"Gremlin bombing" is the tactic of deliberately replicating Gremlins in order to gain EXP and/or items.

Gremlin bombing was a popular method of loot generation with players of ADOM v. 1.1.1. During v. 1.2.0 development, following an RFE to crack down on 'scummy' tactics in the game, replicated gremlins can no longer drop loot or be pickpocketed, making gremlin bombing more or less useless in later ADOM versions.


If a Gremlin comes into contact with water in any shape or form, more gremlins will be generated. The most commonly used source of water is a water trap, although there are many other sources - rivers spring to mind.

Making a trap[]

Normally one would use a wand of trap creation.

An alternative strategy that works in ADOM versions older than 1.2.0 is to dig a pit and "U"se a blanket while standing over the pit. This will give an option to cover pit; but in older ADOM versions where traps spawned in particular patterns, as a result the covered pit might transform into a different trap[1]. Any blanket will do, but plain ones are obviously prime candidates.

Making gremlins[]

If you don't have a Gremlin to start with, you can dip a fluff ball from the Gremlin Cave into a potion of water in order to generate around 10-20 gremlins. Alternatively, you can equip a fluff ball in your missile slot and stand under a water trap. When the trap is activated (press Ctrl-T), it will destroy the fluff ball and create several Gremlins.

Choosing a location[]

There are three main locations used:

Low danger level[]

Most often D:8 (or any other danger level 8 area) is used. This will mean you have no background corruption, while providing the maximum chance to pickpocket a Ring of djinni summoning, which is typically the item people most want when Gremlin Bombing.

High danger level[]

Using a high danger level area has a lower chance of creating a ring of djinni summoning, however you will be able to get some other nice high danger level items.
People used to advise newer players to use the Dwarven Halls as a fairly convenient, high danger-level area, however DH is a high corruption area, as well as being home to extremely strong monsters.

At the point in the game that you are likely to be Gremlin Bombing, one of the most useful high danger-level areas would be the upper level of the Dwarven Graveyard, being the highest danger level non-corrupting area and completely without randomly created monsters after it has been cleared.

Dwarven Graveyard[]

Unluckily a wand of trap creation does not work on grass, so you will need to use up a blanket in order to create a trap. Neither does a wand of digging, so you will need to use a pick axe.

Other examples:  
         ....IIII..   II........  
         ....IIIII.   III.......  
         ....IIIII.   IIII......  
         ####I####.   ####I####.  
         #..@I^II#.   #IIII^@.#.  
         #.#####I#.   #I#####.#.  
         #.#...#.#.   #.#...#.#.  
         #.#.>.#.#.   #.#.>.#.#.

^ - stands for water trap.

Trap triggering with version 1 is somewhat dependent on the players vision field, so gremlin generation can be lowered by moving character 1 tile east compared to example.

The trickiest thing is actually leaving the graveyard after desired items are obtained. Walls in here are undiggable so deactivating the trap is rather hard (would require direct teleportation on top of the trap, assuming it isn't covered by Gremlins). It is simplest just to teleport towards any border in order to escape.

The other two shown methods make leaving easier, as the enclosed space makes it much more doable to slowly advance towards the trap (gremlins are not very fast), step on top of it, and kill off all the gremlins from there. To restart the Gremlin Bomb only another fluff ball is needed.

Naturally, the player will wish to finish any other business in the graveyard - quests and grave robbing - before blocking his way with loads of gremlins.

The Gremlin Cave[]

The place which contains a giant "natural" gremlin bomb is the Gremlin Cave. The cave is generated full of water traps and gremlins which almost invariably multiply while the PC has hardly entered, meaning it can often be close to impossible to empty the cave even when trying - and the player should spare himself the hassle.

This is most commonly used simply for killing Gremlins, not Pickpocketing them, as the cave has too low a danger level to produce any really good loot, and it corrupts to boot. Players usually only enter the Gremlin Cave to get the fluff ball they need, or the phial of Caladriel .

Flow control[]

To have things nice and fluent you need to ensure the gremlins are getting multiplied constantly and that they come towards character efficiently.

The easiest way to achieve this is to plant a water trap in isthmus of room as gremlins will be generated behind the trap in room and these will need to pass trap again

#        #.I.
####     #..I

@ is character, ^ trap and I - gremlins. Depending on trap layout on level some adjustments might be needed. Moving trap deeper in corridor is not recommended, better to have multiple traps inside of the room. Also measures need to be taken for your gremlin flow to remain undisturbed. This can vary from pacifying dungeon level or simply blocking part of it by locked doors. Of course you can simply kill all intruders for extra loot and experience.


One of the most common mistakes made when gremlin bombing is not leaving an open escape route. Whether this is a controlled teleport, or simply an empty passage between you and the stairs, it is essential that you have a way out.

Advanced Tactics[]

Kill control[]

In some rare cases, the player will want to avoid directly killing the gremlins. There are a few ways to accomplish this.

  • Pet - get something tough that cannot break doors and place it just south of the character in example above. Character keeps pickpocketing while pet keeps killing.
  • Traps:
    • Alarm - well, basically it needs two rooms - one for gremlin generation [like above] and another with alarm traps. Gremlins will trigger alarm traps and fight each other.
    • Light - in theory it is possible to direct the flow of gremlins into a diagonal tunnel filled with light traps. Character can then do something else on level [mining for example] while gremlins are being generated and killed. The main problem with light traps is that sometimes they will just injure and blind the gremlins and blind staggering gremlins clog the flow through the death tunnel.

Special cases[]

It is possible to start a gremlin bomb in the Water Dragon Cave. Simply put a fluff ball into the weapon/missile slot [or wish for gremlin] or drop waterproof blankets and nearly uncontrollable gremlin multiplication will start. Keep in mind that simply dropping a fluffball won't work.

It appears that gremlins are not able to breathe water, so they will die of drowning in the underwater cave, which allows unlimited easy pickpocketing. It also seems gremlins do not drop items independently from their death reason.

Usually darkness is used to supress gremlin drowning messages [or you can play with ADOM Sage's functions].

The main problem is once again leaving level filled with gremlins.

The two main ways:

  • Enclose staircase with locked doors [that room can be blocked by three doors], cause gremlin madness in distant left side exit with teleport to stairs
  • Generate gremlins while being on stairs and simply use ball spells/ fireball wand to clean area around character in order to exit.

There have been a few reports of using rivers for gremlin bombs, but unluckily rivers are not guaranteed to happen in desired areas.