Print This Page

The Dungeons of Doom


Advanced Rogue
Copyright (C) 1984, 1985, 1986 Michael Morgan, Ken Dalka and AT&T
All rights reserved.

Based on "Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom"
Copyright (C) 1980, 1981 Michael Toy, Ken Arnold and Glenn Wichman
All rights reserved.

See the file LICENSE.TXT for full copyright and licensing information.

1. Introduction

Rogue is a screen-oriented fantasy game set in the ever-changing Dungeons of Doom. The game comes complete with monsters, spells, weapons, armor, potions, and other magical items. The dungeon's geography changes with every game, and although many magical items have certain identifiable properties, such as turning the player invisible, the physical manifestation of the magic changes each game. A red potion, for example, will cause the same reaction throughout a given game, but it may be a completely different potion in a new game.

Entering the dungeon with only a little food, armor, and a weapon, the player must develop a good strategy of when to fight, when to run, and how to best use any magical items found in the dungeon. To make things interesting, the player has a quest to return one of several unique artifacts, rumored to lie deep in the dungeon's bowels. Returning with this artifact brings great glory and the title of Complete Winner. But even after finding the artifact, the player may wish to continue further to match wits with an arch-devil, demon prince, or even a deity found far down in the dungeon. Defeating such a creature will gain the player many experience points, the basis for scoring in Rogue.

It is very difficult to return from the Dungeons of Doom. Few people ever make it out alive. Should this unlikely event occur, the player would be proclaimed a complete winner and handsomely rewarded for any booty removed from the dungeon.

2. Character Classes

Before placing the player in the dungeon, the game requests the player to select what type of character they would like to be: a fighter, a magic user, a cleric, a druid, a thief, a paladin, a ranger, a monk, or an assassin.

2.1 The Fighter

A fighter is very strong and will have a high strength rating. This great strength gives a fighter the best odds of winning a battle with a monster. At high experience levels the fighter also gets to attack multiple times in a single turn. This obviously further increases his chances at winning battles. Intrinsic to the fighter class is a robustness which results in 1 to 12 extra hit points for every new experience level.

2.2 The Magician

A Magician is able to "cast" spells. The number and variety of spells increases as the magician gains experience and intelligence. Magic users are not as hearty as fighters; they receive 1 to 6 extra hit points for every new experience level.

2.3 The Cleric

A cleric is able to "pray" to his god for help. The number and variety of prayers which the gods are willing to grant to a cleric increase as the cleric gains experience and wisdom.

Because of their religious nature, clerics can also affect the "undead" beings, like zombies and ghouls, which became monsters after they died. If an "undead" creature is next to a cleric, the cleric may try to turn it and cause it to flee. If the cleric is sufficiently powerful relative to the monster, the cleric will destroy it. This ability increases as the character gains experience levels.

Clerics can gain from 1 to 8 extra hit points on reaching a new experience level.

2.4 The Druid

The druid is a cleric of sorts but worships nature rather than a god. The druid is able to "chant" and thereby recieve certain types of spells. Most of the chants are targeted more towards the elements and nature.

Druids gain from 1 to 8 hit points when they gain an experience level.

2.5 The Thief

A thief is exceptionally dextrous and has a good chance to set a trap or rob a monster.

By their nature, thieves can automatically detect all the gold on the current level of the dungeon. They are also good at detecting hidden traps. Because thieves slink along, they are not as likely as other characters to wake sleeping monsters. If a thief manages to sneak up on a creature without waking it, he will get a chance to backstab the monster. When this is done, the damage done by the thief greatly increases based on his experience level.

Thieves gain from 1 to 6 extra hit points from a new experience level.

2.6 The Paladin

The paladin is a type of holy warrior. Somewhat of a cross between a fighter and a cleric. He is able to pray and turn undead as a cleric, (but to a lesser degree) but fights as a fighter. He is on the side of all that is good and righteous. Therefore he would never attack a creature that would not attack him first. If he does kill a non-violent creature inadvertantly he will feel "uneasy" and his god may retaliate by making him a mere fighter.

