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Re: Adding marriage - poll about how you find its priority I just put a long post is a separate subject that probably should have gone here:
I have a few comments on the marriage poll and incorporating marriage into URW.  Others can comment on the role-playing nature of an NPC spouse or the ability to have children and have a multi-generational URW experience.  But I am reducing the arguments to two options for incorporating a NPC spouse: 1) the Resource Drain NPC Spouse, or 2) the Resource Generator NPC Spouse.  These options might be considered over simplifications (they are mechanistically not mutually exclusive). 

Option 1: The Resource Drain
For this option, a NPC spouse becomes a drain on player resources.  First, the spouse must be wooed and courted with furs, tools, weapons, valuables, etc.  In this option, a significant expenditure of player time is given to attract and then obtain a spouse.  The "cost" of a spouse would then be proportional to the perceived "value" of that spouse.  In this scenario, the spouse becomes a status symbol for the player through their ability to attract the "best".  It could be even that the spouse gives the player increasingly difficult quests as they become more involved along the wooing path.  Maybe there are differences between an in-culture marriage versus an out-of-culture marriage?

Second, after a marriage ceremony, the spouse must be provided for.  In this option, the NPC spouse is a bystander that consumes the player's food, clothes, tools, and weapons (maybe also armor, cords, bandages, bowls, etc.).  The player must spend time ensuring the spouse is sufficiently provided for so they stay committed to the marriage and alive.  In this option, a NPC spouse likely functions like current NPC villagers.  They wander around a specific location or follow the player around, but have limited utility.

The entire purpose of a resource drain NPC spouse is to add a monumental achievement to the URW experience.  That is, the player can not only provide for them-self, but they can attract and maintain the NPC spouse as a status symbol.  The resource drain NPC spouse then would "unlock" PALU's generational feature...
It can also be noted that there are probably very few people who play their characters for 17+ years so that they could have had "adult" offspring. This means you could potentially start a family, but any children would be unlikely to be adult when your character expires, so if a generational feature would be introduced it would probably have to be able to skip a number of years, which would require some kind of logic to advance the world (which should include repopulating village animal stocks, at the least, and probably replace some of all those villagers who died fighting robbers with your ex character as well).

Option 2: The Resource Generator

For this option, a NPC spouse would need to function differently than other villager or companion NPCs.  The NPC spouse in this scenario would need to be a productive member to contribute to living in URW.  For example, the resource generator NPC spouse would need to actually engage in meaningful labor around a settlement or while on a hunt.  This means they would need to accept and execute commands that take advantage of skills.  A resource generator NPC spouse is likely more accurate (they help contribute to life), but much more difficult to develop.  This option could also lead to players gaming the system or to unexpected results (or danger to the NPC spouse) due to poorly issues commands and limitations of the AI. 

A wooing process would need to take place.  However, while a resource drain NPC spouse would be a status symbol, a resource generator NPC spouse would be valued to complement the player.  For example, if a player is unskilled in something, woo a resource generator NPC spouse to compensate so they can perform those skills for you.

Once the courtship is completed, the resource generator NPC spouse would need to be functionally helpful to a player.  For example, if a player provides the necessary items (tools, weapons, seeds, pots, cords, etc.) and key instructions (location of a field to prepare/tend, trap fence to monitor, materials to process, etc.), the resource generator NPC spouse could process through a que of instructions.  For example, a resource generating NPC spouse could contribute to agriculture, hideworking, fishing, food preparation (smoking, salting, drying meat or making flatbread, stews, grinding flour, etc.), hunting, building, monitoring a trap fence, checking traps, making clothes, tools, or weapons, etc..  A resource generator NPC spouse would need to have skills that would affect their ability to perform all of these actions/functions. 

