Roguelike Games: ADOM

The ADOM Background

History in Motion

The Past

The Present

The Future

Version History

The Diary


Show Open Bugs

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Show Open RFEs

Show Closed RFEs

Search for a Bug

Submit a Bug Report

OS Blues






Media Coverage

Read This!

ADOM in the Spotlight


Licensing ADOM

The Postcard Quest



The Myth of Creation

The Gallery

Air Water

© Copyright 1994-2018 by Thomas Biskup. All Rights Reserved.


"They say that fire is the most violent element. Be as resistant as you can."
(Fortune Cookie of the Day)

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===------------------                                ------------------===
                            The ADOM Fluff FAQ
        An attempt to answer all meta-questions regarding ADOM...

                (C) Copyright 1994-2004 by Thomas Biskup.
                           All Rights Reserved.
===------------------                                ------------------===


   This document tries to answer all the meta-questions regarding
   the distribution of the game called ADOM (shortcut for 'Ancient
   Domains Of Mystery).

   If you plan to distribute ADOM in some way (be that on disk, CD, in
   a magazine or whatever), make sure to read Section I: The ADOM

   If you plan to write a review of ADOM, please make sure that you read
   Section II: ADOM in the Media.

   If you would like to submit ideas to further ADOM's development, make
   sure that you have read Section III: ADOM Development.

   If you are having problems related to the game itself, you might want
   to read section V: Game-Related Questions closely.

   If you are experiencing technical problems with ADOM, make sure that
   you read Section VI: Technical Problems.

   Before reporting a bug you should definitely read Section VII: Bugs.

   If you never installed ADOM before, you might want to examine Section
   VIII: Installation.

   Finally questions regarding the installation of ADOM are addressed in
   section VIII: Installation.

   Any other questions might be answered in Section IV: Miscellaneous

   Questions answered by this text will be ignored if you ask them
   by email.  RTFM, as they say...

   If you feel that this document is incomplete, feel free to email
   questions and suggestions to

   Hearty thanks to Stefanie Woll for proof-reading this text :->
   All remaining idiosyncrasies are intended to ensure the Ancardian
   feeling of the text ;-)

                                                        --  Thomas Biskup
                                                            May, 1998

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

   Section I    - The ADOM License.
        A. Terms of use.
        B. Distributing ADOM in magazines, on disks, etc.
        C. The Postcard Quest.
        D. Licensing ADOM and other commercial ventures.

   Section II   - ADOM in the Media.
        A. Where can I find information about ADOM?
        B. What should I know before writing a review about ADOM?

   Section III  - ADOM Development.
        A. I have some great ideas concerning ADOM.  Are you interested?
        B. Is ADOM still being developed?
        C. What can I do to further ADOM's development?
        D. What plans do exist for ADOM's future?
        E. What about the sources for the game?
        F. What about ADOM variants?
        G. Will ADOM be ported to 'xyz'?
        H. How about some technical details about ADOM?
        I. Why don't you make save files between versions compatible?
        J. How about translations of the game texts into other languages?
        K. Who's responsible for the various ports?

   Section IV   - Miscellaneous Stuff.
        A. Why aren't my emails answered?
        B. Why is the website for ADOM out of date?
        C. Who is Thomas Biskup?
        D. Why has the savefile of my character disappeared after he died?
        E. Why are requests for advice not answered?
        F. Does Thomas Biskup enjoy receiving binary files?
        G. When will the next version of ADOM be released?

   Section V    - Game-Related Questions.
        A. What's the relation between the Mad Minstrel and the village fool?
        B. How much weight is 'one stone' actually?
        C. Why can't I increase my weapon skills?
        D. All my characters start out cursed.  Why?
        E. How can I activate a ring of djinni summoning?
        F. What's a 'si'?
        G. Why does fire damage my character despite immunity to fire?
        H. What about the Red Rooster and associated mysteries?
        I. What's the best class/race combination?
        J. Why is the number of charges for wands I zapped not displayed?
        K. Why are scroll names readable for illiterate characters?
        L. Why are all classes able to learn weapon skills equally well?
        M. I can't use command 'xyz'.  Why not?
        N. What do 'scurgari' look like?
        O. Are there any cheat codes in ADOM?
        P. Why are blank scrolls labeled?

   Section VI   - Technical Problems.
        A. General troubleshooting.
        B. DOS
        C. Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2
        D. Windows NT, Windows 95
        E. Linux/FreeBSD

   Section VII  - Bugs.
        A. How to submit bugs?
        B. Which bugs are known?
        C. Command 'xyz' does not seem to work in my version...

   Section VIII - Installation.
        A. DOS, OS/2, Windows xyz
        B. Linux

                       Section I: The ADOM License

I.A. Terms of use

  You may use ADOM freely provided you acknowledge the following terms
  and abide by them:

        1. ADOM must only be distributed in the packages created by
           Thomas Biskup, the maintainer of the game.  The packages
           must remain complete and all components must not be altered
           in any way.

        2. You may not charge more than $3 for the distribution of
           ADOM (values as of November, 2001).

        3. You do not challenge ADOM's copyright in any way.

        4. If you distribute ADOM with a magazine, a CD-ROM distribution
           or a similar medium, you abide by the terms defined in section

        5. You follow all other licensing terms (as given by entering
           'adom -b' and 'adom -g').

        6. You acknowledge that the author of ADOM is in no way
           responsible for damage done to your system due to ADOM usage.

        7. If you play ADOM for a prolonged amount of time and enjoy
           it, you agree to abide by the terms of section I.C.

  Failure to honor these terms will be a severe violation of the license
  and could result in legal measures being taken if you are deemed
  important enough to deserve it.

I.B. Distributing ADOM in magazines, on disks, etc.

