ADOM (short for Ancient Domains of Mystery) is a roguelike game written by Thomas Biskup in which your aim is to stop the forces of Chaos which are invading the world of Ancardia. It was developed from scratch, rather than being a variant of Nethack or Angband.

You can choose any of ten races and twenty classes for your character, giving 200 possible combinations requiring widely varying playing styles. For example, a High Elven Wizard would annihilate their enemies by slinging spells at them from afar, while a Trollish Barbarian would have great difficulty learning spells and would be better off smashing everything in melee combat. During your adventures you are likely to explore many different dungeons and complete multiple quests - which quests you choose will likely depend on your character and on whether you are lawful or chaotic. All this means that ADOM has more role-playing elements than Nethack. For more comparisons of Nethack and ADOM, see the Nethack vs. ADOM node.

ADOM features a wide variety of skills, such as Find Weakness (the ability to aim for your opponent's weak points and hence score more critical hits in combat) and Alchemy (mixing potions and herbs to make new potions). Version 1.1.x also features talents - you can pick one talent (sometimes more) at the start of the game, and one more talent every three levels. Some talents have prerequisites - for example the useful Heir talent (inherit a special magic item) is only available at the beginning of the game, and then only if you start with the Boon to the Family and Charming talents too.

One feature of ADOM which greatly enhances its replay value is the availability of multiple endings. The standard way to defeat the forces of Chaos is to close the Chaos Gate, but if you've won the game this way and want a challenge, you can try to pass through the gate and defeat Andor Drakon, the Elder Chaos God. This will make you an Avatar of Order or Balance or an (Ultimate) Chaos God. (Yes, you can win ADOM as an evil character who defeats the lord of Chaos only to become a more powerful one.)

You can download the latest version of ADOM (1.1.1, as of November 20, 2002) from the official ADOM website at This website also has sections on Thomas Biskup's plans for JADE, a Java-based multi-player version of ADOM, ADOM Deluxe, a shareware version with additional features which are commonly requested by players, and the ADOM RPG, a role-playing system based in the ADOM universe.

Other useful ADOM-related websites:

  • - Contains the ADOM Guidebook (an extremely useful collection of ADOM spoilers), the ADOM FAQ (helpful but non-spoily information about ADOM) and the FAQ for the ADOM newsgroup,
  • - extensive web-based forums for discussing ADOM.

ADOM-related nodes on Everything2:

This node is a work in progress. Please let me know of any other nodes with ADOM-related content.

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