The entire purpose of a resource generator NPC spouse would be to expand a players skills set, provide a companion in shared activities, and/or help reduce the tedium that can occur when surviving in URW (i.e. division of labor).   I can imagine scenarios where the resource generator NPC spouse...
  • prepares the soil, plants seeds, harvests crops, threshes for grain/seeds, grinds flour
  • skins a carcass, cleans the skin, tans furs and leather
  • butchers and smoke the meat or cooks any of the other food recipes
  • prepares logs, blocks of wood, boards, etc.
  • builds a wooden building or kota if the player outlines the walls and doors
  • follows a circuit of traps, or a trap fence, to collect the trapped animals, reset the traps
  • being sent out into a delineated geography and asked to harvest all the berries or herbs of a given type
  • wanders a geographical area to actively hunt
  • joins the player and sets traps in a designated place
  • joins the player on an active hunt
  • follows the player to a village to trade and carry items
  • etc.

I've said too much...

Option 1 would be easier and provide for "end game" objectives.
Option 2 would require the player to spend a great deal of time managing the NPC spouse.

December 18, 2017, 11:03:31 PM
Re: Can i smoke meat on a village? Yes, you can do it just fine.  Be cautious when picking up your completed meat as the AI seems to like to stack villager meat with the player.  For example, if you pick up a stack of smoked meat, there might be a smoked/dried/roasted fish or 5 in your stack that the villagers placed there. 

I didn't notice once and had villagers chasing after me to pay for meat I didn't know I took.

December 28, 2017, 04:56:52 PM
Re: Trainers I've been thinking about weapons training specifically and also have a few thoughts.  I'll also offer a shout out to the HEMA alliance if any of you are interested:  Also a comment about my own bias, I don't like Privateer's current mod for combat training dummies.  It is a good workaround but doesn't fit into the feel and style of URW (IMO).  It also doesn't work in any sort of historical context.

  • Weapon training is a grind in real life.  It takes months and years to improve in skill and ability with a weapon.
  • Learning a weapon alone is incredibly difficult.  A teacher fixes basic mistakes, offers a more skilled opponent, provides a safe (safer) place to fail, and challenges the student to consider new questions and seek for solutions to those questions.
  • Weapons training often requires specially adapted equipment and protection.
  • Weapons training also requires a safe space or physical location.

So, if a weapon training system is on the table for development, I'd recommend some of the following mechanics be considered:
  • Only a few NPCs in each culture should be weapons trainers.  There might be cultural limitations for which weapon skills are available.  For example, maybe teachers for the highest skill levels are limited by culture...
    • Shield - Driik
    • Knife - Kaumo and Sarto
    • Sword - Driik
    • Club - Seal
    • Axe - Kiesse and Reemi
    • Flail - Koivu, Sarto, and Reemi
    • Spear - Seal
    • Bow - Owl
    • Crossbow - Driik
    • Unarmed - Kaumo, Sarto, and Owl
  • You should be able to search for NPC weapon trainers.
  • The weapon trainer offers an increase in a weapon skill like the current quest system does for weapon skill improvement.  That is, training gives the player character a guaranteed skill increase next time the player character uses that skill.
  • I like Palu's suggestion for reputation:
    • - In addition to a higher cost for higher level training higher levels of training should probably require higher levels of trust, so you'd have to build up a reputation with the potential trainers (and/or their villages) for them to accept to train you. That would prevent you from just traveling around the world to seek out the masters to gain mastery in a comparatively short time. Instead, you'd have to spend a considerable amount of time while concentrating on only a few skills (the ones available in your vicinity).
  • The player character must collect and craft specialized equipment for the NPC weapon trainer.  For example:
    • ...if a player is trying to improve the archery skill, they must obtain a bow for the weapon trainer (e.g. fine longbow, masterwork northern bow, etc.) based on cultural requirement, arrows that the NPC trainer keeps, and an archery butt (a new craftable item that serves as the target).
    • ...if a player is trying to improve the sword skill, they must obtain a suit of armor (complete set of fur clothing or leather clothing, iron helm, mail cowl, etc.) and a blunt wooden practice sword (the practice sword only causes blunt damage).  (Note: modding for this is rather easy.).
    • Blunted weapons would be needed for swords, knives, axes, etc..  Maybe a staff is equivalent enough for a spear. 
  • The NPC weapon trainer could become a companion with a specialized dialog option.  The player character asks the NPC to train them in a weapon, and if the player has a high enough reputation, the NPC says OK if the player provides the specialized equipment for training.  The player should also provide food and some type of reward or valuable to the NPC. 
  • After the NPC becomes a companion, a specialized command becomes available to train the player.
  • The NPC and player then train for a few hours and the player then gains negative consequences (e.g. blunt wounds from any weapons, lost arrows from archery practice, damage to the practice weapon or armor.
  • The NPC weapon trainer would only stay with the character for a few days and thereby limit how much skill improvement is allowed.
  • I also like Palu's suggestion for a cooldown so the NPC weapon trainer isn't able to be hired as a companion for at least a set period of time:

