ADOM Manual

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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 locations.


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 possible.

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 happens.


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.

Entering Locations

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.

Light Sources

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 your surroundings.

Beware of deep darkness – rumor has it that horrible grues lurk in such areas and they might want to east you!

Special Features

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 disarm traps.


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.