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Topics - PoisonPen

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Suggestions / Primitive survival gear & strategies
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:38:42 PM »
Right now most people settle down and build a cabin or a series of cabins and hunting/fishing shacks, but I think it's possible to rebalance the game to make a more nomadic lifestyle more interesting to play by adding some traditional neolithic survival tools and techniques to the game.

Fire pouch
Primitive peoples found it much easier to keep an ember from their old fire and use it to kindle the next one than have to make a new one every time. There were a number of different strategies, such as enclosing a hot coal from a fire between two tightly-bound shells, but I think you could probably make this work fairly simply in URW by adding a [M]ake menu option to "extract embers" from either a hot fireplace or a burning fire into a container of some sort.  It would work the same way food does, where it has a limited lifespan.  Instead of "stale" you'd get a "dying" status: (dying) rough wooden bowl of embers, and then it just disappears when it goes completely cold.  [A]pplying the embers would use them up, but give a very high chance (say, 95%) of starting a fire on the first try.

Carts, dogsleds, and other vehicles are probably very difficult to implement, but I think a travois would be somewhat easier, since you could just make it an animal that doesn't move on its own and just follows you around.  Unlike pack animals, a travois can be easily crafted on the spot from a couple of slender trunks and some cord or rope to let you drag that elk carcass or Njerp raiding party loot back to your shelter for processing.

I know this has been suggested many times before, but I wanted to put my weight behind it too.  Walking in snow should be slow and tiring without snowshoes (which should have the opposite effect of making walking anywhere but snow slow and tiring so you can't just wear them 24/7 and forget about them).  They should also have the benefit of making you less likely to fall through ice.

An atlatl is essentially just a stick with a cord or rope on it, and is used to sling javelins harder, faster, and more accurately (by causing them to spin) than being thrown by hand.  When wielding an atlatl, you could use them to shoot javelins the way bows shoot arrows as implemented in the game right now.

Throwing stick
One step below a javelin, throwing sticks are super-easy to make from a simple branch, and while they have a pretty short range, they're reasonably accurate and can take down small game like birds and squirrels.  They should fit somewhere between a rock and a javelin in terms of their accuracy and killing power.

Funnel trap/fish weir
This would be super-easy to implement, essentially just traps which can be placed at the edges of any large body of water the same way traps are currently placed on land.  Funnel traps would be made from sticks and catch smaller fish, while fish weirs would be made from slender trunks and catch larger fish.

Boiled grass
If you're desperate, it's possible to boil fistfuls of ordinary grass for a few carbs and some critical micronutrients.  I'd like to see it possible to harvest grass from any grassy land square.  Without boiling the grass is indigestible, but if you have a pot and access to water, you can boil it for better-than-nothing nutrition.  It should definitely not be capable of keeping you alive in the long term, but could be useful for grabbing a few urgently-needed calories while waiting for a fishing net to pay off rather than just waiting.

Eating dirt
Dirt contains a lot of spores, tiny animals (like springtails), bacteria, seeds, molds, and other biological detritus which can be extracted by your digestive system at the cost of, well, eating and pooping dirt.  Some survival experts recommend eating dirt in an emergency situation when there's absolutely nothing else, and there's argument about whether primitive peoples used to do the same.  Regardless, it would be a very last-ditch attempt to stave off starvation when there's absolutely nothing else to eat -- but it's there in limitless quantities and requires no tools whatsoever.

Pine nuts
The nuts from pine trees were a traditional staple of paleolithic Europe.  They should be harvestable in the late fall as pine cones, then require some threshing to separate the nuts.  The thing about pine nuts is they're mostly fat (they have more than twice the fat than the protein and carbohydrate content combined) and so are a good way of avoiding starvation without needing to eat meat, provided you can process enough of them.  The reason pine nuts weren't generally sold commercially is because they're so small, and require so much effort to obtain, that they're not generally worth the labour.  But if you have no other source of fat in your diet, they should be able to prevent starvation, which would make a huge difference to the game balance currently in place; it suddenly becomes possible to survive without hunting.

