erebus instructions

Erebus main page.



If the performance of the game seems too slow, or the game is failing to run properly, then try disabling "Lighting Effects" (from the main menu, go to Options).

If the game fails to run, or has problems, please try the following:

Known issues

There are some known issues:

Main menu

The main menu has options to start the game or load a previously saved game, or set some options. The available options are:

You can also select "Offline help" to open up these instructions, or "Online help" to launch this website in your browser ("Online help" is better as it allows you to play the game while the instructions are open in the browser, as well as meaning you get the latest version of the webpage, but "Offline help" is useful if you are without an Internet connection).

On Android, the Load menu also provides the option to Import and Export save game files. The Export option can be used to access the save game files, e.g., to send them to me for debugging purposes - see Contacting me for details. It also allows you to backup save games, or transfer them to another Android device. To Import, copy the save game files into the folder net.sourceforge.erebusrpg/ (in sdcard/) (created automatically when you run Erebus for the first time), then use the Import option to be able to use them. Note that the Import and Export options will overwrite any existing files with the same name.

When starting the game, you also have various choices:


Click "Start game", then click "Next" (accepting the default options) until the game starts. After the game loads, you'll be shown details of your first quest: to kill all the goblins in the dungeon.

To move your character, click where you want to move to (either with the mouse, or touch for touchscreens). You can scroll the view around by clicking/touching and dragging (also on PCs, you can scroll by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen).

Move your character to the right, to the crossroads, and you will soon be attacked by a goblin! To fight, click/touch on the goblin.

Towards the top left will be displayed your portrait, and a green bar indicating your health. When you are attacking an enemy, next to this will be displayed the name of the enemy, and a red bar indicating its health.

Hopefully you will be able to defeat the goblin, which will then leave behind some gold to pick up. Enemies may be carrying gold and/or items, which they leave behind when they die. To pick up gold or an item, simply click/touch to move over the item, then click/touch on the item to pick it up.

Now explore the rest of the dungeon, and kill all remaining goblins! If your health becomes low, you should rest. You can rest by clicking on the Rest button on the left of the screen, when not near enemies, and this will restore your health. If you encounter doors, click/touch on them to open the door. You will be told when you have completed the quest. When this is so, return to where you started, and exit through the door that was to the left. You can do this by click/touching to move to the door, then click/touch to exit.

This should be enough information to get you started, but it is recommended to read the rest of the instructions here!


As explained in "Quickstart", you can move your character around by click/touching where you want to move to. You can also click/touch and drag to move the view around. On PCs you can also scroll by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen.

You can zoom in and out by using the "zoom" gesture on multitouch touchpads or multitouch touchscreens (or see the zoom in and out GUI buttons, below).

There are various other controls:

Erebus can also be controlled via a keyboard:

There is a row of GUI button icons towards the top-right, providing the following controls (in order, left-to-right):

There are further controls and information that can be accessed from the buttons on the left hand side (or via a keyboard shortcut):

Stats (F1)

This shows your character's current statistics, which indicate how good you are at various activities, as well as your current health, and experience:

Items (F2)

This window displays the items that you are carrying. You can filter the list by selecting the options along the top (e.g., to only display weapons, click "Wpns"). The window also displays how much gold you have, and the current weight in the format "current weight / maximum weight". If the current weight exceeds the maximum weight you can carry, you must drop some items before you can move.

To do more with a particular item, select the item by clicking it. You can then:

There are also special types of items: weapons, armour and shields.

Weapons are used in combat. Your current weapon, if any, is indicated with "[Current Weapon]". To use a different weapon, select it then click "Arm Weapon". You can also disarm the current weapon by selecting it and clicking "Disarm Weapon". If you have no weapon armed you will fight with your fists, though this is not recommended.

Characters must have an appropriate skill to effectively use a weapon, otherwise their FP (or BS, for ranged weapons) is reduced to a base level.

