Dungeon Features

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Some or all of the following features may randomly be found in dungeons across the Drakalor Chain. The appearance of any of these is, in most cases, completely random, however there are some guaranteed features in certain dungeons.


See main article: Shops.

Shops come in many shapes and sizes. They can be special shops, selling and buying only one particular class of item (for example, spellbooks or food), or they can be general stores which will buy and sell any type of item. There are five guaranteed shops in the game:

It is important to note that shops that seem to be deserted are not shops at all; they are tension rooms filled with mimics and greater mimics, with some master mimics and a mimic hivemind as well on higher danger levels. The latter two monsters are particularly lethal to many PCs lacking paralyzation resistance, so the player should take the necessary precautions before stepping inside such rooms.


See main article: Altars.

There are three types of altar: lawful, neutral, and chaotic. They can be used to sacrifice items and monsters to the gods.

There is a guaranteed altar in Dwarftown, which will be coaligned if the PC is lawful, and neutral otherwise. There is also a guaranteed chaotic altar in each of the elemental temples.


See main article: Pools.

Pools can be either very good or very bad, depending on the RNG. They can be drunk from, with results varying from a wish to getting cursed and doomed.

There are around six guaranteed pools in Darkforge, and a peculiar one in the Ancient Stone Circle that corrupts every time it is drunk from.


See main article: Herbs.

Herb bushes can be a great boon to players, especially at lower levels. There are both beneficial and harmful herbs, which can feed you, starve you, train your stats, or abuse them. It is strongly advised to not eat herbs you don't know the effect of.

There is only one dungeon level which is guaranteed to have herb bushes: the Big Room in the Caverns of Chaos. Any level (including some towns) can be converted to herb supporting via Gardening, though.


Anthills appear as a "small hole" (whilst intact) or a "crumpled hole" (once the ant queen has emerged) on the ground. They will at random intervals produce various giant ant workers and warriors; the player is alerted to this event by hearing "clicking sounds". After producing a certain number of those anthills will generate a giant ant queen, after which no more ants will be generated.

At higher levels, ants are close to harmless, however for newer characters it is advised to avoid them where possible.

There is a guaranteed ant nest on level 2 of the Puppy Cave. It is often used as a near-guaranteed source of early acid resistance.


A beehive appears as a yellow '0' symbol (identical in appearance to a 'golden pool'). Like anthills, beehives will produce a giant bee at random intervals; the player is alerted to this by hearing "buzzing sounds". When emptied, it will provide beeswax and has a chance to generate gelee royal; the latter becomes more likely if the hive is destroyed by kicking (which will however result in getting surrounded by a lot more hostile bees than normal). Beeswax is often used to survive the banshee.

There is guaranteed to be at least one beehive in the Caverns of Chaos, somewhere before the banshee.

Cavernous levelsEdit

See main article: Cavernous levels.

Not to be mistaken with the Big Room.

Cavernous levels are exactly what the name implies: levels with very few hallways, and much bigger, and usually non-rectangular rooms then usual.

Cavernous levels can still contain threat rooms; the existence of one is easily recognized by masses of monsters that don't usually turn up in great numbers.

Level five of the Puppy Cave is an early game cavernous level guaranteed to be found. Further ones are located in the Tomb of the High Kings (three, to be exact), and there are additional ones in the lower CoC. The Scintillating Cave and the blue dragon caves are also cavernous.

Note that cavernous levels are the only so-called dungeon features that never occur at random, just in fixed locations in the game.

Lesser/greater vaultsEdit

See main article: Vaults.

Vaults come in two sizes: lesser and greater vaults. A typical lesser vault takes up around a quarter of a level, while a greater vault takes up exactly half of it. Lesser vaults can occur relatively early in the game and are usually "thematic", i. e. will be filled with particular kinds of creatures, though there is also the possibility of encountering a "mixed" vault containing a vast variety of creatures, some of which are generally far more dangerous than the player would expect of the level they are found in. If a lesser vault exists on a level, the message "You feel excited" will be generated when the PC first enters it.

Greater vaults take up half a dungeon level, and may be very dangerous even to high level players. A greater vault filled with greater undead can be an extreme hazard, even to game-winning level 50 players. Greater vaults are, however, filled with great treasure including several random artifacts. If a greater vault exists on a level, the message "You feel truly excited" will be generated upon entering it.

There are two guaranteed lesser vaults — one on level six of the Puppy Cave, and a special vault containing Haggar in his cave. There are also two guaranteed greater vaults (as of ADOM v. 1.2.0) — one in the CoC (usually on D:45 or D:46) and another on level 5 of the Frost Giant Jarl Caves.


Rivers are bodies of water that completely cross a dungeon level from one side to the other, either from top-to-bottom or side-to-side. When there's a river on a level, the message "You hear the sound of rushing water!" will be generated at random intervals.

