ADOM Guidebook


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Description - Acquiring skills - Non-guaranteed ways - Training skills - Class aptitudes - Skill mechanics

Skills

0.4.1 Description and usefulness

There is an excellent section in the ADOM Manual on skills. Be sure to take advantage of it. Some additional tips are provided here.

Skills
SkillAdditional remarks
Alchemy One recipe is gained for each ten points in this skill. The last recipe gained at skill level 100 is always for potions of gain attributes. The first recipe is for potions of poison for Assassins. The keystroke Shift+r brings up the recipe list [4]. When the skill level reaches 100, mostly blessed potions are created. This is important because of the unpredictable behavior of blessed potions of deafness (see Appendix E) [5]. Mixing the wrong ingredients results in an explosion. The diameter is related to the PC's Willpower as usual. Damage is 12d12. This can be exploited. Run out of castings of Fire Ball? Wear your red dragon scale mail and apply some wrong Alchemy.
Alertness Very helpful for evading bolt spells and undiscovered traps. Alertness / 600 chance to avoid traps. Small DV increase. [3]
Appraising Not very useful. As a general rule, mediocre/fair/good translates to cursed/uncursed/blessed. [8]
Archery Obvious benefits. Prerequisite for some nice missile talents. Archers get extra bonus from the skill.
Athletics Nice +8 bonus to speed at 100. Very powerful combination with Raven birthsign.
Backstabbing Very powerful when combined with invisibility or Stealth. +25% chance to criticals. +4 to hit, Assasins lvl 12+ get also +Level to hit. If successful, damage dealt is doubled, or quadrupled for Assasins and Thieves lvl 12+. Doesn't work on undead.
Bridge Building If you must build a bridge it is obviously essential. Consider other options though. Gives 5d5 points on initial reading of the manual.
Climbing Manual omits the fact that this must be at 100 to enter the Rift. Training with Yergius makes this much easier to achieve. 'a'pply to exit pits.
Concentration Critical for Wizards and Necromancers. Get this to 100 ASAP - having 100 Concentration is 4 times better than having only 74.
Cooking Improves the nutritious value of corpses and raw meat or fish meat, lowers their weight slightly, and keeps them from rotting as fast. Useful for preserving the corpse of Orb guardians. Hurthlings enjoy the added benefit of preferred cooked corpses for sacrificing.
Courage Nice to have, some ignore it entirely when going for an ultra ending.
Detect Item Status Nice but not neccessary.
Detect Traps Very important unless you can recharge wands of trap detection indefinitely. There are several heavily trapped areas in the game. Very useful for detecting trapped doors as well. 'A'pply this skill towards any door whose trapped vs untrapped status is unknown. (or just use 's'earch). DetectTraps/200 + DetectTraps chance to find traps per attempt.
Disarm Traps Nowhere near as important as Detect Traps. Once detected, traps are easily avoided. Gives a small amount of experience when applied successfully. This may be the only way to get experience without killing a monster. A skill level of 60 is reliable for door traps. Floor traps require higher skill level. A skill level of 80 is still risky.
Dodge Very nice DV +10 at skill level 100. Factors into dodging bolt spells, though not as much as Alertness does. Dodge / 200 chance to avoid stone block door traps. Assasins lvl 32+ get double DV bonus, Fighter lvl 12+ get 1,5 DV bonus.
Find Weakness Very nice increase to critical hits. The skill stacks with weapons which have the Critical property (but not Slaying property, which always deliver criticals against vulnerable opponents). See 0.12.8. It increases the chance to score critical hits with ordinary missiles such as rocks, coins and arrows. The chance is a +Find Weakness / 500 in melee, +Find Weakness / 1000 for missile attacks.
First Aid All PCs have this. Can restore (some) recently lost hit points, but perhaps more importantly, can be used every turn to fight sickness. This can be a life saver. First Aid also works for poisoning. Apply the skill every time the game generates the message about "poison coursing through your veins!" There is FirstAid/1.5 % or (To+1)% chance to stop bleeding.
Fletchery Wait until skill level is high, ideally 100, to use it. Logs produce more missiles than sticks. Blessed logs give double the number of missiles. Arrows are more abundantly produced than quarrels. There is a small chance of producing prefix and suffix missiles.
Food Preservation Important for all, essential for Necromancers. [1]
Gardening Requires herb seeds to train. Using the skill to plant herb seeds is the only way to convert a dungeon level that does not support herbs to one that does. Herb farming can increase a low level PCs stats quickly and produce endless sacrificial fodder. See sections 0.6.1.3 and 0.13.6. Plant seeds do nothing at all - they don't even train the skill. Blessed seeds work better and cursed seeds work worse. 90 skill guarantees planting a blessed seed. Planting successfully gives +5 alignment.
Gemology Gems are found and some identified solely depending on this skill. Without it, gems will not be found when mining. Exploitable. [2]
