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Nazrix

Favor Points

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I'm working on an RPG where NPCs are much more detailed than the typical one. And when NPCs ask you to do quests for them it won't be just a random "get the thing from the cave" or a scripted type of quest. They will ask you to do things that they really need done in the game world. So when you perform a task it will actually change something in the game world. Another thing about this RPG is that you as a player can ask NPCs to do things for you. You can ask them to teach you a skill (if they know it) or even attack someone for you. So I was thinking an interesting idea might be to have Favor Points. Whenever you perform a task for an NPC then you get a certain amount of favor points. You can use these points only on the NPC that gives them to you to ask them to do things for you. Also, you can get favor points by intimidating the NPC. Basically, the favor points will just be an indication to the player as to how much influence they have on that particular NPC. Any suggestions/comments?

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Hmm.. would the amount of your influence by listed whenever you talk to the NPC, or listed somewhere in your stats? It could get somewhat cumbersome to list it in your stats if there are say, 100 different NPC's.

Morrowind had a kind of system similar to what you may have in mind, where how much the NPC liked you depended on what he would charge you if you bought something, and the likeliness to share information & help you. You could intimidate them, but it only worked in the short term, as they would hate you when the conversation ended. There's also bribery and blackmail as well. ;D

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It would show the points for that NPC only when you're interacting with that NPC.

Yeah I'm a big fan of Morrowind. With this system, I'm thinking it would be almost like a store. You have a list of things the NPC will do for you and how many favor points it costs for each favor.

Each time you do a quest for them you'd receive favor points...sometimes money too. But the point is that the favor points would simulate how much they like you and trust you.

Depending on the NPC this could be things like heling you steal an item or giving you an item that they are selling for free.

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There is no reason to let the player know something like that, you might just as well open up the behavioral protocols of your AI to the player. As a rule of thumb accurate numerical representation of ANYTHING relating to characters is a bad idea, unless your target audience is the hardcore RPG optimiser / munchkin crowd.

How about something more subtle? Facial expressions, dialogue, special scripted events... there´s a ton of ways to represent standings in a more realistic way.

Also, I´d consider adding a few more variables to model the positive / negative input more accurately to outcome. Especially bullying NPCs seems like a fun way, but you need a model that allows the ruthless player to use it as a style of interaction, not just a one-time bonus gainer.

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