Paladins gain 1 to 10 hit points per experience level.

2.7 The Ranger

The ranger is somewhat of a cross between a druid and a fighter. He too is on the side of righteousness and good. Therefore, the same same restrictions apply to his as they do to a paladin. The ranger can "chant" and "cast" but to a lesser degree than the druid and magician.

Rangers gain 1 to 8 hit points per experience level.

2.8 The Monk

The Monk is a martial arts expert. He wears no armor but has an effective armor class based on his ability to dodge attacks. He does not need a weapon in combat for his hands and feet are a formidable weapon. His ability to dodge and use his hands as weapons increases as he gains in level.

Monks gain 1 to 6 hit points per experience level.

2.9 The Assassin

The assassin is a person trained in the art of killing people by surprise. He has most of the abilities of the thief except the "backstab". Instead, the assassin has the chance to kill an opponent outright with one strike. He is also a ruthless character and trained in the use of poison. He can recognize poison on sight and can coat his weapon with it thereby making his next attack an exceptionally lethal one.

Assassins gain 1 to 6 hit points per experience level.


3.1 Intelligence

Intelligence is the primary attribute associated with casting spells. With higher intelligence comes the knowledge of more spells, the ability to cast more spells, and faster recovery of spells that have been cast.

3.2 Strength

This is, of course, the measure of a character's physical strength. With higher strength a character can carry more, cause more damage when striking, have a better chance to strike an opponent, and move about more quickly when carrying a load.

3.3 Wisdom

Wisdom is the primary attribute associated with Praying to a god. With higher wisdom comes the knowledge of more prayers, the ability to pray more often, and faster recovery of prayer ability.

3.4 Dexterity

Dexterity is a measure of a character's agility. With higher dexterity a character is harder to hit, can hit a opponent more easily, and can move about more quickly when carrying a load.

3.5 Constitution

Every character has a constitution rating. A character with an exceptionally good constitution will gain more than the normal amount of hit points associated with the character's class when the character reaches a new experience level. Exceptional constitution also provides better protection versus poison-based attacks and diseases.

3.6 Charisma

Charisma is a measure of a characters looks and general likeableness. It effects transactions when trying to purchase things.

3.7 Experience Levels

Characters gain experience for killing monsters, stealing from monsters, and turning monsters. Each character class has a set of thresholds associated with it. When a character reaches a threshold, the character attains the next experience level. This new level brings extra hit points and a greater chance of success in performing the abilities associated with the character's class. For example, magicians receive new spells, and clerics receive new prayers.

3.8 Allocating Attributes

The player starts with 72 "attribute points" to create a character and can distribute them in any manner among the six attributes described above. When prompting the player for each attribute, the game displays the minimum and maximum allowable values for that attribute. The player can type a backspace (control-H) to go back and change a value; typing an escape (ESC) sets the remaining attributes to the maximum value possible given the remaining attribute points.


During the normal course of play, the screen consists of three separate sections: the top line of the terminal, the bottom two lines of the terminal, and the remaining middle lines. The top line reports actions which occur during the game, the middle section depicts the dungeon, and the bottom lines describe the player's current condition.

4.1 The Top Line

Whenever anything happens to the player, such as finding a scroll or hitting or being hit by a monster, a short report of the occurrence appears on the top line of the screen. When such reports occur quickly, one right after another, the game displays the notice followed by the prompt '--More--.' After reading this notice, the player can press a space to display the next message. At such a point, the game ignores all commands until the player presses a space.

