NPCs and trust

Current NPCs are a weird bunch:
On one hand, they trust you enough to follow you into a horde of hulks.
On the other one, they will refuse to even tell you their stats if you are too scary or ugly (even as they are charging into hulks).

I have a bunch of ideas to remedy this:

Friendly NPC dying would result in morale loss, even when it’s not the player who killed the NPC. This morale would be lower than murder, but still significant.

NPC could be promised protection to make them trust the player much more.
Breaking this “contract” would cause the player to lose a large chunk of morale, for a long time. Leaving the NPC outside bubble to freeze them in time and avoid the penalty would also cause a penalty, unless the NPC was dumped in a safe spot (no nearby enemies).

Psychopaths would be exempt from the penalties, but would need to pass a lie test to make a promise.

NPCs who trust the player enough would stop being just friendly and become minions. They wouldn’t own any of their stuff and wouldn’t require speech checks.
This would allow simplifying interactions with them, allowing things like inventory pooling (for crafting), multidrop/multipickup on NPCs, proper equipment management and so on.
Alternatively, all friendly NPCs could be just that friendly, with no requirement to win their lives first.

Any problems with this approach?

Morale penalties?More just like an annoyance,when i can’t craft simply because i’m wet.

I’ve been doing a lot with NPCs lately, and although your approach might have resulted in some penalties along the road I think it would have been a richer experience, too.

Seems neat, especially the minion upgrade. This should be done when they reach full trust and value (>11).

Great ideas, Coolthulhu!

Interesting concepts so far. I would like to see interactions with them be fleshed out, yeah. Having factions further affect interactions, especially between NPCs, would be interesting as well.

And being able to join the bandits is something I’ll continue to wish was a thing. o3o

Any better idea?

I’d like to make it so that there is a reason to protect the NPCs instead of just “totally not murder”-ing them for items.
They are currently too dumb to run away in time and properly betray player when duped into something stupid.

Maybe NPCs should be smart enough to not engage every enemy they see? Perhaps have some quick assessment function where they assess a situation and the relative strength (including the player and any other NPC followers) and they flee if the situation is too uneven?

Hmm. Why have the player be the one suffering from morale penalties? Could instead have the remaining NPCs, or even other NPCs that would logically be aware of this, lose faith in the player as a leader.

We’d need more logical effects though. NPCs as it is can turn hostile, be more resistant to skill checks, and that’s about it. Having other possible affects, like leaving the party, disobeying orders that they perceive to be harmful to them, or such could flesh things out.

Well, I kind of want NPCs to be in charge of themselves, but really depends.
You can gain trust by talking, giving gift free, or cheap at least, and far more.
Each character will spawn with their own beliefs, ways, motives, and history.
Everyone needs food, water, medicine, protection, and shelter. All will pay for this, or trust you more if you gift them this.
A pyro (a person who chooses and is obsessed with fire) can easily earn trust from you by you providing him with objects to cause flames, the smarter ones will like firemen gear (fire resistence is nice) and either will pay more, or like you more if you bring them stuff, and other think like that.
Some like quiet, refusing loud weapons.
Some like quick, refusing heavy and/or cluncky, even if they completely trust you.

This may seem like a mess, and I understand. But, I can’t think straight on the subject, to much going through my mind.

You can start a faction with a bulliton board. A person may follow you everywhere (like a puppy or a man whose life you saved) but others need a reason, a plan. You can lead like a dictator, a monarch, or be part of a republic, or division of power.

Ok, I need some time to think more clearly and get my thoughts out as well. Feel free to decipher my mind. I could use the help.

You will have to add intelligence into the situation.

Sounds like the roadmap to a great system, but let’s take baby steps first–individual NPCs should be fleshed out first and foremost.

I like the idea of trust being married to morale effects–both good and bad. How about this:

  1. Players may choose to chat up NPCs via the speech window; which gains them morale and builds trust with the NPC at the cost of time/noise. Trust would also build naturally over time, but at a much, much slower rate.

  2. How much this improves the relationship is dependent upon your character’s speech skill. Secondary factors could be added with more extensive interactions, such as sharing a meal, playing music or sparring.