Different weapons have different amounts of damage, which you can see by selecting the "Info" option. Damage is given in a format of rolling dice, as: "X"D"Y" + "Z", where "X" is the number of dice thrown, "Y" is the type of dice ("Y" equal to 10 means a D10, i.e., a 10 sided die with numbers 1 to 10), "Z" is the number added to the value. So "2D10 + 1" means roll two D10s, add the results, and add 1. "3D6 - 1" means roll three D6s, add the results, and subtract 1.

Some weapons are "ranged" (e.g., bows) which means you can use them from a distance. They also need ammunition (e.g., arrows are needed for bows) which are stored as a separate item.

Some weapons have a minimum strength (see "Info") - if your strength is not high enough, you will be unable to fight with this weapon!

Armour is worn to protect you in combat, reducing the damage you take. Similar to with weapons, the currently worn armour is indicated with "[Current Armour]", and you can change into new armour by selecting it, and clicking "Wear Armour" (or "Take Off Armour" to take it off).

Characters must have an appropriate skill to effectively wear armour, otherwise the amount of protection is reduced. Also for medium or heavy armour, unskilled players will have their FP, BS and D reduced.

Some armour types have a minimum strength (see "Info") - if your strength is not high enough, you will be unable to move with this armour!

Shields may also be used, but not if you are using a two-handed weapon. To use a shield, select the shield and click "Arm Shield" (or "Disarm Shield" to stop using it). A shield will provide you with extra protection in combat.

Some other kinds of items may allow additional options - e.g., potions allowing you the option to drink them.

Journal (F3)

Displays details of your quest.

Pause (P)

Pauses the game. To unpause, click anywhere. Note that the game also pauses when the window is deactivated, so again click anywhere to unpause.

Rest (R)

Rest until you have recovered your health. You can't rest if enemies are nearby. In some locations, there may be a risk of being woken by a wandering monster!

Options (Escape)

This offers the following options:

Leaving the dungeon

As explained above, you can leave the dungeon at any time by clicking on the exit near where you started (or the "up" stairs of any level, for random dungeons). This will heal your wounds (as with resting). You can also visit various shops to buy items with your gold, and sell any items you found that you don't want. Note that the sale price of items will always be less than the purchase price!

If you haven't completed your quest yet, you can click "Continue your Quest" to return to the dungeon where you left it, to complete your quest. If you had completed the quest, then you can click "Start next Quest" to start the next quest.

If you are on the last quest, and have completed it, then leaving the dungeon means you have completed the game! Note that currently Erebus is a work in progress, and more quests will be added in future versions. If you have a save game file, this should be compatible with future versions (note that changes to the quest you are currently playing will not take effect on any existing save game files, to avoid risk of incompatibilities, but you should be able to move onto any new quests that have been added).


There are many dangerous enemies you may meet during your adventures:

Goblins. These are small, foul creatures. Whilst one of the weaker races of evil, they are still able to overpower less experienced adventurers, and can be deadly in numbers. Whilst many goblins form their own tribes, others are found enslaved by larger creatures such as Orcs.

Hobgoblins. These are believed to be a repulsive cross between Goblins and Orcs, and are less common than either of those creatures. They look similar to Goblins, but are stronger opponents.

Orcs. These are the most common enemy to civilised societies. Large and brutish, they are physically stronger than many humans. They mostly dwell underground in caves and dungeons, but can be found in the wilderness. They typically live and travel in packs. They usually keep away from human settlements, instead only attacking travellers and adventurers, but they are most dangerous when well trained and organised into armies.

Trolls. These are huge, stupid creatures, but have great strength and make strong opponents. They have the special ability to regenerate their health, even when engaged in combat, which can make them particularly hard to kill.

Wyverns. Winged reptiles. These fast flying animals are often hostile.

Zombies. These unnatural beings are rotting corpses of the recently deceased, animated back to life by magical means. These undead creatures move slowly, but are strong opponents. They are also ridden with disease, which can be caught by those they strike. If you are infected with disease, this will reduce your Fighting Prowess and Strength by 1. This can only be cured with a Cure Disease potion.