  You can freely distribute ADOM with magazines, in game compilations,
  etc. provided you abide by the following terms:

        1. You honor all terms listed in section I.A.

        2. You agree to notify the author of ADOM, Thomas Biskup, either
           by email at or by sending a written letter
           to the following address:

                Thomas Biskup
                Timmerbrinksweg 37
                45896 Gelsenkirchen

        3. You send two complimentary copies of your product (one for
           actual examination and one for being stored in my safe) to the
           address given under #2 (or, if it is an electronic publication,
           to the email address given above).

  Failure to do so will be a severe violation of this licensing agreement
  and will incur legal measures.

I.C. The Postcard Quest.

  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 live:

                Thomas Biskup
                Timmerbrinksweg 37
                45896 Gelsenkirchen

  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?

I.D. Licensing ADOM and other commercial ventures.

  ADOM is an immensely successful game and I'm proud of that.  Still, there
  are things that still could be done.  If you are member of a game
  company and would like to publish a game that could easily be able to
  rival the success of Diablo by Blizzard software, two things are

        1. You need a competent team of programmers and artists.

        2. You need to be willing to license ADOM from me.  If you are
           interested in such a commercial venture email me at

  Consider it if you work for a game company.  ADOM has been voted the
  most popular game 1997 on the Internet Chart of Free Downloadable Games
  (see and every new version is downloaded by
  at least 5000 persons -- and that for a game without network support or
  graphics that deserve that name.  Now think of a game with ADOM's
  unrivaled engine and the great graphics used in Diablo and other
  products and you have a sure winner.

                      Section II: ADOM in the Media

II.A. Where can I find information about ADOM?

  On the Net a variety of sources concerning ADOM are available.  The
  most important sources are the following:
        This is the official ADOM website.  It contains all the latest
        news and updates concerning the game, plus all kinds of
        interesting links and tidbits of information.  And the first
        parts of the upcoming ADOM Pen & Paper Roleplaying game are
        there, too...
        This is the official ADOM newsgroup.  If you are looking for
        advice, seek other players or simply would like to discuss ADOM,
        this is the place to go.  Here you will find many fans of the
        game, willing to engage in discussions of all kind.  If your
        news server does not carry this group, make it known to your
        system administrator and ask him in a polite way to get the group.
        This is the primary spoiler site for ADOM, maintained by Richard
        Fowler.  He also maintains the ADOM FAQ and collects all kinds
        of interesting things concerning ADOM.  Visit it if you are
        looking for information concerning the game.

  ADOM has also been covered in a variety of magazines (both online and
  printed), but I'm sadly lacking information about most of these articles.
  Visit the official ADOM website and look up the respective section to
  find out more about this.  If you know about such a publication and it's
  not listed on the website, please let me know with a quick email to

II.B. What should I know before writing a review about ADOM?

  I am happy to see all reviews concerning ADOM, good or bad.  Out of
  politeness I ask for two things:

        1. If you write a review please let me know about it.  I'd
           like to read it, too, and I can't do that if I don't know
           about it.

        2. If you are printing it somewhere, please send me two
           complimentary issues of your magazine, so that I can
           show the review to my kids at some point (when I have some that
           is ;-) to tell them "Look, what Daddy did when he was young!".
           See section I.A for details.

                      Section III: ADOM Development.

III.A. I have some great ideas concerning ADOM.  Are you interested?

  Every day I receive about 10 emails concerning ADOM (that's more
  than 3000 per year).  Many of them contain suggestions and many
  of those suggestions have been repeated again and again.  Some
  of the more common suggestions and my replies to them have been
  compiled below:

        1. How about a multi-player version of ADOM?

           ADOM's source code really is not prepared to handle
           multi-player code.  It would be possible to add this
           feature if either a team of professional programmers
           worked on it or someone provided me with a
           lot of hardware and a lot more free time than I have
           these days.  Until then, forget it!

        2. How about a graphical version of ADOM?

           Graphics would be nice, yes.  But they would have to
           be done in a very professional way.  Adding graphics
           like those in Nethack is too much work for too little
           gain as far as I am concerned.  Again, a professional
           team of artists and programmers would be able to do
           it, but since neither is available, forget about if for
           the time being!
           If you feel you could do it, do not contact me about it
           before you can show me at least 20 samples of graphical
           tiles for the game.  There have been too many offers
           the one time I tried this without ever getting something
           out of it...

        3. How about a BBS version of ADOM?

           I already talked to someone about this and this topic
           might be tackled after 1.0.0 is done.

        4. How about an attribute roller?

           Maybe at some point, but then in a shareware version of ADOM.

        5. How about a cheat mode?

           See #4.

        6. How about monster inventories?

           Being implemented right now. Due to the complexity of this
           issue quite a number of versions will go by until this
           feature is completed.

        7. How about more races?

           I'm very hesitant about adding new races to the game, since
           ADOM has been designed with a background in mind and is more
           than just a collection of everything including the kitchen
           sink like Nethack.  Thus there won't be races like vampires,
           dragons, giants, etc.  The only races I ever plan to add
           are Ratlings, Hill Dwarves and Mist Elves.  This will happen
           in the ADOM 1.x.y release series.

        8. What about more classes?

           A couple of additional classes are planned for future
           versions (after 1.0.0), among them Pirate, Shaman, Pilgrim,
           Summoner, Armsmaster, Noble, Miner, ...

        9. How about larger maps?

           I have tried to use larger-than-screen-sized maps with
           another roguelike game I wrote, but I don't like them.  Instead
           I plan to add more levels in the current size, because I find
           this size very convenient in play (you see everything at once
           and you won't suffer from stupid off-screen attacks).

III.B. Is ADOM still being developed?

