A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
                       Michael C. Toy
                  Kenneth C. R. C. Arnold
              Computer Systems Research Group
 Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
                  University of California
                Berkeley, California  94720
    Rogue is a visual CRT based fantasy game which  runs
    under the  UNIX+  timesharing  system.   This  paper
    describes  how  to play rogue, and gives a few hints
    for those  who  might  otherwise  get  lost  in  the
    Dungeons of Doom.
   +UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
1.  Introduction
     You have just finished your years as a student  at  the
local  fighter's  guild.   After much practice and sweat you
have finally completed your training and are ready to embark
upon  a  perilous  adventure.  As a test of your skills, the
local guildmasters have sent you into the Dungeons of  Doom.
Your  task  is  to  return  with the Amulet of Yendor.  Your
reward for the completion  of  this  task  will  be  a  full
membership in the local guild.  In addition, you are allowed
to keep all the loot you bring back from the dungeons.
     In preparation for  your  journey,  you  are  given  an
enchanted  mace,  a bow, and a quiver of arrows taken from a
dragon's hoard in the far off Dark Mountains.  You are  also
outfitted  with  elf-crafted  armor and given enough food to
reach the dungeons.  You say goodbye to family  and  friends
for what may be the last time and head up the road.
     You set out on your  way  to  the  dungeons  and  after
several days of uneventful travel, you see the ancient ruins
that mark the entrance to the Dungeons of Doom.  It is  late
at  night,  so  you  make camp at the entrance and spend the
night sleeping under the open skies.   In  the  morning  you
gather  your  weapons, put on your armor, eat what is almost
your last food, and enter the dungeons.
2.  What is going on here?
     You have just begun a game of rogue.  Your goal  is  to
grab as much treasure as you can, find the Amulet of Yendor,
and get out of the Dungeons of Doom alive.  On the screen, a
map  of  where  you  have been and what you have seen on the
current dungeon level is kept.  As you explore more  of  the
level, it appears on the screen in front of you.
     Rogue differs from most computer fantasy games in  that
it  is  screen  oriented.  Commands are all one or two keys-
trokes[1] and the results of  your  commands  are  displayed
graphically  on  the  screen  rather than being explained in
     Another major difference between rogue and  other  com-
puter  fantasy  games  is  that once you have solved all the
puzzles in a standard fantasy game, it has lost most of  its
excitement  and  it  ceases  to be fun.  Rogue, on the other
   [1] As opposed to pseudo English sentences.
   [2] A minimum screen size of 24 lines by  80  columns  is
required.   If  the screen is larger, only the 24x80 section
will be used for the map.
                           - 1 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
hand, generates a new dungeon every time  you  play  it  and
even the author finds it an entertaining and exciting game.
3.  What do all those things on the screen mean?
     In order to understand what is going on  in  rogue  you
have to first get some grasp of what rogue is doing with the
screen.  The rogue screen is intended to  replace  the  "You
can see ..." descriptions of standard fantasy games.  Figure
1 is a sample of what a rogue screen might look like.
3.1.  The bottom line
     At the bottom line of the screen are a  few  pieces  of
cryptic information describing your current status.  Here is
an explanation of what these things mean:
Level  This number indicates how deep you have gone  in  the
       dungeon.   It  starts  at  one  and goes up as you go
       deeper into the dungeon.
Gold   The number of gold pieces you have  managed  to  find
       and keep with you so far.
Hp     Your  current  and  maximum  health  points.   Health
       points  indicate  how much damage you can take before
       you die.  The more you get hit in a fight, the  lower
       they  get.   You can regain health points by resting.
       The number in parentheses is the maximum number  your
       health points can reach.
Str    Your current  strength  and  maximum  ever  strength.
       This  can be any integer less than or equal to 31, or
Level: 1  Gold: 0      Hp: 12(12)  Str: 16(16)  Arm: 4  Exp: 1/0
                          Figure 1
                           - 2 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
       greater than or  equal  to  three.   The  higher  the
       number,  the  stronger  you  are.   The number in the
       parentheses is the maximum strength you have attained
       so far this game.
Arm    Your current armor protection.  This number indicates
       how  effective  your  armor is in stopping blows from
       unfriendly creatures.  The higher this number is, the
       more effective the armor.
Exp    These two numbers give your current experience  level
       and  experience  points.   As you do things, you gain
       experience  points.   At  certain  experience   point
       totals,  you  gain  an  experience  level.   The more
       experienced you are, the better you are able to fight
       and to withstand magical attacks.
