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"A cursed leash will keep you from falling through holes if your pet cannot "leap" adjacent. What other effects does a cursed leash have on player movememnt?"

( Leash.png
Name leash
Appearance leash
Base price 20 zm
Weight 12
Material leather
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A leash is a tool for keeping your pets close to you, especially when using stairs or portals.

To attach a leash to a pet, apply the leash to a pet that is adjacent to you. You can have up to two pets leashed at the same time, using two separate leashes. As of NetHack 3.6.3, the pet in question cannot be unsolid and must have an extremity that the leash can actually be put on.

To remove a leash from a pet, simply apply the leash to the pet that the leash is connected to. A cursed leash cannot be removed from the pet.


Putting a leash on a pet will affect the way the pet moves and attacks, most of the time keeping it closer to you and acting more passively.

If you move too far away from your leashed pet, it may "yowl" or make some other angry noise. While this will not hurt your pet (when using a non-cursed leash), the yowling can wake up other nearby monsters. With a cursed leash, this can choke your pet, dealing d2 damage to it and has a chance of reducing its tameness. If your pet is low on hit points, this can kill it.

If you get even further away from your pet, a non-cursed leash will harmlessly snap loose from your pet, but a cursed leash will strangle your pet and kill it. You can get too far away by simply walking faster than your pet or moving while it is stuck around a corner or behind a door.

Teleporting when your leashed pet is not adjacent will cause the pet to jump to your location before you teleport, and the now-adjacent pet will follow you through the teleport; this will happen even if your pet is eating. However, if you are riding one pet while leashed to another, your leashed pet must be adjacent to teleport with you.

When changing levels (traps, stairs, portals) when your pet is not adjacent or can't follow you, the leash will be harmlessly removed, even if it is cursed.

A leashed pet will not want to move more than two squares away from you. Be aware that leashed pets will also not attack monsters that are not adjacent to you, unless that monster is exactly two cells above, below, or to the side of you. See below:

------- ------- ------- -------
|...... |...... |...... |kkkkk.
|.....| |.....| |.....| |kkkkk|
|..k..| |.....| |..f..| |kkfkk|
|.kfk.| |..kk.| |.kkk.| |k...k|
|.k@k.| |..@fk| |..@..| |kk@kk|
|.....| |..kk.| |.....| |kkkkk|
-.----- -.----- -.----- -.-----

The first three examples show where a monster could be attacked by your kitten. The fourth example shows where your kitten will not attack the kobold.

Even if there is a solid wall between you and your pet, the leash will still stay connected. For example, if there were two parallel corridors, one square apart, that connected two rooms, you could walk down one corridor and your leashed pet could walk down the other and you'd both end up in the second room with the leash still attached.


Main article: tameness

A pet that becomes unleashed by a trap (level teleport, trap door, hole, etc.) loses 1 point of tameness.

A pet choked by a cursed leash may lose 1 point of tameness. This will never reduce tameness below 1. [1] The chance of this -1 loss being waived is 1 in tameness.


Your leash goes slack.
Your leashed pet just died of starvation.[2]
The leash(es) snaps loose.
You were engulfed by a monster, and your leash(es) was removed from your pet(s).[3]
Its leash suddenly comes loose.
You moved to another level, but your pet was unable to follow you because it is either eating, trapped, or carrying the Amulet of Yendor.[4] "Its" is replaced with "His" or "Her" if your pet is humanoid.
<pet>'s leash goes slack.
You moved to another level, but your pet was not near you and so was unable to follow you.[5]
<pet> <whimper>s.
You are near a trap and your leashed pet is whimpering because of it.[6] The whimpering sound will wake up other nearby monsters.[7]
You pull on the leash.
You pulled on a non-cursed leash.[8] This has no significant effect on your pet other than causing him to growl, yowl, or whimper, which can wake up nearby monsters.
<pet>'s leash snaps loose!
You pulled too hard on a non-cursed leash and your leash is now removed from your pet.[9]
<pet> chokes on the leash!
You pulled on a cursed leash, which choked your pet. The pet takes d2 damage and has a chance of having its tameness reduced by one.[10]
Your leash chokes <pet> to death!
You pulled too hard on a cursed leash, which choked your pet and caused enough injury to kill it.[11] You will receive all of the normal penalties of killing a pet.
<pet> pulls free of his leash!
Your pet is just about to become untame or dead.[12]
Your leash falls slack.
As above, but they are out of your sight.[13]
You cannot leash any more pets.
You attempted to leash a third pet while two were already leashed.[14]
Leash yourself? Very funny...
You tried to apply a leash to yourself.[15]


Leashes can be useful for curse-testing items with the aid of a pet, but not as useful, since leashed or whistled pets will not reliably give the "moves reluctantly" message for cursed items, in rare cases even if it moves by its own free will.

A leash can be used to encourage pets to steal from shops, by dragging them out of the shop while they're still holding an item. The leash can also make it easier to drag, whistle, or displace your pet into a polymorph trap.

A leashed pet will "whine" or make other appropriate nervous sounds when it is around traps, even undetected traps. This can be useful for detecting traps, but is not completely reliable.

Pay attention when your pet is eating, and when going through doorways or around corners, so that you don't pull on the leash and cause your pet to yowl.[16] When your pet yowls, it wakes up other monsters, which can be undesirable. If you move much faster than your pet, this will happen frequently, even if you are just traveling in a corridor or room. To avoid the yowling when you travel faster than your leashed pet, you can stop and rest when your pet gets too far away to give it a chance to catch up to you.

In the Endgame, a leash is better than a magic whistle because you might hit the portal when your pet is not adjacent.

Protection runners often desire a leash so they can dig down and bypass dark mines levels. If you have only one pet, you can dig two squares' length of corridor into rock, displace your pet into the end, and dig down. This will cause your pet to stay adjacent to you and fall down with you when you fall through the hole.

Encyclopedia entry

They had splendid heads, fine shoulders, strong legs, and
straight tails. The spots on their bodies were jet-black and
mostly the size of a two-shilling piece; they had smaller
spots on their heads, legs, and tails. Their noses and eye-
rims were black. Missis had a most winning expression.
Pongo, though a dog born to command, had a twinkle in his
eye. They walked side by side with great dignity, only
putting the Dearlys on the leash to lead them over crossings.

[ The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith ]


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