Darkness is the absence of light. The vast majority of places in ADOM are automatically lit when you find them. However, there are various circumstances which can cause tiles, rooms or even entire dungeons to be dark.
Darkness can be both a blessing and curse — it prevents the player from seeing his surroundings or reading scrolls and books, but also the vast majority of monsters in the game cannot fight back (or, in 1.2.0+, do so less effectively) in it.
Creating and removing darkness
There are many ways of permanently or temporarily creating or removing darkness in ADOM.
Common ways of creating darkness include the Darkness spell, crystals of darkness, or scrolls of darkness.
Some places begin the game dark, including the entire Gremlin cave, and some random rooms. Certain monsters are also capable of casting darkness. These include Keethrax, Nuurag-Vaarn and Andor Drakon.
The Light spell, crystals of light, scrolls of light, amulets of light and wands of light are all good ways of creating light. Note that while it is impossible to read a scroll while in darkness, you can read a scroll of light while standing next to a dark area.
You can use a torch to temporarily light the entire area around the player. This is very useful when fighting monsters such as the Chaos Archmage that otherwise would repeatedly darken the area. Amulets of light have the same effect, but do not burn out after a number of turns.
It is also possible to use divine aid to remove darkness, although this can be considered a waste of valuable resource or even a grave mistake (if player intended to ask for another thing, such as poisoning/sickness removal).
Corruptions added in version 1.2.0 include "hatred of the sun", which will darken the area around PC at random intervals.
One of the special effect rooms changes the area around PC from lit to dark and vice versa each turn. Attempts to permanently darken/light this room will always fail.
Darkness and monsters
In versions prior to 1.2.0, monsters that cannot see in darkness will just stand still and not attack (if they are not cornered and panicking). Thus, darkness can be used on such monsters for defensive purposes (e.g. stopping vortices from exploding), or to render stronger enemies helpless to allow the PC to score a much easier kill against them.
Monsters' behavior in darkness was changed in v. 1.2.0. Even if a monster cannot see in darkness, it will still try to move around instead of standing still, and can usually fight back if cornered. Note that this change affects the aforementioned vortices, allowing them to explode without actually seeing the PC, as well as other special attacks like rust from rust monsters and pickpocketing from ratling thieves.
Boss monsters and darkness
This is a list of bosses and whether or not they see in darkness. For a complete list of all monsters, see the Monsters page.
|Name||Location||Sees in darkness|
|Ancient Chaos Wyrm||Tower of Eternal Flames||Yes|
|Ancient Stone Beast||Earth Temple||Yes|
|Nuurag-Vaarn the Chaos Archmage||Mana Temple||Yes|
|Master Summoner||Air Temple||Unknown|
|Snake From Beyond||Water Temple||No in 1.1.1, yes in 1.2.0+|
|Srraxxarrakex the Ancient blue wyrm||Blue Dragon Caves||Unknown|
|Keethrax the Black druid||Druid Dungeon||Yes|
|Cat lord||Caverns of Chaos||Unknown|
|Andor Drakon the ElDeR cHaOs GoD||Chaos plane||Yes|
|Fistanarius the Greater Balor||D:50||Unknown|
|Yrrigs the Mad carpenter||Village Dungeon||Unknown|
|Nonnak the Master necromancer||Dwarven Graveyard||Unknown|
|Minotaur emperor||Minotaur maze||Yes|
|Keriax the multi-headed chaos dragon||Ancient Stone Circle||Unknown|
|Rehetep the Mummy Lord||The Pyramid||Yes|
|Filk the Quickling bard||The Infinite dungeon||Unknown|
|Kranach the Raider lord||Randomly in the wilderness||No|
|Griff Bloodax the Undead chaos dwarven berserker||Dwarven Graveyard||Yes|
Some information taken with permission from Andy Williams' Guidebook.