ADOM Manual

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Attributes describe inborn qualities of a character (which nonetheless might be modified by items, talents, skills and more). Attributes are divided between primary attributes (which describe raw potentials like strength of charisma) and secondary attributes (which usually derive from primary attributes or complex formulae).

Primary Attributes

Basically, every character is described by eight attributes which represent his abilities by birthright. Every attribute is rated from 1 to 99 (in theory). 10 is an average score, 8 is slightly below average, 5 is quite bad, 3 is horrible, and everything below this is a real hindrance. 13 is a good score, 15 very good, 17 exceptional, 20 very high and everything above this of epic proportions. It should be remembered that the average PC is rated higher than normal individuals of his (or her) race because PCs are meant to be true heroes. The absolute maximum for all attributes is 99, which is probably equal in power level to demigods.

The potential maximum attribute scores are based on the initial attribute scores. The maximum for an attribute is dependent on the base score and the player race. These maximums can only rarely be surpassed by natural training. This is a long and arduous process. Only magical methods can exceed these limits with ease.

Attributes are rated as either primary or secondary. Secondary attributes are derived from primary attributes and are often greatly influenced by your experience level, class and race. The following attributes are used:


Strength describes your ability to inflict damage in combat, determines your carrying capacity and influences your chance to hit opponents in melee combat. The initial hit points are also partially based upon strength.


The learning score describes how easily your character learns new things, how good the PC is at increasing skills and how easily magical spells are learned. Your ability to read and write (no, that's not automatic!) is also influenced by this score.


This attribute describes the strength of your will. The higher it is, the better your PC is able to resist attacks affecting his mind. Willpower influences your initial hit points and your initial magic points.


This attribute rates your agility, nimbleness, speed and many other things. A high dexterity score allows you to better dodge enemy attacks and traps. PCs with low dexterity are clumsy and slow-moving… easy prey for your enemies. Dexterity is also very important when attacking with missile weapons.


This attribute rates your physical resistance, your endurance, your constitution and your resistance to pain. Toughness is a major factor influencing the number of hit points of your character.


This attribute describes the personality of your character. PCs with high charisma are outgoing, friendly and easily make friends, while characters with low charisma are disliked by many people and have difficulties interacting on a friendly and easy-going basis.


This attribute describes the looks of your character. PCs with high appearance are good-looking and draw attention, while characters with low appearance are unattractive or simply ugly but also draw attention (unfriendly attention most of the time, that is!). Additionally the forces of Chaos find more resistance with true beauty which results in being less susceptible to corruption for appearance scores higher than 10 and being more susceptible to corruption for appearance scores lower than 10 (basically each point difference requires 1% more or less corruption to transform the character).


This attribute describes the luck of your character, his attunement to the forces of magic and his resistance to magic. Mana is a prime determinant for magical power.


This attribute describes the general perception ability of your character. Perception is very important. It influences how far you can see in dungeons. Characters with low perception have problems finding secret doors, hearing noises and noticing certain traps – they also can't see very far in the dungeons. Characters with high perception are very alert and notice slight details. They have superior vision and good hearing. Finally perception adds a very minor bonus to your to-hit probabilities in ranged combat.

Attribute Generation

Attributes can be determined in two ways in ADOM. The easy way is random attribute generation. Your attributes will be based on your race and profession and a bit of luck. This means that your attributes might be truly exceptional or pretty abysmal. The second way is attribute generation by answering questions. Each question will present you with a situation and four choices. Your selected choice will modify your attributes in one or more ways. Please note that each choice will raise one or more attributes and lower one or more other attributes. Additionally each choice is balanced: if one attribute is increased by an amount 'x', another attribute will be decreased by an equal amount. The choice is yours, so to speak!

Secondary Attributes

The following secondary attributes are used:

Defensive Value (DV)

The defensive value determines how hard you are to hit. It starts at 1, 10 is about average, and, in theory, it is not limited in its value. The higher the value is, the harder you are to hit. This value is influenced by race, class, dexterity, equipment, burden level, hunger, and dozens of other factors.

Protection Value (PV)

PV determines how many points of damage are stopped when your PC is hit by a physical attack. This value can be positive (which means that you have adequate protection) or negative (which means that you are carrying some kind of cursed items making it easier for your enemies to inflict wounds upon you). This value is influenced by your toughness, your equipment and several minor factors.

Hit Points (HP)

Hit points represent how much punishment your character can take before dying. The higher this value is, the better for you! Your maximal hit points are listed in brackets. Your hit points can decrease through combat wounds, traps, magical attacks, and many other things. As soon as your current hit points are lower than your maximum hit points, you start to heal wounds. How fast you heal injuries depends upon race, class, toughness, healing skill, equipment, general conditions, and several minor factors.

Power Points (PP)

Magical power is described by a certain number of power points. To cast a spell (if you are able to do so), you have to spend a certain amount of power. If you do not have enough power points to cast a certain spell, your life energy will be drained instead. Be careful – this might kill you! As an added side effect abusing your body by channeling too much magic also might result in a decreased connection to the mana flow of Ancardia and heavily abuses your physical and mental health… which basically means that your Willpower, Toughness and Mana attributes might decrease over time. Your maximum power points are listed in brackets. Power is influenced by mana, class, race, experience and willpower.