The monster attitude is a basic concept that determines on which side that monster will fight when the PC is involved into a battle.
List of attitude states
Here is the complete list of states following from the most angry to the most friendly state.
Hostile (or "aggravated") monsters will always attack PC if they can. The PC might try to avoid it by turning him/herself invisible, but even in this case, monsters standing next to the PC may randomly bump into him/her and hit in melee.
Almost all random monsters in dungeons and in the wilderness are generated hostile (unless the PC is a druid).
The 'l'ook message: -foo- is hostile.
Slightly hostile (or "slightly aggravated") is a very rare unstable state, which can be observed by using the 'l'ook command. Slightly hostile monsters do not attack the PC immediately, but always turn hostile in a few turns.
Almost no monsters are generated slightly hostile. In fact, the only known way to get it is to cast the Summon Monsters spell.
The 'l'ook message: -foo- is slightly hostile.
This state means that a monster doesn't like the player but hasn't yet noticed him/her, so attacking it all of a sudden will not be treated as chaotic act. Attacks on a monster in this or friendlier states will also be subject to a backstabbing skill check.
Most wandering outlaws and bandits in Lawenilothehl are in this state. Some of them turn hostile after a period of time. Additionally, PCs with good Stealth skill will be unnoticed by most usual dungeon monsters.
Note that pickpocketing such a monster will be considered a chaotic act — that is, if you want to steal from it, hit it first.
The 'l'ook message: -foo- doesn't care about you.
Peaceful monsters will never attack the PC unless he/she manages to make them angry. Attacking such a monster will be treated as a chaotic act, and the player will be prompted before making such an attack. PCs will automatically swap positions if a peaceful monster if (s)he walks on their tile, unless the player disables this behaviour (via the game's configurable variables). Another effect is that invisible PCs are safe from "random bumping attack" by peaceful monsters.
Most NPCs and monsters in towns and villages are peaceful towards the PC.
The 'l'ook message: -foo- seems to be peaceful.
Friendly monsters will often fight against others monsters that are hostile to the PC, but will not follow the PC or receive orders from him/her. The message -foo- squeaks / grunts / roars / etc. to you in a friendly manner is sometimes generated if the PC is in their vicinity.
Besides some specific methods of pacifying, it is not clear why some monsters are generated friendly. It seems that good Charisma and Appearance may have something to do with it. Village inhabitants as well as Arena ratling traders often appear to be friendly. Most friendly monsters can be displaced like peaceful monsters; some (unique) NPCs such as Hawkslayer can't be pushed around, so the PC will always prompted to (really) attack him/her when attempting to move onto his/her tile.
The 'l'ook message: -foo- appears friendly.
For a full article see: Companion
Tame state refers to the monster being a companion of the PC. A tame monster will always fight on the PC's side and take other orders from him/her.
The 'l'ook message: he/she is your companion or it is tame / slave.
Making monsters angrier
Besides direct attacks, there are lots of ways of involuntarily making monsters hostile. Here is a short list of what the player must be aware of:
- Eating a corpse in the presence of a monster of that same species.
- Leaving companions out of sight for a prolonged period of time. This turns them hostile, but they often calm down in a few turns.
- Accidentally hitting the monster with a missile or spell. (Though some thrown items, particularly curative potions, will be accepted by the monster without it turning hostile)
- Triggering fireball / explosion traps. Unless the monster is immune to fire, it will consider it an attack and turn against the PC.
- Attacking some NPCs in towns makes most of their inhabitants hostile.
- Unsuccessful pickpocketing.
- Triggering hidden alarm traps.
- Swapping position. The message -foo- doesn't seem to like being pushed around indicates their anger.
- Finally, sometimes monsters just change their mind on their own.
Making monsters friendlier
Just like monsters may suddenly become hostile towards the PC, the opposite effect can be observed — that is, when a hostile monster loses interest in the PC after some unsuccessful attempts to hit him/her. But aside from that effect, making monster more friendly is much more difficult than the opposite. There are only a few ways to accomplish that:
- The Music skill can be used to pacify and then tame animals.
- The Calm Monster spell will turn a hostile monster to an uncaring one, but may require multiple casts. It seems to have mechanics similar to the Music skill, however it cannot turn monsters to companions.
- Healing non-hostile monsters may raise them up to friendly state.
- Throwing a berzio potion at a monster will calm it down for a short amount of time.
- Rust monsters can be pacified by shooting quarrels at them or giving them iron items.
- Specific ways of creating companions from berserkers, animals, and NPCs exist. Check the Companion article.