3.2.  The top line
     The top line of the screen  is  reserved  for  printing
messages   that  describe  things  that  are  impossible  to
represent visually.  If you see  a  "--More--"  on  the  top
line,  this  means that rogue wants to print another message
on the screen, but it wants to make certain  that  you  have
read the one that is there first.  To read the next message,
just type a space.
3.3.  The rest of the screen
     The rest of the screen is the map of the level  as  you
have  explored  it  so  far.   Each  symbol  on  the  screen
represents something.  Here is a list of  what  the  various
symbols mean:
@    This symbol represents you, the adventurer.
-|   These symbols represent the walls of rooms.
+    A door to/from a room.
.    The floor of a room.
#    The floor of a passage between rooms.
*    A pile or pot of gold.
)    A weapon of some sort.
]    A piece of armor.
!    A flask containing a magic potion.
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                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
?    A piece of paper, usually a magic scroll.
=    A ring with magic properties
/    A magical staff or wand
    A trap, watch out for these.
%    A staircase to other levels
:    A piece of food.
A-Z  The uppercase letters represent the various inhabitants
     of  the Dungeons of Doom.  Watch out, they can be nasty
     and vicious.
4.  Commands
     Commands are given to rogue by typing one or two  char-
acters.   Most commands can be preceded by a count to repeat
them (e.g. typing "10s" will do ten searches).  Commands for
which  counts make no sense have the count ignored.  To can-
cel a count or a prefix, type {ESCAPE}.  The  list  of  com-
mands  is rather long, but it can be read at any time during
the game with the "?" command.  Here it  is  for  reference,
with a short explanation of each command.
?    The help command.  Asks for a character  to  give  help
     on.   If you type a "*", it will list all the commands,
     otherwise it will explain what the character you  typed
/    This is the "What is that on the screen?"  command.   A
     "/"  followed  by  any  character  that  you see on the
     level, will tell  you  what  that  character  is.   For
     instance, typing "/@" will tell you that the "@" symbol
     represents you, the player.
h, H, H
     Move left.  You move one space to the left.  If you use
     upper  case  "h",  you will continue to move left until
     you run into something.  This works  for  all  movement
     commands  (e.g.  "L" means run in direction "l") If you
     use the "control" "h", you will continue moving in  the
     specified  direction until you pass something interest-
     ing or run into a wall.   You  should  experiment  with
     this,  since it is a very useful command, but very dif-
     ficult to describe.  This also works for  all  movement
j    Move down.
                           - 4 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
k    Move up.
l    Move right.
y    Move diagonally up and left.
u    Move diagonally up and right.
b    Move diagonally down and left.
n    Move diagonally down and right.
t    Throw an object.  This is a prefix command.  When  fol-
     lowed  with  a  direction  it  throws  an object in the
     specified direction.  (e.g. type "th"  to  throw  some-
     thing to the left.)
f    Fight until someone dies.  When followed with a  direc-
     tion  this will force you to fight the creature in that
     direction until either you or it bites the big one.
m    Move onto something without picking it up.   This  will
     move you one space in the direction you specify and, if
     there is an object there you can pick up, it  won't  do
z    Zap prefix.  Point a staff or wand in a given direction
     and  fire  it.   Even  non-directional  staves  must be
     pointed in some direction to be used.
    Identify trap command.  If a trap is on  your  map  and
     you  can't  remember what type it is, you can get rogue
     to remind you by getting next to it and typing "" fol-
     lowed  by  the  direction that would move you on top of
s    Search for traps and secret doors.  Examine each  space
     immediately adjacent to you for the existence of a trap
     or secret door.  There is a large chance that  even  if
     there  is  something  there,  you won't find it, so you
     might have to search a while before you find something.
}    Climb down a staircase to the next level.  Not surpris-
     ingly,  this  can  only  be done if you are standing on
{    Climb up a staircase to the level above.  This can't be
     done without the Amulet of Yendor in your possession.
.    Rest.  This is the "do nothing" command.  This is  good
     for waiting and healing.
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                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
*    Inventory.  List what you are carrying in your pack.
I    Selective inventory.  Tells you what a single  item  in
     your pack is.
q    Quaff one of the potions you are carrying.
r    Read one of the scrolls in your pack.
e    Eat food from your pack.
w    Wield a weapon.  Take a weapon out  of  your  pack  and
     carry  it  for use in combat, replacing the one you are
     currently using (if any).
W    Wear armor.  You can only wear one suit of armor  at  a
     time.  This takes extra time.
