Banditry system, yay or nay?

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
imsobadatnicknames
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Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

So, I recently made this mod (viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4270) which allows the player to encounter travelling alchemists in taverns and buy potions from them. However, I later started thinking that, sicne these are travelling alchemists, it'd make sense to also be able to find them in the wilderness. And after that was done, I felt like that if you encounter them in the wilderness, being able to not only trade with them but also attempt to rob them would be a natural fit, so I implemented that. When you encounter them in the wilderness, succesfully landing an attack on them will lower your legal rep, but has a chance (based on your streetwise skill) of initmidating them so much that they'll hand over their wares and run away from you.

But last night this got me thinking... that last bit of the mod is something that has the potential to be expanded into a full-on banditry system. There are plenty of RPGs where you have to deal with bandits and highwaymen trying to rob you, but very few where you can easily become a bandit or highwayman, and I think that'd be an interesting roleplaying choice for an evil playthrough.

So... is that kind of mod something that would interest any of you? And if so, what sort of things would you like to see in it? How could i prevent it from getting repetitive?
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

Yes, I am definitely for it. I am generally in favor of expanding random encounters in the wilderness, towns, dungeons and anywhere else, and the more interaction options you have - the better! Maybe you can barter, maybe you can get quests, just listen to some rumors, or rob the people blind - it just increases the options for the player and it's generally something the game lacks, so I am all for it.

How to keep it from being repetitive? Hard to say, usually just needs more options, and consequences for the actions. You should definitely get a bounty in the region where you rob people, so you can only hang out in the wilderness, but not be accepted in towns. Maybe not straight away, but if you do it a couple of times - definitely. So it can have like a random chance to add a reward on your head after a few days. Or it can happen straight away, if the other option is hard to realize, it's just more realistic to delay it. Of course, if you kill everyone, no bounty will be added, but the reputation might still go down as rumors will spread. Also, if you're known for robbing people in a region, there might be some travelers who will actually act as a trap, with you being attacked and surrounded by bounty hunters when you try to rob them.

Different kind of travelers should have different kinds of items, so you don't even have to use stores. You should also be able to accept payment in gold instead.

Streetwise skill and your level/reputation/stats should be checked to see if intimidation is successful, or if you have to fight. Maybe not all fights should end in deaths, and the merchants may just surrender to you.

You should have a chance to run into other bandits and highwaymen, who you can pay to be let go or intimidate to let you pass (again check streetwise/reputation/level and stats) or convince that you have nothing to take (check value of current equipment + streetwise skill).

imsobadatnicknames
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:34 pm .
The part about getting a bounty for robbing people or for being able to intimidate them into surrendering and giving you their items instead of fighting you are actually something I already implemented on the "rob" interaction with the alchemists from my Travelling Alchemists mod. When you attack them, your legal reputation in the region is lowered by 2, and it's lowered further by 3 if you kill them. I'm not sure at what point a negative legal reputation starts causing you to get arrested by the guards, but I think it's somewhere around -20.

Also, about them deciding to hand you their wares instead of fighting you:

Image

Once you land an attack on them, there's a chance that they'll surrender based on your streetwise skill:

Streetwise 0-19 = 20% chance
Streetwise 20-39 = 40% chance
Streetwise 40-59 = 60% chance
Streetwise 60-79 = 80% chance
Streetwise 80+ = 90% chance

Aside from getting arrested if you go to a city, or your idea about catching the eye of bounty hunters, I think another fun consequence would be to have a chance that the Thieves guild will send someone after you to punish you for "unsanctioned criminal activity"
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

Yes, that's definitely good! Regarding the Thieves guild - that's a good point. Maybe you can also slowly earn reputation this way, if you're a part of the Thieves guild. I am not sure that their stance on murder is in the game, so maybe this will only happen if you don't kill.

There are other interactions that can be added, for example, a merchant is afraid of bandits and will pay you to safely escort them to some place, starting an escort mission if you agree. Not all merchants you encounter will offer this, but some might.

It might also be interesting to encounter NPCs in dungeons, for example, alchemists might be collecting ingredients there and might be willing to sell you some of their stuff. The problem is that their sprites are the same as enemies and it would be very easy to confuse them for an enemy, so maybe this will have to wait until alternative sprites are an option...

imsobadatnicknames
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:12 pm It might also be interesting to encounter NPCs in dungeons, for example, alchemists might be collecting ingredients there and might be willing to sell you some of their stuff. The problem is that their sprites are the same as enemies and it would be very easy to confuse them for an enemy, so maybe this will have to wait until alternative sprites are an option...
Well... I could use an appropriate pop-up message to alert the player that the "enemy" they come accross isn't actually an enemy. I actually did that for the wilderness alchemists from my Travelling Alchemists mod, because I was afraid the players would mistake them for enemies.

Image

Also, if these character are placed INSIDE the dungeon, they can be represented by regular NPC flats instead of enemy sprites
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

Also, if these character are placed INSIDE the dungeon, they can be represented by regular NPC flats instead of enemy sprites
That sounds awesome :) If you do decide to add some - I wouldn't mind :D

Same thing for the banditry - I think it's a great idea, with an option to be on both sides (either robbing or being robbed), if most random encounters are actually friendly with occasional highwayman, that would be very chill.

If you could check if the player is currently on the road or not (added by Basic roads), it might also be an option to add guards asking you to pay toll as a random encounter. You could try to use etiquette to persuade them that this is not needed and you have permissions to pass, or run away, but that would affect your reputation.

I would also try to make all encounters (especially friendly ones, where you have an option to rob) more common on the roads, if possible to check for this. It just makes sense that the roads would be more lively with all sorts of traders and pilgrims passing by.