I believe some sort of NPC weapon trainer system would help a critical limitation in the current URW system.  Like Palu mentioned, this system will try to be gamed by players so balancing would be needed.

December 29, 2017, 05:42:02 PM
Re: Infection - does it exist? I've never seen infection, but think the current wound system incorporates infection into the color-coded wound status. 

As someone employed IRL in a healthcare field, I have played quite a bit with herbs and wounds.  I've learned that some herbs with no benefit to healing (e.g. clayweed, topical meadsweet) indeed seem to have no effect when used with physician skill to treat wounds (either washing or bandaging).  While others with a topical use (e.g. heather, yarrow, milkweed, nettle) do seem to improve the status of wounds after the physician skill (status moved toward green).

As was mentioned, I too have been frustrated when treating a severe wound (e.g. >10% penalty) that is already green in status worsens the wound and will cause it to bleed.

One additional comment - stacked wounds heal separately and don't tend to interfere with eachother's healing.  That is, if there are several minor cuts in the same location, then each cut heals independently from the others, even if those wounds overlap and each have a different status.  I think poorly-healing wounds might "contaminate" others in the same area.

I'm excited to see what happens when permanent wounds are implemented at some point in the future.  Would infected wounds (red color) prompt a need to amputate a limb?  How many bruises, cuts, or punctures to an eye cause that eye to be lost?

February 21, 2018, 04:48:26 PM
Re: New look of rain a bit hard on the eyes I agree that the rain/snow visual is rough.  I often give-up on whatever I'm doing in heavy rain/snow because I can't see, especially when traveling on the map screen. 

For example, I was working through a bird-thief quest and had to give-up for several days because I couldn't identify terrain from the map screen or on the zoomed-in screen.  Then when there was a break in the rain, I got in some time searching but had to give up repeatedly and couldn't use a systematic search strategy.  It took so much longer than it should have to finish that quest.  I was worried about finishing the quest in time.

April 10, 2018, 03:34:03 PM
He was in my cabin! The following is a story of Ossi.

It was my first winter alone since I escaped from my Njerpez captors.  You see, I had cleared their camp earlier in the spring and used it as my homestead, remaking two of their buildings into my own cabin.  My homestead was then a central camp with my cabin and sauna with a pine mire to the north and east, all surrounded by spruce mire.  I had ringed my homestead and border of the spruce mire with a contiguous trap fence and staked trap pits.  In the months between then and mid-winter, I had explored and become friendly with local villagers: trading for many goods I needed, helping them with chores, traveling between regions, and even finding a bird thief. 

In those travels, I had encountered numerous Njerpez warriors wandering the forests, especially near my homestead.  More so even than I had ever heard of.  I had had numerous encounters, and almost perished a few times.  Because of this, I often wore my best armor and was armed as I traveled around the forests near my homestead.

