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NPCs & Pickpocketing
I drink your milkshake.

In the current iteration of NPC's and pickpockets, NPC's will whisper to the victim that they saw (insert meta name here) and not do anything about it. This feels off. I think we should expand it a bit or nuke it entirely. Here's my suggested fixes but I'm super curious what you folks think. The biggest consideration we should have in my opinion, is succeeding as dip is difficult and we shouldn't stonewall that archetype with unmitigable nonsense.

1. Change the meta name. Instead of, "I saw Bob the Goat Ninja steal your shit" let's have it be "I saw a curvy bitch in a black hoodie steal your shit."

2. Change the reaction. Different PC's should react differently to dipping. Terra agents should, point them out and aim at them for instance (but not engage in combat. A newbie dip should be able to flee.) Gangers should be much more nuanced. I would love for a list of approved dips to be curated by PC gangers who collect tolls or even if dips who had good standing with the standard NPC faction system to be able to dip on certain turf without consequence. Otherwise, the terra reaction would kick-in accordingly.

Thoughts?

I Hate the entire concept of what Is currently in place.

Just wanted to finally say it.

It felt good. It’s like I’ve cleaned out my closet of some traumatic baggage.

That is all.

Didn't even know this existed. Yeah, I agree with just a shrotdesc rather than a name though... Or it is just going to be too easy for me to know which dip's face to break in.

Love the general idea of the mechanic though, means dips have to think a bit before just pickpocketing any immy they lay eyes on.

@ReeferMadness

If the dip is disguised, does it still use their @name or does it use a shortdesc?

The one time I have had an NPC inform my character that he was being dipped, the dip was not disguised. Therefore the @name was totally relevant.

As a middle ground compromise, it might be cool if gang leaders could 'whitelist' dips. If the dip pays the gang tax, the gang puts them on the whitelist and then the gang NPCs do not expose them. I would imagine the mechanic would have to be like rent or some other system that uses a countdown mechanic. Otherwise you will have dips who pay once and get months worth of 'free' dipping before they run into a ganger PC who remembers to tax them again.

If the dip is disguised then it does not hand over the name. I absolutely dislike that it does blanket notification like that -why would a random person care that another random person in the mix is getting dipped? The lawlesness is wide-spread and presented on every street corners, thats what we get from flavors. But someone will stick out against a dip, who could then shadow them home and twist their neck in sleep? Nonsense.

Of course gangers is a whole other thing, they have turf to protect and if the dip is not paying its tax, they absolutely should fuck him up when caught working on their turf. Then give the leaders of gangs a whitelist command to add in people who paid their dues. With that in place, the gangers could then engage and defend whitelisted people, while laughing when random people get dipped/robbed by approved dips/robbers.

I personally dislike the idea of a ganger whitelist. Gangs are ICly huge. The NPCs and PCs you see are a fraction of the actually gang. Gangers are not well organized units that are all focused on a united strategy. They are a collection of greedy, drugged up, uneducated egos..

Before I would even want a whitelist to be considered I would want the PC ganger to have to ICly take either the undisguised person in question or a picture of them undisguised and show it to every ganger in their gang and convince them that the PC ganger getting X chy per X time is a good reason why the rest should never get a share.

I have always seen and RPed gangs as being a collecting of selfish individuals that, while they have loyalty to each other, also want to get their own. So if PC ganger takes a toll it means that the person tolled might be good with THAT ganger. Gangers B, C and D are still free to toll the baka if thy want. The only person that should really be in a position to make gang-wide deals is the leader.

I also like to think of the concept of 'toll' or 'tax' is a thin cover for 'mugging'. Because that is really what it is. Gangers might want to put a little effort into making the mugging more palatable but it's still, "Pay me or you gonna get frakked up."

I don't ever want to see gangers treated in meta ways or have them be some kind of highly organized and focused force. Just my two cents.

Gotta say I think GreyO has the right idea overall.

I also once again hate how all npcs have to act like white knights in regard to pickpockets.

It was while back but last time this came up a staff member said the plan was to wipe the feature out entirely as it hadn't been looked into for a number of years.
I think abolishing the feature overall isn't the worst thing in the world. I was just looking for compromise and a way to better accommodate the newbie pickpocket. Balance is important there but it seems we all agree the automative responses deserve some attention.

As someone who has barely utilized pickpocketing because it seems a straight up useless UE investment vs being able to roflstomp someone with the equivalent in combat training - I'd love to have more pickpockets chime in on what's needed.

I've enjoyed playing dips before and I have two minds on this one.

The first is that it doesn't make much IC sense in most cases. A fighter type can beat down another baka and take their things and the NPC will often stand there and not care unless one of the battling parties is in their faction, someone dies and there's SIC or a GM notices and decides to have some fun. But these same NPCs want to report every dip they see?

On the other side, it does make playing a dip more nuanced - especially early on when you are still developing your game. Like, I know I can dip that guy but can I also avoid having NPC A and B notice? Or should I just play it safe and wait for them to be in a more secluded spot? Or just go for it and run and hope for the best?