Haggling Somewhat useful for all, essential for Merchants. Make sure it is very high before using it and try to have good Charisma, or a price increase will be the most likely result. Can be used up to 11 times per level. Price multiplier cannot be lowered below 70%. Effectiveness is very nonlinear; the skill is useless below ~50, and increasing it further than ~65 is pointless.
Healing Very important for all PCs. Get it if you aren't born with it.
Herbalism Very useful for all PCs. Willpower, Toughness and Dexterity all go to ~25 with herbs. All herbs picked without this skill will be cursed. To use the skill, 'A'pply it while standing on an herb square. The game indicates the health of the plant. Herbs "full of blossoms" can be safely picked twice; "strong herbs" can be picked once. Picking from a "withered" plant will likely kill it. See also 0.13.6.2
Law Marginal. By the time this skill informs you of the criminal nature of some act, the PC has already committed it! Does inform of lawful acts.
Listening All PCs have this. High skill level may train Perception. Trains naturally, don't waste level advances on this.
Literacy Essential for spellcasters, most of whom are born with high levels anyway. Less important than it used to be, since reading scrolls does not require high Literacy. Getting the Weird Tome sets Literacy to 100.
Metallurgy Marginal, even for Weaponsmiths. You should know what metal are your items made of without ever needing this skill - by weight.
Mining Decreases the time you need to dig through stone with a pickaxe. High level in Mining prevents pick axes from breaking. [2]
Music Essential for Bards, of course. Very high levels are needed for good effectivity. Only monsters flagged as Animals or Aquatic can be affected by music. B/U/C status of an instrument determines how far away creatures can be and still be affected: Blessed - 4, Uncursed - 3, Cursed - 2.
Necromancy Necromancers, of course. Get this to 100 as soon as convenient. Do not believe the manual about very slow regeneration of Mana. Using the skill trains the Mana attribute. All classes can make zombies with the Necromancy skill; Necromancers can make other things as their level progresses. On unsuccessful attempt, Necromancy is trained and the PC loses 3d3 PP. Successful Necromancy gives -300 Alignment. Only HP and Speed are affected by the type of corpse you use -- the Damage, Attacks, DV, and PV are only based on the type of slave you create and its level. Some corpses are not eligible for Necromancy. These include the Cat Lord, Yulgash, Nuurag-Vaarn and Filk, despite the fact that they are all humanoid. The game responds with "The -foo- corpse turns to dust." The Minotaur Emperor, however is eligible and makes a good slave. Corpses should not be blessed when used for Necromancy. This results in a slave which is critically damaged.
Pick Locks Useful for Thieves. Must have thieves' picks. Both unlocking and locking doors is possible. Cannot bypass door traps. It is possible to close and lock a door in one turn by applying Pick Locks. Attempting to unlock a trapped door may set it off even on fail, chance (29-Ma) in 30. If trap is not sprung, Mana is trained.
Pick Pockets Useful for all. Only humanoids can be pickpocketed. 'Ignore walls' monsters (Andor Drakon, ghost librarian) cannot be pickpocketed. Occasionally a truly outstanding object can be pickpocketed. Proving the PC a successful pickpocket allows entrance to the Thieves Guild, a means to receive very useful training.
Smithing Useful for all PCs, the specialty of Weaponsmiths. See section 0.14.13.
Stealth Useful for all PCs. If you're stealthy, monsters will have a harder time seeing you. Helps in avoiding wilderness encounters. Must be at 100 to get the Weird Tome in Library. Stealth factors into being able to ambush in the Wilderness. ((Survival + Stealth) / 2) - 1 / 500 are the odds of being able to sneak up on the enemies.
Survival Useful for all PCs, especially Trolls and Rangers. All PCs born in the month of the Falcon receive this. Applying the skill while Bloated on a non-water square causes plant seeds to be gathered, which have some nutritional value and can be given to farmers for a small lawful boost. Doing the same on a water square causes fish to be gathered, which can be used to tame a variety of monsters (see section 0.11.1.3). For more quantative info on Survival see section 1.6.3
Swimming Nearly essential for all PCs in later gammas and 1.0.0 that include rivers (at least those without other means of dealing with rivers). Being more burdened, strained etc. makes it harder to swim. Drowning damage depends on MaxHP. Swimming has an energy cost of 1500 at skill 50+ or 1250 below (probably a bug). Wearing an amulet of free action (other sources of the intrinsic do not work) negates this effect.
Tactics Useful for all PCs, increases modifiers from the Tactics settings.
Two Weapon Combat Useful for all PCs. Two words: Needle. Sting. Best for Rangers. Dual wielding is not recommended for early game PCs since it lowers DV (no shield) and doubles attack turn length. [6]
Ventriloquism It is a means of confusing monsters, who will then be hostile after recovering from the confusion. They do not, however, alert other monsters on the level. This makes the skill extremely useful against shopkeepers (including the Casino shopkeeper), farmers in Terinyo (for Gaab'Baay's quest) and Thrundarr, who will wander off his lever when confused. If the skill is not trained to 100, there is a chance the monster will simply become hostile, but again, it will not alert other monsters. [7]
Woodcraft Marginal. Shortens the time it takes to chop trees.