4.2 The Dungeon Section

The large middle section of the screen displays the player's surroundings using the following symbols:

|      A wall of a room.
-   A wall of a room.
*   A pile of gold.
%   A way to another level.
+   A doorway.
.   The floor in a room
@   The player.
_   The player, when invisible.
#   The floor in a passageway
!   A flask containing a potion.
?   A sealed scroll.
:   Some food.
)   A weapon.
    Solid rock (denoted by a space)
]   Some armor.
;   A miscellaneous magic item.
,   An artifact.
=   A ring.
/   A wand or a staff.
^   The entrance to a trading post.
>   A trapdoor leading to the next level.
{   An arrow trap.
$   A sleeping gas trap.
}   A beartrap.
~   A trap that teleports you somewhere else.
`   A poison dart trap.
"   a shimmering magic pool.
'   An entrance to a maze.
$   Any magical item. (During magic detection)
>   A blessed magical item. (Duriing magic detection)
<   A cursed magical item. (During magic detection)
A letter   A monster. Note that a given letter may signify
multiple monsters, depending on the level of the
dungeon. The player can always identify a current
monster by using the identify command ('/').

4.3 The Status Section

The bottom two lines of the screen describe the player's current status. The first line gives the player's characteristics:

  • Intelligence (Int)

  • Strength (Str)

  • Wisdom (Wis)

  • Dexterity (Dxt)

  • Constitution (Const)

  • Charisma (Char)

  • Encumberance (Carry)

Intelligence, strength, wisdom, dexterity, charisma, and constitution have a normal maximum of 25, but can be higher when augmented by a ring. Encumberance is a measurement of how much the player can carry versus how much he is currently carrying. The more you carry relative to your maximum causes you to use more food.

The second status line provides the following information:

  • The current level (Lvl) in the dungeon. This number increases as the player goes further down.

  • The player's current number of hit points (Hp), followed in parentheses by the player's current maximum number of hit points. Hit points express the player's health. As a player heals by resting, the player's current hit points gradually increase until reaching the current maximum. This maximum increases each time a player attains a new experience level. If the player's current hit points reach 0, the player dies.

  • The player's armor class (Ac). This number describes the amount of protection provided by the armor, cloaks, and/or rings currently worn by the player. It is also affected by high or low dexterity. Wearing no armor is equivalent to an armor class of 10. The protection level increases as the armor class decreases.

  • The player's current experience level (Exp) followed by the player's experience points. The player can gain experience points by killing monsters, successfully stealing from monsters, and turning monsters. When a player gains enough experience points to surpass a threshold that depends on the player's character type, the player reaches a new experience level. A new experience level brings extra hit points and possibly added abilities, such as a new spell for a magician or a new prayer for a cleric.

  • A description of the player's character. This description depends on the player's character type and experience level.


A player can invoke most Rogue commands by typing a single character. Some commands, however, require a direction, in which case the player types the command character followed by a directional command. Many commands can be prefaced by a number, indicating how many times the command should be executed.

When the player invokes a command referring to an item in the player's pack (such as reading a scroll), the game prompts for the item. The player should then type the letter associated with the item, as displayed by the inventory command. Typing a '*' at this point produces a list of the eligible items.

Rogue understands the following commands:

