A Guide to Followers

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This guide deals with managing followers specifically NOT of the type associated with bonds or charms associated with some guilds. Followers who come with bonds or charms have a degree of protection, even though parts of this guide may be useful to the consort. The guide is written for those who're trying to keep and maintain followers who don't come with any built in protection.

The first writer of this guide was Gavadel of Amber, during the course of over a year of trying to maintain a War Band (and losing that said War Band over, and over and over, and (we can repeat this for a while) again) he discovered some useful tips that will help anyone trying to maintain a follower or two.


Basic Commands

trust 'follower': This allows your follower to keep up with you when you start zooming across the map making it much more difficult to lose them.

keep 'follower': This is VERY important and often overlooked, especially when the follower has just been reincarnated via various magicks.

put 'object' on 'follower': You've found a nice helmet or a sturdy hauberk, or even a saddle. This command is used to put the object on the follower. Not if you receive a message saying you can't put said object on the follower it means that for some reason the follower can't be equiped with this item. A common reason is size, another, especially with sentient followers is they already have an item equiped in that slot.

keep 'object' on 'follower': Useful for any equipment that doesn't come with the follower that you've equiped them with over the day, whether it's a helmet, a nice sword or a saddle. These can also be kept whilst in your inventory before giving them to the follower in the normal way and will continue to be kept when equiped by the follower.

succor 'follower': Normally when you start a fight or when your group gets swarmed it tends to be the PC who gets attacked. However this isn't always the case. Sometimes when getting swarmed it pays to succor your follower randomly or if you have a group of followers and they're all befriended try: succor friends.

say 'follower', 'command' in language the follower understands: Normally only for sentient followers, but some animals have been trained to follow simple commands. For sentients this allows a wide variety of commands, from anything you can do in the game (such as: say Ruburnel, poke Surgin) to giving reports on their ethics, reports on their skills or attributes (say Ruburnel, report skill sword), setting their combat modes (say Ruburnel, set combat mode to defensive) or having them speak (say Ruburnel, say train /me/ in all). When they wish to refer to themselves in a spoken command such as in the previous example it's important that where your own character would use the command 'train me in all', your follower must have 'me' replaced with '/me/' otherwise Ruburnel would say something like 'train Prince Gavadel in all' instead of what your were trying to have them ask. You can also use the say command to rearrange their settings such as combat mode as mentioned above.

start befriending all: This allows the commands with friends to work, ie: succor friends

Basic Tips

If you can fly, make sure your follower can too. Either with inbuilt flight themselves (like pegasi or birds), or via some other means such as bodysuits of the mist or rings of flight.

If you have some means to control your followers, either via the tame charm or better still if sentient and able to follow commands it's useful to do the following:

set combat mode to patient: This is especially good with larger groups, the follower keeps a good defensive bonus and when they do attack they inflict a decent amount of damage.

set combat mode to defensive: This is useful for certain situations such as fighting Bartziluth with your pegasi horde where their hoof attack actually strengthens the enemy. It's also useful when you're trying to concentrate the experience points on a certain follower, you can set the others to defensive so that the follower whom you're concentrating on gets the benefit from the fight. Useful for low levels whom you want to get the xp for for fighting the lower level critters. You can also set it on yourself so that your followers get the experience from the fight rather than yourself.

set wimpy to 0: This won't actually set their wimpy to 0 but it will set it as low as it can go. As in real combat a group that scatters, especially somewhere dangerous is a group that's going to get picked off by the natives. More than one follower has died because either they or their mount fled during combat where they might otherwise have survived if they'd remained in the group.

stop attacking with 'maneuver': Some maneuvers such as punch aren't as good as say smacking the enemy over the head with the artifact sword your squire is wielding. However you notice your squire keeps punching the enemy. Use the say command to 'say, squire stop attacking with punch' or 'stop attacking with left hand' etc.

If your follower can speak: train them. Often overlooked, but training up your own skills benefits your character considerably adding to their likelihood to be victorious or survive in various dangerous situations. The same is true of your followers. Their skills either grow of their own accord through use or more quickly via trainers. If you're trying to maintain a large Band this can be expensive, but is still worth it's while. Sentient followers will never become even competent riders unless they're trained and if you're trying to maintain a mounted follower or two increasing their mounted combat and riding skills particulary will add a large bonus to their combat abilities.

set nickname for <follower> to <nickname>: This is useful for non-sentients as usually sentients come with names and if you're lucky names that aren't too long, if they are Lothiualeldonal, maybe better to nickname them Loth. With the War Band nicknames are also used internally for setting rank. ie. set nickname for Elis to Sergeant Elis and if you have aliases for dealing with followers this sort of nickname can useful. For example 'Sergeant Elis' died and has been replaced with 'Sergeant Galidan', the alias 'sergeant, mount pegasus' will no longer have to be reset with every new follower.

