A skill is a special ability of the PC that either passively improves their capabilities or allows them to perform a specific action. All PCs start with a certain skillset, depending on their race and class, as well as minor factors (star sign and starting Learning). Skills are normally trained during the course of the game, which improves their effectiveness. It is also possible to acquire new skills besides the starting ones through several means.
Each skill has a current advancement level ranging from 1 to 100 (except for Literacy, which can have a value of 0). The exact skill application mechanism differs from one skill to another, but it normally follows one of the following scenarios:
- The skill gives a linear increase for some parameter based on skill advancement level; for example, Find Weakness gives a bonus chance to inflict a critical hit in such a manner.
- The skill bonus is extended on a number of advancement levels; for example, Athletics requires the PC to reach certain threshold values to receive speed bonuses.
- The skill advancement level is used in special formulas involving dice rolls to make a check — if it is passed, the skill succeeds, otherwise it fails.
Individual skills may combine multiple methods to influence multiple factors, but the third approach is typically predominant. Moreover, a number of skills use a 80/100 rule which doubles/triples the number of times a check is performed (the PC will need just one successful roll to succeed) when the PC achieves level 80/100 in the skill. This significantly increases the chances of successful skill application.
Skill training occurs passively as the PC successfully uses them, and actively on level-up.
Unless all the PC's skills have reached their limits for training, at each level-up the player can increase points in a minimum of three skills, plus:
- one per 5 points of Learning over 10
- one extra per level with the Book star sign, or one extra per second level with the Cup star sign
- two extra per level for Bards, or three for Bards at level 6 or higher
- two extra per level for Humans
A number of parameters are considered during the skill advancement:
- Skill advancement category ranging from +1 to +4d5, which is used to calculate the individual increase;
- Skill advancement maximum which identifies the maximum value which the skill can be increased to; in order to increase this value the PC needs to successfully apply the skill (use natural training);
Skill advancement category degrades every 10 points of advancement levels. For example, if a skill is at 75 with a +2d4 advancement category and is increased by 5 points at level up (bringing it to 80), the advancement category will degrade to +1d5. These categories can upgrade before each level-up if the PC sufficiently trains the skill naturally (by successfully applying it). Yergius can increase the advancement category for members of the Thieves' Guild if he is paid sufficient amounts of money. Blessed and uncursed potions of training give the same effect when drunk.
Completing quests, giving specific items to NPCs and using specific items can grant the PC knowledge in one or more skills. Drinking a potion of education or reading a scroll of education increases a random skill or grants the PC knowledge in a new skill. All skills except Alertness and Healing are wishable. For more information, consult the Obtaining skills page.
The following table lists all skills available in ADOM with a short description of the skill effect, as well as which Races and Classes start the game with them. It also includes whether the skill can be obtained in-game without using wishes and potions/scrolls of education.
|Alchemy||Allows brewing potions using a fixed list of recipes||None||Assassin, Merchant (potion specialty), Necromancer, Wizard||No|
|Alertness||Gives a chance to evade combat magic and trap||Dark elf, Drakeling, Mist elf||Archer, Assassin, Duelist, Healer, Monk, Ranger, Thief||No|
|Appraising||Performs item quality evaluation||Ratling||Merchant, Necromancer, Thief, Weaponsmith||No|
|Archery||Grants missile attack bonuses||Hurthling||Archer, Assassin, Farmer, Fighter, Ranger||No|
|Athletics||Grants speed bonus, helps physical Attributes training||Troll||Barbarian, Beastfighter, Chaos Knight, Duelist, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Weaponsmith||No|
|Backstabbing||Grants a chance to inflict bonus damage on unaware opponents||Orc||Assassin, Chaos Knight, Thief||Yes|
