostly live in the underground, they are very good at detecting secret doors. Orcs make good fighters and are also known to spawn mighty priests serving their cruel war deity, Gruumsh, the One-Eyed and All-Seeing.

Orcs train in the following skills: Backstabbing, Climbing, Find Weakness, Metallurgy, and Mining.


Drakelings are humanoid lizard-like creatures about six feet tall. They weigh 150 to 200 pounds and are covered with blue or green scales. They speak with a hissing accent and normally wear few clothes (besides their armor and weapons). Drakelings are able to spit a powerful acid at enemies, although this fatigues them. The origins of the Drakeling race are hidden in a past long forgotten. They reappeared some years ago and quickly spread across the continent. Sages believe that they remained for many centuries in a kind of hibernation which only recently ended. Drakelings are good at everything. They are very deadly shots with a weapon unique to their race, the drakish scurgar.

Drakelings are cold-blooded creatures. Therefore, extreme temperatures influence them: when it gets cold, they slow down. On the other hand, great heat is beneficial for them as it speeds up their reflexes. Their breath weapon causes {x}d6+{y} points of damage. {x} is equal to the maximum of 2 and the current PC level divided by 3. {y} is equal to the PC level divided by 2.

Drakelings train in the following skills: Alertness, Food Preservation, Music, and Swimming.


Ratlings are one of the numerous yet rarely noticed races. These lean and wiry humanoid rats thrive in larger settlements and enjoy interacting with other races. Whether they are the result of an ancient lich trying to create a servitor race, chaos-spawned descendents of plain rats from the dawn of time or just one more example of the abundance of life forms in Ancardia still is a matter of dispute among sages. No matter what, they are accepted as skilled traders, quick warriors and crafty thieves – acceptance in the latter case meaning careful observation and quick reaction from other races.

Ratlings grow to about 5 and a half feet in size and weigh 90 to 120 pounds. They usually sport brown hair although black, gray and a rare albino white are not unheard of. Their eyes are either black, brown, yellow or red in color, black being dominant.

Ratlings train in the following skills: Appraising, Climbing, Detect Item Status, Haggling, Stealth, Survival and Swimming.