  Yes. The year 2000 was a pretty bleak year for ADOM. Real life, various
  other pet projects and job-related duties prevented me from doing
  almost anything with ADOM, but this will change once more. One of my
  Christmas gifts in 2000 was that I restarted coding on ADOM.

  Development will be less planned and more spontaneous during the months
  to come, simply because I no longer have the time to implement the
  big plans all at once. Thus I'll return to the method used in the
  early days of ADOM: code whatever is the most fun right now and release
  a new version when enough changes have accumulated.

  2001 initially wasn't much better but finally I realized that ADOM
  1.0.0 was taking an eternity because my expectations and wishes
  simply were too high. Thus you now will receive a wild and chaotic,
  but hopefully not corrupted, release schedule...

III.C. What can I do to further ADOM's development?

  Although ADOM is postcard-ware I'm not unhappy if someone feels like
  sending money to me :-)  I need to upgrade my hardware but can't afford
  to do so right now.

  Sending a postcard (see section I.C) would also be very kind.

  Finally you might want to vote for for ADOM on the Internet Worldcharts.
  ADOM was already very successful (number #1 for many weeks) on the
  Chart of Free Downloadable Games, and I like to see it up there :-)
  Visit if you'd like to do me that favor.

III.D. What plans do exist for ADOM's future?

  Many plans... and they constantly change :-)  Visit the official ADOM
  website to see my current plans.

III.E. What about the sources for the game?

  ADOM's sources are not yet available.  My original plan was to release
  the sources once ADOM 1.0.0 is finished and I could consider the game to
  be even remotely complete.

  In the past a couple of folks were very insensitive about my notions
  regarding ADOM variants and argued "If the game is available without
  costs I can do with the sources whatever I like".  Those folks are...
  well... socially retarded would be too nice as a description.  Let's just
  assume that those people really made me wonder about what I'm doing here.
  They really should try to create something in the scope of ADOM only once
  in their lives and then they might understand.  Anyways, those folks
  annoyed the hell out of me and I've decided that I'm not going to
  release the sources for ADOM.

  This will have a good and a bad effect. The good effect is that ADOM
  will remain the most challenging and mysterious of all roguelike games,
  simply because you just can't take a look into the sources and find
  all the secrets right away once a new version is released. The bad
  effect (for some people) is that they can't toy around with the sources,
  create variants, etc. I can live very well with that and this it will

III.F. What about ADOM variants?

  There won't be any as far as I am concerned.

  My reasoning behind this is two-fold:

        1. To me ADOM is more than just an exercise in creating a
           tactically interesting game.  It's a breathing world and
           it's my child.  Therefor I'd hate to see others toying
           around with it just to turn it into a munchkin-fest.

        2. I already receive more than 3000 emails per year concerning
           ADOM.  Some of those emails come from incredibly stupid
           people (luckily most of them do not).  Those folks are not
           even able to take a quick glance at the manual.  They also
           refuse to notice that I'm not responsible for whatever
           variants there might be.  I don't want to receive another
           3000 emails per year concerning variants I don't know anything
           about and I'm not interested in.
           This for sure would happen.  If you don't believe me write
           a game as successful as ADOM and you'll see.  In the heyday
           of activity I spent roughly an hour per day on reading ADOM
           email and news postings, which is more than I realistically
           can afford, because I also love my work, my life and my other

III.G. Will ADOM be ported to 'xyz'?

  Eventually (probably in the 1.x.y release series).  Over the past couple of
  years there have been volunteers for the following systems:

        OS/2                    Unix            Solaris/SPARC
        BeBox                   Falcon          Native Windows 95
        Native Windows NT       HPUX/DEC ALPHA  Macintosh
        Nextstep                SGI             SunOS/Solaris 1.x/2.x
        Archimedes              UnixWare        IBM AIX
        MacLinux                MVS             AIX 4.1.x, 4.2.x, 4.3

  Many of them probably won't be available after all the time that has
  passed. Our strategy (read: Jochens and mine) right now is to port
  ADOM ourselves to all the systems we would like to support.

  If you'd like to port ADOM to a system not yet mentioned in that
  list, feel free to contact me at

III.H. How about some technical details about ADOM?

  ADOM is written in C and compiled with the help of GNU make (or any
  other make) and one Perl script (to compile the online manual).  As of
  ADOM 0.9.9 Gamma 9 it consists of 71 '.c' modules, 74 '.h' files.
  This amounts to more than 120000 lines of code (slightly over 3MB
  for all the source files). As a comparison: ADOM 0.9.9 Gamma 16
  prerelease 2 right now consists of 80 '.c' modules and 84 '.h' files.
  This in turn amounts to roughly 140000 lines of code (slightly
  over 4 MB for all the source fules).
  For output ADOM uses the NCurses library under Linux.

  And for comparison: ADOM 1.0.0 grew t 146561 lines of code in 82
  '.c' files 86 '.h' files. Still slightly over 4 MB of sources.

  The DOS version of ADOM is compiled with DJGPP (see the information
  at for a truly magnificent DOS compiler), uses
  the PD Curses library for output (it's damn fast) and is edited with
  Emacs (as is the Linux version). BTW, the PD Curses library has been
  patched because Raymond Martineau found a bug in it.

  The Amiga version is compiled with the SAS/C compiler and utilizes
  a hacked curses library my friend Jochen created.

  As you can see, you can't write a complex roguelike game in a couple of
  months (ADOM required about seven years to get this far).

III.I. Why don't you make save files compatible between versions?

  Occasionally save files are compatible.  When they are not, it's because
  I changed many of the internal data structures and I neither have the
  time nor the will to care for all the details of save file compatibility.
  It's tedious, it's painful and I'm not paid for it, so there's really no
  reason for me to work on it.

  Besides that new versions usually get adopted very quickly. Thus it does
  not seem to make much sense to fiddle around with savefil compatibility
  for a prolonged amount of time, just because older versions usually
  are dropped quickly.

