I spent most of today working on and testing the ability to exit battle peaceably. At first, I was going to call it "armistice" or "disengage," but then I noticed someone use the word "ceasefire." Since that word seems pretty clear, I went with that.

Here's a preview of one of the tests in action:

IMAGE( "Now everyone be cool. Like three little Fonzies."

In the above picture, the player and two looters have agreed to a ceasefire. And in the right side inset, you can see two new moves: request ceasefire and accept ceasefire.

For the most part, all that matters is this: if everyone in battle chooses a passive move in the same turn, the battle ends with all combatants in the same hex. So if everybody requests a ceasefire, the game won't wait for everyone to agree/accept the requests, it just goes straight to ceasefire.

There are still some tricky parts to sort out (of course!). For one thing, I need to handle cases where some AI retreats while others are passive. Effectively, this should also end the battle, but it doesn't right now (retreat is considered fight/flight, not passive in the game).

I also need to work out some other modes of passive battle moves. Things like kicking off a conversation, or trading (if I can find a way).

However, this new ceasefire move is mostly working now. And the AI respects the local leader, too. So the subordinate AI shouldn't fight if the leader is passive, and vice versa.

The names of the looters you see above are just the old creature name with their leadership rating, for debugging purposes. One of the changes I'd like to make is the aforementioned "stranger" nomenclature, so players don't know motive just from seeing the name. Part of this will be adding "leader" or similar to the leader of any packs, so players know to whom they should direct ceasefires or talking for best effect.

We're making progress! Even at this stage, it's nice to see looters gradually decide to back off from a fight if you're nice to them for a few turns. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more nuance in their behavior soon!

That's all for this week. Have a good weekend, all!


Malacodor's picture

How about a Diplomacy skill (higher success chance for peaceful interaction) and a Paranoid trait (makes one think everybody out there is hostile and disables all peaceful moves as well as surrendering, also replaces the Trapping option in Hatter encounter)?

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

Cryovisitor's picture

I like Diplomacy, but what you're suggesting with Paranoid, I'm not sure I like it as a negative trait (That is pretty much how we've been playing all along until this point, right?) and it's clearly not a positive trait, perhaps it should be a neutral trait?

dcfedor's picture

I like the idea of a social skill improving certain relations. And even ones that detract from them. The thing that scares me is making sure they're adequately supported/acknowledged in other encounters. Although, it might just be a fool's errand to expect that I'll give each skill/trait the love it deserves :)

I wouldn't go so far as replacing Hatter's trapping branch with something like paranoid. I actually think trapping makes a lot of sense there (trapper's instinct triggered by the baited danger). It'd be trivial to make both skills accepted in that instance, though.

As for whether paranoid is a boon or not, that's a good question. Not having the option for peaceful resolution nor surrender is definitely a sacrifice. Though, if it opens certain encounter paths for the player, it's actually beneficial.

If possible, I'd like for the skill/trait system to be as granular as possible, so skills are only ever useful, and traits only detrimental. Like with GURPS, the player decides what type of person they are going to be, and chooses advantages and disadvantages accordingly.

Are they suspicious of everyone, making them more likely to be hated? Paranoid Trait.
Do they have a keen sense of entrapment, giving them bonuses in certain situations? Trapping Skill.

If you only care about the drawbacks of acute paranoia, just take the trait. If you want realistic, balanced benefits and drawbacks, take both paranoia and trapping.

Or another example, showing the current problem with Metabolism Skill vs. Trait:
Are they hungry all the time, requiring more intake? Metabolism Trait.
Does their body have faster healing? Metabolism Skill.

In the metabolism case, the player can fine-tune their character and the reasons for why things are. Do they heal faster (skill)? Maybe most people do so because they also eat more and process it faster (trait). But this guy, no. This guy heals faster because his body has less mass to heal (feeble or fragile). Basically, the player chooses why they have the bonuses and drawbacks, not the game.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Hunter4408's picture

You should add a "Falsifier" or "Storyteller" skill which means that the player is a skilled liar and can get people to believe things that aren't true. That would be cool!

- Hunter

Do what you want because a pirate is free! You are a pirate!

jake59j's picture

Maybe like a liar kind of thing, you can trick someone to think your nice and peaceful, to then realize there's a knife in their gut. Idk maybe it could be a new skill? or a trait, like metabolism, you can control your lying as a skill and it would be less noticeable, but the trait would make you dishonest and have a hard time getting someone to be peaceful etc. Possibly even change some of the story if you chose to be dishonest to people. ex: Hatter, skycorp, Zomzoms

My Mod: I-Neo-More Remastered
- Jake