|Bridge building||Allows building bridges||Troll||Farmer||Yes|
|Climbing||Grants a chance to climb out of pits; prerequisite to enter the Rift||All||All||N/A|
|Concentration||Increases PP regeneration rate; improves spell learning process||Mist elf||Archer, Druid, Duelist, Elementalist, Healer, Mindcrafter, Monk, Necromancer, Paladin, Priest, Weaponsmith, Wizard||No|
|Cooking||Allows cooking corpses||Hurthling||Healer, Farmer||No|
|Courage||Reduces to-hit penalties when fighting with multiple enemies||None||None||Yes|
|Detect item status||Gives a chance to automatically identify B/U/C status of an item||Ratling||Merchant, Priest||No|
|Detect traps||Gives a chance to find traps passively/on the specified location||Dwarf||Assassin, Thief, Weaponsmith||Yes|
|Disarm traps||Allows disarming traps||None||Thief||Yes|
|Dodge||Grants DV bonus, grants a small chance to avoid combat magic||High elf, Gray elf, Mist elf||Archer, Assassin, Barbarian, Beastfighter, Chaos Knight, Duelist, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger||No|
|Find weakness||Grants a chance to inflict a critical hit||Dark elf, Orc||Assassin, Chaos Knight, Duelist, Fighter, Healer, Monk, Necromancer, Weaponsmith||No|
|First aid||Can be used to restore recently lost HP||All||All||N/A|
|Fletchery||Allows creating ammunition using fletchery sets||None||Archer, Farmer||No|
|Food preservation||Increases the chance to generate corpses, helps preserve corpses longer||Drakeling, Human, Hurthling, Troll||Farmer, Necromancer, Ranger||No|
|Gardening||Allows planting herb bushes and gathering herb seeds from blossoming bushes||Hurthling||Druid, Farmer||Yes|
|Gemology||Grants a chance to generate and automatically identify gems from digging||Gnome, Troll||Elementalist, Merchant, Mindcrafter||No|
|Haggling||Can be used to haggle with shopkeepers||All||All||N/A|
|Healing||Passively restores HP||None||Beastfighter, Druid, Duelist, Elementalist, Healer, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Wizard||Yes|
|Herbalism||Improves the quality (B/U/C status) of collected herbs||None||Barbarian,Beastfighter, Druid, Farmer, Healer, Merchant, Mindcrafter, Necromancer, Priest, Ranger, Wizard||Yes|
|Law||Provides messages when the PC performs lawful/chaotic acts||None||Duelist; Paladin if starting alignment is lawful||Yes|
|Listening||Increases the chance of receiving audible messages (e.g. pool or river sounds)||All||All||N/A|
|Literacy||Allows reading scrolls, spellbooks and inscriptions on graves||High elf, Gray elf, Mist elf or starting Learning ≥ 10||Druid, Elementalist, Healer, Merchant, Mindcrafter, Monk, Necromancer, Paladin, Priest, Wizard or starting Learning ≥ 10; Barbarian and Beastfighter only if race allows||Yes|
|Metallurgy||Can be used to identify item material if it is metallic||Dwarf, Orc||Elementalist, Fighter, Merchant, Weaponsmith||No|
|Mining||Reduces digging time; increases the chance to generate ore||Dwarf, Gnome, Orc, Troll||None||No|
|Music||Allows playing musical instruments to tame animals||Drakeling||Bard, Mindcrafter, Priest||No|
|Necromancy||Can be used to create undead slaves||Mist elf||Necromancer||No|
|Pick locks||Allows the use of thieves picks to open locked doors||None||Assassin, Thief||Yes|
|Pick pockets||Can be used to steal from humanoid enemies||Gnome||Merchant, Thief||Yes|
|Smithing||Can be applied to use a forge to improve metallic items||Dwarf||Farmer, Weaponsmith||Yes|
|Stealth||Grants a chance to not be detected by monsters/NPCs||Dark elf, Gray elf, High elf, Hurthling, Mist elf, Ratling||Archer, Assassin, Barbarian, Beastfighter, Farmer, Fighter, Mindcrafter, Monk, Necromancer, Paladin, Thief, Wizard||Yes|
|Survival||Can be used to find food in the wilderness||Ratling or born under Falcon||Barbarian, Beastfighter, Druid, Farmer, Merchant, Ranger (or any character born under Falcon)||No|
|Swimming||Reduces drowning damage||Drakeling, Human, Ratling||Barbarian, Beastfighter, Druid, Elementalist, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger||Yes|
|Tactics||Increases tactics bonuses and decreases penalties||None||None||Yes|
|Two weapon combat||Decreases to-hit and energy cost penalties while dual-wielding||None||Assassin, Barbarian, Chaos Knight, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger||Yes|
|Ventriloquism||Can be used to confuse monsters for several turns||Gnome||Wizard||No|
|Woodcraft||Decreases the time to cut down trees, increases critical hit chance against plant monsters||None||Barbarian, Druid, Farmer, Ranger||No|