[1] Food Preservation increases chance of corpse generation

[2] Chances of item generation when Mining

[3] High Alertness provides DV bonuses:

[4] Ingredients can be potions and herbs. There are 4 levels of ingredients:

  1. Potion of booze, Potion of water, Potion of carrot juice, Burb root, Pepper petal, Demon daisy
  2. Potion of healing, Potion of insight, Potion of troll blood, Potion of oil, Stomafillia herb, Curaria mancox herb
  3. Potion of extra healing, Potion of invisibility, Potion of balance, Potion of cure poison, Potion of wonder, Potion of raw mana
  4. Potion of strength, Potion of youth, Potion of longevity, Potion of ultra healing, Potion of cure corruption, Potion of boost speed

The available recipes are always for: blindness (1+1), booze (1+1), deafness (1+1), poison (1+2), cure poison (1+3), insight (2+2), longevity (2+3), extra healing (3+3), youth (3+4), and gain attributes (4+4). The two ingredients are never chosen to be the same item type. A maximum of one herb per recipe is possible. The order is random except for gain attributes.

[5] Thanks to Krogg and Ascaron for the following observations: The level of the Alchemy skill seems to have a definite effect on the BUC status of the potions produced. Alchemy at 100 when creating potions of blindness, for instance, resulted in seven uncursed and 25 blessed. Ascaron tested 100 times creating PoGAs. The results were 70/28/2 B/U/C using two uncursed potion ingredients and 72/26/2 using two blessed potion ingredients. Using two cursed potions gave 66/31/3 results. This is probably within the margin of error for a sample of this size. Therefore the BUC status of the potion ingredients matters little, if at all.

[6] Calculation of to-hit bonus: start with TwoWeaponCombat * 0.05. From that, subtract: ((RightWeaponWeight + LeftWeaponWeight) / 10 [20 if Ranger Level32+, 40 if Ranger Level50]) - 6; if this results in a negative number it's changed to 0. Then there's some benefit for all Rangers. Add +2 for Ambidextrous talent.

[7] Thanks to CheatMan for the following observations: Attempts to use Ventriloquism on any undead always fail. Attempts to use Ventriloquism against constructs may succeed, but they do not react to it. Ventriloquism, unlike Mindcraft, works against all insects. Ventriloquism works against all orb guardians and Keriax.

