Game of Angband is a roguelike computer game derived from Umoria. In turn, Umoria is C for Unix port of the Game of Moria. Angband is named after Morgoth's fortress, Angband, while Moria is named after the underground city of Moria. Both Sauron and Morgoth are enemy monsters in this game.

The adventurer must play through 100 levels of the title dungeon, "Angband". Ultimately, the adventurer seeks to amass enough power and equipment to ultimately defeat Morgoth. A new level is randomly generated each time the player changes levels, which gives Angband great replay value: no two games will be the same.

Development of the game

The first version was created by Alex Cutler and Andy Astrand at the University of Warwick in 1990. Later, many others enhanced the game, while even more others forked the game, creating several variants such as ToME. The latest version of vanilla Angband, as of 18 June 2005, is version 3.0.6.

Originally Angband was written entirely in C. Starting in the 3.0 series, much of the code has been moved to Lua, an embedded scripting language that simplifies development and makes modification into variants simpler. Angband is now available for all major operating systems, including Unix (curses and X11), DOS, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Amiga, and many others.

The game's main web site is currently, named for Thangorodrim, the highest mountains of Middle-earth and the location of Angband fortress.


A veritable family tree of around sixty (around a dozen of which are active) variants of Angband exist, each often greatly differing in purpose and depth of changes. The best known variants are EyAngband, Hengband, OAngband, ToME, Steamband, and ZAngband.

Gameplay of vanilla Angband, as the original is now often called, is most often compared to NetHack, though in reality the games are almost polar opposites. Angband adopts a more serious tone than NetHack, takes far longer to win for even the best players, and the focus of the game is more on combat tactics, inventory management and risk minimalisation than NetHackish puzzle solving and special casing. This has been the source of light-hearted conflicts between the two communities.

Also a multiplayer variant has recently appeared, called MAngband, which is real-time instead of turn-based original game (


A Usenet group is a place to discuss all the aspects of the game. An IRC channel, #angband, exists on the WorldIRC network (

Source code licensing

Before 2009, the source code to Angband was available for modification and redistribution, but not free software or open source because it was licensed under "non commercial use" terms, as was its ancestor, the game of Moria. An effort called the "Angband Open Source Initiative" asked developers to re-license their Angband code under the GNU General Public License; this would allow Angband to appear in free software collections, and also in commercial distributions of GNU/Linux operating systems. On January 8, 2009, Angband 3.0 beta and all versions thereafter were released under both the original licence and the GPL. [1]


After Cutler and Astrand, the later principal developers of Angband included Charles Swiger, Ben Harrison and Robert Rühlmann. Harrison was the maintainer responsible for the "Great Code Cleanup", modularizing, extending, and greatly improving the readability of the Angband source code, which lead to the large number of variants of Angband currently available, as well as the rather large number of ports to different platforms.

Like other maintainers, Harrison eventually moved on to other interests, passing the title to Robert Rühlmann in 2000. Rühlmann's contributions included releasing the new major version 3.0, which included Lua scripting as well as many monster and object changes contributed by Jonathan Ellis. Rühlmann stepped down in October, 2005 [2], leading to a brief period of uncertainty. It appears that someone has chosen a new maintainer. [3]

Angband terms

  • Artifact: A special item with preset statistics that cannot be destroyed, and of which only one instance exists. Once identified, they are never generated again.
  • *Band: Generic name for any Angband variant.
  • Borg: An automated Angband player.
  • Ego item: A standard item with special abilities, which vary according to its ego type. e.g. Soft Leather Boots of Speed.
  • RNG: Random Number Generator/God. Due to the importance of random effects in Angband, the game RNG is often referred to anthropomorphically.
  • Unique: A monster of which only one instance exists. Once killed they are never generated again. They are immune by default to certain types of attack. Systematically finding and killing them can be important to victory in the game, since the hardest few uniques can magically summon other uniques and thereby overpower the player.
  • Vanilla: The unmodified version of Angband, not a variant like ToME.
  • Vault: A special room which is not random, but is produced from a plan. Often filled with powerful foes and treasure.
  • Wizard: A debug/cheat mode.
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