T    Take armor off.  You can't remove armor that is cursed.
     This takes extra time.
P    Put on a ring.  You can wear only two rings at  a  time
     (one  on  each hand).  If you aren't wearing any rings,
     this command will ask you which hand you want  to  wear
     it  on, otherwise, it will place it on the unused hand.
     The program assumes that you wield your sword  in  your
     right hand.
R    Remove a ring.  If you are only wearing one ring,  this
     command  takes it off.  If you are wearing two, it will
     ask you which one you wish to remove,
d    Drop an object.  Take something out of  your  pack  and
     leave  it  lying  on  the  floor.   Only one object can
     occupy each space.  You cannot drop a cursed object  at
     all if you are wielding or wearing it.
c    Call an object something.  If you have a type of object
     in  your  pack  which  you  wish  to remember something
     about, you can use the call command to give a  name  to
     that  type  of  object.   This is usually used when you
     figure out what a potion, scroll,  ring,  or  staff  is
     after  you  pick  it  up,  or when you want to remember
     which of those swords in your pack you were wielding.
D    Print out  which  things  you've  discovered  something
     about.   This  command  will ask you what type of thing
     you are interested in.  If you type the character for a
     given  type  of  object  (e.g.  "!" for potion) it will
     tell you which kinds of  that  type  of  object  you've
     discovered  (i.e.,  figured  out  what they are).  This
     command works for potions, scrolls, rings,  and  staves
     and wands.
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                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
o    Examine and  set  options.   This  command  is  further
     explained in the section on options.
R   Redraws the screen.  Useful  if  spurious  messages  or
     transmission errors have messed up the display.
P   Print last message.  Useful when a  message  disappears
     before  you  can  read  it.  This only repeats the last
     message that was not a mistyped  command  so  that  you
     don't  loose  anything by accidentally typing the wrong
     character instead of P.
     Cancel a command, prefix, or count.
!    Escape to a shell for some commands.
Q    Quit.  Leave the game.
S    Save the current game in  a  file.   It  will  ask  you
     whether you wish to use the default save file.  Caveat:
     Rogue won't let you start up a copy of  a  saved  game,
     and  it removes the save file as soon as you start up a
     restored game.  This is to prevent people from saving a
     game just before a dangerous position and then restart-
     ing it if they die.  To restore a saved game, give  the
     file name as an argument to rogue.  As in
               % rogue save_file
     To restart from the default save file (see below), run
               % rogue -r
v    Prints the program version number.
)    Print the weapon you are currently wielding
]    Print the armor you are currently wearing
=    Print the rings you are currently wearing
@    Reprint the status line on the message line
5.  Rooms
     Rooms in the dungeons are either lit or dark.   If  you
walk  into  a lit room, the entire room will be drawn on the
screen as soon as you enter.  If you walk into a dark  room,
it will only be displayed as you explore it.  Upon leaving a
room, all monsters inside  the  room  are  erased  from  the
screen.   In  the darkness you can only see one space in all
directions around you.  A corridor is always dark.
                           - 7 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
6.  Fighting
     If you see a monster and you wish  to  fight  it,  just
attempt  to run into it.  Many times a monster you find will
mind its own business unless you attack it.  It is often the
case that discretion is the better part of valor.
7.  Objects you can find
     When you find something in the dungeon, it is common to
want  to  pick the object up.  This is accomplished in rogue
by walking over the object (unless you use the  "m"  prefix,
see  above).   If you are carrying too many things, the pro-
gram will tell you and it won't pick up the  object,  other-
wise  it will add it to your pack and tell you what you just
picked up.
     Many of the  commands  that  operate  on  objects  must
prompt you to find out which object you want to use.  If you
change your mind and don't want to  do  that  command  after
all, just type an {ESCAPE} and the command will be aborted.
     Some objects, like armor and weapons, are  easily  dif-
ferentiated.   Others,  like  scrolls and potions, are given
labels which vary according to type.  During a game, any two
of  the same kind of object with the same label are the same
type.  However, the labels will vary from game to game.
     When you use one  of  these  labeled  objects,  if  its
effect  is  obvious, rogue will remember what it is for you.
If it's effect isn't extremely obvious  you  will  be  asked
what  you  want  to  scribble on it so you will recognize it
later, or you can use the "call" command (see above).
