Companions are allies who will help the PC, to a point. They are often referred to as pets if they are animals, while monsters created using Necromancy are acknowledged as the PC's slaves.
They can be obtained in several ways:
One word of caution before attempting to create a powerful companion - they are fickle and will sometimes turn on the PC at the slightest provocation - such as unintentionally triggering a fireball trap, injuring the companion. This is a very common cause of death from powerful companions. Note that fire-immune companions will not turn hostile. Alternatively critically damaged/injured companions may decide to fight to death in a blind rage which makes them hostile. Or, they may forget about the PC if they stay out of their sight for a large number of turns. It is prudent to check the companion with look 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".
Most companions can be healed using any of the normal techniques - casting Heal and throwing potions of healing, for example. Undead slaves or companions can't normally be healed, but all liches can magically mend the damage by themselves. Skeletons and skeletal warriors can repair themselves when given bones.
One problem that many players have with companions is that companions have a fixed speed. This means that as the game progresses and the PC gains speed via wearables, the Athletics skill, eating quickling corpses, etc., companions become slower and slower relative to the PC. This can become very annoying, with the PC forced to wait for companions to catch up. This problem makes many players reluctant to rely too heavily on companions.
Note also that companions cannot accompany PCs to D:50. Companions can be created on D:50, but they cannot cross D:49.
Beggars can be made into companions by giving them gold and/or food. It requires about 8000 gold pieces and 10 cooked lizards. Berserkers of the same opposite gender can be tamed by giving them a wedding ring.
Some monsters can be tamed by feeding them. Cave lions and wild cats can be tamed by giving them rat or giant rat corpses. This is very useful to remember if the PC wants the Ring of the Master Cat (see section 3.16). Cave tigers can also be tamed, but they refuse to eat rat or giant rat corpses. Instead, they like pieces of raw or fresh meat. Unfortunately, it takes more than five pieces of meat to completely tame them; this is out of reach for most PCs. Wild cats, cave lions, giant raccoons, and black hurthlings can also be tamed with fish, which can be obtained from water squares in the wilderness (see section 0.4 Survival). Dogs can be tamed by giving them bones, which are readily available by killing skeletons. This can be especially useful with blink dogs. Tame a blink dog with bones, then get it involved in a fight. The blink dog will summon more of his brethren, some of which will inevitably be killed. A blink dog corpse will eventually be generated, which grants teleport control when eaten. This is particularly useful for lawful PCs. Since blink dogs are lawful, killing them will wreak havoc on a lawful PC's alignment.
|Animal||Music, raw meat, fresh meat|
|Berserker||wedding ring (if same opposite gender)|
|Black hurthling, giant raccoon||fish meat|
|Cave lion, wild cat||(giant) rat corpse, fish meat|
|Cave tiger||raw meat, fresh meat|
|Dog||bone, raw meat, fresh meat, sausage|
Additionally, rust monsters can be made non-hostile by giving them iron items, but they can't be tamed.
If a Necromancer manages to survive to a high enough level to find quickling corpses, especially higher-level quickling corpses, most of the problems with undead vanish. Quicklings are considered humanoid in ADOM and so their corpses can be animated with Necromancy. They are extremely fast (this also means the problem with slow companions vanishes) and regenerate wounds at a phenomenal rate. One particular quickling king skeletal warrior on record killed Nuurag-Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage, before the PC knew it had happened.
Note that slaves are not subject to the experience level 50 limit as PCs are. It is quite possible for slaves to reach experience level 100 and higher. Needless to say, they become formidable at those levels.
One trick Necromancers can use to create out of depth slaves is to exploit the properties of the Small Cave (check section 1.4 for a general explanation of how the Small Cave works). In this scenario, a Necromancer PC avoids entering the Small Cave at the beginning of the game, instead gaining early experience in the Infinite Dungeon or elsewhere. As the game progresses, a source of invisibility will eventually be found. It is rare for monsters that see invisible to be generated in the Small Cave. At the same time, many are humanoid and their corpses are usable for Necromancy. If an experience level 20 Necromancer enters the Small Cave while invisible, he can reasonably expect to leave or descend into the Unremarkable Dungeon with a couple of level 35 - 40 slaves. Very useful at that point in the game.
Creating undead corpses is chaotic act, which reduces alignment by 300, costs PP (increases with level) and most importantly Mana. When Mana is reduced to 1, the PC can continue creating slaves at no Mana cost, but only those costing 1 Mana. The PC "is not powerful enough" to create slaves which would reduce Mana attribute below zero. However, animating a corpse trains Mana 2 000 points. Note that lvl 1-5 Necromancers, as well as other classed dabbling in Necromancy, don't get to choose, but create zombie or skeleton randomly. The chance is 100% zombie at level 1 to about 50% zombie / 50% skeleton at level 5. Mana cost is reduced for Necromancers at level 40.
|Undead being||Availability lvl||Ma cost lvl 1-39||Ma cost lvl 40-50|
|[E] Corpse fiend||13||2||1|
|[I] Skeletal warrior||29||3||1|
|[M] Shadow lord||46||N/A||5|
Good repeatable sources for more powerful corpses are the Quickling Tree, Minotaur Maze, and stone giants from Mining.
White Necromancy appears in the skills menu as 'Necromancy'. Chaotic Mist Elves can only use the 'black' version of the skill. Lawful and neutral Mist Elves can only use White Necromancy when applying the skill. The mechanics of White Necromancy are very similar to black Necromancy. Applying the skill requires some PP and appropriate "source material". Passing the skill check will create a bound slave and drain several points of Mana permanently. However, this process also significantly trains Mana allowing the PC to regain some or all points over time. Created slaves adjust up to the PC's level; additionally they can level up in the usual way by killing monsters.
Mist Elves that are not Necromancers will only ever create homunculi at the cost of 2 Mana points per creation. On the other hand, Necromancers using the skill get a choice of slaves to create as they gain levels.
|Unlife being||Availability lvl||Ma cost||Notes|
|[A] Homunculus||1||2||Has sleep-inducing melee attack - effective against weaker monsters.|
|[B] Clay statue||5||4||Regenerates.|
|[C] Stone statue||7||6||Immune to fire - not affected by fireball traps and background damage in the ToEF.|
|[D] Clay golem||11||10||Has slowing melee attack - effective for damage control.|
|[E] Stone golem||15||16||Immune to cold - not affected by background damage in the Ice Queen Domain.|
A companion will stay in place until one of the following events happens:
Wait can also be used for more obscure strategies. A waiting companion will block an ant nest or a beehive effectively preventing its inhabitants from emerging. 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 their 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 their 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 command resets the companions' 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. 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 R+, 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 dwarves for Waldenbrook, casino guards for the Casino shopkeeper and thugs for all other shopkeepers).