One morning near mid-winter, I checked my trap fence and found a lone small wolf caught in a pit.  I killed, skinned, and butchered the animal, offering up a gift to the spirits for this bounty.  I set the meat to dry and tanned the fur.  I came back and picked up the rinsed winter wolf fur and took it into my cabin to finish at my table.  I had a decent fur at the end, was weary and moderately fatigued, and it was evening.  So I decided to add the fur to my sleeping pallet and rest.  I decided not to re-kindle the fire that night and was about to lay down on my furs against a cold winter night ...when I heard my door open

Confused, I was about to look to my door when I was hit from behind and felt something break in my thoraxI turned and I was being attacked by a Njerpez Warrior holding a mace! He was in my cabin!  He had apparently scaled my fence, snuck across my homestead, rushed into my cabin, and attacked me, all in the darkness of the night as I was finishing a fur.  I wasn't wearing armor and had no weapons, so I grabbed a handaxe nearby and fought the intruder.

I had little hope of succeeding against this enemy with my fatigue and wound, but I struck back against his blow to my shoulder and luckily hit him in the abdomen, which wound began to bleed.  I think he was shocked that his first strike didn't knock me unconscious and I was fighting back.  After that, I chopped my axe against his skull and he dropped dead.  I was stunned at my survival! 

I gathered my weapons quickly, searched my homestead in the darkness, and found this intruder was alone.  I was left with a major fracture in my thorax, a dead Njerpez next to my sleeping pallet, and bloody gore marring my peaceful cabin.  I felt as if my home was violated.  If there was only some way to secure my cabin or bar the door.  I don't feel as safe as I did before this invasion.  It is a blessing I was awake.  One more moment, and I would have lied down and the Njerpez warrior would have found me asleep.  I am truly lucky.

Note: In all my years of playing URW, I've never encountered so many solo Njerpez warriors in such a small geographical region.  They've given me a fairly steady stream of goods for trade.  But I've also never had a Njerpez invade my cabin directly.  I've found them in tiles adjacent to various characters' cabins, but this is the first time I've ever had this type of experience.  It scared me to death.  I was literally shaking by being surprised by a Njerpez in my own cabin.  I was sure my time invested into this character was about to be flushed down the tube, but was genuinely happy to survive.  I also wonder if it would be possible to bar a door in a building.  This would require the invader to break down the door with an axe to get in, but would give some defense against home invaders.

April 16, 2018, 10:45:35 AM
Defense in a building I recently had a Njerpez warrior enter my cabin in the night and almost kill my character.  (See Stories --> Topic: He was in my cabin!)  I have never had this happen through multiple other characters.

Having said that, is there anything that can be done to make a building more secure?  I'm sure others have ideas of how to make this work. 

For example, can a new "lockable" door be constructed either be modifying the existing door OR by creating a new craft-able item of a "Door Bar".  The Door Bar could be made from 1-2 boards and tying equipment.  It is then applied to a closed door to secure the door.  It would need to be picked up from the adjacent door (and enter the character's inventory) for the door to be opened OR it could be hacked through using an axe to break the door (which would then create firewood?). 

April 19, 2018, 10:25:01 PM
Re: Summary of the year 2017 added to development history section What kind of name is "fghfg Kaumolainen"?  And why is he stalking a mother bear and cub armed with only a broad knife?   :o

My guess is his mother dropped him on his head as a baby.

April 23, 2018, 04:36:10 PM
Re: integration of animals into bargaining I agree.  In addition, I'd like to be able to buy several animals in the same transaction.  For example, I'd like to be able to buy 3 dogs (or sheep, rams, cows, etc.) in one trade rather than buy each animal separately.  This would require a different mechanism to leash the animals than after a trade. 

For example, could a village that sells animals have a pile of ropes in one of the buildings equal to each animal they have for sale?  I then pick up the ropes, enter the fenced pen, leash the animals, and then make a purchase before I can take the animals out of the pen?

May 21, 2018, 09:08:37 PM
Re: Dont understand how trapping fence works I like to build trap fences along the borders between forests and open terrain types (i.e. fields, roads, meadows, and clearings).  You can often find these near agricultural villages.  I don't surround a village directly, but make sure my trap fences are a few tiles away on the borders.  It is easy then to walk along the fence in the "open" terrain and see if the fence has been triggered.
September 23, 2018, 05:26:02 PM