False Cures/Noob Traps

I looked and didn’t see this idea anywhere, actually got the idea from reading someone’s comment about sugar as a disinfectant:

What if it were possible to do things like trying to make your own antiseptics, trying to forge a zweihander, trying to extract battery acid, trying to make explosives, trying to build add-ons to a house
But without the skills required so you can really mess up in potentially interesting ways

Unless I’m misunderstanding something, if you don’t have, for example, like a 4 in the medical skill, you can’t even attempt certain recipes that need at least a 4
What I’m proposing is that you can try these recipes but it’s extremely likely that you screw it up.
I’m thinking of it more as a noob trap for the character, not the player. As in you’d still see what skills you need in order to safely do whatever it is you’re trying to do, but you can make an attempt even at lower levels

Would that completely break progression? Is it a horrible idea? Now that I’m thinking on it, maybe it’s dumb.
I’m just thinking about the Dunning-Kruger effect, and how it’d be funny to have a survivor run up to a crowd of zombies ready to wade in with their new badass gear, only to have their sword shatter, their pipe rifle explode in their face, their armor to fall off like Forrest Gump’s leg braces, and the antiseptic they use actually start to dissolve their skin
Maybe it’d be cool as a mod

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Doesn’t seem like a very good idea to me - Either a player commits time only to get a garbage item, and doesn’t use it, or the UI lies to the player about the item until it fails. The former doesn’t achieve the goal of actually leaving a player in a bad situation of their own doing, and the latter is actively hostile design to deceive the player - After all, they don’t know what else they’re being lied to about then.

Noob traps generally are terrible design anyway - There’s no reason to design aspects of the game to deliberately fuck over a player for making the mistake of trusting it. Especially in a game like CDDA where you don’t just load back to the last save. And its not like we have a shortage of newbie things to learn as is - They’re just biased towards missed opportunity, not malicious activity. Not knowing you can make a crowbar, or lockpicks, or thinking to drop a backpack of loot before fighting. Imagine if the game lied to you about your encumbrance to get a gear noob trap over you.

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While I understand where you’re coming from, if this ever were a thing, I wouldn’t want it to be deceptive at all to the player
Say I wanted to build a machete but didn’t have the necessary level of Fabrication
The game could say something like “You don’t have the necessary skill level. You turd. This could result in malfunction. Build anyway?”
And we could, say, have a 90% chance that the object is total garbage and doesn’t actually work, but the player could take that risk.
But the game would make it clear it’s very unlikely to work
I totally agree about games being hostile to players. It always seems like a good idea at first but it just gets annoying
It’s something I think would do well as like a mod to add just a bit more realism
I’m reminded of my most recent game of D&D where one of my players tried to get a bunch of bat guano to make explosives
Obviously the player knew something about how to make explosives, but the character absolutely wouldn’t have been an expert. She still went about it, made some rolls with like a 1/10 chance of succeeding, failed miserably, and had a grenade go off in her face.
She knew it could happen, though, so it was still fun for her, and it made sense that she would’ve been able to try even knowing very little about the subject

Maybe that’s a bit of an anecdote that might not apply here, but I do get what you’re saying

And maybe make it so a Applied Science 1 character can’t just keep trying until they make a mutagen or whatever, maybe they’d have to be within 2 skill levels of the requirements in order to even have a chance at succeeding

This is just a thought that came to me though, I’m not married to this at all and I hate failing at anything in games so I probably wouldn’t even use the mechanic unless I was desperate, but I think that’s where the mechanic could shine brightest

But thanks for even putting thought into it, I was kinda just expecting the idea to be ignored

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Not related, but kind of in the same mode of thinking…

I was one time thinking there should be a special “MLM basement” or garage or something. Filled with “essential oils”, overpriced soap, spray vitamins, supplements, and other things that some fool kept stockpiled to stay qualified while they tried to get their “down stream” sales force. Along with brochures pitching “being your own boss”.

Things that say they do things like clean stuff or help some ailment but if you read the description don’t do much.

Not to screw the player, but for world flavor.

3 Likes

maybe have it called “makeshift xxx” and have a certain chance to work

thanks for the awesome information.

1 Like