  Save file compatibility between operating systems neither is a question:
  a few (very few!) folks asked for it, but IMHO the amount of work required
  to achieve save file compatibility between operating systems is not worth
  the tiny benefit gained due to such a feature. It's marketing hype as far
  as I am concerned.

III.J. How about translations of the game texts into other languages?

  Simple answer: no chance... for several reasons:

  -*- ADOM is not prepared to handle multiple languages and I can't see
      any even moderately sane way of adjusting the sources to handle
      this.  I don't want to keep multiple source trees updated.

  -*- Other languages probably have a sufficiently different grammar
      to require changes in the source code depending on the language
      being used.  This is so because ADOM constructs many messages
      "on the fly", e.g. it has no idea how some sentences will end when
      they are started (especially during combat).  I imagine that different
      languages will require major changes to the sentence structure.

  -*- As far as I know the Curses libraries I use at least on some systems
      still expect 7-bit ASCII characters -- thus there is no way of using
      all those fancy special characters in various languages.

  -*- I'm a bit doubtful of the will of some folks to translate those tons
      of text in ADOM -- especially all the additions that will be made with
      each version.  It's a lot of work and what would I do if the translator
      for Canton chinese suddenly drops out for whatever reason?  Such folks
      don't grow on trees, you know.

  -*- The sources won't be made publicly available.

III.K. Who's responsible for the various ports?

  DOS, Windows xyz, OS/2, Linux: Thomas Biskup (
  Amiga, BeOS                  : Jochen Terstiege (

  Direct system-specific questions to these folks.

                     Section IV: Miscellaneous Stuff.

IV.A. Why aren't my emails answered?

  I receive about 3000-4000 emails annually (and that's only the email I
  receive concerning ADOM).  I rarely have enough time to answer all of
  them and thus these days I'm slowly developing similar tactics as the
  Nethack DevTeam, simply to retain my sanity.

  Thus bug reports are rarely answered, mostly only to get some more
  information about the problem sources.  Questions answered by this
  document, the manual or common sense won't be answered any longer.
  Simple praise (as much as I like to receive it ;-) will also rarely be
  answered, usually only when I have some spare time and feel in a
  talkative mood.

  Don't take this as a personal offense, but I'm really low on time and
  I'm still doing this for the fun of it and not because I get paid (I do
  not get paid).

IV.B. Why is the website for ADOM out of date?

  Usually it gets updated whenever I release a new version of ADOM.
  In between I mostly lack the time to do so.  Sorry...

IV.C. Who is Thomas Biskup?

  Just some mortal ;-)  I was born in 1971, am living in Germany and am
  a Computer Scientist.  I like reading, cinema, good books and Internet.
  I love developing ADOM.  I also enjoy pen & paper roleplaying games and
  I enjoy collecting postcards from all over the world (see section
  I.C). And if you look around a bit on Internet you even might find a
  photo of me...

IV.D. Why has the savefile of my character disappeared after he died?

  This is a convention of roguelike games.  You are expected to
  play through the game without dying.  It's difficult, but it's
  definitely possible.  In my opinion this 'feature' also makes roguelike
  games a lot more exciting than standard rpgs.  Every action you take
  counts and all decisions are important.  Also, folks who use saved
  games tend to play in a more hazardous way, taking risks they are
  not yet prepared for and consequently dying gruesome deaths.  Then
  those players get annoyed because "they have to play through the same
  thing again and again", simply because they fail to notice that they
  should try something else before.

IV.E. Why are requests for advice not answered?

  Lack of time on my part.  Visit to get advice
  or look at one of the spoiler sites.

IV.F. Does Thomas Biskup enjoy receiving binary files?

  send binaries of any kind without ever having been asked to do so,
  you'll be regarded as an idiot who'd like to steal my precious time
  and I'll definitely not care for whatever you want.

  Sorry for sounding annoyed, but there seem to be too many folks who
  can't read and insist on sending useless data to me (e.g. their saved
  games to show me some kind of bug that has already been fixed).  I'm
  really sick of wasting my time on such efforts and so would you, too,
  if you had to pay the telephone fees we have here in Germany.

IV.G. When will the next version of ADOM be released?

  Each time that question is asked, the release date is pushed
  back by two weeks.  It seems that I still have plenty of time
  to get finished.

                    Section V: Game-related Problems.

V.A. What's the relation between the Mad Minstrel and the village fool?

  Fnord.  You are not cleared for this kind of information.

V.B. How much weight is 'one stone' actually?

   50.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 metric grams *or*
  615.38461538461538461538461538461538461538461538461538 grains *or*
   32.15434083601286173633440514469453376205787781350482 pennyweights *or*
    1.60756197151400186477188695624216313538886924090923 ounces *or*
    0.13396134411454230767169825475160887574281565311513 pounds
  (for those folks suffering from imperial measurement systems ;-).

V.C. Why can't I increase my weapon skills?

  Change your tactics setting from Coward to something else.  Use the
  'T' command to do that.

V.D. All my characters start out cursed.  Why?

  Look at the date.  It's probably yet another Friday the 13th.  ADOM
  introduces some special effects into the game because the author
  likes it that way.

V.E. How can I activate a ring of djinni summoning?

  'U'se it.

V.F. What's a 'si'?

  No comment on the details.  But it rhymes with "see" when pronounced.