It also forces players to treat NPCs with a little more respect. NPCs get ignored so often - and not just by dips. I can assure you that if a dip sees Mr. Easy Mark in the company one or PCs that are unknown quantities or known to be sharp, the dip will likely hold off because PCs are very likely to White Knight this. Having this feature (NPC's reporting dips) kind of forces Dips give NPCs a similar level of consideration.

I am not against getting rid of it or having the NPC White Knights give more generalized info about the dip or maybe adding a delay before the tattle is done. As far as how it impacts the play of a dip, however, that there is my two cents.

Thank you for your feedback Ephemeralis.
contrary to popular belief, the BEST places to pickpocket are crowded areas with tons of people. Is there a stat roll on the NPC seeing you pickpocket or is it an automatic snitch? That could also be a deciding factor on why it is so annoying.
NPCs roll the same perception check that a pc rolls to see if they spot the pick. It's not automatic. However the feedback about different NPCs reacting in different ways is a good one.

I'd like to see that. We could have it take info account specific info as well, like if I'm in the same faction as the NPC that spots me, maybe they just STFU about it

I've played several dips, there doesn't seem to be be a middle ground. You either suck at it or nobody can catch you pretty much. Not sure if chrome even helps counter this to be honest.

The 'dipped' nightmares or NPC warnings, are so general that even when you do get them, good luck finding the filthy average dude with the brown eyes.

I've seen some pretty wild, meta AF, game breaking applications of dipping in the game. I've witnessed undisguised people dipping ganger weapons in plain sight and then selling it back to them 3 seconds later (the person in this specific example has already been banned, so worry not).

The idea behind these messages is to generate some RP, maybe give a chance for the person being dipped to get payback. As it stands I don't think it serves well this purpose.

I'd say maybe mix this thing with the chatter system and try to provide a more detailed description for normal npcs?

Also, I think TERRA and gangers, should just straight attack anyone they witness dipping (with low faction) and just scream about it in both SIC and their location. That way you generate RP.

What if the "noticing" thing is just a roll of the dipper vs. the dipped, for how long until the dipped realizes they're dipped? Just a line like...

You feel around on your body, as if you're missing something.

For example...

Failure: the dipped notices instantly, or within a second.

Poor: 3 - 5ish seconds before notification

Able: 10 - 20 seconds

Adept: 1 - 2 minutes

Mastery: 5 - 10 minutes

I got this for you, Vera.
Combining the thread from Ideas:

OP: If you pickpocket someone and an NPC sees it, they'll whisper to the target about it and I have never seen this make sense in any context. I think it should be removed.

Automated, this disregards my relationship with that NPC, the place we're at, the NPC's relationship with the victim, and the context of what's going on.

If the NPC has a problem with what I am doing this should probably be handled by staff and not automated behavior.

By Vera at Aug 28, 2019 4:13 PM

To clarify: I am all for Chow or whoever sending a hit squad after me because she saw me dipping, but that should be a decision a GM being makes based on context, not something on autopilot.

By Vera at Aug 28, 2019 4:15 PM

I disagree. Nobody likes a thief and maybe in a couple cases you've had a positive relationship with the NPC that has snitched, but this mechanic works in the place of what our non-existent ambient population would be doing if they saw a dipping go down. If you're looking to avoid getting caught, maybe try not to have witnesses present.

By MongOfTheWeek at Aug 28, 2019 4:16 PM

I believe it's logical in a place like a bar, where people are more likely to notice (and actually care). If there's going to be a script for NPCs ratting out a pickpocket, they should also tell you when someone is stealing an item and not just chyen, or remove the feature entirely. Though, I do feel like this helps to balance the pickpocket skill so dips can't just become unstoppable forces for newbies.

By Stiza13 at Aug 28, 2019 4:16 PM

OK but what if I am the owner of the bar? Why is my NPC employee whispering about what I'm doing to people who may very well be his enemies?

By Vera at Aug 28, 2019 4:17 PM

This makes me wonder if there's a check in place for if an NPC even notices, or if it just happens everytime.

Thanks Slither but you got me and Stiza crossed there =P
To answer Stiza's question, it's a check based on the NPC's stats/skills vs the dip in question. If they see something - they say something.
Somebody accused me of "looking to avoid getting caught." I don't care about that like at all and I think stealing is pretty OP and should get any nerfs it can, I've just never seen this work in any context where it made sense. It's always like, a corpsec boss whispering to a KO'd Mixer while an agent is going through his pocket or a gang snitching on their own guys.
Considering how rampant dipping is (haha, time for my seventh progia this week!), I really can't see how folks claim Thievery is bad. I've seen even beginner dips have quite a bit of success against more experienced characters. I'd say Thievery works a lot better when the player/character is OOC smart and thinks about what they're doing. I would hate to see it buffed given how hard it already is to combat/prevent in a lot of cases.

