Extra Lives thru NPC followers

What if there was an option to switch player control to a npc follower upon death?

It’ll be cool to be able to continue playing your game when you die by becoming one of your followers. Mechanics wise, everything you owned & faction wise transfer control to that npc, so you can jump right back into the action, and role play wise, your second in command either avenges you or survives in your name.

  • can set follower as second in command, who takes over when you die.
  • this will be good for people who’ve built up a faction camp, so you don’t lose it all
    -upon death, you jump right back into game, but you’re forced to play as your follower…meaning you’re stuck with whatever stats they have
    -allows one to keep playing a faction & create legacy that could persist through many characters & game years.
    -maybe even add a graveyard modular to faction camp builds to honor those lost.
    -perhaps other npcs talk about your dead character depending on their loyalty. Do they weep? Curse? Go insane?

The idea is to allow you to pick up right where you left off, keep everything you’ve built, and not have to slog through character creator. However, because you are now playing as a npc, you can’t start with an op character.

Would something like this be possible?


In theory, yes. In practice, no one has gone through the coding effort to make it happen.

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Well, it probably wouldn’t even take that much coding…

Not following quite what @Trivega asked for… I’d do it like this:
On death, you are given the option of death cam (if you set that option) or to switch character (probably including a new option). Going for the latter, you can choose one of your followers from a list.
Now, for the game it would be like you died, gone back to the main menu, created a new character and entered the game again. Only difference: It takes the stats and inventory of the selected NPC and its position to start. The game will kill the NPC and place the player character at its place.

Not sure if it still keeps all the missions and NPC alignments on a newly generated character, but if that got fixed, it’d be a good point to add that back in (for this situation).

This seems “easy enough” to do, I’ll set a bookmark and as the feature-stop gets lifted and I get some other, already long planned and coded things out I’ll probably come back to this (unless someone else has taken this task over or the idea gets scrapped).


Yeah, a second option on death would be neat. View death or fancy word for “become npc follower”.

‘Press F to Force Consciousness Into New Host’


Press C to Continue playing as one of your NPC followers

if this can be done, imagine a new mutation tree that work as a hivemind, making you roleplay on having a faction camp the earliest you can so you can have minions as soon as possible.


Says every programmer before a year long project.


Y…you don’t know me! You don’t… I… I’m different! I would never… I mean…

Valase frantically checks room for hidden cameras


Just a brainstorm from a very novice coder with no spare time:
It might be easiest to accomplish this by transforming the player character into the target body-snatched npc on death. Drop all items, instantiate new human corpse, replace all values in player character with values from target npc, delete target npc, teleport character to npc’s now vacant position.

I’d love to say I’m going to come back and implement this myself when I have free time but… free time? What? I haven’t ever browsed the DDA source code so I have no idea if this idea is ridiculous. Hope it’s helpful. Playing a faction oriented game in this way could be pretty cool, sorta like Kenshi. I hate savescumming, but I have a hard time giving up on a developed faction base.

That’s basically how I’d do it. The avatar class and the npc class are children of the same Character class, so copying stuff over this way should be pretty straightforward.

Kevin has unofficially nixed the idea until we get more support for factions and such because he feels it would cheapen the risk of death.

That would keep map data, kill count, “Days survived”, etc.
Which is great from a players perspective, but, as mlangsdorf states in Kevin’s name

But I guess there’s no “ideal” solution to that problem anyway…

I’m 100% fine having a game mode available where this happens, but at least in the current state of development, it’s way too easy to accumulate NPC followers and end up becoming effectively immortal, thus trivializing a lot of aspects of the game and encouraging even more reckless behavior.


So… what are the options?

Check if the player has non-static NPC spawns enabled and in that case disallow the body-swap option?

On the other hand… Setting the world reset on death option to “Keep” and just create a new character which can profit from the stuff (and knowledge) the “other” one had is also very close to immortality. Well, maybe a bit less, since you have to travel back to your base if you choose a random starting location, but still…

Or go the suggested way by setting up a world option and just set the default to “No swap”?

I agree with you, one could argue becoming immortal is a moot point if we can just keep creating new characters on the same map with only the challenge is tracking down your body/base.

At least with the npc idea, you’re now playing with the npc stats which would be far less optimized then if you had created a new character, and can only be done if your followers are alive. Not to mention if they are at base or right where you die, leaving them open to death as well. (if you died fighting near them)

Could set it as a game option upon world creation, or we could limit to where you can only become your ‘second in command’ on death, which you must have promoted an npc back at your faction camp long before your death (could add a leadship upgrade to faction camp buildings, you must craft) and if you try to cheat death too many times thru npcs, all your remaining followers lose faith & get overrun or something gruesome falls upon them.

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This would be a splendid idea. I’d like tactical squad command as well, but that was shot down I hear.
It’s a cool story concept to have it pick up with the first character that encountered the prior ones body, wouldn’t even need to be an NPC - after all we already can start new games in old worlds, the previous character doesn’t even have to die.

For this specific feature regarding NPCs, if it’s not ok because it would make the game too easy, maybe adding a relationship requirement would offset that? Of course that might require relationships(opinion) expanded. In the apocalypse having someone say “Yo, we are friends” when you earn it would be quite a moment considering most people want to kill you.

Things this would need:

  • a better system for recruiting NPCs
  • a better system for recording NPC to NPC interactions/relationships, since it might suddenly matter that NPC2 can’t stand NPC1 when NPC1 becomes your avatar
  • adjustments to the mission system so that missions get assigned to your faction and not to you
  • adjustments to the faction system so that the “Your followers” and “AMF” factions are specific to a starting avatar but carry on after that avatar dies.
  • adjustments to “Your followers” and “AMF” on death so there are power struggles - TonZa and McUrist may have been willing to follow Crazy McKills, the original avatar, but when Crazy dies, they may not be willing to Corey the Cop.

The first 2 are probably the most important, and most of that work will require C++ coding and can’t be done only in JSON unfortunately.

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It would be great for succession-style games. Imagine a game on watchcdda.net where all the player characters were riding around on a bus, and whoever was logged in to play at the moment would activate his character and drive the mobile base around and do stuff while the other players watched, and every now and then they’d switch who was playing.

With a new character you will have to not only travel to the place where you died , but read all the books and train to regain back all of your skills (Wich even with high int and fast reader trait takes 2 weeks to get back all the skills of an endgame character) , get bionics implanted again if you had any , and play the good mutation gambling game all over again.

This makes me hesitate doing stupid stuff and not care about my character like thinking i’m immortal , because i don’t want to do all those things over again , thus making me feel mortal.

Well, if you die and take over one of your followers, you will:

  1. Still loose all your skills/stats and have to take whatever your follower has (less options than at a character start) and need to relearn all skills (that your follower doesn’t have).
  2. Still loose all your traits (natural and mutated) and have to take whatever your follower has.
  3. Still loose all your bionics and take over whatever your follower has (which might be more or less than on a fresh character start).
  4. Still loose all your weapons & clothing and deal with whatever you left your follower with - at least until you get to your body or your former character’s base.
  5. May or may not have to travel to where your character died (probably the only positive effect you’ll get out of that).

You are basically as mortal as ever; the only thing that transfers from a body to the next (based on my suggestion) would be “your consciousness”.
It would probably alter the game style of some players, as it would increase the “value” of NPCs (as in: their gear and knowledge matters more, you can’t just give them bad stuff and go with “eh, if they die, they die. What’s the matter?” as it may matter to you one day).