?     Preceding a command by a '?' produces a brief explanation of the command. The command '?*' gives an explanation of all the commands.
/   Preceding a symbol by a '/' identifies the symbol.
=   Clarify. After typing an '=' sign, the player can use the movement keys to position the cursor anywhere on the current level. As long as the player can normally see the selected position, Rogue will identify whatever is at that space. Examples include a sleeping giant rat, a blue potion, and a food ration.
h   Move one position to the left.
j   Move one position down.
k   Move one position up.
l   Move one position to the right.
y   Move one position to the top left.
u   Move one position to the top right.
b   Move one position to the bottom left.
n   Move one position to the bottom right
H   Run to the left until reaching something interesting.
J   Run down until reaching something interesting.
K   Run up until reaching something interesting.
L   Run to the right until reaching something interesting.
Y   Run to the top left until reaching something interesting.
U   Run to the top right until reaching something interesting.
B   Run to the bottom left until reaching something interesting.
N   Run to the bottom right until reaching something interesting
t   This command prompts for an object from the players pack. The player then throws the object in the specified direction.
f   When this command is preceded with a directional command, the player moves in the specified direction until passing something interesting.
z   This command prompts for a wand or staff from the player's pack and zaps it in the specified direction.
>   Go down to the next level.
<   Go up to the next level.
s   Search for a secret door or a trap in the circle surrounding the player.
.   This command (a dot) causes the player to rest a turn.
i   Display an inventory of the player's pack.
I   This command prompts for an item from the player's pack and displays the inventory information for that item.
q   Quaff a potion from the player's pack.
r   Read a scroll from the player's pack.
e   Eat some food from the player's pack.
w   Wield a weapon from the player's pack.
W   Wear some armor, ring, or a miscellaneous magic item from the player's pack. The player can wear a maximum of 8 rings.
T   Take off whatever the player is wearing.
^U   Use a magic item in the player's pack.
d   Drop an item from the player's pack.
P   Pick up the items currently under the player.
^N   When the player types this command, Rogue prompts for a monster or an item from the player's pack and a one-line name. For monsters, the player can use the movement keys to position the cursor over the desired monster, and Rogue will use the given name to refer to that
monster. For items, Rogue gives all similar items (such as all the blue potions) the specified name.
m   When the player types this command, Rogue prompts for an item from the player's pack and a one-line name. Rogue then marks the specified item with the given name..
o   Typing this command causes Rogue to display all the settable options. The player can then merely examine the options or change any or all of them.
C   This command, restricted to magicians and rangers produces a listing of the current supply of spells. The player can select one of the displayed spells and, if the player's energy level is sufficiently high, Cast it. The more complicated the spell, the more energy it takes.
c   This command, restricted to druids and rangers produces a listing of the current supply of chants. The player can select one of the displayed chants and, if the player's energy level is sufficiently high, chant it. The more complicated the spell, the more energy it takes.
p   This command, restricted to clerics and paladins, produces a listing of the character's known prayers. The player can then offer one of these prayers to the character's deity. Deities are not known for favoring characters which continually pray to them, and they are most likely to answer the least "ambitious" prayers.
a   This command is restricted to clerics and paladins must be followed by a directional command. If there is an "undead" monster standing next to the player in the specified direction, there is a chance the player will affect the monster by causing it to flee or possibly even destroying it.
*   Count the gold in the player's pack.
^   This command sets a trap and is limited to thieves and assassins. If the character is successful, Rogue prompts the player for a type of trap and sets it where the player is standing.
G   This command is restricted to thieves and assassins. It causes Rogue to display all the gold on the current level.
D   Dip something into a magic pool.
^T   This command is restricted to thieves and assassins. It must be followed by a directional command. If there is a monster standing next to the player in the specified direction, the player tries to steal an item from the monster's pack. If the player is successful, the monster does not notice anything, but if the player is unsuccessful, there is a chance the monster will wake up.
^L   Redraw the screen.
^R   Repeat the last message that was displayed on the top line of the screen.
Escape (^[)   Typing an escape will usually cause Rogue to cancel the current command.
v   Print the current Rogue version number.
!   Escape to the shell level.
S   Quit and save the game for resumption at a later time.
Q   Quit without saving the game.


There is no "attack" command. If a player wishes to attack a monster, the player simply tries to move onto the spot where the monster is standing. The game then assumes that the player wishes to attack the monster with whatever weapon the player is wielding.

When the player moves onto an item, the game automatically places the object into the player's pack. If there is no room left in the pack, the game announces that fact and leaves the item on the floor.


All actions except for purely bookkeeping commands, such as taking an inventory, take time. The amount of time varies with the command. Swinging a weapon, for example, takes more time than simply moving; so a monster could move several spaces in the time it takes the player to make one attack. The time it takes to swing a weapon also varies based on the bulk of the weapon, and the time it takes to simply move a space varies with the type of armor worn. Movement is always faster when flying.

Since actions take time, some of them can be disrupted. If the player is casting a spell, for example, and gets hit before finishing it, the spell is lost. Similarly, the player might choke if hit while trying to eat. Of course, the same rule applies when the player hits a monster.

Magical hasting (or slowing) will decrease (or increase) the time it takes to perform an action.


