Graves are a special dungeon feature available only in three locations: the Dwarven Graveyard, the Caverns of Chaos graveyard, and the Eerie Glade. Each grave (except for those of Griff Bloodaxe and Rolf's cousin) features an inscription out of the predefined list as well as containing (supposedly) the remains of a buried person and a number of items.


Graves can be interacted with in two ways: PCs can try to read the inscription on the grave's tombstone, or they can dig up the grave.

Each time the PC moves on to a grave tile, they have an automatic chance (based upon their Literacy) to successfully read the tombstone inscription. Successfully reading the inscription will train Literacy. If the inscription is not read successfully, a generic message is shown ("The tombstone bears some runes"); the PC can try again by waiting on the grave tile one turn at a time, or by returning to the grave tile later.

Digging the grave will awaken its undead guardian (supposedly the person buried) and allow the PC to access the items in the grave. This action is commonly referred as to grave robbing.

Grave types[]

There are three types of graves present in ADOM:

  • Regular graves which bear one of the following inscription:
    • "Eternal pain be thine!"
    • "May thy soul rest in peace."
    • "His steps were light, short his sight, great his pains, few his remains..."
    • "V.D."
    • "Unknown."
    • "R.I.P."
    • "S.A.C."
    • "Nameless stranger."
    • "Pelegar, 1162--1447."
    • "He never was a valiant man, now he fits into a tiny can."
    • "J.F.K."
  • Treasure graves, which helpfully bear the "Great treasures are buried here." inscription.
  • The grave of Griff Bloodax.

Only dwarven PCs are able to understand the inscription on the Griff's grave ("Griff Bloodax, mighty dwarven warrior, is buried here") or on any of the graves in the Eerie Glade.

Grave robbing[]

Grave robbing is a method of loot generation with potentially high rewards (if done in the right way). While standing on a grave, the PC can use a a pickaxe, a wand of digging or the Mystic Shovel spell on that tile to access the contents of the tomb (which are randomly determined when the player digs the grave). The undead guardian will always emerge and attack the PC. Digging a grave is a chaotic action.

Regular graves[]

Regular graves will produce a minor undead guardian (practically any undead except higher liches, skeletal kings, ghost kings, steel zombies and non-humanoid shadow creatures). Such graves will have about 0-2 items with a tendency to be empty. Digging regular graves is thus a relatively pointless activity.

Treasure graves[]

Treasure graves will always produce either a master lich, a lich king or an emperor lich. The more powerful liches appear rarely and the player will likely have to deal with master liches for the majority of dug graves. Treasure graves will, however, contain a significant number of items (around 10 on average). These items may be relatively powerful/rare due to the high DL of grave locations (including scrolls of corruption removal, rings of djinni summoning, wands of wishing and many artifacts).

Note that lich kings and emperor liches have stat-draining spells and can summon powerful monsters (again, thanks to the high DL). Emperor liches can also cast death ray, which will instantly kill the PC without the corresponding resistance. Finally, these monsters have a powerful confusion spell which may render the PC unable to flee or fight. Players are recommended to have means of on-demand teleportation in case a more powerful monster emerges from the grave and fighting it is not an option.

Graves in the Eerie Glade[]

The guard is always a Dwarven battle spirit. Killing them is a chaotic act, way more chaotic than digging the grave per se.

The grave of Griff Bloodax[]

The grave of Griff Bloodax is a unique grave located in the lower part of the Dwarven Graveyard. The PC can pour holy water on the grave (by using it [CTRL-u] while standing on the grave), which will purify it, destroy Griff Bloodax himself (if he is still "alive"), as well as provide an alignment boost. This action is related to the Portal quest given by Thrundarr. More information about the impact of grave purification on rewards is listed on the quest page.

The grave can be dug and will always contain the artifact Sword of Nonnak. This act is chaotic, although Thrundarr will actually encourage it (mentioning that the Sword of Nonnak can be useful) when the PC comes for the reward having completed the quest.

The Sword of Nonnak actually appears in the game only when the grave is dug and not when the lower level of the Graveyard is first entered, which may be taken into account if the player is calculating the number of generated artifacts. The level, however, contains another guaranteed artifact—the elemental gauntlets—which will increase the counter.


Since most players don't want to use up the charges on their wands of digging, generally they'll use pickaxes; the Mining skill will reduce the frequency with which they break in the process.

If the player attempts to learn a spell from a spellbook while standing on a grave, they may inadvertently dig up the grave if they fail to learn the spell, since one of the randomly-determined failure outcomes involves a pit opening up beneath the player.

Being completely surrounded by monsters while digging graves will prevent their undead guardian from spawning, but also crush the contents of the grave, voiding any rewards.

Equipping a blessed amulet of balance for neutral PCs is a great way to minimize the alignment drop. Players with lawful PCs will have to employ other methods to compensate for alignment drops if they indulge in digging multiple graves. As with all alignment changes, the PC level has a significant impact (the more experienced the character is, the harder it is to switch towards a lawful alignment).