Running out of luck is a punishment usually triggered by editing or hacking savegame files. When a saved game is loaded, ADOM compares a checksum stored within against one calculated from the file itself; if they differ, out of luck mode is immediately and permanently triggered. The player will see the message "You feel as if you have run out of luck!" every time such a savegame is loaded.

This has the following consequences:

  • All of the items the PC has equipped or in the backpack immediately become cursed. Items on the ground or on other levels are unaffected. This happens every time the savegame is loaded.
  • The game will randomly scatter the player's inventory all over the current level's floor at random intervals ("Suddenly your equipment disappears!"). Under certain circumstances, items could be thrown into areas that are inaccessible, rendering those items lost forever.
  • All newly-generated monsters will gain several hundred levels, receiving massive increases to their DV, PV and hit points. As an example:

"You examine Nonnak, the master necromancer. Diagnosis: Level: 499, DV: 355, PV: 96, Hits: 1274019840, Attacks: 49, Damage: 178-196. Speed: 108."

Killing them (only really viable via instant-death methods such as death rays, petrification or sacrificing on altars) will usually yield a few million experience points, even for what would otherwise be very weak opponents. Since orb guardians are immune to these attacks, this effectively makes the game unwinnable.
  • The PC receives an astronomical penalty to all Luck rolls.
  • Monsters score critical hits against the PC virtually every time. (This might be a side effect of the luck penalty above.)
  • Food is extremely less nourishing - approximately six uncursed large rations will be needed to go from Starving status to very hungry. (Scrolls of satiation and wishes for "food" are unaffected.)

A side effect of monsters becoming enormously powerful is that killing only a few may result in the PC hitting level 50 immediately. This may be most easily accomplished by sacrificing them. Monsters do not gain any other special powers, so a very fast PC with intrinsic invisibility may be able to survive for some time. Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory, since even an extremely well-equipped level 50 PC is no match for the challenges imposed by this condition.

It is said that running out of luck is like dooming, only a hundred times worse. This is most definitely true.

While this effect should only be noticed by those who deliberately attempt to hack a saved game, a few players have seen it due to viruses or hard drive corruption. It is a bad idea to run ADOM or any other program if those are present. Removing the condition using a hex editor after the hash check is failed is probably impossible, so there is little reason for players to make their luck run out other than the novelty of it. Editing the game's memory or temporary files will not trigger this, but it can have its own drawbacks (e.g. crashes).