  If you are interested in how it got into the game, here we go:
  Quite a number of years ago (that must have been around 1985 or so)
  I played a lot of AD&D with a friend.  We had two characters,
  dwarven fighter/thieves of LN alignment named Gorko Galgenstrick and
  Groron Garman respectively, who lived through many many adventures.
  One day my friend looked at the character sheet of his character,
  Groron Garman, and discovered garbled writing in his list of normal
  items stating that he owned a "Si".  We had no idea what that could
  be and how it got there and we were pretty puzzled but left it that way,
  making occasional comments about Groron's mighty artifact, the Si.
  Months later my friend again was revising the list of normal items
  his character lugged around and noticed the word "Si" in a second
  place on the equipment list.  Now we were really puzzled and declared
  this item to be an artifact with unknown powers.  The 'Si' in ADOM
  is just a kind of insider joke on my behalf to celebrate those great
  old days :-)

V.G. Why does fire damage my character despite immunity to fire?

  You are playing a drakeling?  You are right now probably exploring the
  tower of eternal flames?  That's it.  While heat increases the inherent
  speed of drakelings, it also damages them at some point due to over-heating.
  Immunity to fire damage doesn't help with such a great amount of heat.

V.H. What about the Red Rooster and associated mysteries?

  No comment :-)  That's one of the advantages of roguelike games without
  public source code.  Some mysteries need quite a bit of time until they
  are solved by someone :-)

V.I. What's the best class/race combination?

  There is no single true answer to this.  It really depends on your
  playing style.  See the various spoiler sites for comments on this.

V.J. Why is the number of charges for wands I zapped not displayed?

  The number of charges is only displayed if your character is even
  remotely able to count and remember numbers.  Game-wise this means
  that he must have a Learning score of at least 6.

V.K. Why are scroll names readable for illiterate characters?

  It's a kind of convenience feature.  Just because a person can't read
  doesn't mean that said person can't spot differences between two
  texts.  Letters (and probably more so runes) look different, are
  positioned differently, etc.  Thus ADOM allows you to see the different
  alias names for unidentified scrolls, even if your PC is illiterate.

V.L. Why are all classes able to learn weapon skills equally well?

  First of all not all classes are able to learn weapon skills equally
  well (e.g. wizards need more marks to advance to the next weapon skill
  level).  Second it is my sincere belief that -- given enough practice
  and the physical capabilities to do so -- you can master any skill,
  no matter what you were taught in your youth.

V.M. I can't use command 'xyz'.  Why not?

  You probably still use the keymap of an older version of ADOM and
  command 'xyz' is a new command.  Just delete the older keymap file
  (called either 'adom.kbd' or '.adom.kbd' depending on your OS) and
  let ADOM generate a new file (which it will do automatically).

V.N. What do 'scurgari' look like?

  Scurgari (scurgar in the singular) are roughly crescent-shaped throwing
  blades favored by the drakeling people all over Ancardia. The blade
  actually runs around the outer bow, while the inner bow has a small
  spike protruding from it (roughly in the center).

V.O. Are there any cheat codes in ADOM?

  All cheat codes may be found in the ADOM General Spoiler FAQ.

V.P. Why are blank scrolls labeled?

  Or: Wouldn't it be more logical to label "blank scrolls" as "blank
  scrolls". The idea behind this is taken from the way cursed scrolls
  used to work in ancient editions of D&D. The cure would take effect
  as soon as you open the scroll to read it. Thus, by default, all
  scrolls are potentially dangerous and you need to unbind them and read
  them to determine their type. Only then you will see whether the scroll
  is blank or not. Thus "blank scrolls" appear to be labelled at first
  (meaning that you haven't identified them - and maybe there's even
  some kind of label on the outer side).

                     Section VI: Technical Problems.

VI.A. General troubleshooting.

  Two major sources of problems with ADOM are known:

        1. Lack of disk space.

           Make sure that you have enough disk space to handle a file
           twice the size of your current save file (ADOM creates lots
           of temporary files which take up size).

        2. Screen resolution.

           ADOM is able to work with different screen resolutions.  It can
           make use of both 80x25, 80x50 (or whatever) screens.  Sadly, the
           save files can't be exchanged.  If you started to play in one
           specific resolution, you also have to activate that resolution
           before restoring a saved game.  Everything else could lead to

        3. Turning off the computer without quitting ADOM beforehand.

           This will prevent ADOM from cleaning up its file structure.
           There might be all kinds of problems as a consequence.  The
           least you can do is to delete 'adom.prc'.


  * ADOM needs a DPMI host to run.  If you don't have installed a DPMI
    server you can use the free DPMI server included in the ADOM package.
    It's called CWSDPMI.EXE.  Simply run it immediately before starting
    ADOM and everything should be fine.  Details about CWSDPMI.EXE can be
    found in CWSDPMI.DOC.

  * ADOM does not seem to work when started from a drive created with
    the SUBST command (refer to your DOS-documentation when you are using

  * ADOM uses a wrong color map when started on an Archimedes with a PC
    emulator card (yes, we even tried that :-).

  * ADOM seems to have problems to work together with the cache program
    from Norton Utilities (reported under DOS 6.22).  You might want to
    disable the cache software before booting to play ADOM.

VI.C. Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2

  * Don't try to run ADOM from within Windows.  Windows creates swap
    files which can grow at a pretty ugly rate and this might eat up
    your disk space without allowing you to notice it.  If ADOM runs
    out of disk space, it crashes in an ugly way.

    The same is true for OS/2.

VI.D. Windows NT, Windows 95

  * ADOM potentially encounters problems when faced with long file names
    (longer than the old DOS 8+3 scheme).  If you are using long file
    names for ADOM (e.g. a directory like c:\games\roguelike\adom, where
    'roguelike' does not fit into the 8+3 scheme), you must set the
    following environment variable (either in your AUTOEXEC.BAT or
    manually before starting ADOM):
                SET LFN=y
    This allows ADOM to handle long file names.

  * Heed the advice in section VI.C.

