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Messages - 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 / Re: Endgame economics - Money sink ideas
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:06:31 PM »
It would be interesting to be able to create a new village in a specific location by piling enough of certain supplies in one spot.  It would give you a reason to stockpile large amounts of certain things.  For instance, to establish a village which specializes in fishing, you might need to pile up:

10 fishing rods
20 nets
1000 days worth of food
10 bags of salt
500 stones
1000 logs
2 of each type of axe
10 assorted knives
500 pounds of fur
250 pounds of leather
100 cords
100 pounds of any combination of seeds

Put that all in one space, use the [M]ake menu to to make a fishing village, and poof!  To make it more interesting and useful, you could also add certain cultural items to give you the ability to make it a certain desired ethnicity.  So if you want a Kaumo village to trade with near your Owl-region homestead, you could build one and create a Kaumo cultural area around it.  With enough time and tenacity, you could transform an area by creating multiple villages of the same ethnicity in the same general area.

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 / Re: Disease, pests, and the joy of cats
« on: November 08, 2017, 03:02:12 PM »
You wrap yourself in furs and go to sleep.
Zzzzzz. [Hold on]
You wake.  You think you can hear a horny yowling nearby.
You wrap yourself in furs and go to sleep.
Zzzzzz. [Hold on]
You wake.  You think you can hear angry hissing and shrieking nearby.
You wrap yourself in furs and go to sleep.
Zzzzzz. [Hold on]
You wake.  There is a feline butthole pressed to your face.

Suggestions / Re: Paddles as weapons
« on: November 06, 2017, 04:14:41 AM »
When I'm finished with the mod I'm currently working on, I've been considering adding some new tools which perform multiple roles (but not as well as specialized single-purpose tools) if I can figure out how to do it.  For instance, an adze which would be both broad axe and shovel, but doesn't count as a sharp tool for harvesting and makes a poor weapon.  Or a shoulder saw which acts as a woodsman's axe and carving axe.  Or a mattock which can be used as a good two-handed weapon, but also acts as a splitting axe.  And so on.  I like the idea of being able to mix-and-match tools according to need, preference, skill, and weight.

Suggestions / Re: Paddles as weapons
« on: November 05, 2017, 09:30:20 PM »
In Cataclysm:DDA any object in the game can be used as a weapon to greater or lesser effect.  One of the more entertaining things to do is to beat a zombie to death with a cheese sandwich, a pair of socks, or a dildo.  I think it makes a lot of sense to be able to wield any object as a weapon, though of course you should get rather large penalties trying to bludgeon a Njerp with a dead grouse or a pail of milk.

Development News / Re: "Spirit of the forest, I presume"
« on: November 05, 2017, 05:00:42 PM »
I'd really like to be able to turn supernatural elements on and off in the options.  As much as encountering pirus, paasselkas, leshyies, rusalkas, polevois, and the rest would be fun, I'd like to be able to have a more grounded, historical experience too.  If I'm shooting lightning bolts at a level-25 domovoi, I might as well be playing ADOM.

Suggestions / Re: Improvement for cutting branches
« on: November 05, 2017, 04:47:17 PM »
The same sort of quality-of-life fixes should be done to other activities in the game too, to make them more consistent.  For instance, harvesting is pick-a-direction, but then moving to pick up the harvest is move-in-the-direction-you're-pointing.  I've lost track of the number of times I've forgotten to switch modes in my brain before moving, resulting in move-get-return resulting in popping up onto the overland map instead of collecting the harvest.

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.

Suggestions / Re: Repairing nets
« on: November 05, 2017, 04:34:19 PM »
A good way to balance it would be to allow for the creation of fish weirs, which would essentially be water-based traps similar to any other land-based trap.  They're historically accurate, too.

Gameplay questions / Re: Short Questions/Quick Answers
« on: November 01, 2017, 03:35:06 PM »
Thanks for clarifying how healing works.  I bandaged the arm, visited a shaman, and then left it alone.  It only took a week and a half or so to get it healed enough to use it, then another few weeks to get it healed completely.  I spent my time trapping birds and fishing.  I traded the loot from the bandits for some decent armour and then, since I'd spent a lot of points on weapon skills, decided to head for Njerp territory.  I stumbled across a Njerp village in broad daylight and the next thing I knew I was running for my life through heavy woods with every man, woman, and child on my heels and arrows whizzing past me.  What RNG taketh away, the RNG also occasionally giveth.  I ended up finding trees arranged so that I could occupy a little nook which covered my back and they could only come at me two at a time with not enough room to snipe me with bows.

By the time I was finished I'd grabbed a fallen enemy's fine mace and the bodies of nearly the entire tribe were heaped around me.  When I finally recovered my stamina and emerged from my little hidey-hole, there was just a single Njerp child left who made the poor life decision of picking up a rock when he saw me.  Turns out you don't need paper to beat rock; a big, heavy mace works just fine.

I now own an entire ex-Njerp village and all its varied contents.  Anyone in the market for some scimitars?

Gameplay questions / Re: Bow accuracy
« on: October 30, 2017, 09:45:58 AM »
Perhaps there could be the possibility of an aimed shot, then?  Taking a turn or two to steady your shot on an unmoving target should greatly increase accuracy, and probably more accurately reflect the reality of bow hunting with a devastating first shot which, if it fails to bring down the prey, then turns into a long and grueling pursuit.  I haven't done any bow hunting myself, but I've accompanied someone who does.  The only exception to his one-shot-one-kill technique is bear hunting, where he uses a broadhead arrow, then uses his Russian wolfhounds to force the bear to run so it tears itself up inside on the arrow and eventually dies of internal bleeding.

Gameplay questions / Re: Short Questions/Quick Answers
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:50:47 AM »
After more than a dozen tries, I was finally able to wedge myself into some trees where they could only come at me two at a time, but not before they'd crippled my right arm from behind.  I managed to kill all five of them with a left-handed hand axe (I started with a rough one, but snatched up a normal quality one from the first one I killed), but now I'm stuck trying to play the early game with a crippled right arm and a low physician skill.  I'm debating whether or not to abandon the game.  The wound keeps bleeding when I try to tend it, and I've come close to bleeding out a couple of times.  I've already gone through most of the bandits' clothes bandaging all my wounds, and it'll probably be summer by the time I manage to get the arm healed enough to use it.  Spending day after day fishing and setting light lever traps because I can't do anything else isn't much fun.

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