Some general ways to generate items:

  1. Monster drops - killed monsters, except for gremlins or monsters that were bred, have a chance to drop items corresponding to dungeon danger level.
    This is affected by:
    1. The Treasure Hunter talent - roughly speaking you'll get about 1 extra item for every 9-10 monsters you kill with this talent.
    2. Vault monsters have an increased drop rate,
    3. Some monster have typical drops - kobolds often drop bows, balors often drop scourges, all shooters have an increased chance of an appropriate missile drop; this item might be dropped even if it exceeds dungeon danger level.
    4. Half of the monsters generated in the Small Cave will not drop anything[1]
  2. Pickpocketing - applying the Pick pockets skill on most humanoid monsters gives a chance of extra item generation. This item always weighs 10s or less (anything from gold to elven chainmail) and corresponds to the dungeon danger level. Pickpocketing cannot generate artifacts. There is only one chance of getting an item per monster (further applications yields a "You already have cleaned out the *foo*" message). Items generated this way are not connected to the loot you get by killing the monster.
  3. Shops and shop restocks - dependent on specialization, shops are generated with certain stuff (ring shop with rings while a general one just has random items):
    1. Certain desirable items such as those that grant wishes, those that increase attributes, and those that reduce corruption have a lower generation rate in shops.
    2. The PC's luck has no effect on the quality of items generated.
    3. Restocks - shops sometimes restock their goods. This is more likely to happen if the shop does not have many items in it. New items are only generated on empty squares, so piling up all the shop goods in one corner allows for more items to be generated. For non-Merchant PCs, prices increase when the shop is restocked.
  4. Stuff lying on dungeon floor. This is the most basic type of loot.
  5. Gravedigging - gravedigging is a chaotic act which creates a pit on a grave using a pickaxe or wand of digging. When digging a grave, some form of undead monster will be generated. If there is no room for the monster to show up, no items will be generated from the grave.
    1. Great treasure graves - these have a lot of stuff inside but also generate dangerous guardians. The grave guardian will usually be a master lich, but emperor liches or lich kings are also possible.
    2. Normal graves - these do not have many items inside (0 items over half the time), but are significantly less dangerous, as the worst you will face is something like a Lich or Vampire.
    3. Dwarven graves - these do not have many items inside, and are always guarded by dwarven battle spirits.
    4. Griff and Rolf's cousin graves - these two special graves do not spawn guardians and generate a specific set of items.
  6. Wishing - most non-artifact items can be wished for - exceptions include wand of wishing, ring of djinni summoning and moloch armor. Some stuff like potion of gain attributes, girdle of giant strength, whip of the snake, amulet of life saving, and seven league boots come one-per-wish; most other items can be wished for in plural form.
  7. Using spell/ scroll of item creation - this generates an item according to dungeon danger level.  The B/U/C status of the scroll determines the B/U/C status of the item generated but has no effect on the quality of the item. The scroll can generate artifacts, but the spell cannot.
  8. Polymorphing items by dipping them into certain potions might change them into other possibly more desirable stuff. What they are transformed into depends on current dungeon danger level.
    1. Blessed potions of exchange - the best known feature is being able to dip a stack of up to 19 rings into potion of exchange to get rings of djinni summoning. Each item in a stack is polymorphed individually, so there is a decent chance to get a wish at the approriate DL; only one ring of djinni summoning can be generated this way per game. With the potion belt, up to 19 potions can be dipped at once, allowing for the generation of more useful potions, including further potions of exchange. Exchanging an item will always change it to a different item.
    2. Raw chaos polymorphing
  9. Looting the Water Dragon Cave
  10. Milking - some monsters actively throw/shoot stuff at character; by running away from them until they throw, you can create a good pile of missiles or weapons.