That being said, NPCs magically knowing player names and whispering it to the target seems kinda... Off. I've never seen it, given again, most dips are smart enough to do their thing when the target is alone, but also, as a sidenote, NPCs should probably have higher difficulties to spot dippers IF they're in congested areas, such as busy streets, and it should be a hefty penalty. Pickpockets IRL almost exclusively work very crowded streets for this very reason. Even if you notice, the person or group can vanish in a crowd in seconds, but more so, other people won't be paying attention.

Having been tipped off by an NPC on a street when my character was dipped, I must say that this functionality is awesome. It only happened once, but man it was sweet. Karma's a bitch. =)
I have to address something from this topic, the sentiment that "everyone hates dips" as is an awful simplification. Dippers are the core of the gangs that run streets of the mix, just like are bruisers, muggers and other types of criminals. Why would you hate dippers, but not muggers, doesn't make much sense to me, given how much random violence happens on the streets every day.

And on top of that having NPCs act like pickpocket police, but then do nothing in case of muggings is just one big "what"?

Oh, I am there with you, playing a relatively okay dip myself. I think the crux of it is that while mugging skills are multi-use, stealing skill is good only for that - stealing. There is, of course, benefit from its side skills, but they apply to almost all characters.

So maybe giving it some wider use instead? I thoroughly enjoy the character, don't take me wrong, but it certainly could use some wider aspect. Maybe at higher levels it could boost your thief-support skills, like disguise and hiding? So dedicated dips will have a much easier time being also excellent sneaks than the ninja fighters.

Although the IC hate sometimes goes to some ridiculous extent on gang v gang hate, even though they are all as important as anyone else in the gang, bringing flash where bruisers fail.

I think it's a psychological thing. A lot of people feel entitled to some sort of RP performance from their opponent if they're going to take a loss and if you fail to spot a thief you don't even notice that your wallet is gone.

With a mugger, even when they stomp you without saying anything you have several seconds of red text on your screen so people feel like they have more agency to react.

Obviously they're functionally the same thing, people are just wired that way I think.

Yea Vera, that is what gets me a bit. But I don't think that can be done without overhauling the steal command completely. Something that moves from instant-cast with the randomized result, to rather a threaded command that progresses as you RP with the victim (one way or another) and the longer you do it before "going for it" the smaller part the randomness plays.

I saw that system in ther RP mud I am playing, and it is pretty amazing. You go in, chat with a mark, while their inventory slowly cycles through possible options. Eventually, you decide, yep, that's the item I want and then start working on fishing it out which increases the chance of success (up to XX upper limit, out of 100%, depending on stats and item in question). And when you are ready, just press go and the dice rolls, you either get the item or not. Progress on this threat comes only from RPing with the victim.

Obviously, that wouldn't work 1:1 in sindome, scenes move to fast. But as a general idea that I think could work.

Wow Marleen that's actually really cool. I'd love something like that.

I think the "lack of rp" thing here is similar to what some people were lamenting in the "I have no RP when suddenly murdered" thread. I mean, at least in terms of the spectrum of the Dip having severe motivation to not get made, and the target wanting at least some RP beyond having the item gone later.

It's difficult because somewhat unlike muggers, if a Dip is ID'd, every person who had an items stolen at any point (even if they've never ID'd that dip) is likely going to blame that one PC, or channel their frustration about all Dips onto them, even though there are thousands of dips in the mix from an ambient perspective.

Someone mentioned that an NPC will whisper a player name to a dipped player on a successful roll, this doesn't "go through" disguises right? If a player is successfully disguised, the NPC won't just fork over the character name right? If so, that seems broken off the hinges to me and should be just the disguise characteristics.

The whisper use OOC names when no disguise or if it fails, which is really shitty. But it's still bad, more so when you are a ganger dip and, suddenly, on that ganger turf, you tattle about him stealing stuff. Really?

As for the OOC zeroing in on dips, I have not seen that much. I heard about it a lot but didn't experience it first hand, even when got made. Most people were good not smallworlding it.

What if the NPC addressed the thief with something like

“Hey, are you stealing shit from these people?” Or something to that effect.

It is still le suck when it is your npc allies ratting on you but it might alleviate a direct snitch or ooc namedrop while also hinting to someone in the room they’re being stolen from (and if multiple people are there they can all freak out typing “I”)

But I still don't get why is the NPC involved in the first place. It's the mix. A random person got picked. Be glad it's not you.
I agree Marleen. But, middle ground.
Given the number of times that my characters have been dipped around NPCs with zero warning, versus the ONE time an NPC provided a warning, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the system is fine and does not fixing.

If you are playing a dip who is constantly getting caught by NPCs....

Spend some more UE and try again later.

Problem is that getting outed just once is all it takes to undo literally your whole cover work (it is that easy to not be unknown dip anymore). And not because you lost to a player, but to an ambient NPC. And that is very sad.
Yep, and then disguises fail, and trully, do we want to have that little completly random and uncontrollable chance (of disguise and thief failing together) to possibly undo months of hard work? Seems pretty severe, and pointless.
I've made some updates to this system, please check them out: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/new-game-features/npc-reactions-to-dipping-360/

-- S