There are several ways to get over a river:

  • Swim across (requires the Swimming skill, and some means of protecting your inventory from water is recommended).
  • Build a bridge (requires the Bridge building skill, and some logs).
  • Teleport across (requires a means of teleportation).
  • Jump in and try to somehow paddle through without knowing how to swim. This is a desperate method, as you will take plenty of drowning damage every turn you're in the river.
  • Use the Frost Bolt spell or a wand of cold, or some hostile ogre magi to freeze the river. Note that ice bridges may collapse if the player is carrying more than 2000 stones of weight (this is best checked in the "@" or Alt-q screen).
  • Cast Earthquake (or zap wand of earthquakes) and hope for rocks to hit enough squares to make permanent path through the river.
  • Interestingly, it appears that tension rooms take priority over rivers when generating a dungeon level. So if a tension room is placed and then a river attempts to go over top, you will be left with an easy path across - very helpful for non-swimmers. Tiles generated with herbs will not be flooded either, a phenomenon commonly referred to as "herb bridges".

Tension roomsEdit

See main article: Tension room.

Tension rooms are small (typically around 3x5 squares) rooms filled with monsters. They can either be filled with one type of monster (e.g., hill giant), or they can be mixed with many different types.

While staying on a level with an unopened tension room, the message "You sense a certain tension" will appear periodically.

Tension rooms are always generated with closed doors, which, when opened, may collapse the walls around them.

Threat roomsEdit

Threat rooms are usually understood as those that create the "You suddenly feel threatened" message upon entrance of the dungeon level (said message is not guaranteed to appear and depend on Perception (it must exceed 1d200 roll)). Like tension rooms, they are filled with monsters, but only one specific kind, and the "You sense a certain tension" message is never generated.

Trap roomsEdit

If the message "You shudder" is created upon entering a new dungeon level, one of the rooms on that level will be filled with traps. Note that the message is not always generated when a trap room is; again, this depends on a check to Perception (it must exceed 1d30 roll). Care should be taken to identify this room as soon as possible. Monsters that don't fly or hover will activate the traps if they stumble in such a room.

If a trap room is generated on the same level as a tension room, the two features will (almost) always occur in the same room. Watch the carnage.


A forge is one of the necessary components for smithing. In order to apply the skill, the PC must be standing on a forge as well as having all the necessary items. Level 6+ Weaponsmiths can also melt items into ingots if they are standing on a forge.

There are three places in the game where a guaranteed forge can be found — Dwarftown, Darkforge and the Ice Queen Domain — though there are downsides to using them in either location. Glod will charge the PC 2,500 gold to use his forge if he is in Dwarftown, Darkforge has a moderately high background corruption rate, and continuous working in the Ice Queen Domain requires immunity to ice.

Forges also have a small chance to be generated in other dungeon levels in the Unremarkable Dungeon and Caverns of Chaos. If one is on a dungeon level, the message "You hear the wind howling" will occasionally be generated.

Royal treasure roomsEdit

These are isolated rooms, which need digging or teleportation to get in. The message "You hear the sound of falling coins" may be generated when the PC enters a level containing one, and the message "You hear the steps of the royal guard" will be generated regularly thereafter whilst the PC is on the level. Using a scroll or wand of gold detection is the best method to detect them.

Royal treasure rooms come in various sizes, and yield various amounts of gold; possibly depending on danger level. Whilst early-to-mid game dungeons like the Unremarkable Dungeon have been found to contain 4x3 treasure rooms with a total of about 1500 gold, a 10x3 treasure room in the lower Caverns of Chaos might contain over 50,000 gold.

Inside, a royal guardian will be present. They will, of course, attack any characters that attempt to steal any of the gold. They are not a force to be taken lightly since they are often generated at higher levels than the PC and have penetrating attacks.

It is worth noting that in ADOM version 1.1.1 (and earlier versions that featured royal guardians), royal guardians will not react to PCs stealing from the vault but will immediately become hostile to PCs that simply chat to them.

Pulsing power roomsEdit

See main article: Pulsing power rooms.

These are very rare rooms that are isolated from the rest of the dungeon level, like royal vaults. Such a room is full of monsters including a very powerful named monster, but also contains an artifact. The message "You feel a surge of pulsing power!" is generated when the PC enters a level containing one.

Shifting levelsEdit


An example of shifting dungeons

Shifting dungeon levels have a horizontal or vertical strip of dungeon squares which move one square every few turns. Horizontal strips move either east or west, and vertical strips move either north or south. When dungeon squares are pushed off screen, they appear on the opposite side of the screen. The message "You hear a violent grating sound!" is produced whenever the dungeon shifts out of line of sight. The message "A whole section of the dungeon {cardinal direction} of you shifts to the {cardinal direction}!" is produced when the PC can see the dungeon shift. The message "A whole section of dungeon shifts to the {cardinal direction}! Everything is shaking violently!" is produced when the PC is shifted.

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