ADOM Manual


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Magic and Spells

The world of Ancardia is steeped in powerful magic. Although these forces have been far stronger in earlier ages and slowly seem to be declining in might, they are still a major force to be reckoned with.

The world of Ancardia is the home of many powerful wizards of various schools and specialization. Priests are also able to use magical spells very similar to the ones utilized by wizards (although the sources for these powers are very different).

All magic is fueled by mana, the magical energy called the fifth element by some. In ADOM the mana attribute of the player character is the major factor in determining how well he is able to channel magical spells (although both race and profession also have great influence on this).

Spells have to be learned from books. When reading such a book, the character meditates about the forces and magical patterns which are required to create the magical effect in question and attunes himself to the mana flow of the world in such a way as to be able to activate the specific spell. How well he is able to do this depends on a number of factors -- among them the Learning attribute, the Concentration skill, the class and more. ADOM uses a special number to describe the current attunement to the mana flow of Ancardia for each and every spell the character learns. The more often a spell is cast, the less close the attunement of the character to the mana flow will be as his actions change the mana flow and force him to re-attune him by again studying spellbooks. Thus this number decreases with each spell casting until it is finally reduced to zero and the character is no longer able to cast the spell.

On the other hand, a character becomes more efficient in casting a specific spell if he does so very often. Training allows him to adjust the various factors involved in casting a spell until he maximizes the gain from such a spell. This learning factor is described by the term 'Spell Power'. The character needs to cast a spell 'x' times to increase his power with that spell by +1. The value 'x' depends on the current power (the better you already are, the harder it is to improve) and can be determined like this:

If the current power is '+x', the character needs to cast the spell 'x + 1' times to become even more efficient. If the character is neither a wizard, elementalist, druid, priest, or necromancer, this number is tripled. If the character is either a magician (wizard, elementalist or necromancer) and tries to cast a priest spell or if he is a cleric (druid or priest) and tries to cast a wizard spell, this number is doubled.

Power has various effects: it increases the range and/or damage of combat spells, it heightens the effects of personal and healing magic and so on. Each spell description lists those effects. Finally, high power with a spell reduces the costs for casting such spells. For each 5 levels of power with a given spell, the spell costs are reduced by 1 power point per casting. Note that this reduction can't reduce the cost to a level lower than half the original cost.

IMPORTANT: Power can never be increased to a level higher than twice your learning score. If, on the other hand, your learning score is reduced below a certain spell power, the power rating will remain at its current level.

Spell Display

Pressing 'Z' will display all the spells you know and some additional data concerning them. Following each spell you will notice several numbers. The first one describes how well you memorized the spell. It is decreased whenever the spell is cast (by an amount determined by the power level of the spell, your attributes, and some other factors). If this number is reduced to 0 or less, the spell is forgotten and you are no longer able to cast it. The second number is the number of power points you need to expend to cast the spell in question. If you do not have that many power points, you can still cast the spell. But beware -- this is very dangerous. The strain imposed by casting a spell in such a way could kill you, if you are not completely healed.

Afterwards a series of statistics follow which explain the spell effects in more detail. The following values are possible:

Casting Spells from Books

It is also possible to cast a spell from a spellbook if you already have learned the particular spell. Doing so costs quintuple the amount of power points usually required, takes up 3000 energy points (casting from a book takes more time since you have to loudly invoke the text) and does not reduce your current spell knowledge. It also does not destroy the spellbook after a limited amount of readings, either. Since casting a spell from a book simply consists of following the instructions in the book, the spell power for the spell in question is not increased.

Known Spells

This section summarizes the various spells known in Ancardia. Please note that it should be considered to be but a short summary of the various spells -- there might be yet unknown powerful castings.

First the spell name is listed. If two names are given, separated by a /, the first one is the name commonly used by members of the arcane professions (wizards, elementalists and necromancers), while the second name is the one used by members of the clerical professions (priests, druids and paladins). Then you'll find in brackets the profession groups specifically suited to learning the spell. Effectively, this means that members of those profession groups will have an easier time to understand and learn the spell. Increasing power also is simpler for members of those groups. For them the costs are determined as explained above. For members of the 'other' profession group, the costs are doubled. For characters neither having an arcane nor a clerical profession, costs are tripled. Paladins using clerical magic only pay double the normal cost to increase power. Lastly, you will find a description of the spell effects.