Some rooms in the dungeon possess a natural light source. In other rooms and in corridors the player can see only those things within a one space radius from the player. These dark rooms can be lit with magical light or by a fire beetle.


The player can wield exactly one weapon at a time. When the player attacks a monster, the amount of damage depends on the particular weapon the player is wielding. To fire a projectile weapon, such as a crossbow or a short bow, the player should wield the bow and "throw" the bolt or arrow at the monster.

A weapon may be cursed or blessed, affecting the likelihood of hitting a monster with the weapon and the damage the weapon will inflict on the monster. If the player has identified a weapon, the "to hit" and "to damage" bonuses appear in that order before the weapon's name in an inventory listing. A positive bonus indicates a blessed weapon, and a negative bonus usually indicates a cursed weapon. The player cannot release a cursed weapon.

Without any armor the player has an armor class of 10. The lower the player's armor class, the harder it is for a monster to hit the player, so wearing armor can improve the player's armor class. A cursed suit of armor, however, offers poor protection and may sometimes be worse than no armor at all.

After the player has identified a suit of armor, the protection bonus appears before the armor's name in an inventory listing. If the bonus is positive the armor is blessed, and if it is negative, the armor is usually cursed. The player cannot remove a cursed suit of armor.

Some monsters can corrode armor when they hit it. If such a monster hits the player when the player is wearing metal armor, the armor loses some of its protection value, but the corrosion does not curse the armor. This corrosive property can also apply to weapons when the player hits such a monster.


The player can frequently find potions and scrolls in the dungeon. In any given dungeon, the player can distinguish among the different types of potions by a potion's color and among the different types of scrolls by a scroll's name. Quaffing a potion or reading a scroll usually causes some magical occurrence. Most potions and scrolls may be cursed or blessed.


The player can wear a maximum of eight rings, and they have a magical effect on the player as long as they are worn. Some rings also speed up the player's metabolism, making the player require food more often. Many rings can be cursed or blessed, and the player cannot remove a cursed ring. The player can distinguish among different types of rings by a ring's jewel.


Wands and staves affect the player's environment. The player can zap a wand or staff at something and perhaps shoot a bolt of lightning at it or teleport it away. All wands or staves of the same type are constructed with the same type of wood. Some wands and staves may be cursed or blessed.

13. FOOD

The player must be careful not to run out of food since moving through the dungeon fighting monsters consumes a lot of energy. Starving results in the player's fainting for increasingly longer periods of time, during which any nearby monster can attack the player freely.

Food comes in the form of standard rations and as a variety of berries. Some berries have side effects in addition to satisfying one's hunger.

14. GOLD

Gold has one use in a dungeon: buying things. One can buy things in two ways, either in a trading post or from a quartermaster. A trading post is a place that sometimes occurs "between levels" of the dungeon and can be entered by stepping on the entrance. A quartermaster is a person who will sometimes appear and will try to sell the player some of his wares. These wares are never cursed and frequently blessed, though blessed goods cost more than normal goods. If the player chooses to buy one of the quartermaster's items, the quartermaster trades the item for the specified amount of gold and disappears. Attacking a quartermaster causes him to vanish without offering a trade.

The player starts the game in a trading post with a class-dependent allotment of gold. Although there are restrictions on the use of some items (eg. only fighters, paladins, and rangers can wield two-handed swords), the market will happily sell the player anything that he can afford.


Miscellaneous items such as a pair of boots or a book may be found within the dungeon. These items can usually be used to the player's advantage (assuming they are not cursed). Some of these items can be worn, such as a cloak, while others are to be used, such as a book.


Some monsters down in the depths of the dungeon carry unique artifacts. The game begins as a quest to retrieve one of these items. Each artifact appears only on its owner's person. These items also can usually be used to the player's advantage. However, care must be taken when handling them for they are intelligent and will reject mishandling or abuse. These items consume food and merely carrying them will result in increased food use.


