Vaults are 2 by 2 sealed rooms that are randomly generated in the Dungeons of Doom. They contain gold in all four squares, in an amount reflective of the dungeon level. The Big Room and the Rogue level never contain any vaults.

Finding and getting into vaultsEdit

The following messages tell you there is a vault on the current level:

  • You hear the footsteps of a guard on patrol.
  • You hear someone counting money. (Vault not raided)
  • You hear someone searching. (Vault raided and empty)

Vaults can be accessed through a closet that contains a teleporter, recognized by the engraving "ad aerarium" (Latin for to the vault) in front of it. If you do not find the closet, you may want to read a scroll of magic mapping or a scroll of gold detection, or quaff a potion of object detection and dig or teleport in using some other method. You may also just dig around randomly watching for areas where a vault would fit. Remember that the vault is actually 4 by 4 squares because the walls also take some space.

Sometimes, monsters will be generated inside vaults and you can detect them by using Telepathy. It is also possible to fall into a vault from a higher dungeon level, perhaps by stepping on a trap door. When you are randomly placed on the new level, you may end up inside the vault.

If there is a non-player dwarf wandering around on a vault level, he may find the vault and loot it in the course of his own explorations, leaving behind a tunnel connecting the vault to the rest of the level. Beware! If the guard arrives while you are in the empty vault, he will neither know nor care that the dwarf, and not you, did the looting. So don't linger--find that dwarf and take his gold. Digging monsters such as a rock moles or umber hulks may also open a path to vaults.

Looting a vaultEdit

The simplest way to loot a vault is to dig a path in, collect the gold, and leave promptly. When in the vault, you only have a short time to get the money and be gone. If you stay in the vault for too long, a guard will appear, and you will need to deal with him. If you are wearing an Amulet of strangulation, are polymorphed into a silent monster, or are currently mimicking an object, the guard will leave. Otherwise, the guard will inquire your name. Giving your name as "Croesus" (or "Kroisos", or "Creosote" if your game has Tourists) to the guard gets rid of him if you haven't killed Croesus already (if you have, the guard will become angry instead [1]), but lying carries a small alignment penalty for lawfuls (of course, if your name is actually Croesus, Kroisos, or Creosote, you are not lying and there is no penalty). Note that this potentially leaves you trapped in the vault, if you cannot dig or teleport out.

If you give any other name, the guard will demand that you drop all of your money (including money you already had, and any money in containers) and follow him out of the vault. If you fail to drop the gold quickly enough the guard attacks, but once you have dropped the gold you can take your time following him. If there is no path to the vault, when the guard leads you out of the vault a temporary exit corridor is created that will disappear when you reach an open square. In any case damage to the vault walls will be repaired after the guard leads you out, and the guard will also prevent you from digging in the vault walls while he is present.

It is possible to steal from a still-closed vault using a pet. First, you must have both the pet and yourself in the vault. This can be done by blocking the pet on the doorway to the vault teleporter closet (it can't leave the doorway diagonally); the pet will eventually take the teleporter (even if it is aware of the trap). A pet using the teleport trap will not use it up, and then you can take the teleporter. Alternately, get into the vault by any means and then call the pet with a magic whistle. Once you are in the vault with your pet, pick up all the money and then drop it in one stack (along with your own). Wait for the guard, give it your real name (unless you are Croesus or an equivalent, in which case give a false name to prevent being trapped in the vault), and then follow it out a couple of steps. Follow it as slowly as you must, making sure your pet follows and brings the money with it; if you exit the guard's temporary path while the pet is still inside, it will become trapped in the reformed rock.

Getting out of a vaultEdit

If you did not go out of the vault with a guard, you have few alternatives. You may dig yourself out by using a pick-axe or any other method or you may teleport out. If you have neither means to dig or to teleport, you will want to leave the gold and get out with the guard — you can always come back later and get the gold you left behind. Make sure you don't displace your pet into the guard's pathway when it closes!

Getting into Fort LudiosEdit

A vault between level 11 and Medusa's Island may contain a magic portal that takes you to Fort Ludios. Each vault in that range has a 1/3 chance of containing the portal if it has not yet been generated in another vault (except the level with the portal to the Quest, which will never have the Ludios portal). In any given game, Fort Ludios may be inaccessible if the portal was not created.


  1. vault.c, line 276
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