There are already psychedelic mushrooms in the game, but they have no practical use.  There's a theory that what made Norse berserkers so fierce is that prior to battle they would drink a brew made from shrooms until they were stoned out of their brains, and then set loose on the battlefield literally feeling no pain and utterly psychotic with rage.  I'd love to be able to brew some shroom tea before charging into a Njerp encampment wearing nothing but crazy, feeling no effects from exhaustion, pain, or fear.  The game effect would be to remove all tiredness and exhaustion for the duration of the effects, but translate that into physical damage instead.  So you'd be inexhaustible until the shrooms wore off, but cause physical strain to your body which might take days or weeks to heal.

Suggestions / Plankwood wall
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:03:16 AM »
When you have a lot of animals, milking is a nightmare as they all run every which way and you're lefting figuring which you have and haven't milked yet.  You can fence them into individual enclosures outside, but if you have a barn you have no way of separating them into stalls.  It would be nice to be able to create internal plank walls which don't remove floor and ceiling.  It would also be helpful just for the sake of aesthetics to be able to create rooms in cabins without having to make internal walls huge, load-bearing log walls.

(And just incidentally, why the hell do animals in barns make a bee-line straight for any door you open and head for the hills?  Having to create an "airlock" at every door isn't very realistic.)

Bug reports / Item quality disappears
« on: November 12, 2017, 07:11:22 AM »
Picked up a fine sickle in a village and paid for it.  I already had a sickle in my inventory.  After buying it, I discovered that the sickle had lost its fine quality and was now a regular sickle, but wouldn't stack with my other regular sickle.  I confirmed by using both sickles to harvest that neither got a fine bonus, so they were both regular sickles.

Suggestions / Human sacrifice
« on: November 08, 2017, 03:15:44 PM »
I read an article about bog corpses, with many of them suspected of being the result of human sacrifice or murder, and then did the bog weapon sacrifice as part of the advanced course.  It got me thinking.  Would it be possible in URW to tie up an unconscious enemy with rope instead of killing them?  I know human sacrifice was a major part of the Celtic culture, and I'm sure the Finnic peoples had similar rites.  It would be interesting to be able to please the spirits by, say, performing the blood eagle on a bound prisoner, or cutting their throat and throwing them into a bog for future paleontologists to find.  It would also make the ruthless warrior path more viable by spiritually balancing out the murder of innocent people with blood sacrifices to the spirits.

Suggestions / Rain + about to drop + no shelter = ARGH
« on: November 05, 2017, 04:41:19 PM »
If you need to stop for the night while it's raining and you miscalculate the length of time to build a shelter, it becomes an extremely irritating process of repeatedly collapsing unconscious, then waking a few minutes later because of the rain, then trying to set up your shelter, then collapsing again, then waking up again, over and over and over.  And you can't do anything about it at that point.  Perhaps having rain wake you at weary instead of exhausted would be a good compromise.  At least then it wouldn't take you a dozen or more cycles of build-collapse-wake-build.

Gameplay questions / Bow accuracy
« on: October 28, 2017, 08:08:00 AM »
I have 90 skill in bows, 0% encumberance, masterwork longbow, and fine arrows -- and I still miss birds more often than I hit at a range of one full screen.  English longbowmen could routinely hit something the size of a playing card from 200 yards.  I understand that these characters are hunter-trappers and fishermen, not professionally trained warriors, but missing more than half your shots at a range of 30 or 40 yards seems unrealistically inaccurate.

Modding / Every Part of the Animal
« on: October 19, 2017, 02:21:44 AM »
I've been trying to make an "Every Part of the Animal" mod which would allow the harvesting of bones (small and large), blood, and gutpile from butchering (depending on physician skill -- it's not that unrealistic for butchery skills to translate to medical skills and vice versa), as an initial step to creating uses for it.  (Bones can be ground for bonemeal for fertilizer, small bones used for jewelry and charms, large bones used for weapons and armour; blood used to make blood sausage; gutpiles used as bait.)

I've been looking through all the material on modding, and I don't see any way to do this.  Is this baked into the code and therefore impossible to mod?