Lost Followers: For any lost followers, scry them. This is done by finding something shiny (like a shield, or a sword) and 'start staring at shield/sword'. Wait until you have messages telling about your trance state, when sufficiently deep you can then 'imagine <follower>' such as 'imagine sergeant'. This will give you a rough idea of the location and includes both the local and global co-ordinates (note that they rarely actually match). Choose one and head off to the location. If your follower is non-sentient you have to pay careful attention to the desc and it should contain clues as to how far you're off (ie, the co-ordinates were 123,15,1 but described a field and that location is in the air you know you're off by at least a level probably). If your follower speaks a language you understand and obeys command try shouting: shout followers, shout hello. If they're in range you'll see something like 'north and below, someone shouts, "Hello".' If instead of seeing someone you see a name you're only one square away, otherwise follow the directions and repeat.

Important Skills

All skills are important in one sense or another, though for the purpose of the follower or the leader certain skills are more important than others.

leadership: The basic skill that allows the leader to gain as much experience as possible from those who follow him in the group. The higher the level the more experience the leader himself will get from the actions of his followers. High levels of leadership also allow the leader (along with other skills) to keep more followers.

ownership: More important than leadership in terms of allowing the keeping of followers. Raising the ownership skill allows the leader to keep more followers, but also increases the general keep capacity of the leader allowing better equipment for smaller bands.

courage/tenacity: Important for succoring, with a low courage skill, perhaps that mean looking drake decides to attack your squire, low courage and/or tenacity will stop you from coming to their aid.

subordination : VERY important skill, helps with the amount of experience you get from the follower.

Bring 'Em Back Ali... whoops

The easiest way to protect a follower from death is by completing the quest of Feanor's Investigations. The reward for this quest is the rare 'Stone of Perpetuation'. This stone is activated by rubbing it, (it will then glow) and giving it to the follower. When given wait a few seconds and the follower will be surrounded by a shimmering light. It is then best if you take the stone from the follower. Stones of perpetuation are rare and difficult to come by, they can also sometimes be found in a store such as Lucanius' but such a find is based on fortune and not best relied upon. Stones of perpetuation automatically update the followers 'image' and when the follower is killed can be rubbed to reincarnate the follower. Perpetuation stones also allow more than one use. Cheaper versions of the stones of perpetuation are stones of preservation. These are 'one-shot' items, allowing the image of the follower to be stored once and recalled once which will use up the stone. They're easier to come by, being found in the Losthaven Pet Store, two north and one east of the Losthaven Town Square.

Whether using a stone of preservation or perpetuation and especially if trying to maintain more than one follower it's useful to identify the stone associated with that particular follower. To do this make sure you have the right stone selected (tap stone, tap stone 2 etc) and also be careful you've taken the stone from the follower (this should make it the default first stone in your inventory anyway) you can use the nickname command to make that particular follower easier to recall. For example Gavadel currently has a drake at his command which has a stone of perpetuation associated with it. To make this stone easier to identify Gavadel types: 'set nickname for peridot to Drakestone' where peridot is the type of stone. Now when Gavadel loses his drake he can type: 'rub drakestone' to call the giant lizard once more into the fight.

Note: If you rub a stone and give it to your minion and it does not shimmer, that particular type of minion is not able to be imprint saved. Creatures like elementals or loamflangen which have some ability to absorb other creature's powers cannot be saved, for example.

You've used up that stone of preservation and you were on your way back to the pet shop store when Caim and his dragon dropped out of the sky and and BAM! Squire Gudie Tooshews is now toast. It's handy if you have a cleric with you who has the necessary 'expensive' gemstone to resurrect him on the spot, clerics can resurrect a corpse to give your follower back his/her life, though I believe whatever the bonding process was to have them become your follower might have to be gone through once more. Failing that, you can pick up some formaldehyde from the mortuary in Sanctuary and pour that on the corpse which will preserve them until you can find a handy cleric. Note you might have to keep the corpse until you can find that cleric.

It's also useful to have your follower have something unique you can identify. You've just finished a battle in Shadow Tower and surrounded by human corpses. search corpse, search corpse 2, search corpse 3 etc you will probably have to drop some of your loot as you go so you can be sure you've got space for that large bodysuit of the mists your follower was wearing.

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