[8] DV, PV, to-hit, damage, +/-{Attribute}, and prefix/suffix, modify the appraised status compared to standard version of the item in question. Exception are wands, which are always at least mediocre and improve solely based on number of charges.

0.4.2 Guaranteed ways of acquiring skills

The following skills can be taught, or trained by Yrrigs and Yergius, providing alignment restrictions are met (see section 0.2.1).

Acquiring skills
SkillSource
Backstabing Bart
Bridge Building Yrrigs
Climbing Yergius
Courage the Old Barbarian
Detect Traps Yergius
Disarm Traps Yergius
Gardening Guth'Alak (under special circumstances, see section 1.2.3)
Healing Jharod or Kranf Niest
Herbalism Guth'Alak
Law Tywat Pare
Literacy Thrundarr
Pick Locks Yergius
Pick Pockets Yergius
Smithing Glod
Stealth Yergius
Swimming Blup
Tactics Bart
Two Weapon Combat Bart

0.4.3 Non-guaranteed ways of acquiring skills

Potions and scrolls of education grant knowledge towards a random skill. 11 tries are made to select a skill which is not already at 100. The chosen skill is then granted at or increased by 6d5/4d5/2d5, depending on B/U/C. Skills can also be wished for; the exceptions are Alertness and Healing.

Potions of training increase the advancement rank of a random skill, by 2/1/-1 B/U/C. It is guaranteed that a skill not at 4d5 and not at 100 will be chosen if such a skill exists.

0.4.4 Training skills

In the sense meant for the sake of the following table, "training" means actions that will cause a skill to spontaneously increase, *without* the player deciding to increase skill proficiency when gaining an experience level. This is different from Yergius' training, which can change the potential maximum for a skill (how high the PC can raise it) and the dice roll (how fast the PC can get it there). The value of Yergius' training can only be taken advantage of when gaining an experience level or after successfully applying the skill elsewhere in the game.

Training skills
SkillTraining method
Alchemy successfully applying
Alertness spontaneously discovering a trap (not using the Detect Traps skill) or evading a spellcaster's bolts
Appraising evaluating many items
Archery using missiles (apparently including scurgari and boomerangs but not other thrown missiles) and *only* when successfully firing a missile into the red zone
Athletics automatic
Backstabbing attacking unsuspecting monsters due to invisibility, Stealth or a nonhostile monster - always results in the message "You stab the -foo-..." or "You splatter the -foo-..."
Bridge Building successfully applying [1]
Climbing mountaineering, climbing out of pits
Concentration regenerating power points
Cooking successfully applying
Courage fighting more than one opponent
Detect Item Status evaluating many items
Detect Traps successfully detecting traps, whether the skill is applied or with the search command
Disarm Traps successfully disarming traps
Dodge successfully dodging spells and missiles
Find Weakness when the PC scores a critical hit "...with full force" *unless* this is due to a slaying weapon
First Aid applying, even if unsuccessful
Fletchery successfully applying
Food Preservation carrying corpses or other food items susceptible to rotting, probably by killing monsters as well
Gardening successfully applying
Gemology whenever the PC or a monster destroys rock; the game checks whether a gem is generated
Haggling successfully applying
Healing automatic when wounded
Herbalism successfully identifying an herb bush
Law whenever the PC receives the "You feel as if {behaving in proper form|transgressing some law}." messages
Listening automatic when sounds are present
Literacy reading spellbooks, gravestones, fortune cookies and (at least non-magical, if not all) scrolls
Metallurgy evaluating many items; may also be trained when the PC is on a level where digging is occuring (determining whether ore is present, and which type)
Mining mining, i.e. only using pickaxes against stone
Music when a monster is successfully tamed using the skill
Necromancy successfully applying + level dependent for Necromancers
Pick Locks successfully applying
Pick Pockets successfully applying [3]
Smithing successfully applying + special considerations for Weaponsmiths [2]
Stealth moving around non-hostile monsters
Survival successfully applying
Swimming moving through water: dungeon rivers, wilderness water squares, Shyssiryxius' cave
Tactics Learning / 500 chance to gain training in Tactics, if your tactics are not set to normal, every time you make an attack
Two Weapon Combat successful hits when dual-wielding melee weapons
Ventriloquism successfully applying
Woodcraft automatic when traveling through forest squares in the wilderness or Animated Forest; also by attacking trees in the Animated Forest

[1] Giving hatchets to the Carpenter gives a direct, immediate boost to the Bridge Building skill, or even grants the skill at 1dLe+1d10+8.