  3. The player also accrues a hidden ‘attachment’ stat, signifying how fond of the particular NPC they’ve become–this is effected by the NPC’s opposing speech skill. Interacting with NPCs the player is fond of gives greater, longer lasting returns on morale; at the risk of a harder hit should they die. (Maybe even a light ‘misses NPCname’ if they haven’t seen each other in awhile)

  4. Using this system friends differ from ‘just surviving together–for now’. Likewise it’s possible for friendship not to be a two way street. A particularly charming player could have strangers eating out of the palm of their hand while staying emotionally distant themselves–or vice versa.

  5. Trust could determine not only how agreeable towards taking orders/facing danger/letting you fuss with their inventory an NPC is but also how unlikely they are to breech that trust. Looting without permission, ditching you in a fight etc. Psychopath should not merely be limited to the player either and the threat of deadly betrayal ever present.

  6. Trust can be damaged. Be it passively by doing things they don’t approve of or actively by giving them orders they’d rather not follow. A low trust companion might attack you for ambushing a neutral NPC, for instance.

That’s my two cents at least.

I first and foremost like the ideas present of having NPC trust have more effects, and I think that should be fleshed out first, before adding the player character’s side of the relationship.

I think maybe the first and foremost step is to lay a foundation by adding more options for HOW an NPC might react to player actions they disapprove of. At a bare minimum we need options for them to leave the player party or enter flee mode, instead of hostility being the only possible way for them to voice their grievances with the player. :V

Things I would like done:

1-make a trust based option to allow you to mess around with their inventory,wielded item and armor at will. (requires A LOT of trust.)

2-Make them need food and water as well.

3-Make them able to leave the faction (stop following you).

4-Make a way for npcs in mods to have their clothing set at start of the game or at least edit their item pool.

I would not try to quantify and force player attachment. I think things like that should be on the player, because it will prevent people from RPing things like a backstabbing scoundrel character.

The game already does this by assuming the act of being an aggressor in a world turned dog eat dog turns you into an emotional wreck. Morals are already imposed, there’s a trait to negate the ill effects.

First my thought. NPCs spawn in groups, even if it’s 1 member. This concept works similar to how Mount & Blade functions. The group does everything as one, yet individual activities are given if they are needed, and the characters Spawned in. A faction is created when a group establishes a settlement, a home base of sorts. Thus groups within the factions can easily gather when needed. Groups and factions have different ways of being lead, depending on it’s leadership style and rules. As the game goes on, groups and factions become rarer, but bigger and/or stronger.

This goes into the next part. Under most leadership styles, you don’t control other people. You can of course provide a uniform or make a uniform. You can offer them the clothing and weapons for what they do, but it’s their choice to take it.(Provide) or you can make a uniform, and of course the NPC can either take the uniform, or say “F*ck this, I’m out!”, or something along those lines.

Also fighting styles. A telling an explosive happy man not to use explosives, he’ll laugh you off. A quiet style won’t go loud, and a loud won’t go quiet. You can force, and they can leave, or you can provide, and they can say no.

Now, there are cults and people who give their entire being to you. Those, you have a ton more control over, but are hard to make/attain.

You can always buy something they don’t exactly need, you can also ask to borrow. Takes some trust, which you can regain by returning it.And training, if they like you it’s free.

Also, for the most part they won’t just follow you. Most want to know beforehand where their going, and why. “Hey, want to scavenge at this house?” “Sure, take the lead.”

Gaining trust. help with tasks they do, bring them better stuff, fix them up (requires trust in itself),training them,teaching facts, and simply asking before doing. “May I come into the settlement?” “Well, you did help build the outer wall, why not.” Where otherwise walking in meant being shot, or what not.

Also the closer you get with another, the more it hurts to lose them, but friends can help ease some pains.

Any other thoughts?

This seems pretty accurate. Things is, there should be a way for you convince them to do something even if they say no at the first time. (clothing is to encumbering but you convince them to wear it for example.) They can still say no since they are their own person but asking should be an option. There should also be a force option, this would work on trust and fear and if unsuccessful they could be come more angry, lose trust get hostile or leave you.

Necroing this one because NPCs now gain hunger and thirst, but become more trusting if you keep them fed.

Currently this is rather simple and NPCs have to be fed by hand most of the time.

Trust threshold is 5. Above that the NPCs let you remove their equipment, meaning you can easily rob them out of all their belongings. It also allows you to feed them mutagen or drugs.

sounds good. Any improvements to how NPC’s function is a plus.