7.1.  Weapons
     Some weapons, like arrows, come in  bunches,  but  most
come  one  at  a  time.   In order to use a weapon, you must
wield it.  To fire an arrow out of a  bow,  you  must  first
wield the bow, then throw the arrow.  You can only wield one
weapon at a time, but you can't change weapons  if  the  one
you  are  currently wielding is cursed.  The commands to use
weapons are "w" (wield) and "t" (throw).
7.2.  Armor
     There are various sorts of armor lying  around  in  the
dungeon.   Some of it is enchanted, some is cursed, and some
is just normal.  Different armor types have different  armor
protection.   The higher the armor protection, the more pro-
tection the armor affords against  the  blows  of  monsters.
Here  is  a list of the various armor types and their normal
armor protection:
                           - 8 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
              Type                        Protection
            None                                   0
            Leather armor                          2
            Studded leather / Ring mail            3
            Scale mail                             4
            Chain mail                             5
            Banded mail / Splint mail              6
            Plate mail                             7
If a piece of armor is enchanted, its armor protection  will
be  higher  than  normal.  If a suit of armor is cursed, its
armor protection will be lower, and you will not be able  to
remove it.  However, not all armor with a protection that is
lower than normal is cursed.
     The commands to use weapons  are  "W"  (wear)  and  "T"
(take off).
7.3.  Scrolls
     Scrolls come  with  titles  in  an  unknown  tongue[3].
After  you read a scroll, it disappears from your pack.  The
command to use a scroll is "r" (read).
7.4.  Potions
     Potions are labeled by the color of the  liquid  inside
the flask.  They disappear after being quaffed.  The command
to use a scroll is "q" (quaff).
7.5.  Staves and Wands
     Staves and wands do the same kinds of  things.   Staves
are  identified  by a type of wood; wands by a type of metal
or bone.  They are generally things you want to do to  some-
thing  over  a long distance, so you must point them at what
you wish to  affect  to  use  them.   Some  staves  are  not
affected  by the direction they are pointed, though.  Staves
come with multiple magic charges, the number  being  random,
and when they are used up, the staff is just a piece of wood
or metal.
   [3] Actually, it's a dialect spoken only by  the  twenty-
seven  members  of a tribe in Outer Mongolia, but you're not
supposed to know that.
                           - 9 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
     The command to use a wand or staff is "z" (zap)
7.6.  Rings
     Rings are very useful items, since they are  relatively
permanent  magic,  unlike  the  usually  fleeting effects of
potions, scrolls, and staves.  Of course, the bad rings  are
also  more  powerful.   Most  rings also cause you to use up
food more rapidly, the rate varying with the type  of  ring.
Rings  are differentiated by their stone settings.  The com-
mands to use rings are "P" (put on) and "R" (remove).
7.7.  Food
     Food is necessary to keep you going.   If  you  go  too
long  without  eating  you will faint, and eventually die of
starvation.  The command to use food is "e" (eat).
8.  Options
     Due to variations in personal tastes and conceptions of
the  way  rogue should do things, there are a set of options
you can set that cause rogue to behave in various  different
8.1.  Setting the options
     There are two ways to set the options.   The  first  is
with  the  "o"  command  of  rogue;  the  second is with the
"ROGUEOPTS" environment variable[4].
8.1.1.  Using the `o' command
     When you type "o" in rogue, it clears  the  screen  and
displays  the current settings for all the options.  It then
places the cursor by the value of the first option and waits
for  you to type.  You can type a {RETURN} which means to go
to the next option, a "-" which means to go to the  previous
option,  an  {ESCAPE}  which means to return to the game, or
you can give the option a value.  For boolean  options  this
merely  involves  typing "t" for true or "f" for false.  For
string options, type the new value followed by a {RETURN}.
8.1.2.  Using the ROGUEOPTS variable
     The ROGUEOPTS variable is a string containing  a  comma
separated  list  of  initial values for the various options.
Boolean variables can be turned on by listing their name  or
   [4] On Version 6 systems, there is no equivalent  of  the
ROGUEOPTS feature.