[2] Smithing is most easily trained by removing rust from items; you can rust items on purpose by hopping in a river or water trap, and removing rust doesn't use any ingots.

[3] The training for Pick Pockets goes up only when it's applied successfully (you steal something or get the "nothing of value" message). The training goes up 3 points if something is stolen, and 4 if the "nothing of value" message comes up instead.

0.4.5 Class aptitudes

Each class has different proficiencies at skills, reflected in the initial advancement scheme (section 0.1.4.1) and in the advancement rank. Take, for instance, a Fighter's Courage skill. This is in the 3d3 (rank 5) column, so, at 45 skill his Courage will be advancable by [+3d3] at a time. If it is less than 40, the advancement dice will be 3d4 (rank 6), if it is 50 or more, then advancement dice will be only 2d4 (rank 4). Advancement dice moves one column for every multiple of 10 crossed. However, the advancement dice will never go below the rank-specific minimum, in this case 1d3 (rank 2).

Typefaces are used to indicate skill relevance. Bold skills are guaranteed to the class; italic ones are easily available (race, or in some cases random chance), and plain ones can only be obtained in game.

Class aptitudes
Rank 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Class [+0] always [+1] at 45
[+1] minimum
[+1d3] at 45
[+1] minimum
[+1d5] at 45
[+1] minimum
[+2d4] at 45
[+1d3] minimum
[+3d3] at 45
[+1d3] minimum
[+3d4] at 45
[+1d5] minimum
[+3d5] at 45
[+1d5] minimum
[+4d4] at 45
[+2d4] minimum
[+4d5] at 45
[+2d4] minimum
Fighter   Detect item status
Gardening
Necromancy
Gemology
Music
Pick pockets
Alchemy
Appraising
Backstabbing
Concentration
Cooking
Law
Literacy
Pick locks
Stealth
Ventriloquism
Bridge building
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Food preservation
Haggling
Herbalism
Listening
Metallurgy
Mining
Survival
Swimming
Tactics
Woodcraft
Alertness
Archery
Courage
Find weakness
Fletchery
Climbing
Dodge
First aid
Healing
Smithing
Two weapon combat Athletics  
Paladin Necromancy Backstabbing Detect item status
Gardening
Gemology
Pick pockets
Appraising
Cooking
Fletchery
Mining
Pick locks
Stealth
Ventriloquism
Woodcraft
Alchemy
Bridge building
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Food preservation
Haggling
Listening
Music
Survival
Swimming
Archery
Dodge
Find weakness
Literacy
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Climbing
Courage
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Law
Metallurgy
Smithing
Alertness Athletics
Concentration
 
