Using NPCs as scouts that reveal the map

I am in the process of creating a small nomadic group of NPCs which is based on horses. Currently, I am travelling with only one companion. We have basic tools for cooking, butchering, hunting, constructing improvised shelters, chopping trees etc.
The problem is simple - the more companions I have, the more time I need to set up a camp. Constructing improvised shelters, collecting firewood, hunting, butchering, and cooking takes a lot of time.
My idea is to using NPCs as scouts. They will reveal the map so that I will be able to plan both the route of my group and locations of future camps.
An example: My camps have to be located near swamps because I need salt or salt water in order to preserve meat. I will be able to send a NPC scout from ‘camp 26’ in order to find a swamp that will be used to create ‘camp 27’. Moreover, I will be able to choose the best route which leads to the swamp. And of course, I will be aware of the surroundings. In conclusion, I will not waste precious time which can be spend on setting up a camp

It would be cool but without some sort of mapping tool in their inventory I doubt an npc will be able to accurately relay the lay of the land to you. I hope you use tents because otherwise I cannot imagine actually building structures with every move.

For now If you want to have a scouting ability I recommend going up a z level or two with some sort of telescope item.

Or going down either the elf or plant route for the communion mutation that allows you to talk to trees and map out all forest tiles(+ 2-3 tiles outwards) connected to the forest tile you started it in. Depending on the amount of forest tiles connected to the tile you started in it’ll either take you a few hours or or several days to get it mapped out.

Hmm… Despite the fact that players’ characters do not use any mapping tools, they are able to ‘create a map’. It would be strange to force NPCs to use such tools. But on the other hand:

  1. Scouting should be connected with the danger of companion’s death

  2. It should take a quite long time to be accomplished. Just as NPCs tasks that are available at a faction camp (chopping trees, foraging etc)

  3. Scouting missions should not be accomplished every time. There should be a chance of failure (without companion’s death)

  4. Sending NPCs on scout missions should require a given amout of water / drinks, food, and ammo. It should be based on the distance that a given scout has to cover

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I think that would be a neat addition but not sure how it would be implemented. Maybe dialogue saying how far out to go or how thorough their search should be. Maybe tie it to a local map and their perception to determine how much is revealed.

Indeed. If scouting were to be added I would hope that they’d include all that, but at the same time give us enough of a map reveal to justify the long time they took, considering that on a sunny day a character can reveal quite a lot of the map in one day simply by walking along the roads for a few hours and only the occasional threat interrupt.

Is it not so that the player eventually forgets a part of the overmap if skill rust is on? I wouldn’t be averse to a mechanic that would require you to draw or have a map on you if you want the parts of the overmap you cannot currently see to be permanently visible.

With mapping tools, paper and some marking item, a player would be able to draw their own maps that they would have to carry around to keep a part of the overmap revealed. It would give a greater incentive to climb tall structures so that the player can peacefully draw a bigger map of the area, and would make the maps you find here and there more valuable to keep on you.

Going through an area several times would engrave the lay of the land in your memory but I doubt the average person has as much of a perfect geographical memory as a cataclysm survivor seems to have.

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Two years ago I was playing Cataclysm without using a map. I deleted ‘view map’ from the keybindings. It was very tough challenge but also very satisfying. It had to create my own maps IRL. But those maps were not included into character’s inventory :frowning:
I consider it cheating due to the lack of change in terms of volume and weight

Maybe add a placeholder item that has no use to mimic the effect of having a map?

Currently the player’s map represents their memory of the area, so NPCs needing mapmaking items would make sense… They have to be able to relay the information to others, not just remember it themselves


Oh, I see… You are 100% right. So using NPCs as scouts would require a given mapmaking item and a given level of intelligence due to the fact that making precise maps is not a simple task. Thank you for the info about players’ memory of the area