                           - 10 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
turned off by putting a "no" in front of the name.  Thus  to
set  up an environment variable so that jump is on, terse is
off, and the name is set to "Blue Meanie", use the command
   % setenv ROGUEOPTS "jump,noterse,name=Blue Meanie"[5]
8.2.  Option list
     Here is a list of the options  and  an  explanation  of
what  each  one  is  for.   The  default  value  for each is
enclosed in square brackets.  For character string  options,
input over fifty characters will be ignored.
terse [noterse]
     Useful for those who are tired of the sometimes lengthy
     messages of rogue.  This is a useful option for playing
     on slow terminals, so this option defaults to terse  if
     you are on a slow (1200 baud or under) terminal.
jump [nojump]
     If this option  is  set,  running  moves  will  not  be
     displayed  until  you  reach the end of the move.  This
     saves considerable cpu and display time.   This  option
     defaults to jump if you are using a slow terminal.
flush [noflush]
     All typeahead is thrown away after each round  of  bat-
     tle.   This  is useful for those who type far ahead and
     then watch in dismay as a Bat kills them.
seefloor [seefloor]
     Display the floor around you on the screen as you  move
     through  dark  rooms.   Due to the amount of characters
     generated, this option defaults to  noseefloor  if  you
     are using a slow terminal.
passgo [nopassgo]
     Follow turnings in passageways.  If you run in  a  pas-
     sage  and  you run into stone or a wall, rogue will see
     if it can turn to the right or left.  If  it  can  only
     turn  one  way,  it will turn that way.  If it can turn
     either or neither, it  will  stop.   This  is  followed
     strictly,  which can sometimes lead to slightly confus-
     ing occurrences (which is why it defaults to nopassgo).
tombstone [tombstone]
     Print out the tombstone at the end if you  get  killed.
   [5] For those of you who use the bourne shell,  the  com-
mands would be
   $ ROGUEOPTS="jump,noterse,name=Blue Meanie"
   $ export ROGUEOPTS
                           - 11 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
     This is nice but slow, so you can turn it  off  if  you
inven [overwrite]
     Inventory type.  This can have  one  of  three  values:
     overwrite,  slow,  or  clear.   With  overwrite the top
     lines of the map are overwritten  with  the  list  when
     inventory  is requested or when "Which item do you wish
     to . . .? " questions are answered with  a  "*".   How-
     ever,  if  the  list  is  longer  than a screenful, the
     screen is cleared.  With slow, lists are displayed  one
     item  at  a  time  on  the  top of the screen, and with
     clear, the screen is cleared, the  list  is  displayed,
     and  then  the  dungeon  level is re-displayed.  Due to
     speed considerations, clear is the default  for  termi-
     nals without clear-to-end-of-line capabilities.
name [account name]
     This is the name of your character.  It is used if  you
     get on the top ten scorer's list.
fruit [slime-mold]
     This should hold the name of a  fruit  that  you  enjoy
     eating.  It is basically a whimsey that rogue uses in a
     couple of places.
file [^/rogue.save]
     The default file name for saving  the  game.   If  your
     phone  is hung up by accident, rogue will automatically
     save the game in this file.  The file  name  may  start
     with the special character "^" which expands to be your
     home directory.
9.  Scoring
     Rogue usually maintains a list of the top scoring  peo-
ple  or  scores on your machine.  Depending on how it is set
up, it can post either the top scores or  the  top  players.
In  the  latter  case,  each account on the machine can post
only one non-winning score  on  this  list.   If  you  score
higher than someone else on this list, or better your previ-
ous score on the list, you will be inserted  in  the  proper
place under your current name.  How many scores are kept can
also be set up by whoever installs it on your machine.
     If you quit the game, you get out with all of your gold
intact.   If,  however,  you  get  killed in the Dungeons of
Doom, your body is forwarded to your next-of-kin, along with
90%  of  your  gold; ten percent of your gold is kept by the
                           - 12 -
                             A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom
Dungeons' wizard as a fee[6].  This should make you consider
whether  you  want  to take one last hit at that monster and
possibly live, or quit and thus stop with whatever you have.
If  you quit, you do get all your gold, but if you swing and
live, you might find more.
     If  you  just  want  to  see  what  the   current   top
players/games list is, you can type
          % rogue -s
10.  Acknowledgements
     Rogue was originally conceived of by Glenn Wichman  and
Michael  Toy.   Ken Arnold and Michael Toy then smoothed out
the user interface, and added jillions of new features.   We
would  like  to  thank  Bob  Arnold,  Michelle  Busch,  Andy
Hatcher, Kipp Hickman, Mark Horton, Daniel Jensen, Bill Joy,
Joe  Kalash,  Steve  Maurer,  Marty  McNary, Jan Miller, and
Scott Nelson for their ideas and assistance;  and  also  the
teeming  multitudes who graciously ignored work, school, and
social life to play rogue  and  send  us  bugs,  complaints,
suggestions, and just plain flames.  And also Mom.
   [6] The Dungeon's wizard is named Wally the Wonder  Badg-
er.   Invocations  should  be accompanied by a sizable dona-
                           - 13 -

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