Potion of literacy ( ! )
Item Type Potion
Artifact? Yes
Weight 4s
Danger Level N/A
Material Glass

The potion of literacy is an artifact potion, and the only consumable artifact in the game.

Once drunk, the potion of literacy teaches the Literacy skill to PCs that lack it with a typical score between 40 and 60 points. If a literate PC drinks the potion, either their Literacy skill is raised by 40 to 60 points or else it trains the skill.

The potion of literacy cannot be used for alchemy.

In versions prior to 1.2.0, due to a number of bugs there were ways to destroy the potion (e.g., kicking it), even though artifacts are meant to be indestructible.

It appears as a sulphuric potion when unidentified.


Literacy is a very important skill to have, as it gives PCs access to the beneficial magical effects of scrolls such as scrolls of corruption removal and scrolls of education. It also allows such PCs to read spellbooks... though most PCs that don't start out with literacy will probably find it difficult to learn spells very well anyway. It should be noted, however, that the potion is not the only way for illiterate PCs to receive the skill: eating a dark sage also gives the PC the power to read (unless the corpse is cursed).

The potion is not useless to any PCs, as those who are already well trained in literacy will not receive the potion.

Guaranteed/Common sources[]

The potion of literacy is given as the reward for Thrundarr's first quest if the PC is illiterate. PCs with a literacy score of below 50 will also receive it in ADOM version 1.2.0.

Greater Identify information[]

------------------------------ potion of literacy------------------------------
It is an artifact.

When used in melee combat it grants a +0 bonus to hit and causes 1d2 points of
damage. When used as a missile it grants a +0 bonus to hit and causes 1d2
points of damage.