VI.E. Linux/FreeBSD

  * Recent Linux ADOM versions (099g9 and later) seem to have problems
    with older C libraries under Linux (older than 5.4). Save a character
    and then check the save file directory. If the save file name mostly
    is made up from '_' characters you are a victim of the bug. Upgrade
    your libc.

    Starting with ADOM 1.0.0 libc6 is used which should remove those

  * Occasionally, ADOM seems to encounter problems with old a.out systems
    (especially with old a.out curses library versions).

  * ADOM has some problems to read the correct key codes under X.

  * ADOM does seem to have some problems with the latest libc libraries.
    So far I was able to fix all encountered bugs, but if you notice
    strange crashes under Linux, please tell me about your libc version.

  * ADOM seems to encounter a variety of problems if your directories are
    spread with links across a network -- that's a real problem :-^

  * If you experience problems with colors, you might try to use one of
    the following termcap entries (version A & B).

    If you experience problems with colors, you might need to upgrade
    your version of NCurses. After installing the ncurses-base_4.2-1
    package (which contains only the "linux" terminfo entry and a few
    other common ones like "vt100", and no libraries), ADOM g10 will
    correctly dispalay colours under Linux.

    If you cannot install the later version of NCurses, you might want
    to use either of the following procedures to fix the termcap


    Erwin Andreasen provided this entry; be warned -- it's just a hack).
    This seems to be needed for the latest versions of ADOM (starting with
    Gamma 10), which now are compiled with NCurses 3.0, when playing under

    Here's the workaround:

                am, bce, eo, mir, msgr, xenl, xon,
                colors#8, cols#80, it#8, lines#25, pairs#64,
                bel=^G, blink=\E[5m, bold=\E[1m, civis=\E[?25l,
                clear=\E[H\E[J, cnorm=\E[?25h, cr=^M,
                csr=\E[%i%p1%d;%p2%dr, cub1=^H, cud1=^J, cuf1=\E[C,
                cup=\E[%i%p1%d;%p2%dH, cuu1=\E[A, dch=\E[%p1%dP,
                dch1=\E[P, dl=\E[%p1%dM, dl1=\E[M, ed=\E[J,
                el=\E[K, flash=\E[?5h\E[?5l, home=\E[H, ht=^I,
                hts=\EH, ich=\E[%p1%d@, ich1=\E[@, il=\E[%p1%dL,
                il1=\E[L, ind=^J, ka1=\E[1~, kb2=\E[5~, kbs=^H,
                kc1=\E[4~, kc3=\E[6~, kcub1=\E[D, kcud1=\E[B,
                kcuf1=\E[C, kcuu1=\E[A, kdch1=\E[3~, kend=\E[4~,
                kf0=\E[21~, kf1=\E[[A, kf10=\E[21~, kf11=\E[23~,
                kf12=\E[24~, kf13=\E[25~, kf14=\E[26~, kf15=\E[28~,
                kf16=\E[29~, kf17=\E[31~, kf18=\E[32~, kf19=\E[33~,
                kf2=\E[[B, kf20=\E[34~, kf3=\E[[C, kf4=\E[[D,
                kf5=\E[[E, kf6=\E[17~, kf7=\E[18~, kf8=\E[19~,
                kf9=\E[20~, khome=\E[1~, kich1=\E[2~, kll=\E[4~,
                knp=\E[6~, kpp=\E[5~, kspd=^Z, nel=^M^J,
                op=\E[37;40m, rc=\E8, rev=\E[7m, ri=\EM,
                rmacs=\E[10m, rmir=\E[4l, rmpch=\E[10m, rmso=\E[m,
                rmul=\E[24m, rs1=\Ec, sc=\E7, setab=\E[4%p1%dm,
                setaf=\E[3%p1%dm, setb=\E[%p1%'('%+%cm,
                setf=\E[%p1%{30}%+%cm, sgr0=\E[0;10m, smacs=\E[11m,
                smcup=\E[r\E[H, smir=\E[4h, smpch=\E[11m,
                smso=\E[7m, smul=\E[4m, tbc=\E[3g,
                u6=\E[%p1%d;%p2%dR, u7=\E[6n, u8=\E[?6c, u9=\E[c,

    (yes, the trailing comma is correct)

    Suppose the terminfo source entry is in "linux.ti".  Then as root,
    type "tic -v linux.ti".  Current directory is irrelevant; the compiled
    version will go to the place pointed to by the TERMINFO environment
    variable, or /usr/lib/terminfo (default location) if that variable is
    not set.  The -v is for verbose and thus optional.

    A note for FreeBSD users (thanks to Walter Hafner for making this
    known to me): FreeBSD usually does not seem to have a terminfo database.
    You can create one from termcap by typing
        'tconv -c -B /usr/share/misc/termcap'
    (at your own risk ;-).

    Cautious people should back up the existing linux terminfo entry
    before doing this.  It's normally found in /usr/lib/terminfo/l/linux.
    There may be other links to this file -- "c/console", for instance.
    You'll only need to back up one of them.

    This workaround has been provided by Raymond Martineau who experienced
    some problems with Erwins solution. Here's his advice:

    If you experience problems with colors, you might try to use the
    following workaround to patch the termcap. This seems to be needed
    for the latest versions of ADOM (starting with Gamma 10), which now
    are compiled with NCurses 3.0.

    Be sure to make backups of anything you modify. Simply tarring the
    directory structure of /usr/lib/terminfo (or wherever the terminfo
    directory is kept) should be sufficient.

    Here's the workaround (you may need super-user or root access):

    First, you must decompile the termcap entry by typing
        'infocmp linux > linux.ti'
    at the command line. You might need to perform this procedure on
    a different library, depending on your $TERM variable.

    The top of the newly created file should look something like this:

        linux|linux console,
                am, bce, eo, mir, msgr, xenl, xon,
                colors#8, it#8, ncv#3, pairs#64,
                bel=^G, blink=E[5m, bold=E[1m, civis=E[?25l,
                clear=E[HE[J, cnorm=E[?25h, cr=^M, [...]

