One problem that many players have with companions (or slaves) 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. Monster orders are rejected based on: 1d(Charisma + 10) <= 1d(Charisma) = success.
Beggars can be made into companions by giving them gold and/or food. The most recent report (December 28th, 2001) required about 8000 gold pieces and 10 cooked lizards. Berserkers of the same 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 3.6). 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 PC's. Wild cats (cave lions? cave tigers?), 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.
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, see section 0.11.1) 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 stat 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.