Off-topic / Other roguelikes
« on: October 18, 2017, 07:14:48 AM »
I'm guessing most people here are avid roguelike fans.  What other games do others here play?

For myself, I've spent a lot of time playing Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, although I really don't like the direction they've been going.  Grenade-throwing zombies?  Zoombies?  Laundry as a game mechanic?  No thanks.  When I got tired of playing 0.c with all its unfixed bugs and didn't want to switch to the (increasingly stupid) newer versions, I switched to UnReal World.

Before that, my main game was TOME with the Theme immersion plugin.  Unfortunately they were shut down by the Tolkien Estate and their replacement was... well, it's just bad.

And before that it was Angband, NetHack, Moria, et al.

In the pre-Web days, I was an admin and coder on Gateway, the largest MUD in existence at the time.  (We could handle up to one hundred concurrent players -- an unimaginably vast number in the days of Gopher and telnet.  It was the beta test site for LPmud; yes, it was that old.)

Suggestions / Sleep deficit
« on: October 15, 2017, 04:10:47 PM »
I, personally, have gone five days without sleep (although around day three I started having waking dreams, where I'd see dream imagery projected on surfaces), and I think most people can go at least two days without collapsing unconscious.  I'd like to see the need to sleep work the way hunger does right now, where hunger kind of ramps up if you go too long without eating and can only be cured by overeating for a few days.  Sleep deficits work the same way in the real world, where you can keep going for weeks on short rations of sleep, but you begin accumulating a sleep deficit and eventually have to pay it back over a lengthy period.  Pre-industrial agrarian society was indeed much like this, where you'd have long periods of inactivity interspersed with sleepless periods of frantic activity for planting and harvesting.

(On a related note, I think hunger is too fast.  I can overeat for weeks, but if I spend 9 hours straight erecting a cabin wall without snacking, I become instantly emaciated.  If only it was that easy to lose weight in the real world...)

Edit: A "second wind" ritual would be useful too.

Bug reports / Partially constructed trap fence eats spikes
« on: October 15, 2017, 12:50:45 AM »
Passed out from lack of sleep while building a trap fence.  It removed the six spikes from inventory and produced a translucent place-holder the way partially-constructed built-menu things do, but trying to resume required six more spikes.

Gameplay questions / Harassment by a seal
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:45:59 PM »
I'm at my wit's end.  I built my shelter near the sea in Driik territory, and a grey seal has taken up residence in the area.  It constantly wakes me up at night while I'm trying to sleep, and is so skittish that it vanishes the second I spot it.  I have a bow and arrow, but I am loathe to lose every arrow I miss with into the sea, and my stealth is too poor to sneak up on it.  It won't fall into the traps I've set for it, and its constant splashing interrupts me again and again while I'm trying to erect cabin walls or tan hides.

I am being trolled by a seal.  Help?

Suggestions / Building type: Soddy
« on: October 12, 2017, 02:41:42 AM »
Reading through some of the complaints about cabins (and having denuded an entire forest, eaten the content of an entire lake, and spent an entire year building one), I think there needs to be something in between the lean-to and the cabin.  My suggestion is the soddy, and while it was more commonly used by Europeans in early Columbian North America, it was also historically used in places like Iceland, where trees were hard to come by.  The soddy is constructed by carving out sections of grass turf and stacking them for walls.  In North America, they'd usually dig into the side of a hill for a rear wall, then use sod to construct the other three walls for a soddy, which is where they would spend their first winter; in the spring, they'd build a wooden cabin on top of the soddy and turn the soddy into a root cellar.

In game, the soddy should be much faster to construct than a cabin, but require more time and effort than a lean-to or a yurt.  The only problem is that cabins are already so nearly useless that I'm at something of a loss to figure out any way to make it less useful than a log cabin -- especially since a soddy is actually more cold resistant and thus arguably superior.  In the real world, a soddy is much flimsier and requires constant maintenance, but I'm not sure the mechanics for this are available in the game since lean-tos are just as permanent structurally sound as a log cabin.

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