    (The top line may be slightly different, depending on the computer.)

    Open the newly created file, and append the following two lines to
    end of that file:

      setab=E[4%p1%dm, setaf=E[3%p1%dm, setb=E[%p1%'('%+%cm,

    (It's okay if there are similar entries earlier in the termcap.
    These entries will take precedence.  Also, the trailing comma is

    Now, you will need to recompile the termcap.  To do this, type
    "tic linux.ti", and adom will run with the correct colours.
    The recompiled termcap will be placed in /usr/lib/terminfo, or the
    place pointed to by the $TERMINFO encironment variable.

    A note for FreeBSD users (thanks to Walter Hafner for making this
    known to me): FreeBSD usually does not seem to have a terminfo database.
    You can create one from termcap by typing
        'tconv -c -B /usr/share/misc/termcap'
    (at your own risk ;-).

  * You want colors under X?  This also is possible.  Try the following
    (thanks to Massimo Campostrini  for
    providing the information):

        Include in your resource file (possibly ~/.Xdefaults)

        xadom*color0:                   #000000
        xadom*color1:                   #ff0000
        xadom*color2:                   #00ff00
        xadom*color3:                   #ffaa00
        xadom*color4:                   #2222ff
        xadom*color5:                   #ff00ff
        xadom*color6:                   #00ffff
        xadom*color7:                   #ffffff
        xadom*color8:                   #666666
        xadom*color9:                   #ff5555
        xadom*color10:                  #00aa00
        xadom*color11:                  #ffff00
        xadom*color12:                  #8888ff
        xadom*color13:                  #ff69b4
        xadom*color14:                  #00aaaa
        xadom*color15:                  #aaaaaa
        xadom*background:               #000000
        xadom*foreground:               #ffffff
        xadom*cursorColor:              #00ff00

        xadom*VT100.Translations:       #override \n\
                R7:        string("7") \n\
                R8:        string("8") \n\
                Up:        string("8") \n\
                R9:        string("9") \n\
                R10:       string("4") \n\
                Left:      string("4") \n\
                R11:       string("5") \n\
                R12:       string("6") \n\
                Right:     string("6") \n\
                R13:       string("1") \n\
                R14:       string("2") \n\
                Down:      string("2") \n\
                R15:       string("3") \n\
                NoneKP_1:  string("1") \n\
                NoneKP_2:  string("2") \n\
                NoneKP_3:  string("3") \n\
                NoneKP_4:  string("4") \n\
                NoneKP_5:  string("5") \n\
                NoneKP_6:  string("6") \n\
                NoneKP_7:  string("7") \n\
                NoneKP_8:  string("8") \n\
                NoneKP_9:  string("9") \n\
                CtrlKP_1:  string("w1") \n\
                CtrlKP_2:  string("w2") \n\
                CtrlKP_3:  string("w3") \n\
                CtrlKP_4:  string("w4") \n\
                CtrlKP_5:  string("w5") \n\
                CtrlKP_6:  string("w6") \n\
                CtrlKP_7:  string("w7") \n\
                CtrlKP_8:  string("w8") \n\
                CtrlKP_9:  string("w9") \n\
                MetaKP_1:  string("a11") \n\
                MetaKP_2:  string("a12") \n\
                MetaKP_3:  string("a13") \n\
                MetaKP_4:  string("a14") \n\
                MetaKP_5:  string("a15") \n\
                MetaKP_6:  string("a16") \n\
                MetaKP_7:  string("a17") \n\
                MetaKP_8:  string("a18") \n\
                MetaKP_9:  string("a19") \n\
                F11:       string("-") \n\
                F12:       string("+") \n\
                Prior:     string("-") \n\
                Next:      string("+") \n\
                End:       string("\n") \n\
                KP_Divide: string("T-- ") \n\
                KP_Multiply:string("T++ ")

        Tune colors and key bindings to your taste.
        Remember to run xrdb after each change:

                xrdb -load ~/.Xdefaults

        Now start a color xterm (the "standard" xterm in Red Hat 4.1 or
        later is fine) using the "xadom" resources:

                xterm -title xadom -name xadom -g 80x37 &

        In the new xterm, select the appropriate terminal type, e.g.

                setenv TERM pcansi  (for tcsh)
                eval `resize`  (to be conservative)

                            Section VII: Bugs.

VII.A. How to submit bugs?

  ADOM probably contains many bugs (as do most programs of a certain
  size). If ADOM somehow crashes you will have to take care of several
  things before you can continue to play.

  In case you happen to encounter a bug, you will probably have to cope
  with one of the following two kinds of scenarios:

  1. The program exits with an error message (maybe saving your game
     before doing so). In this case please note down the _exact_ error
     message and describe what you did last before the program exited.
     If ADOM dumps some binary data, please also note it down exactly!

  2. The program crashed without giving any hints why it would do so.
     This is very, very bad... try to remember what you did last. Try to
     reproduce the error. If you manage to reproduce it, write a step-by-
     step description on what one has to do to see the error. If you do
     not manage to reproduce it, try to describe what you did last in as
     much detail as possible.

  Look for a file called 'adom.err' (it should be somewhere on your hard
  disk in case of crash type #1).  Copy it and send it to me together with
  your bug report.

  After you have collected all necessary data about the error as described
  above, try to make the problem known to the developer. This is possible
  if you have access to Internet EMail. If you do have such access, write
  an email to the following address:
  If you have access to the World Wide Web, you preferrably will use
  the automated bug report form at
  which ensures, that all necessary data will be there.