Skeletons. These terrifying undead creatures are created by necromancers, often to acts as their servants, as guardians, or even form massive armies. Arrows are not very effective against skeletons.

Crypt Stalkers. These skeletons are named for their association with guarding valuable crypts. However in fact they may be found guarding other locations, or just wandering underground. They are stronger than normal skeletons.

Death Warriors. These skeletons are highly trained in combat.

Liches. Evil sorcerors may use their magic powers upon death to keep themselves in a state in between life and death. Their skeletal remains reanimate in order to form undead skeletor sorcerors.

Shadows. These undead beings are ghostly creatures, trapped on this earthly plane. These evil creatures were once people. Now, they can only be seen by their shadows, and they can be harmed only by magical weapons.

Wraiths. Those who are especially evil during their lives may, upon death, remain on this plane in the form of undead wraiths. These powerful creatures may only be harmed by magical weapons.

Fire Ants. Huge ants, usually that live underground. They are fast moving, and covered with a toughened shell. Beware when you kill them, as they explode upon dying!

Giant Spiders. Some species of spider can grow to a size larger than a human. They may be found underground, or in some parts of the wilderness. They also have the ability to cause temporary paralysis on a successful hit, due to their poisonous bite!

Death Spiders. These are a particularly terrifying form of giant spider, with a greater chance of causing paralysis, and induce a greater level of fear in their opponents.

Minotaurs. The head of bull with the body of a human, these creatures are presumably created through magical means or perhaps other experimentation.


Currently your player cannot use magic (though this will be added in later versions), but you will encounter some enemies that can cast spells. The existing magic system is fairly simple, though the following spells are currently implemented:

Acid Strike. The spell causes a jet of acid to be sprayed at the target, causing 2D20 damage (reduced by armour or shield).

Agony. The spell uses the caster's psychic energy, directed at the unfortunate recipient, causing great pain - and 2D20 damage (with no defence from armour or shield). The effects can be avoided with a successful Mind test.

Fire Bolt. The spellcaster shoots forth a bolt of fire at the target, causing 2D10 damage (a shield reduces damage, armour has no effect).

Heal. This spell heals the recipient, causing wounds to magically close up, bruises to disappear, fractured bones to be mended and so on, restoring 4D6 health points.

Paralyse. If the recipient fails a Mind test, then he or she is gripped with feelings of terror and dread, and unable to move, for 10 seconds.


For a more detailed explanation of the Erebus game rules, download this PDF.

Command line options

On non-mobile platforms, Erebus can be run in windowed mode by running from the command line with the argument "-windowed". E.g., on Windows, run with: erebus.exe -windowed

You can also set the folder for where data will be loaded from, e.g., on Linux: ./erebus -datafolder=/home/my_user/Documents/erebussrc/

Contacting me (bugs etc)

Please contact me at mark DOT harman DOT apps AT gmail DOT com .

If you are reporting a bug, if possible please send me:

Help wanted!

If you would like to contribute to Erebus, there are various ways you can help:

Any content for Erebus must be released under a Free/Open Source compatible licence (e.g.,
CC BY 3.0) for me to be able to use it.


Erebus is completely free, however if you wish you can show your appreciation and support future development by donating! This can be done through Paypal:

(Paypal account not required, supports debit or credit card). Android users can also donate by purchasing my donation app from Google Play. Thanks! Donations can be used for: purchasing hardware for porting/testing; commissions or donations for artwork; app store fees; advertising; beer money :)


Licences and credits

Erebus is released under the GPL v3 or later, except the following files:

Erebus uses Qt (under the LGPL) and SFML (under the zlib licence).

In short, this means you are free to distribute the archive as a whole, including commercial redistribution. If distributing the binary archive on another website, you should make the source archive available for download too. If distributing the binary archive on a physical medium (CD etc), it's sufficient to distribute the source archive too on the same medium (see the GPL for other possible ways to satisfy the licence). If you wish to modify or create derivative works, please pay attention to the individual licences.

Source code and quests by Mark Harman, with additional help:

Erebus main page.

If you are viewing the readme that came with Erebus, see here for the online version.