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/her surroundings or reading scrolls and books, but also the vast majority of monsters in the game can't see and thus can't fight very well (or, prior to v. 1.2.0, not at all) in it.
Darkness can be also dangerous for PCs with companions/pets/slaves, as (s)he might accidentally attack and thus start a fight with them. Similarly, one should avoid plunging shops into darkness in case the PC ends up accidentally fighting the shopkeeper.

Creating and removing darkness[]

There are many ways of permanently or temporarily creating or removing darkness in ADOM.

Creating darkness[]

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.

Removing darkness[]

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, a scroll of light can be read while standing next to a dark area.

It's also possible to create light with the phial of Caladriel, though this is quite expensive in terms of power points, especially compared to the spell.

Torches can be used to temporarily light the entire area around the PC. This is very useful when fighting monsters such as the Chaos Archmage, which 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 a valuable resource or even a grave mistake (if player intended to ask for another thing, such as poisoning/sickness removal).

If walking through darkness can't be avoided, try 'C'hatting with the square(s) adjacent to the PC to avoid running into (and angering) monsters. If there is a monster there, it will respond; if there isn't, the game will say "there's nobody to talk to."

Corruptions added in version 1.2.0 include "hatred of the sun", which will darken the area around PC at random intervals.

Special cases[]

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
Yulgash the Master Summoner Air Temple Yes
Snake From Beyond Water Temple No in 1.1.1, yes in 1.2.0+
Srraxxarrakex the Ancient blue wyrm Blue Dragon Caves Yes
Keethrax the Black druid Druid Dungeon Yes
Cat lord Caverns of Chaos Yes
Andor Drakon the ElDeR cHaOs GoD Chaos plane Yes
Fistanarius the Greater Balor D:50 Yes
Yrrigs the Mad carpenter Village Dungeon No
Nonnak the Master necromancer Dwarven Graveyard No
Minotaur emperor Minotaur maze Yes
Keriax the multi-headed chaos dragon Ancient Stone Circle Yes
Rehetep the Mummy Lord The Pyramid Yes
Filk the Quickling bard The Infinite dungeon Yes
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.