Wilderness Encounters in ADOM

Introduction

Wilderness encounters can be dangerous, since in the wilderness you mostly encounter monsters in large groups, and there is nowhere to hide so it's easy to get surrounded. However, if you can manage to kill the monsters, they are a useful source of experience, weapon skills or spell effectivity, equipment, and corpses to eat (this last is particularly important if your character lacks the Survival skill). Here are a few general tips on wilderness encounters.

Get to know the types of encounters your character can handle and the types he/she must flee from. I'll point out a few particularly dangerous encounters later on in this spoiler. It's better to flee from a dangerous encounter as soon as possible, because if you get surrounded, you may not be able to.

Being surrounded is also bad for your fighting ability, especially if you don't have the Courage skill yet. If you're close to being surrounded, back off in Coward mode. In fact, it's a good idea to stay in Coward mode except when you're attacking a monster physically. A little tip from the manual: if you're very badly wounded (1/3 of maximum HP or less) and in Coward mode, you can run away faster (you're fleeing in panic).

Magic users have the advantage over fighters that they can kill many monsters with one bolt spell. Since they often don't have many HP and are weak in melee combat, they should probably stay in Coward mode and rely on their spells. Sometimes they should back off to give their power a chance to regenerate or line up more monsters for a bolt spell.

This spoiler is under construction. If you can add to or correct the information about minimum level requirements for encounters and the types of wilderness area where they can occur, or if you have any other corrections, please email me.

Tables of Encounters

Monsters which a level 1 character can encounter in the forest, on the plains or in the hills.
Encounter Minimum level Where found Notes
Group of roving raiders 1 Hills, forest, plains It's okay to run away from them. You'll still have the chance of meeting them again, until you kill the raider lord. However, they disappear when you reach experience level 6, or if you're a troll, when you obtain 5000 experience points.
Hill orc patrol 1 Hills  
Outlaw band 1 Hills  
Pack of wolves 1 Hills  
Wandering wizard 1 Hills He is a summoner.
Group of bandits 1 Forest  
Huge grizzly bear 1 Forest  
Orcish patrol 1 Forest  
Wandering brown bear 1 Forest  
Hobgoblin patrol 1 Plains  
Large jackal pack 1 Plains May contain one or two jackalweres. Kill them first if you can.
Pack of wild dogs 1 Plains  
Roving barbarian group 1 Plains This is a dangerous encounter because the barbarians shoot arrows.

Monsters which a level 1 character can encounter, but only in the swamps or on the road. Several of these encounters are more difficult than those in the previous table.
Encounter Minimum level Where found Notes
Horde of huge frogs 1 Swamp  
Horde of lizard men 1 Swamp  
Lone hydra 1 Swamp Run away! Hydras use poison, and it takes a lot of bolts to kill one, so you can't rely on zapping it before it can touch you.
Group of lost souls 1 Swamp, road Take care - ghuls can paralyse you and wights can drain your Toughness.
Group of outlaws 1 Road  
Lone necromancer 1 Road Summons ghuls who can paralyse you.
Pilgrimage of chaos monks 1 Road They're fast and they corrupt you, but they're easy to kill with bolt spells.
Skeleton patrol 1 Road  

Encounters which have a minimum level requirement.
Encounter Minimum level Where found Notes
Giant boar 15 Forest  
Group of horribly deformed beings 25 Forest, plains  
Herd of rust monsters 30 Forest, swamp  
Lone knight surrounded by an aura of hate and fear 26 Forest, plains  
Wandering giant 15 Forest  
Entourage of chaos knights 30 Forest, mountains, plains, swamp  
Horrible Dorn Beast 15 Plains If you don't have free action, run.
Wild air elemental 15 Plains  
Quickling raiding party 30 Plains, forest  
Ogre army 28 Plains, hills, forest  
Party of assassins 16 Hills  
Lone black dragon 15 Swamp  
Gnoll warband 24 Road, mountains  
Cave bear 17 Mountains  
Gnoll war party   Mountains  
Lone red dragon 21 Mountains  
Black unicorn      
Dark hooded figure 25 Swamp, plains, mountains, forest  
Horde of plague bearers 16 Swamp  
Hunting party of hill giants 18 Hills  
Lone corruptor 33 Forest  
Lone stone giant 17 Mountains  
Pack of cave lions 18 Mountains  
Warband of stone giants