Best uses for NPCs

So, i managed to convince an NPC to join my party for the first time ever… and since i don’t know anything about their behavior other than they are dumb and which encounter rules to set i want to ask you guys what do you believe are the best ways to use NPCs? Since there is a lot of special zombies around i could use some muscle, and the guy uses a crossbow so he should be stealthy… but i’d rather not risk taking him anywhere without learning a bit about how NPCs work.

My (very) limited experience allying with NPCs tells me the best use for them is to set them to hang out in one place and batch craft with them

NPCs love spears and are good with them.
They will pulp corpses for you, protect you while you craft or read so that you don’t need to stop every time some weak crap crawls up to you, teach you their skills and help you batch craft and construct.

Their best use is as smoked suckers, maybe mannwursts, or if you have ice lab storage luigi lasagna. Oh, soylent green shake is also another excellent item.

Well, my character sure IS A PSYCHOPATH, but i’d prefer to make full use out of them before processing them into meat :wink:

Training. Faster and easier than books, doesn’t require reading. Best way to gain skill that I’ve found.

Also, I’ve seen claims about batch-crafting, but I haven’t ever really messed with it much myself.

Other than that, “disposable meat shield” is about all they are really good at. If you can manage to keep them away from combat, then they can pulp corpses for you, but that’s a MIGHTY big if - in my experience, they don’t run away well, once engages, so they tend to treat every fight as a valiant last stand… soon enough, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Oh, they are also a decent source of money - trade things you don’t need for credit until you have all their credit. Yay. Then, when they die, you can get the stuff back.

They are assholes. Don’t mess with them.

You can use them for assistance in crafting, automatic pulpers, loot collectors, meat shields, skill training and just to deal with weak annoying enemies. Or you can give them an active radio dynamite and make them charge into enemies.

If you can get them using some decent gear, they are pretty great for distracting large numbers of enemies. In the experimental, you can tell them to use items such as firearms, melee weapons, and armor.

(also you can mutate them with mutagen)

They are also rather decent with crossbow type weapons, a bolt driver ideally.

One of my survivor’s NPC friends is pretty good with marksmanship and rifles, gave em a pneumatic assault rifle and thanks to how easy it is to make ball bearings and how light they are, they can carry enough to just keep firing all day.

With regards to batch crafting… well, if I recall, having an NPC help out on an item, I forget which, but a batch of 20 which would take 30 hours to make was cut down to 24 hours. Having extra NPCs doesn’t reduce time further.

So you are saying I can’t get a bunch of them, strip them down into underwear and masks, and have a drug production line.

maximum 2 per crafting project

plus you have to phyiscally craft yourself

If only we could make them craft in the base while we pillage the wastes.

If you find an awl pike, give it to your companion. Awl pikes deal massive damage in the first place, but they can also perform long reach attacks. This means a 3 tile attack range instead of the normal 2 you get with 99% of long reach weapons such as spears and glaives. This combo of damage and range will make your NPC buddy amazingly powerful melee fighter.

Compliment this with your own character’s ranged skills to bring down or soften up stronger and more dangerous enemies and you’ve got a pretty unstoppable force. If you play it right, very little or nothing will even get close enough to swing at either of you. And of course when the fight is over, friend NPC pulps all the corpses while you loot.

started a new game.

got my static npc to come with

3 house town, no car.

We walk to a shelter, i craft a crowbar and sling.

have a sling npc, kill close things.

we scavange food, kill mooses, kill zombies, craft warm things.

a day north we find mine and car.

we sling all zombies back in town, loot drink.

we live by the sling
good cheap use of npc is pebble chucker

I think I’ve only found an awl pike once in the game, ever.

Really? I have found plenty of them in museums (a excellent source of quality melee weapons), mansions, pawn shops, etc.

I found two in one mansion once, but yeah, they are very rare. However, you can also work toward learning to craft one on your own. The recipe is in The Historic Weaponsmith.

Though hard hitting, they are too slow and too tiring to use in extended combat against a moderate horde. You still end up faring better using a steel spear.