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Making Shrouds More Powerful

Scenario

You chase down a hooded punk, and you end up wrongly accusing some big tough guy instead.

Proposal

If someone attacks/aims/grabs a shrouded person, perhaps the game should roll a random number to determine whether their target is the intended Player Character or not. If the roll result is not the intended Player Character, then a dynamically generated NPC is summoned and the attacker's attack is then redirected towards that summoned NPC.

This summoned NPC could be as weak as an immy, or as strong as Seven Ecks. This way, attacking shrouded people is a very risky and perhaps even a non-rewarding thing to do if the summoned npc is itemless.

And perhaps for every room in the game, there could be a population value to determine how many shrouded people there could IC-ly be, and use that to determine how likely it is for an NPC to be rolled as the result. In the case of topside, the value for shrouded people should be zero since there shouldn't be shrouded people in topside in the first place. And thus, attacking a shrouded person topside will always hit the Player Character.

And let's not use skills or stats to determine the roll. Let's just make it so that it's always 80% or more likely that your attack against a shrouded person will spawn an NPC rather than actually successfully targetting the intended Player Character.

After the summoned NPC is out of combat long enough, it will disappear.

This way, we can sort of let the game help enforce the philosophy that we really don't know who the shrouded person is.

There are plenty of ways to zero in on a disguised character. If someone has a genuine reason to attack a shrouded character, this is just interfering with good RP.

If you want to cause confusion with disguises like this, it's entirely possible with existing game mechanics.

I've never attacked a shrouded character without feeling like I had a strong IC justification. I have complained once or twice that it seemed like people meta'd my disguises, only to find out that they didn't and actually they had some compelling reason to go after me.

The way the philosophy of disguises is enforced is that staff checks for a justification when they review your notes and if it sucks, they tell you so. This doesn't need some D&D 2e style mechanic attached to it.

What I'm toying around with is the idea of spawning multiple shrouded, veiled, helmeted, whatever persons around the area the person who puts a disguise on is in and let nature take its course. Variations like the disguised persons attributes, sneaking about on their own, being shady.

Wouldn't that lead to people metaing that they're NPCs and therefore more lootable?
I'll just make the npcs pickpockets...
Like a magical shroud/helmet/veil spawning super power!

"Yo, chum! You got any extra shrouds?"

"Nah, but we go outside and we'll get you one once the others scurry out like rats."

I'm joking, but also not joking.

A simple way to fake being shorter or fatter/thinner with enough disguise skill would be a big help, even if it only worked with hoods and ponchos.
I like the idea of shrouded NPCs being common.

They might get targeted for murder over their disguises, but the chance that you could be attacking a beefy PC instead would discourage that.

If NPCs in shrouds were a thing, I recommend that they only have their shroud or hood for a shortish time and via some script or another either disappear or cycle out their disguise. So like I don't see the same guy in a navy shroud in the same spot every day for a week, but I do see a guy in a navy shroud walking from duwear to the mall or hanging out at the O for an hour or two.
I liked when we had shrouded NPCs, while they lasted. Just make the shrouds unlootable like TERRA armor.

I also love Vera's idea of high disguise skill enabling changing what size or even gender you're disguised as. This would lend some actual use to the disguise skill, or getting it to higher milestones. Maybe you could even select from a pre-canned fake voice when you put one on at high disguise levels.

More disguised NPCs! More NPCs walking the streets in general would give the cities a much busier feeling and make PCs fall into the crowd better (especially in the Mix where it's supposed to be overcrowded). Not sure how heavy the tax on servers is per NPC, but I always felt like more NPCs would make the city feel more alive. Even those few NPCs we had walking around with shrouds totally got me when they first walked around. Was thinking it was the boogie-man after me! I think also more ranges in size for them would be good, more short/tall/stocky/fat/midget/etc. NPCs in hoods and whatnot.

I particularly like the potential for NPCs to be shroud/hood/helmeted and be a wide range of weak to powerful. Should keep the loot hunters in check, or at least give them a reason to team up and roll the dice when they go for a hit.

I think this could really put the final nail in the coffin for disguise meta.

I like the idea of most if not all NPC's that respond to "Need Something?" script being shrouded or hidden. The idea of a fixer being able to casually solicit runners while standing in the middle of the street just like a NPC seems like a alluring instance of mistaken identity.

Also, the oops-factor of I'm now fighting an entire gang of chummers because I mistook Jake Hologram for Chaim is a motherfucker.

Also, can we please add a script function for -most- NPC's of "What's your name?". There's a lot of casual meta around NPC names and the disguised NPC's combined with that script could make for some more interesting interactions and NPC aliases.

My name? I AM THE RAW!!!
Also, can we please add a script function for -most- NPC's of "What's your name?"

Love this idea.

This might be asking too much but NPCs with !!unstealable!! cars and aeros buzzing around where appropriate and parking in parking lots etc for a bit would be good for all the same reasons. It sucks seeing (say) a Hayasa going by and knowing there are only maybe two or three people it could possibly be.