Idlechasing with portable npcs
For combat idling, note that there's a delay between "kill <target>" and actually being in combat, so that, for example, an alias that includes "kill dummy;shove dummy" will have you using the shove soul instead of the gp-using command (trip, punch, and kick are also souls in addition to being combat commands). You can avoid this issue by inserting a wait or a frimble between the two commands.
Cabbages can't be fought or backstabbed. They're summoned with the wizard spell Brassica Oleracea Ambulata (which can be cast on others) and will follow you around until you eat them (or explode them via pickling stick or MPOL).
If a cabbage is in the same room with a caterpillar--the type that's sometimes created from a thaumic funnel--it will gibber madly and try to leave. If it can't leave, it will just gibber madly constantly.
Invaluable companion to witches, only a witch can summon a giant fruitbat. You can't have more than one summoned at a time.
They can follow you everywhere: when flying, when following a priest through passage, even through twisting blue crystal rings. They can still be kicked out of some rooms like watch prison or the mephit room.
You can summon your fruitbat if they're in another room not too far with a wooden whistle bonded to the fruitbat.
Trying to steal or snatch from your own fruitbat seems to have been changed to not start combat. Stealing from your fruitbat is therefore quite safe for now, unless the code changes.
Note that "help rules" includes the following:
Losing your link Intentionally losing your link (disconnecting, quitting, suing, closing your client window etc.) to avoid death in combat, or to prevent similar undesirable game features, isn't playing fair.
If your fruitbat being in combat with you is "an undesirable game feature", the the use of "su" to stop that combat may be frowned upon.
Handsome sheep shearers
If you kiss one, it turns into an obble (which ends up in your inventory). Kiss the obble, and it turns back into a shearer (with full health). Sheep shearers can be found in Sheepridge. Be aware that other people can throw them around or kiss them, and you can lose them that way--if you use shearers as targets, have spares. You can't give or slip things to them. You used to still be able to plant things on them. This is no longer true. When you kiss them, they'll drop anything they're carrying.
It is no longer possible for sheep shearers to enter into combat so as far as we know they can't be used for fighting commands anymore.
Imps from imp-powered watches
When you check an imp-powered watch, an imp pops out for a short time. They can be fought and backstabbed, but they can also do a decent bit of damage, so this option is limited if your combat skills aren't up to it. They'll go back into the watch even if you're fighting them, and the next time they come out they won't be in combat with you. Killing the imp appears to make the watch unusable. You can get imp-powered watches from Twonky's Clocks on Nonesuch Street in Ankh-Morpork, for A$15.
Apparently this no longer works. The imp runs away with any attack. Linnard tested with rubber knife, wimpy combat levels and target foot.
Pets can be carried around, or dropped and left somewhere safe (say "stay"). If you misplace your pet, they'll come back to you the next time you log in (suing to yourself works). They make good targets for covert commands, although if you give, slip, or plant most items on them, they'll just drop the item (they will however carry pet toys and pet clothing). You can serenade them even if you're holding them.
Some pets (fox cats, possibly others) may wander off by themselves for no discernable reason. You can su to yourself to get them back. It seems that telling them to "stay" may keep them from doing this (then you only need to notice when the group moves and make sure to bring them along). Carrying them most of the time and only dropping them when necessary for a command is also a fair option.
Wearable pets are similar to normal pets, except:
- They aren't attached to you: they won't follow you and won't disappear when you log out/come back when you log in unless they're in your inventory, but you can wear them
- You can't plant items on them
- They'll just reject slip offers, meaning that the command fails and you don't use gp
- They can be picked up by other people, buried, or otherwise treated as items
You can buy various wearable pets in a market stall in Djelibeybi and in a shop in northern Genua. You can also get them for free by searching in the garden of the Artificers' Guild in Sto Lat.
- Tempt (20 gp, fails automatically)
- Slip (as an object, to here/to container)
Possible actions if dropped:
- Targetted covert commands
- Combat--they are weak and die easily, but the fight is easily paused by picking them up
Minions are a decent option for priests. A totem lasts fifteen minutes; a dust devil lasts much less time (may be skill-dependent), though they can be ordered to leave at any time. If you attack either one (or do something that would cause it to attack you), they will dissipate. You can plant items on them (although you can't give or slip items to them), and the items will fall to the ground when the summons leave.
Clouds summoned with the wizard spell FNP are a reasonable option for wizards. They can't be fought but you can plant items on them and order the cloud to return them. They are extremely good at following you and will automatically find you when you lose them. This makes them useful for 'in motion' idlechasing since any commands targetted at them work well and planted items won't be lost.
Downsides include the large amount of headspace that the spell requires and the stat drops caused by casting the spell. This is less of an issue if you tend to rely on the spell anyway. If another user of the spell walks into the room, commands targetting 'cloud' could fail. It's possible to get around this by using a uniquely coloured towel to create a cloud that can be referred to including it's colour description.