Ranger   Detect item status
Necromancy
Disarm traps
Gemology
Haggling
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Alchemy
Appraising
Courage
Law
Literacy
Tactics
Ventriloquism
Backstabbing
Bridge building
Concentration
Gardening
Smithing
Swimming
Archery
Cooking
Mining
Music
Find weakness
First aid
Healing
Metallurgy
Alertness
Dodge
Fletchery
Stealth
Athletics
Detect traps
Listening
Survival
Woodcraft
Climbing
Food preservation
Herbalism
Two weapon combat
Thief   Detect item status Cooking
Gardening
Archery
Courage
Fletchery
Law
Literacy
Music
Necromancy
Tactics
Woodcraft
Bridge building
Find weakness
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Metallurgy
Smithing
Survival
Swimming
Ventriloquism
Appraising
Mining
Alertness
Athletics
Concentration
Dodge
Food preservation
Gemology
Two weapon combat
  Alchemy
Backstabbing
Haggling
Climbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Listening
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Stealth
Assassin   Detect item status Gardening Alchemy
Cooking
Courage
Law
Music
Survival
Tactics
Woodcraft
Appraising
Bridge building
First aid
Fletchery
Gemology
Haggling
Healing
Metallurgy
Mining
Necromancy
Smithing
Swimming
Ventriloquism
Archery
Literacy
Alertness
Athletics
Disarm traps
Dodge
Food preservation
Herbalism
Pick pockets
Two weapon combat
  Detect traps
Find weakness
Listening
Stealth
Backstabbing
Climbing
Concentration
Pick locks
Wizard   Detect item status Archery
Fletchery
Mining
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Appraising
Backstabbing
Courage
Dodge
Law
Smithing
Survival
Swimming
Woodcraft
Bridge building
Climbing
Cooking
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Find weakness
First aid
Gardening
Haggling
Healing
Music
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Stealth
Ventriloquism
Alertness
Athletics
Food preservation
Gemology
Listening
Metallurgy
Necromancy
  Herbalism Alchemy
Concentration
Literacy
Priest     Archery
Fletchery
Mining
Stealth
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Alertness
Appraising
Backstabbing
Cooking
Courage
Dodge
Find weakness
Gardening
Gemology
Law
Survival
Woodcraft
Athletics
Bridge building
Climbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Listening
Metallurgy
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Swimming
Ventriloquism
Necromancy Alchemy
Music
  Food preservation
Haggling
Herbalism
Concentration
Detect item status
First aid
Healing
Literacy
Bard       Courage
Law
Alertness
Tactics
Archery
Detect item status
Find weakness
Fletchery
Mining
Necromancy
Stealth
Swimming
Two weapon combat
Backstabbing
Bridge building
Cooking
Dodge
Gardening
Gemology
Survival
Woodcraft
Literacy Alchemy
Appraising
Athletics
Climbing
Concentration
Detect traps
Disarm traps
First aid
Food preservation
Haggling
Healing
Herbalism
Listening
Metallurgy
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Ventriloquism
Music
Monk   Appraising
Fletchery
Archery
Backstabbing
Detect item status
Gemology
Alchemy
Cooking
Courage
Disarm traps
Law
Mining
Necromancy
Survival
Woodcraft
Bridge building
Climbing
Gardening
Haggling
Metallurgy
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Tactics
Ventriloquism
Find weakness
Music
Swimming
Detect traps
Dodge
Herbalism
Stealth
Literacy
Two weapon combat
Alertness
Athletics
First aid
Food preservation
Healing
Listening
Concentration
Healer   Detect item status
Fletchery
Alertness
Backstabbing
Gemology
Tactics
Woodcraft
Appraising
Archery
Courage
Dodge
Law
Mining
Music
Stealth
Survival
Two weapon combat
Bridge building
Climbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Metallurgy
Necromancy
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Swimming
Ventriloquism
Cooking
Gardening
Athletics
Find weakness
Literacy
  Concentration
Food preservation
Haggling
Listening
Alchemy
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Weaponsmith   Detect item status Alertness
Archery
Gardening
Music
Necromancy
Pick pockets
Tactics
Woodcraft
Backstabbing
Cooking
Courage
Food preservation
Gemology
Law
Listening
Literacy
Stealth
Survival
Alchemy