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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:49 am
Also, if these character are placed INSIDE the dungeon, they can be represented by regular NPC flats instead of enemy sprites
If you could check if the player is currently on the road or not (added by Basic roads), it might also be an option to add guards asking you to pay toll as a random encounter. You could try to use etiquette to persuade them that this is not needed and you have permissions to pass, or run away, but that would affect your reputation.

I would also try to make all encounters (especially friendly ones, where you have an option to rob) more common on the roads, if possible to check for this. It just makes sense that the roads would be more lively with all sorts of traders and pilgrims passing by.
I would love to be able to do this, but sadly it's outside my capabilities. My knowledge of C# is very limited, and most of the mods I've made were done through the quest system. Through the quest system I'm able to check when the player is in the wilderness, but not when they're currently on a road.

Something that I COULD do (althought it would be a little complicated and time-consuming, but totally doable) would be to allow the chances of certain encounters to be affected by the player's level, skills, stats, or reputation with certain factions, as all of those are things that the quest system allows to check for.
Last edited by imsobadatnicknames on Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

I am only asking because I saw an API provided by Hazelnut for the Basic Roads mod, and it seemed fairly straightforward to access from other mods - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4167

I am sure Hazelnut will be happy to help with integration if possible, and Banditry + Roads seem like a match made in heaven. More friendly and robbable NPCs would be travelling by roads, specific encounters like paying the toll to the guards would also much more likely occur on a road, not in the middle of a forest. Maybe, if you want to play a highwayman, you could just stand in a middle of a road, resting for a long while and you'll have a good chance that a traveler might spawn, implying that they use the road to travel. This will be more controllable than just looking in the wilds for an NPC to rob.

Of course, some other encounters based on reputation, factions, skills, etc. are welcome too! Maybe you'll meet some friends, or haters. Some ideas:

- If you're a werewolf or a vampire, you might meet a friendly brother/sister at night, who'll either offer some advice or ask for help. Vampire merchants can actually be a thing at night, maybe in the wilderness or near graveyards, inside crypts, since it's pretty hard to trade in towns for vampires.

- If you have less than stellar reputation, you might also encounter other suspicious merchants in the wild. Graverobbers, Thieves Guild fences, other people to buy your stolen loot, maybe even drug dealers (sad there is no skooma/moon sugar in the game). They wouldn't offer their services to a well-known hero or knight, but if you have troubles with the law/low reputation, they would be happy to barter with you, providing an alternative to city shops.

- If you're a member of a temple, you might be able to convert some travelers to your faith, if they follow other divine, or encounter believers of your faith who can give you money as donation (which you can then pass to the temple or keep for your own needs).

- If you're a knight, you might be challenged to a duel by a knight from another faction.

- If you're a member of Mages Guild or just in general good with a magic skill, a traveling novice might ask you to teach them a spell. If you know the asked spell and have high enough rank in this magic school, plus if your etiquette check doesn't fail, you'll be able to make some easy money on the spot.

- Members of the Fighters Guild or just in general characters with good reputation are more likely to meet people who will ask to escort them someplace, since you'll be more trusted.

- Encountering bandits when you are a part of the Thieves Guild will make them let go of you as soon as they find out who you are.

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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:39 am I am only asking because I saw an API provided by Hazelnut for the Basic Roads mod, and it seemed fairly straightforward to access from other mods - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4167

I am sure Hazelnut will be happy to help with integration if possible, and Banditry + Roads seem like a match made in heaven. More friendly and robbable NPCs would be travelling by roads, specific encounters like paying the toll to the guards would also much more likely occur on a road, not in the middle of a forest. Maybe, if you want to play a highwayman, you could just stand in a middle of a road, resting for a long while and you'll have a good chance that a traveler might spawn, implying that they use the road to travel. This will be more controllable than just looking in the wilds for an NPC to rob.
I gave it a look. It does seem fairly easy to access from other mods. The problem is that most of my work modding DF (from Populated Buildings to Pilgrimages to Travelling alchemists)couldn't technically be described as "mods" but more as "questpacks", at least from a technical standpoint. Since my experience and knowledge of C# is rather limited, none of my mods actually involve any Unity Engine code, they're all written using the same language used to write quests, which is very limited in terms of the conditions I can check. The API you linked can only be accessed from C# scripts, not quest scripts, so at least for now it's kind of off-limits for me.

However, I AM trying to learn C#. When I'm fluent in C# I'm probably gonna remake some of these mods using actual C# code instead of the quest system, so I'll definitely try to incorporate roads more into wilderness encounters when that happens.

Regarding this:
- Encountering bandits when you are a part of the Thieves Guild will make them let go of you as soon as they find out who you are.
I think it probably should have the opposite effect. It's canon that the Thieves Guild isn't exactly keen on non-guild criminal activity and tries to "pressure" non-guild criminals into joining the guild, so being a member of the thieves guild would probably make random criminals like you less, and comminting non guild-sanctioned robberies should have a small chance of lowering your reputation with the thieves guild.

I also just remembered that the quest system includes the ability to define conditions that trigger depending on the time of the day. If I defined one to be set active from 6:00 to 18:00 and inactive the rest of the day, I could make it so that certain encoutners only happen during the day and other encounters only happen during the night (e.g. vampire merchants should only appear at night, like you sugested)
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Banditry system, yay or nay?

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

Makes sense from the point of view of quest packs! I didn't know so much was possible with just the quest engine, that's pretty wild. Still, if you do get to C# mods one day - these are definitely things to think about. I'll see if I can somehow start producing mods myself, other than throwing ideas around :lol:
being a member of the thieves guild would probably make random criminals like you less.
Oh yeah, I just thought that they might not be so random after all, maybe some highwaymen are TG members? Not all bandits have to be, but some could be. If they are, and you're a high rank in TG, maybe they can even pay you a tribute from their loot 8-)

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