The descriptions include formulae to determine range, damage and duration for spells. These formulae use certain abbreviations:

It also uses a maximum function denoted as M{x, y}, which means "take the maximum of x and y". The minimum function m{x, y} is defined accordingly. Finally, the die-rolling notation is used (see the respective section in the manual for details).

Example: A damage of M{L + 2, W - 2}d6 + (L + W) / 4 means that to determine damage, you first choose the maximum value of your level + 2 and your willpower - 2. Roll the appropriate number of d6 and add to the result a number determined by adding level and willpower divided by 4. Confusing, eh? Feel assured that you don't need to understand this to be able to play ADOM -- it just helps those die-hard tacticians.

MAGIC MISSILE / MINOR PUNISHMENT (Arcane)

This spell allows the caster to launch a minor energy bolt against his enemies which is able to bounce off obstacles.

LIGHTNING BOLT / DIVINE WRATH (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell permits the user to launch a bolt of electrical energy from his hands. Be careful as this bolt tends to bounce off obstacles.

IDENTIFY / ENLIGHTENMENT (Arcane, Clerical)

By invoking this spell, the caster is able to identify a previously unknown item in his equipment.

LIGHT (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell lights up a magically or naturally darkened area.

DARKNESS (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell is the reversal of the Light spell. It magically darkens a bright area.

CURE LIGHT WOUNDS (Clerical)

This spell cures one minor wound. 1d8 + 1 + P points of damage will be restored.

KNOCK / DIVINE KEY (Arcane)

This spell unlocks and opens one locked door. Traps are not activated by this spell but rather circumvented. The caster must stand adjacent to the door.

DISARM TRAP (Clerical)

With this spell one trap can be deactivated permanently. The caster must be adjacent to the trap to be disarmed.

FIRE BALL / MAJOR PUNISHMENT (Arcane)

This spell makes the caster explode in a violent fireball engulfing everything in his vicinity. The caster is not harmed by the magical energies. Note that the explosion even penetrates walls since the magical energies creating the fire are built up on the elemental plane of Mana and rock or stone on the material plane is no concern on the plane of Mana.

ICE BALL / FREEZING FURY (Arcane)

This spell summons a deadly ice storm in the vicinity of the player, consisting of hail and frozen crystals. The caster is not harmed by the magical energies. Note that the storm even penetrates walls since the magical energies creating the storm are built up on the elemental plane of Mana and rock or stone on the material plane is no concern on the plane of Mana.

LIGHTNING BALL / HEAVENLY FURY (Arcane)

This spell summons a violent hail of thunderstrokes in the vicinity of the player. The caster is not harmed by the magical energies. Note that the thunderstrokes even penetrate walls since the magical energies creating the lightning are built up on the elemental plane of Mana and rock or stone on the material plane is no concern on the plane of Mana.

ACID BALL / RAIN OF SORROW (Arcane)

This spell creates a downpour of acid in the vicinity of the character. The caster is not harmed by the magical energies. Note that the rain even penetrates walls since the magical energies creating the acid are built up on the elemental plane of Mana and rock or stone on the material plane is no concern on the plane of Mana.

BLESS (Clerical)

Application of this spell blesses one person (no items!). The target will be more effective in combat and also enjoys some more luck. If cast on undead targets, those undead will be damaged.

SLOW MONSTER (Arcane)

The target of this spell moves and acts with half its effective speed.

CALM MONSTER (Arcane, Clerical)

Usage of this spell allows to calm down enraged monsters.

CURE SERIOUS WOUNDS (Clerical)

This spell cures a major wound. 2d10 + 2 + P points of damage will be restored.

CURE CRITICAL WOUNDS (Clerical)

This spell cures a terrible wound. 4d8 + 4 + P points of damage will be restored.

HEAL (Clerical)

This spells heals a life-threatening wound. 10d6 + 10 + P points of damage will be restored.

