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In Nethack, you can have pets. Sometimes they pick things up and drop them. Usually this is annoying, but it can be used to your advantage. Firstly, you need a pet. Secondly, you need a shop, preferably well-stocked with expensive merchandise. Move near to the shop (just outside, so that you don't get the welcome message), but send your pet into the shop (with a little movement jiggerypokery). Wait until your pet has picked up something, then dropped it. Move in, pick up the item that was dropped by the pet, and either keep it or drop it for some cash. You may want to put expensive goods next to the door so that it's more likely the pet will pick it up!

Rover, fetch!

This was actually discovered by me! Submitted to the Dev-Team

According to m_turner, it's not new... you can train your pets to do it! Chuck (not just leave) some food at it!

DATE: 30 April 2001 23:10:20
FROM: Dave Cohrs <d.cohrs@computer.org>
TO:   dave mckee <spamme@computerkid.co.uk>
CC:   devteam@nethack.org
SUBJ: Re: #R341: Nethack Pet-Shop Scam 
MESS: Dave McKee wrote:
      >> comments: Firstly, you need a pet.
      This is by design.
Bollocks. But at least it got me a 14 rep and a C!'d node...

Your pet must drop the item in a non-store tile in order for you to be able to pick it up free of charge. Otherwise it's just like picking up the item from the store.


The two tiles denoted by @ are not considered part of the store. (Same goes for every tile outside of the store, of course.)

Further, every time your pet picks up an item, it becomes a little less trained. Feed pets to train them.

My preferred way of ripping off the storekeepers is to enter before my pet and close the door (lock it if possible). Then take all the items in the store and pile them in a corner far from the door. If any of the items are cursed, the pet won't go onto that tile at all. Then I drop all my money at a tile close to the door, and let the pet enter the shop. The pet will likely pick up the gold, at which point you can either blow a whistle, or step away from the shop and hope the pet follows you. The result is that you have as much credit with the storekeeper as the amount of money you dropped in his shop. You can then buy whatever items you want.


When buying items, never pay cash. Rather, chat with the shopkeeper to find out how much your bill comes to, then drop that much money in the store. When you pay, the money will still be in the store, ready for future stealing by a pet or monster (which you then just need to kill outside the store).

This (long-standing) practice is of course rendered far easier if you have a magic whistle.
Pets increase their loyalty to you by eating food which you have handled, so even if you are short of money it is worth getting into a shop ahead of your pet (shutting it out if necessary) and picking up and dropping anything in there that the pet might eat.

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