  Please include the following data (if possible):

  * The version of ADOM you are using; please look carefully at the
    title screen of your game version.  If your version lists the
    following text below the game title and the normal version number,
    you also need to record the value of 'x':
                                Gamma Release x
  * The system your version is running on (OS name, OS version).
  * The bug description (see above).
  * Any other comments that you feel would be helpful.
  * Your full real life name (so that I can include you in the credits
    section in case you have discovered a new bug).

  Please do _not_ include any of the following things:

  * Binaries of any kind.
  * Binary patches (rather detail where you believe the mistake to be).
  * Flames about this shitty piece of software.
  * Anything else not specifically requested by the developer.

  As soon as your bug report arrives, I'll try to do something about
  it. Probably you will receive another email requesting more information
  or asking specific questions. Should I be able to locate an error
  because of your input, your name will be added to the credits and eternal
  fame will be yours :-)

VII.B. Which bugs are known?

  See the official ADOM website for this kind of information.  Visit to do so.

VII.C. Command 'xyz' does not seem to work in my version...

  You probably copied ADOM over an older installation.  ADOM's keyboard
  definitions are contained in a file called 'adom.kbd' (or '.adom.kbd'
  for Linux and Amiga systems).  Delete that file and ADOM automatically
  will create a new file for you.

  If you have added customizations of your own to that file you would
  like to keep, you also might want to try to type 'adom -k -r'.  This
  will have ADOM create a file called 'keyref.kbd' which contains all
  command definitions for the current version of ADOM.

                       Section VIII - Installation.

VIII.A. DOS, OS/2, Windows xyz

  Installing ADOM is very simple.  This section will tell you how to
  install ADOM step by step.  An example will explain each step.  
  means that you have to press the enter key after that command. The '>'
  represents the command prompt of the DOS shell.

  Let's assume that you want to install ADOM on your hard disc drive C: in
  the directory \games\adom.  The file ADOM-xxx.ZIP (xxx is normally the
  current version number, e.g. 099) for the sake of the example is located
  on your floppy drive B:.  The directory C:\GAMES already exists.  You
  need to do the following:

        cd \games 
        mkdir adom 
        cd adom 
        copy B:\ADOM-xxx.ZIP 
        pkunzip ADOM-xxx.ZIP 
        del ADOM-xxx.ZIP 

  This will install the archive at the location you intended it to be (in
  the example).

  Next you will have to set an environment variable which will tell ADOM
  where to look for the highscore and where to save games. To do this you
  will have to edit the autoexec.bat file in the root directory of your
  boot drive (C: in most cases). Add the following line at the end of the
  autoexec.bat and then save the file:


  It is important to use the complete path, drive letter included. Finally
  you have to add the directory chosen for ADOM_HOME to your path. After
  you have done this just reboot the computer. Now you should be able to
  play ADOM.

  If you don't set the ADOM_HOME environment variable, ADOM will create
  all necessary files during the game and the highscore file in the
  directory you started ADOM in.

VIII.B. Linux

  When installing ADOM you have two choices.  If you have access to root
  privileges you can install Linux system-wide.  If you are just a simple
  user, installing ADOM is also possible.

  * Uncompressing the package
  Distributions of ADOM usually consist of one file either called
  'adom-xyz-elf.tar.gz' or 'adom-xyz-aout.tar.gz'.  The 'xyz'
  normally corresponds to the version number contained in the distribution
  (e.g. 070 for version 0.7.0).  To install the package you need to issue
  the following two commands:
        gunzip adom-xyz-aout.tar.gz
        tar xf adom-xyz-aout.tar
  After doing this you should change to the new directory (called 'adom')
  and then continue as described below depending on whether you have root
  privileges or not.

  Installing ADOM globally will be a bit of work so that you should try the
  local version if you just want to take a quick look at it.  If you
  like what you see you can still install it globally.

  * If you _do_ have root privileges:

    The following description will assume that you want to use the
    directory '/var/lib/adom' as your global highscore directory and that
    the binary itself will be installed in the directory '/usr/games'.

    First of all you will have to create a new user (e.g. named 'adomown')
    and a new group (also named 'adomown').  To create the new group you
    will have to add the following line to your /etc/group file:


    The term  has to be replaced by the smallest number larger than
    99 that is not used by any other group.  Note the number.  You will
    need it once more.

    To create the new user you will have to add the following line to the
    /etc/passwd file:


    The  term has to be replaced by the number you used above for the
    group entry. The  term has to be replaced by a valid user id.

    Next you will need to copy the adom-binary to the /usr/games
    directory. Then enter the /usr/games directory and type the following:

        chown adomown.adomown adom
        chmod +x adom
        chmod +s adom

    Now we are nearly done. You need to create the highscore directory
    /var/lib/adom.  The directory has to be owned by 'adomown' (both user
    and group ownership).  The correct privileges can be set with

        chown adomown.adomown /var/lib/adom
        chmod 775 /var/lib/adom

    Finally you will have to create a file in the /etc directory called
    'adom_ds.cfg', which must contain but one text line: the path to the
    highscore directory (in our example '/var/lib/adom').

    The configuration file '.adom.cfg' for the individual users has to be
    put into the home directory of each user wishing to utilize the
    configuration variables (see the manual for details).

    The highscore will be saved in /var/lib/adom/.HISCORE (if you are
    using the default values).

    Finally you should make sure that the path variable lists the path to
    the globally installed ADOM binary before the one to any home

  * If you do _not_ have root privileges:

    Copy the adom binary into a directory of your choice.  This directory
    must be included in your PATH variable.  To play ADOM just type
    'adom'.  In your home directory several subdirectories will be
    created:         to hold all data files  to hold the temporary files during a game  to hold the saved games

    Also two files might be created in your home directory: to save the scores of your games
        .adom.prc:           a lock file to prevent you from starting ADOM
                             more than once

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