CURE DISEASE (Clerical)

Application of this spell will cure a deadly disease, illness or sickness.

NEUTRALIZE POISON (Clerical)

By using this spell, the caster is able to neutralize poisonous substances in his blood stream.

INVISIBILITY / VEIL OF THE GODS (Arcane)

This spell hides the target from mortal eyes. Only by magical means can the target be discovered. Be warned: attacks on others will allow them to see you. There are also several kinds of beasts that are able to see through such magical disguises.

DESTROY UNDEAD / DISPEL UNDEAD (Clerical)

This spell is particularly suited to annihilate undead creatures completely. The caster must be adjacent to the target creature.

SLOW POISON (Clerical)

This spell slows down the effects of poison in one's body. Several castings might even succeed in completely neutralizing the poison.

TELEPORTATION / ETHEREAL BRIDGE (Arcane)

This spell instantly transports the target to another physical location. Without special magical means, the caster is unable to control the place of arrival.

REMOVE CURSE (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell allows you to turn cursed items into uncursed items.

GREATER IDENTIFY / GREATER ENLIGHTENMENT (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell will detail the powers of one item, especially its hidden powers (like the ability to grant special immunities or resistances etc.).

EARTHQUAKE (Clerical)

This very powerful spell effectively causes the earth to shake. It's especially useful in the underground to collapse tunnel systems, open new passages and slay hordes of enemies. Be warned that some locations are structurally too hard to be affected by an earthquake.

REVELATION (Clerical)

This spell reveals special abilities of the character (e.g. magical resistances and immunities).

KNOW ALIGNMENT (Clerical)

This spell allows the caster to determine the alignment of one target.

CREATE ITEM / DIVINE FAVOUR (Arcane, Clerical)

Application of this spell will bring a random item into existence. Artifacts can't be created but other powerful items definitely are a possibility.

SUMMON MONSTERS (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell calls a number of monsters into existence... which sadly are not necessarily peaceful.

PETRIFICATION (Clerical)

The target of this spell probably will be turned to stone... forever.

FROST BOLT / NETHER BOLT (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell causes an icy bolt to spring from the hands of the caster.

ACID BOLT (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell allows the caster to hurl a bolt of vicious and deadly liquid at his opponents.

FIRE BOLT / HELLISH FLAMES (Arcane, Clerical)

Application of this spell allows the caster to hurl a fiery bolt at his enemies.

STRENGTH OF ATLAS / LORDLY MIGHT (Arcane)

This spell allows the caster to carry tremendous loads. Beware -- his combat strength is not increased, only his carrying capacity! You should also make sure that you are not too overloaded when the spell ends.

MAGIC LOCK / SEAL OF THE SPHERES (Arcane)

By using this spell, the caster can magically lock a door.

IMPROVED FIREBALL / INVOKED DEVASTATION (Arcane)

This spell is similar to its lesser cousin (see above) with the major difference that it causes more damage and can be hurled at targets far away. Note that the explosion penetrates even walls since the magical energies creating the fire are built up on the elemental plane of Mana and rock or stone on the material plane is of no concern on the plane of Mana.

FARSIGHT (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell increases the range of view of the caster greatly.

WEB (Arcane)

This spell engulfs everything in its path in sticky webs, probably slowing down or completely stopping the movements of weaker monsters.

STUN RAY / LESSER DIVINE TOUCH (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell dazes the targets and makes them move with little coordination.

DEATH RAY / GREATER DIVINE TOUCH (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell instantly slays the target (if it does not manage to resist in some way, that is!).

MAGIC MAP / KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANCIENTS (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell maps major parts of the currently unknown regions of the area you explore.

MYSTIC SHOVEL / DIVINE DIGGER (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell allows you to penetrate stone in order to dig tunnels. Be warned -- some materials are so hard that even magic won't have any effect!

BURNING HANDS / BAPTISM OF FIRE (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell engulfs a target adjacent to the caster in searing flames.

SCARE MONSTER / HOLY AWE (Arcane, Clerical)

This spell is used to create terror and fear within living, intelligent opponents.