Topic: Disease, pests, and the joy of cats  (Read 494 times)


« on: October 02, 2017, 10:58:13 PM »
Yesterday, my cat returned with the 5th gift this week. This time, he had actually bothered killing it, making it much easier for me to rid him of his triumph.

As I did, he just lay down on the sofa, unbothered by his prey being removed. His diligence is surprising, but not uncommon for cats. This time though, it made me think.
"Go to hell, you feline bastard." I thought.

It also made me think of nature, which led to Unrealworld eventually.

Now, what did this long and pointless story about my cat have to do with the suggestion?

Nothing at all. Or at least very little...


Dogs are so far the only pet you can own in Unrealworld, and it is more or less only good for hunting game and njerpez.
Since diseases/illnesses are planned, I think it would be fitting to also add another pet.

Illnesses could be caught through human interaction, or be spread via some kind of pathogen. This would mean you could get bitten by rats in your sleep, and that would have a chance of making you ill. Rats could also chew on your smoked njerpez reindeer as well, of course.

These ilnesses would be connected to herblore (understanding which herbs help which symptoms), that would help you find possible cures/ailments that might help.
Shamans can help, but you shouldn't place all your eggs in one basket, so shamans might fail in treating you, making herblore a more viable skill to focus on.

(Herblore might need some kind of name change if this happens, though.)

Cats would be the way to prevent pests from pestering you. They would be a low-maintinence (no need to feed), but very expensive/rare to buy. Possible only avaliable from foreign merchants or something along those lines. Cats would be a luxury for sure, and nothing a poor hermit usualy can afford. But there's always murdering and stealing.

To avoid slowing down the game too much/ crowding the world beyond capacity, pests might not need to be actual animals, just a state of a tile. Much like snow, it can have different levels of pests around it:

Pest-free (need several cats)
Bugs (lowest you can get with one cat)
Rodents and bugs (the normal state)
A lot of pests (unusually high)
Pests everywhere (dangerously high)

The more people-the more pests.


Note: I might be WAY off historically. Please correct me if I am.

spamgoose

« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 11:24:45 PM »
I think there is merit to the dynamics you discuss. Actual rats would be more fun though... and would attract snakes! I enjoy the idea of leaving the cabin in the morning and seeing dead grouse, ermines, and rats all piled up, and the cat looking pleased with itself.

I don't think you're way off, historically. I have no idea when brown rats made it to Finland, but if there was agriculture then chances are there were rats. Certainly southern Finland was deeply entangled in the Baltic trade system and would have had similar cats to the Scandinavians, as well as some feral landraces. With close connections to Russia and the Middle East, a lot of different cat dna could have been present. However, I doubt cats, nor rats, were that common in the north of our area of interest.

I think as farming and agriculture and what not expands, this could be a very cool idea. Especially domestic animals having offspring. Rather than being exotic and rare, I would expect every village that does any farming to have a cat or two, and would be willing to trade off kittens. Rather than being super expensive, they should require to be fed when they haven't caught something. And would be annoying to keep contained, so they would frequently run off and be eaten by wolves... or come back pregnant.

PALU

« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 10:12:48 AM »
I think there was another kind of rat (black?) in the area before the brown rat invaded and took over that niche. Regardless, there are smaller rodents (mice, voles, etc.) that can make cause serious damage to your food stores even if rats are not introduced.

I agree cats probably have no role in the northern tribes as those don't have any agriculture (although that doesn't stop those villages from having farmers...).

I'm not sure I agree with the thought that cats would have a role in fighting disease, but they certainly ought to have one in fighting vermin munching through your food stores.

As a trade off, a cat at your homestead might mean small traps near it are less likely to catch anything, as the cat(s) scare them away (and the blood thirsty critters may also kill or mutilate creatures that actually are trapped).

LaraXaby

« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 02:53:22 PM »
Pff, please. I'm just gonna keep my cat inside and use it as a mobile heat source.  ;D

spamgoose

« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 03:38:55 AM »
I think there was another kind of rat (black?) in the area before the brown rat invaded and took over that niche. Regardless, there are smaller rodents (mice, voles, etc.) that can make cause serious damage to your food stores even if rats are not introduced.

I agree cats probably have no role in the northern tribes as those don't have any agriculture (although that doesn't stop those villages from having farmers...).

I'm not sure I agree with the thought that cats would have a role in fighting disease, but they certainly ought to have one in fighting vermin munching through your food stores.

As a trade off, a cat at your homestead might mean small traps near it are less likely to catch anything, as the cat(s) scare them away (and the blood thirsty critters may also kill or mutilate creatures that actually are trapped).

Yea the disease thing is a good point. Does the game have the plague yet? We could go one step further and introduce fleas hah.

I really like the idea of pests eating stores in general. It would be a check against the increasingly huge pile of food we keep in our cellars.

As for a game dynamic... vermin could be represented as more of a swarm, "It's several mice", though that might not model into the game well. If rats are applicable though, I think they could be represented singularly, like ermines and their ilk, and could stand in for all vermin activity. And certain kinds of terrain, including building walls, could be places they disappear into, similar to seals and beavers going under water. It'd certainly make a cat more necessary.

shorun

« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 06:23:54 PM »
cats please. more animals in general but especially cats.

Will

« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 03:59:31 AM »
You know what I find funny... Cats actually caused a lot of illness, and those who did like cats and had cats became crazy, there is a disease that makes people bat$#!T crazy and others that just kill you very slowly, some others, *cough, cough* bubonic plague *cough* were caused because the cat biting the rat would make the cat a carrier what could be transmitted through bites and through the air. Another disease you don't know about but see a lot of in the Simpsons is Toxoplasmosis, the most common cause of the crazy cat lady syndrome "DONT TAKE SNOWBALL V LISA!!!!". But this was because of not treating and cleaning animals and cleaning yourself afterward.

Plotinus

« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 08:27:58 AM »
The cat knocks your bronze ornamental comb off the table. It breaks.
The cat knocks your bowl of fish soup off the table. It spills.
You are ready to drop. You wrap yourself up in furs and...wait a minute...is that cat pee?



PoisonPen

« Reply #8 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.

shorun

« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2017, 04:24:06 PM »
You are ready to drop. You wrap yourself up in furs and...wait a minute...is that cat pee?

"your movement was spotted by felix"
"felix leaps towards your feet"

*dodge
*block with fur*
*counterattack*
*ignore*