The player enters the Gnomish Mines from the double lever gate entrance the previous level, having a 50% chance of being Minetown instead. Inside the mines are Gnomes and Trolls, as well as a random shop placed on the edge of the map. The player begins in the exact center of the map every time, with a fountain alongside and a very large maze surrounding it. Immediately gnomes and trolls with burst into the room and attack the player with magic bolts that can 1 or 2 hit kill you. Around two dozen gnomes and a half dozen trolls wander they map, and they appear to have an AI that makes them home in on the player a short distance from a gnome death. The exit is usually placed on the extreme perimeter of the map. A gold pile is almost always found at every dead end, with some piles generously containing upwards of 100 gold each. It is not uncommon to walk away with 3000+ gold from the mines.
Aside from the various treasures, gold, and plethora of lightning staves; a lever located in the shop at the upper right corner of the map opens gates into a room full of magic spewers. Inside this heavily guarded room, is the artifact Sphinx's Veil.
- When you enter a floor with a portal to the gnomish mines, you will hear "the sounds of pics striking rocks"
- Only the center room is lit, so have a torch out if you want to get anywhere. The gnomes sometimes drop excellent lanterns to provide additional lighting as well.
- There is no risk of the minotaur here so take all the time you wish to explore the map, once the gnomes and trolls have been dealt with.
- There are two common varieties of gnome, the Digger Gnome and Caster Gnome. The Digger Gnome comes always equipped with a pickaxe and cloak, and sometimes drops a lantern, fresh fish, or an extremely valuable gem. The Caster Gnome carries a wooden shield and an excellent staff of lightning, occasionally also carrying gold.
- Very rarely, a Scarlet Caster Gnome will spawn, carrying an excellent staff of magic missile, an extremely powerful ring, and a well enchanted cloak. Be warned, without any magic resistance or reflection, he will most certainly kill any player in a single hit.
- The same secret found in Minetown can be found hidden in the Gnomish Mines.