Bridge building
Climbing
Detect traps
Dodge
Find weakness
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Mining
Pick locks
Swimming
Two weapon combat
Ventriloquism
  Appraising
Disarm traps
Fletchery Concentration
Haggling
Athletics
Metallurgy
Smithing
Archer   Detect item status
Necromancy
Gardening
Gemology
Two weapon combat
Appraising
Cooking
Courage
Disarm traps
Herbalism
Law
Literacy
Metallurgy
Mining
Music
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Tactics
Alchemy
Alertness
Bridge building
Swimming
Ventriloquism
Backstabbing
Listening
Woodcraft
Athletics
Detect traps
Dodge
Find weakness
First aid
Haggling
Healing
Survival
Food preservation
Stealth
Climbing
Concentration
Archery
Fletchery
Merchant   Necromancy Backstabbing
Find weakness
Music
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Alertness
Archery
Courage
Detect item status
Dodge
Gardening
Law
Athletics
Bridge building
Concentration
Disarm traps
First aid
Fletchery
Healing
Pick locks
Smithing
Stealth
Ventriloquism
Woodcraft
Survival
Swimming
Alchemy
Climbing
Detect traps
Food preservation
Herbalism
Listening
Literacy
Cooking
Metallurgy
Mining
Gemology
Pick pockets
Appraising
Haggling
Farmer   Alchemy
Detect item status
Gemology
Necromancy
Tactics
Alertness
Backstabbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Find weakness
Healing
Two weapon combat
Ventriloquism
Appraising
Archery
Concentration
Courage
Fletchery
Law
Literacy
Metallurgy
Music
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Stealth
Bridge building
Dodge
Listening
Smithing
Athletics
Climbing
First aid
Haggling
Herbalism
Mining
Survival
Swimming
Woodcraft
Cooking   Food preservation
Gardening
Mindcrafter     Appraising
Archery
Athletics
Backstabbing
Climbing
Find weakness
Fletchery
Food preservation
Gardening
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Woodcraft
Alchemy
Cooking
Courage
Detect item status
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Dodge
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Law
Metallurgy
Mining
Music
Necromancy
Stealth
Survival
Bridge building
Swimming
Ventriloquism
    Gemology
Haggling
Listening
Alertness
Literacy
Concentration
Barbarian   Alchemy
Necromancy
Detect item status
Literacy
Ventriloquism
Appraising
Concentration
Gemology
Haggling
Law
Pick pockets
Tactics
Bridge building
Gardening
Mining
Music
Smithing
Backstabbing
Courage
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Fletchery
Healing
Metallurgy
Pick locks
Archery
Cooking
Find weakness
Food preservation
Stealth
First aid
Herbalism
Swimming
Two weapon combat
Woodcraft
Athletics
Climbing
Dodge
Listening
Alertness
Survival
Druid   Detect item status
Necromancy
Backstabbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Gemology
Haggling
Pick pockets
Smithing
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Alchemy
Appraising
Archery
Cooking
Courage
Find weakness
Fletchery
Law
Pick locks
Ventriloquism
Bridge building
Metallurgy
Alertness
Concentration
Dodge
First aid
Mining
Stealth
Athletics
Food preservation
Gardening
Listening
Literacy
Music
Swimming
Woodcraft
Climbing
Healing
Survival Herbalism
Necromancer   Detect item status
Gemology
Haggling
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Dodge
First aid
Fletchery
Food preservation
Gardening
Healing
Herbalism
Music
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Swimming
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Woodcraft
Appraising
Archery
Athletics
Climbing
Cooking
Courage
Find weakness
Law
Listening
Metallurgy
Mining
Survival
Alertness
Bridge building
Ventriloquism
Alchemy   Backstabbing
Concentration
Literacy
Stealth
  Necromancy
Elementalist   Detect item status Backstabbing
Detect traps
Disarm traps
Dodge
Fletchery
Food preservation
Music
Pick locks
Pick pockets
Smithing
Tactics
Two weapon combat
Archery
Cooking
Courage
Find weakness
Law
Listening
Necromancy
Stealth
Survival
Ventriloquism
Woodcraft
Alertness
Appraising
Athletics
Bridge building
First aid
Gardening
Gemology
Haggling
Healing
Herbalism
Climbing Concentration
Metallurgy
Alchemy
Literacy
Mining
Swimming
   
