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Vortices are a special type of creature in ADOM that is notorious for their deadliness, especially to unprepared and careless adventurers. They are semi-sentient elemental constructs that only know one combat strategy:�Violent self-combustion, dealing considerable amounts of damage (and also item destruction) depending on the type of the vortex.
There are four different kinds of vortices: The fire vortex, the ice vortex, the lightning vortex and the acid vortex. Of these, the fire vortex tends to appear the earliest; while the lightning vortex is the fastest and thus hardest to escape, while the acid vortex is the most damaging overall. The ice vortex is relatively tame compared to the others in raw damage and does have the additional perk that it freezes any water caught in its explosive radius, but to consider it harmless would be a grave mistake.
Especially dangerous are masses of vortices, as created in threat rooms. Even with resistance they will still considerable damage if they explode around the PC in masses, and being immune to each other's explosions ensures that they will all get their turn. Vortex artifact guardians are possible; they will explode much more violently than regular vortices, so even resistance might not save the PC's life; rather high HP will also be needed.
The easiest way to deal with vortices would be to have the proper elemental resistance handy, in form of ring or even intrinsically. Barring that, the player can take advantage of several strategies. One of these is missile combat; the vortex' explosion will only trigger in place of a melee attack, so PCs that can do so are encouraged to destroy the vortex before it gets the chance.�Especially reliable, in the case of fire and ice vortices, is the use of the correct bolt or ball spell. PCs that have pets or companions available can also send them off to fight the vortex and make a run for it. Vortices are all diagonal walking monsters, which can sometimes be exploited to deal with them safely.
Probably the simplest and most easily available method to deal with any vortex is the Darkness spell, however. Vortices may not fight, and thus not explode, in the dark; although as of v. 1.2.0 monsters that cannot see in darkness can still sometimes stumble into the PC. The player should take care to avoid the buggy behaviour related to doorways by staying clear of them when fighting vortices in the dark. Vortices cannot see invisible any will generally not explode upon contact with an invisible PC (but may if they happen to stumble into them), but will nonetheless track the PC's movements very persistently.