A variety of traps, including trap doors, bear traps, and sleeping traps, are hidden in the dungeon. They remain hidden until sprung by a monster or the player. A sprung trap continues to function, but since it is visible, an intelligent monster is not likely to tread on it.


Each monster except for the merchant quartermaster appears in a limited range of dungeon levels. All monsters of the same type share the same abilities; all giant rats, for example, can give the player a disease, and all jackalweres can put the player to sleep. Monsters of the same type can vary, however, such that one kobold may be much more difficult to kill than another one. In general, the more difficult it is to kill a monster, the more experience points the monster is worth.

Most monsters attack by biting and clawing, but some monsters carry weapons, including such projectile weapons as short bows and crossbows, and some monsters have breath weapons. Some monsters even use magical items, such as wands. Monsters with distance weapons or magic can attack the player from across a room or down a corridor.

Some monsters are more intelligent than others, and the more intelligent a monster, the more likely that the monster will run away if it is about to die. A fleeing monster will not attack the player unless cornered.

It is sometimes possible to enlist a monster's aid. Reading a charm monster scroll, for example, or singing a charm monster chant can make a monster believe the player is its friend. A charmed monster will fight hostile monsters for the player as long as they are not of its race.

As the player moves down in the dungeon, the monsters get more powerful. Deep down in the dungeon there exist some one-of-a-kind monsters. These monsters are greatly feared. However, once a "unique monster" is killed, the player will not find another in the current dungeon.


Rogue has several options which may be set by the player:

terse    Setting this Boolean option results in shorter messages appearing on the top line of the screen.
jump   Setting this Boolean option results in waiting until the player has finished running to draw the player's path. Otherwise the game always displays the path one step at a time.
step   Setting this Boolean option results in most listings, such as an inventory, appearing one item at a time on the top line of the screen. When this option is not set, the game clears the screen, displays the list, and then redraws the dungeon.
flush   Setting this Boolean option results in flushing all typeahead (pending) commands when the player encounters a monster.
askme   Setting this Boolean option results in the game prompting the player for a name upon encountering a new type of scroll, potion, ring, staff, or wand.
pickup   This option specifies whether items should be picked up automatically as the rogue steps over them. In the non-automatic mode, the player may still pick up items via the pickup (P) command. The option defaults to true.
name   This string is the player's name and defaults to the player's account name.
file   This string, which defaults to arogue77.sav, specifies the file to use for saving the game.
score   This string identifies the top-twenty score file to use for the game.
class   This option specifies the character class of the rogue. It can be set only in the ROGUEOPTS
environment variable.
quested item   This option is set by the game at the start and cannot be reset by the player. It is merely listed
to remind the player of his quest.

The player can set options at the beginning of a game via the ROGUEOPTS environment variable. Naming a Boolean option sets it, and preceding the Boolean option name by "no" clears it. The syntax "stringoption=name" sets a string option to "name." So setting ROGUEOPTS to "terse, jump, nostep, flush, askme, name=Ivan the Terrible" would set the terse, jump, flush, and askme Boolean options, clear the step Boolean option, set the player's name to "Ivan the Terrible," and use the defaults for the save file and the score file.

The player may change an option at any time during the game via the option command, which results in a listing of the current options. Typing a new value changes the option, a RETURN moves to the next option, a '-' moves to the previous option, and an ESCAPE returns the player to the dungeon.


The player receives experience points for stealing items from monsters, turning monsters (a clerical ability), and killing monsters. When the player gets killed, the player's score equals the player's experience points. A player who quits gets a score equal to the player's experience points and gold. If the player makes it back up out of the dungeon, the player's score equals the player's experience points plus the gold the player carried and the gold received from selling the player's possessions.

Rogue maintains a list of the top twenty scores to date, together with the name of the player obtaining the score, the level where the player finished, and the manner in which the player ended the game. As an installation option, the game may record only one entry per character type and login; this restriction encourages a greater number of different players in the scorechart.


This version of Rogue is based on a version developed at the University of California.

Previous page: Advanced Rogue 7.7
Next page: XRogue 8.0