Beastfighter   Detect item status
Necromancy
Smithing
Two weapon combat
Appraising
Fletchery
Gemology
Haggling
Literacy
Metallurgy
Mining
Pick locks
Tactics
Alchemy
Archery
Gardening
Law
Music
Backstabbing
Bridge building
Pick pockets
Woodcraft
Concentration
Cooking
Courage
Ventriloquism
Survival Detect traps
Disarm traps
Find weakness
Food preservation
First aid
Healing
Herbalism
Alertness
Athletics
Climbing
Dodge
Listening
Stealth
Swimming

0.4.6 Skill mechanics

Skill checks

When your skill value controls your chances of success at something, it's called a skill check. Every skill check in ADOM has a difficulty class, typically on the order of 120. A die with the difficulty class sides is rolled. If it comes up maximum, there is automatic failure; otherwise, you succeed if your skill value is at least as high as the rolled number (so rolling 1 means automatic success).

For some skills (in the manual marked with '+'), the die may be rolled multiple times - twice at 80+ skill, three times at 100. The lowest (best for you) result is taken. Note that this nearly eliminates the automatic failure chance.

The Stealthy and Mechanically Inclined talents reduce difficulty class by 10%. E.g. if you would be comparing Stealth or Disarm Traps against 1d400, compare it against 1d360 instead.

Successful skill checks give 1 + floor(Le / 20) points of active training (see below). Note the discontinuity at Le values divisible by 20.

Variables associated with skills

There are 3 semi-hidden variables associated with each skill:

  1. First is your skill advancement rank. This corresponds loosely to your increase dice, however, it extends in both directions. You could have an advancement rank of one rank beyond 4d5 (this is rank 10) - this would result in 4d5, but the next time your dice decreases, it would stay 4d5 (but now rank 9). Skill advancement automatically decreases by one rank each time your skill value crosses a multiple of 10.
  2. Second and third are the training counters. The two training counters, taken together, determine the amount by which you can raise your skill; if both are zero or the sum is negative, you cannot increase a skill until it has been somehow trained. The counters, here called 'active training' and 'inactive training', are equivalent except that only active training can lead to increases over time. When a skill is increased, voluntarily at level up or over time, the training counters are decreased, taking first from active and then from inactive.

Training Over Time

This is what happens every turn when the game checks to see if skills get trained up:

  1. A SkillTrainCountdown value is decreased by 1. If it's then not 0, nothing happens.
  2. If SkillTrainCountdown = 0, then (130 - Learning) * 5 + 1d100 = SkillTrainCountdown. (The higher your Learning is, the more often you have a chance to get a skill increase. At 25 Learning you'll be roughly 575 turns between checks; At 15, you'll be at about 625 turns.)
  3. For each skill, If 1d(SkillPoints + 10) > SkillPoints, proceed.
  4. If Skill can advance (has material, has positive active training, not rank 0, not already at 100), add to skill based on advancement rank OR 1d(active training), whichever is less (and it won't raise over 100 obviously).
  5. Training is then reduced (active first, as always)

Increasing Skills at Level ups

Skill increases after level 50, henceforth known as fake levels, follow slightly different rules. Take the difference between your level 49 and your level 50 experience requirements. You can gain a fake level if and only if you have gained that much experience since your last levelup (real or fake), and you have at least one advancable skill. (This is why skill uses tend to precipitate fake levels.)

On real levels only, you have a chance to increase your skill advancement rank. The chance of it happening is (total training) in 1000 for each skill. Improvement cannot occur if you are already at 100, or already have 4d5 or better dice advancement, or are lacking skill increase materials if applicable. If it does occur, a message is only generated if the visible dice changes; increasing from one rank to another is hidden if both dice modifiers for the ranks are below or at the minimum.

After this, on real levels, some permanent training is awarded. Your advancement rank dice is rolled twice; the greater roll is divided by 2 and added as inactive training.

For the duration of a single levelup (real or fake), some temporary training is made available, equal to (for each skill) your advancement rank dice, rolled twice taking the larger, divided by 2, and adding a 1d4-1. This temporary training is lost after the level increase whether it is used or not; this can lead to your training going negative. The increase is always added to active training.

You can increase a number of skills starting at 3 and increasing by 1 for every 5 Le after 10. Bards receive two bonus increases. Level 6+ Bards receive an additional bonus increase. Characters born under the sign of the Book, or those under Cup if the (new) level is even, receive an additional increase.

After removing temporary training, training is decayed, reducing active training to 3/4 of its prior value and inactive training to 7/8. Note that training will never decay if you do not gain levels.


Please note that this is an unofficial and unauthorised copy of Andy William's ADOM Guidebook. For further information on the legal and moral challenges raised against this Improved ADOM Guidebook please see rec.games.roguelike.adom.
Updated August 16th, 2010