Companions are monsters or NPCs that follow the player character and can be issued various commands (albeit from a short fixed list). Animal companions are normally referred to as pets, while monsters created using Necromancy are acknowledged as the PC's slaves.
Basically, all companions will follow the PC, attack hostile monsters and will do nothing about neutral monsters and NPCs unless ordered to. The PC may order (Ctrl-o) one of the following commands — wait, follow, move or attack. All companions (with the exception of Necromancer's slaves) have a chance to ignore the command. This chance is greatly influenced by the PC's Charisma score.
A companion will stay in place until one of the following events happens:
- The PC will order any other command
- The companion is attacked
- The PC is attacked in the companion's visible range
The Wait command is normally a simple way of controlling companions' movement or position. Note that the PC will be able to switch places (:s) with a waiting companion without canceling this command. Waiting companions will still follow the PC on other levels if they are in immediate vicinity of the staircase.
Placing a companion on the shop entrance and issuing a wait command will prevent the shopkeeper from blocking it when the PC picks up the items. The PC then may switch places with his/her companion and be free to leave the shop without paying. Note that this is rightfully treated as shoplifting offense, and will trigger all negative consequences the moment the PC leaves the shop.
The Move command allows the PC to target a tile within his line of sight and order the companion to go to that tile. Move is very unreliable, as companions can easily be distracted by monsters' attacks or other dungeon features on the way to the designated tile and, more importantly, will not stay on that tile upon reaching it. Sometimes they will also experience pathfinding problems.
Issuing the Follow normally command resets the companions's behavior to default setting.
The Attack command will, as the name implies, make the companion attack any monster or NPC. This is not considered a chaotic action and the targeted monster will not turn hostile to the PC himself/herself. Note that if a companion kills the quest target (for example, Kranach or Keethrax) the PC will not be given the usual reward when chatting with the quest-giver.
It is possible to calm hostile NPCs by ordering a weak companion to attack them — slaying a companion will typically calm down the NPC in question.
As of version 1.2.0 ordering a companion to attack a shopkeeper will lead to a huge alignment drop, make the shopkeeper hostile and cause him to summon guards (muscular dwarfs for Waldenbrook, casino guards for the Casino shopkeeper and thugs for all other shopkeepers).
Advanced features Edit
All companions are able to use their special abilities when dealing with the hostile monsters. This includes even such unique powers as doppelgangers' confusion attack. Summoners will summon allies (which will be generated neutral to the PC), breeders will likewise breed neutral to the PC copies of themselves. Spellcasting monsters will use their magic capabilities (barring, cursing and stat drains). Companions with breath attacks will also use them on hostile monsters. Note that companions will not care if the PC is in the way of their breath attack — caution is advised with such creatures.
Companions using missile attacks will use their ammunition which can be later picked up without any consequences. This is a very useful feature for such companions as Hawkslayer or (greater) titans which use eternium arrows.
Healing companions Edit
Unless the companion has regenerative abilities, it is possible to heal him/her/it with spells or thrown potions. Note that this is a significant lawful action and can quickly change the PC's alignment. Undead slaves or companions can't normally be healed, but all liches can magically mend the damage by themselves.
Acquiring companions Edit
The PC can acquire companions using the following ways:
- Successfully playing musical instruments (which requires Music skill) can tame animals. The PC can only tame monsters of his/her or lower experience level.
- Successfully using Necromancy skill will create undead slaves bound to their creator. Mist elves are able to use white necromancy. Note that if a PC that is neither a necromancer nor a mist elf uses the skill, (s)he will create companions, not slaves.
- Reading a scroll of familiar summoning will summon a monster corresponding to the current DL. It is, thus, advised to read these scrolls in high-DL locations, such as Dwarven Halls or Darkforge. The B/U/C status of the scroll, as well as being born under the Raven starsign has an impact on effective the DL calculation.
- Giving a wedding ring to any berserker of the opposite gender as the PC will make them follow the PC. In version 1.1.1 due to a bug, the game checked for the same gender.
- Wishing for friend(s) will summon a companion for the PC.
- Giving the following items to the specific monsters will make them follow the PC: bones to large dogs, big dogs, blink dogs; giant rat and rat corpses to wild cats and cave lions; pieces of raw, fresh or fish meat to cave tigers; fish meat to black hurthlings; significant amounts of gold to beggars.
- Hawkslayer (who stays in the High Mountain Village) will join non-chaotic mid-levelled (typically 25+) PCs who know the secret password ("Iceberg").
- A flesh golem named Borys can be purchased from the malicious doctor in the same location.
- Some monsters from the Ice Queen's prison after freeing them will join the player.
Losing companions Edit
The PC can lose companions in several ways. Note that this can easily be fatal. A powerful monster can kill the PC with relative ease as soon as it is angered. Some evidence shows that Bards' companions will never turn on them unless attacked first. In Release 60, three bards have had companions turn on them after triggering a fireball trap. Undead slaves can be attacked and mistreated in any way and will never turn on their master. Companions will turn hostile when the following events take place:
- The PC directly attacks the companion.
- The PC triggers a fireball trap which damages the companion. This is a very common cause of death from powerful companions. Note that fire-immune creatures will not turn hostile.
- Sometimes critically damaged/injured companions may decide to fight to death in a blind rage which makes them hostile.
- Sometimes companions will simply forget about the PC if (s)he stays out of their sight for a large number of turns. It is prudent to check the companion with 'l'ook command to avoid unexpected surprises. If this occurs whilst the PC is still on the same level as the companion, the player might be alerted with the message "You feel a change of mind in a being close to you".