You can read the wikipedia article about what a speed run is. In ADOM, a speed run is usually understood as an effort to finish the game (regular chaos gate closing and exit) in the lowest amount of turns possible. As one might expect, achieving that involves lots of nutty strategies and RNG cooperation.


The first speed run efforts were recorded at the ADOM hall of fame forums ( site) ~10 years ago. Wins in 20k turn range were considered impressive at that time, and involved rather reasonable strategies of farming herbs (for stats), while leveling in the Big Room.

With the introduction of online servers, players were able to learn by observing others (and to use the server's character roller) and the turn-count dropped to ~6k rather rapidly. There have been claims of sub-5000 turn wins, but so far the best recorded run (in 1.1.1) was by gut at 5260. (Of the somewhat verifiable runs, the second best run was by evariste at 6368; ttyrecs from jaakos server sadly did not survive).

The real-time speed run record for beating the game was 2 hours 12 min by Sami. The flg can be accessed via internet archive, but ttyrec recordings are unluckily gone. The current real-time speed run record for beating the game is 57 minutes 2 seconds by Yulgash.

Best in-game time belongs to evariste at 8 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes, and 57 seconds with a drakish bard. (Heir bards are definitely favorites as they start with seven league boots).

1.1.1 strategy[]


After a short visit to the Black market in the hopes of getting more books by robbing the shop, players did a Darkforge raid (with or without prior leveling in Bug temple), with the goal of obtaining teleport control, decent weapons and armor (knives of endurance were particularly useful due to HP regeneration). The Shield of raw steel was always very important, but sometimes had to be obtained on a revisit if the player had no means to dispatch Guth'Alak earlier. (The shield provides fire immunity, HP regeneration, and a boost to Toughness.)

There was some disagreement on whether it was worth it to do Dwarven graveyard, and whether the player should get the water orb before the Tower of Eternal Flames. Although most players choose to skip graveyard and grab the water orb.

The rest of the run revolved around offensive Alchemy, the player's ability to predict stair locations, and HP casting (HP are much easier to restore than PP, and if you are usually low on PP, losing Mana does not matter). Walking was replaced by teleportation as much as possible, and at some points players cast healing spells from HP (casting a healing spell cost HP, but healed for more, resulting in a net gain of HP).

Autopickup was used very heavily since it allows picking up stuff without taking extra turns (autopickup increases energy cost, but not turn-count). The turn-count reducing bug was not used, since with it, it was possible beat the game with 1 turn spent. D:50 was quite a challenge for under-leveled low toughness wizards.


Some players essentially used a watered-down wizard style (this was best with bard), and some played melee-style (pushing for early crowning and deliberately using corruption traps to obtain the Astral planes corruption). The best melee run was under 20.000 turns (18.755 result with barbarian by Ars cited from Jaakos server, details). (The current server lists the best merchant run at 20.686 turns by asdf)


Sami apparently used barbarians, aiming for an early crowning in the hopes of getting vanquisher. Piles of spenseweed were also important.

Yulgash used drakeling(for the tower of Fire) paladins crowned with Justifier. Yulgash' strategy was to pray hundreds of times to gain piety with the competing Gods to obtain two precrowns and a crowning at around 10 minutes. If he did not crown with Justifier he would reset. He also used pool sipping, primarily aiming for useful intrinsics such as teleportitis/teleport control(always useful), or secondarily death ray resistance(which would make the Pyramid skippable). In his winning run, however, he did visit the Pyramid.

2.x.y changes[]

A number of game features used in speed runs were changed in renewed ADOM development.

Teleport control in Darkforge is not guaranteed (fails around 90% of the time), while Kherab is alive. This makes exiting Darkforge rather challenging, although a leveled wizard with proper spells can either Lightning Ball the steel golems, or just kill Kherab after getting the shield of raw steel, using the water squares in the pool area as a natural barrier (the former is likely way easier than the latter).

Casting spells through HP draining severely abuses toughness and willpower; while toughness can be obtained via equipment (shield of raw steel, bracers of toughness, and knife of endurance give a combined +16 toughness), the loss of willpower is rather hard to compensate for. The HP to PP conversion is also less favorable (and slightly unpredictable).

Teleport costs were increased dramatically from 22 base to 22+1.5*DL(rounded down) base, meaning teleport costs ~59 (base)PP in Darkforge, for example.

Stomafilia is limited as sacrifice fodder (it was used in some melee speed runs) to ten herbs.

Experience gains have been changed, AKW, for example, does not give obscene amounts of experience anymore, thus getting from teen levels to 30+ is more problematic.

On the other hand, chaos knights have a huge potential for fast melee wins. They start with decent stats and three corruptions, and thus can be roll scummed to start with Astral planes. They also have class-specific crowning gifts including a very good weapon. They also have the advantage of not needing to kill balors or other inhabitants on D:50, since activating both levers on D:50 is a death sentence for them. However, closing the gate is considered by the game to be a victory, thus a significant amount of turns used up to fight on D:50 and resurface can be saved. Obtaining crowning in a timely manner is likely a bottleneck for chaos knight speed run attempts as stomafilia was nerfed and they do not get good shop prices.

The Steam version of the game has an achievement "Speed demon" for winning in under 10.000 turns, so hopefully some novel approaches will be developed.