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suliman

Humanoid mobs drop more useful items!

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Hi

Im doing a rpg/dungeon crawler in a fantasy setting.

I know games such as diablo lets mobs drop whatever (such as a gang of wasps dropping a battle axe on death) but i would prefer to avoid that. The classical problem is this:

 

Goblin/bandit etc - drops weapons, potions, money, bandages (useful stuff for the player)

Giant rat/golem etc - drops what?

 

How do i make fighting non-soldierlike mobs rewarding? (and not just artificially awarding more XP for mobs that dont drop useful items) Some games try to balance this by making them drop trade-items (such as silk for spiders) and those items can be sold/traded for more useful items.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Only viable solution is to drop items with trading value? Try to find drops that are used in crafting?

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Is there an imperative reason to work towards this balance? Why not let animal mobs be less desirable to fight? It could introduce new decisions into the game, allowing for players to avoid fights when they wish rather than feeling obliged to kill everything "for the loot". This gives you new balance levers to pull, as well. EG: Quests that venture into the sewers could now be harder because the rats down there down't drop any useful loot, meaning more preparation is needed before heading in.

 

That being said, you mentioned trade goods. If the players require food, having animals drop meat and such could make them attractive targets depending on how hungry the PC is. Assuming there is magic in your fantasy setting, perhaps magic-using players of a necromantic bent could "harvest" soul-energy from anything they defeat. Certain animals could be very valuable in soul energy even if they don't have loot. 

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I was a big fan of the Chrono Trigger's solution used in the 65 000 000 BC where each monster dropped a certain quantity of 4 'core items' that could be used in trade (or possibly, through indirect crafting).

If memory serves, these were: Fangs, Petals, Horns and Feathers.

You could then trade some of them at the local shop. Because there were no direct hierarchy, one might argue that the shopkeeper was actually crafting items off these. I think 3 Fangs and 3 Feathers could be turned into the Ruby Armor which was great vs fire, etc.

So the rats and other non-humanoid creatures could be skinned for their bare essence (bones, fur, etc.) and brought to a local smith that can turn that into relatively useful gear perhaps?

Also like how this prevents non-humanoids from carrying money (and possibly even humanoids).

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I know players laugh when full plate mail drops from killing a spider, but no one rage quits when it happens.  I find it preferable to having to do annoying inventory management and selling four fangs, ten pelts, seven spider silks, and a partridge in a pear tree when I get back to town.  Though I also hate crafting, so I may be atypical.

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I always did find that a little bit ridiculous - oh, hey, the naked barbarian that was whacking me with a stick was carrying around a full set of chainmail and a two-hand sword.  Where he was keeping them, who knows...

 

One of the things I liked about Skyrim was that pretty much all the enemies dropped the same equipment that they actually had equipped.  I still wonder about the wolves and bears that I killed and looted to find gems or pieces of jewelry on...  I can only assume that they gnawed some fingers off and I happened to catch them before the rings went out the other end.  Also that my character is apparently into digging through the stomach cavities of wild beasts...

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Hungry animals will eat anything (I had to fight with my cat to keep her from eating a rubber band the other night - I forgot to check her dish after work). The idea that one might cut open a giant rat's stomach and find something useful (coins, precious stones, crafting materials) is not that far-fetched. Depending on the size of the giant rat, it might not even be ridiculous to imagine them eating a piece of leather, entire articles of clothing, or small weapons. If you want to make this explicit, maybe add a "cut open stomach" option?

Non-animal enemies like golems present more of a challenge. If the golem is made of stone, perhaps its loot could include raw material for crafting. If the golem is made of metal, perhaps its loot could include chunks of metal. If the golem is made of sand, perhaps its loot could include small objects that could easily be lost in sand - rings, gemstones, coins. Perhaps a magical gem is what powers the golem - the player loots this for later use (such as creating his own golem) or for sale.

Certain human enemies actually provide a challenge on loot as well. Bandits are usually poorly equipped (after a certain level, their equipment loot would be worth little) and it would be unwise for a bandit to carry their personal effects and valuables on the job. They wouldn't even carry any coin unless they'd just robbed someone else. Petty criminals wouldn't have coin and would likely be wearing normal clothes or rags. Etc.

Edited by nfries88

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