If you’ve played Eternal Darkness (and if not: strongly recommended), you may be familiar with its finisher mechanic: the character can attack a freshly killed hostile to regain Sanity. Since hostiles tend to drain Sanity when they see the player, taking the time to make it extra-dead is generally a good idea.

I’ve been thinking that Cataclysm could use something along these lines, for when butchering that kill isn’t an option (you don’t need zombie meat, no space, no time, etc) but you want to eliminate the corpse.

(Or, you saw a zombie necromancer doing its thing and want to make sure your kills stay down.)

Mechanical thoughts, by all means subject to discussion:

  1. Finishing would take somewhere between 1.5-3x the time of a “normal” attack, depending on weapon/skill, and requires that one be standing on the corpse
  2. Finishing destroys the corpse, permitting door closure, etc
  3. Finishing gives a morale bonus, probably based on the hostile’s Difficulty (or maybe difficulty v. relevant skills–a Brute isn’t as much a threat to Dodge/Melee/Cutting 5 as it is to D/M/C 3)
    3A) If one feels Guilty for killing the target, Finishing doesn’t provide a morale bonus but no further penalty (may the child rest in peace, etc).

How it works in-game thoughts:
Unarmed: snaps neck/back, etc (OK, wouldn’t destroy the corpse outright, but still)
Bashing: Smashes the head into pulp
Cutting: Clean decapitation/bisection
Piercing: Messy decapitation
Firearm/Archery: Headshot is obvious, but if the weapon’s not silenced I’d suggest going to Bashing instead


I like the general concept, especially with some things we’re planning on adding in the future.

The only thing that gives me pause is destroying the corpse, that’s not something that should be fairly trivial like this. I consider it a feature that zombie bodies block doors open, and while it might be reasonable to add something to make managing that simpler, I’m not sure we want to make it easier.

I’m not sure I like the idea. It doesn’t seem like it adds much, honestly, except making something easier that is purposely not easy and will even more importantly not be easy in the not-so-distant future I imagine.

Plus, I tend to imagine the zeds a bit more resilient than that when being raised. Something as simple as a caved in skull isn’t going to take them out for good! They’ll just grow another arm from the stump, and come back at you next time you visit town. Heheh. I can dream, right?

OK, corpse removal shouldn’t be a trivial task: that’s good to know. Thanks. How long does it take to butcher a corpse in the current system? I’ve had to clean out three corpses from a fairly important door once, but didn’t notice how long each took.

(I’d agree that something size 3-4 ought to be difficult to corpse-dispose, but if the oil can bring back a kid that’s been smashed in half, I’d have trouble believing the player able to effectively dispatch anything. Size ought to be indicated in the creature info, though.)

I take it that the morale-booster aspect is acceptable; would it be feasible for Unarmed/MA fighters to chuck a corpse one tile as part of the process?

The base number ranges from 2 - 40 turns, depending on corpse size. That’s further modified by the knife you use and oyur survival skill.

The descriptions are pretty clear about how big each enemy is.

Yea a little morale boost seems reasonable, but no, I don’t see why moving the corpse should be part of it at all. There’s a “drag” action that’s being contemplated which would speed up moving things like corpses around from a user-interface point of view, but it wouldn’t make doing it any faster in-game.