The guys over at Temple of the Roguelike managed to corner Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) creator Thomas Biskup for a two-part Q&A (here and here) about the popular roguelike. It's hard to believe people have been eating this one up for over 15 years now:
SZ: How would you describe Ancardia, and what were the sources of inspiration for it? Thanks, RPG Codex.
TB: Tough question. Ancardia is an ancient world that has seen many ages and suffered through a number of critical points in history. It's a very magica world, ancient yet still vibrant with many powerful factions vying for power and control behind the scenes. It's a complex world of many layers where legends are reality. There is no particular source of inspiration Ancardia is an amalgam of many books I have read, fantasy worlds I have designed for PnP RPGs and many many ideas collected from communication with many loyal ADOM fans who were a major factor in making Ancardia something very special.
SZ: Do you think it is important to introduce real role playing elements (as in Adom the RPG) into videogames (including roguelikes), as opposed to rollplaying? how do you think this could be done?
TB: I find this very hard because real roleplaying IMHO requires the power of your imagination and the ability to express yourself with almost complete creative freedom something I can hardly imagine in videogames unless we invent something like the Star Trek holodeck.
For me roguelikes are as close as you can get because they force you to rely on your imagination to a large extent (e.g. due to lack of graphics). Fable was a decent attempt I liked but I yet have to see Fable II.