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The World of Ancardia & The Drakalor Chain
Ancardia is a large world of which only a minor part – a section of the
mountain range known as the Drakalor Chain – is figuring prominently in
ADOM. The game includes both overworld and underworld locations: the
wilderness, inhabited settlements and dungeons. This section briefly
summarizes you the most important items to consider when travelling these
Each game of ADOM starts on the wilderness map. The map layout is largely
non-random although some special locations switch positions between games.
Your player character enters the Drakalor Chain through a mountain pass in
the north-east and faces a large lush valley full of hills, forests,
plains, with some bodies of water. All is surrounded by large mountains,
some of them snow-capped.
Travelling the World
Travelling the wilderness takes time and thus requires a good supply of
food. Be careful to not waste too much time in the wilderness lest you
become a victim of starvation or one of the many random encounters
Travelling one map position on the average will take 30-40 minutes of time,
although some terrain is much harder to navigate (e.g. swamp, hills or
mountains). You might even require special equipment to be able to access
some locations (e.g. climbing sets to climb higher mountains).
Many creatures roam the wilderness. Over time you will face many strange
beings. In some cases you will be able to evade the encounters, sometimes
you might be able to sneak upon the beings encounted so that an ambush
becomes an option – and sometimes you might get ambushed yourself without
chance of flight.
Encounters take place on detail maps. In order to leave such a map you have
to move to its border. But be careful: As long as you are swarmed by
monsters, there is no escape!
Additionally note that the detailed encounter maps are gone once you leave
them. Items left behind as well as hostile creatures will be lost forever.
Friendly beings next to your position will accompany you, others will flee
into the wilderness and might be faced again at a later point.
Time & Food
Take care of the passage of time. The Ancardian calendar has many special
times (e.g. Darknight and Silvernight) which might have special effects.
Also special times of the years might be sacred.
The more time passes, the hungrier your character gets. Except in tutorial
and standard mode (only available in ADOM Deluxe) starvation is a very
grave danger that easily can kill your character. Make sure that you carry
enough food with you (but also be careful not to be too strained as that in
turn again increases your food consumption).
Also note that your character ages. For many character races this will not
be overly important (and for elves who live for thousands of years it is
mostly inconsequential). But some races like e.g. orcs are pretty
short-lived. If you explore Ancardia for a very long time, death due to
aging might loom for them!
Also day and night can have consequences. Rumor has it that some magical
locations might change their appearance or behavior at special times of day
or night. Observe your environment closely and try to get a feel for what
In the wilderness and in settlements you can be affected by weather. Rain
can be dangerous if you exposed too long as paper items might get drenched
and items of impure metal might start to rust, becoming much less
effective. Watch weather changes closely and try finding shelter if the
weather turns bad.
At any time in the wilderness you can press > to enter a detail map. If
you are standing on a non-descript wilderness tile while doing so you will
enter a zoomed in map part of that area.
Doing so can be useful in order to drop items, change equipment, cast
spells, etc. as some commands are not available on the surface area.
If you want to leave such a detail map either press < or move to the
border of the map.
If you press > while standing at a special position (e.g. a settlement or
a dungeon entrance) you will be transferred to a permanent detail map of
that location. Finding settlements is very useful as they often are the
home of important persons (like quest givers) or helpful locations (like
shops or temples). Dungeons are said to contain the solution to the ongoing
incursion of Chaos, so you probably will explore many of them.
Dungeons are underground complexes of varying nature – natural caves,
artificial tunnel systems and more. Dungeons usually are very hostile
environments, inhabited by strange monsters of all kinds and full of traps.
In return for those dangers you are likely to find interesting and valuable
treasures in dungeons.
For convenience most areas of dungeons are lighted – be it by torches,
magic or luminous fungus. Only some areas are magically darkened. Here you
might need either torches or magical light sources to get a better view of
Beware of deep darkness – rumor has it that horrible grues lurk in such
areas and they might want to east you!
Many dungeons contain special features: traps, altars, forges, pools and
other things. Explore these features and try to learn if and what special
properties they might possess.
Doors & Traps
Doors (locked, trapped and otherwise) are recurring dungeon features.
Adventurers also tell stories about secret doors providing access to new
unexplored dungeon parts and to illusionary walls that hide dungeon
sections by magic.
Traps are another recurring danger. They might be attached to doors or
exist in random places. Spear traps, arrow traps, pits and falling stones
are among the more common types of traps. You might be able to discover
them by searching and if you have the right set of skills you also can
disarm them. Additionally rumor has it that some magics can detect or
Although the Drakalor Chain is a pretty remote area, there are a few
settlements scattered across the valley. Be wary when exploring such
settlements as not all inhabitants might be well-disposed towards you. On
the other hand it can be rewarding to explore settlements closely as there
might be inhabitants who need adventurers to help them with certain quests,
you might be able to find shops and more.
On certain levels of the dungeon or in some settlements, adventurous
merchants have opened their shops to provide supplies for the various bold
adventurers exploring the dungeons. The risky environment is made up for by
the huge gains possible by selling rare (and even magical!) items to heroes
venturing down the dungeons. Since most of them are carrying large amounts
of gold, the trade seems to be going very well. Needless to say that only
daring and powerful merchants are willing to undertake the risks of opening
shops deep in the dungeons.
If you enter a shop, you will be expected to look around, barter and buy
stuff. You can leave without buying or selling anything, but remember that
at times shops might contain important or powerful items.
To buy something in a shop, you have to pick it up first. The shopkeeper
then will block the exit (there seem to be so many thieves around nowadays)
and wait for you to pay (which is done by using the $ command). If you do
not have enough money, you probably will have to leave the item(s) behind.
You can also sell items in a shop to raise more funds. Not every shop will
buy everything as most of them are rather specialized (e.g. on potions or
scrolls). If you want to sell something, just drop that item. The
shopkeeper will immediately tell you how much he is willing to pay and then
you can decide whether or not to accept the offer.