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Antagonistic play is not very common in this game. I'd argue that this is because it isn't really possible to sustain. The reason is entirely logistical, and here's why.

*A fair amount of this is theoretical, but I have played both solo bandits and attempted to create a bandit group, then realized I was creating a faction.


Almost every antagonist will need equipment. There's pretty much the exception of paw fighters, who mostly need none. Especially to pick on the unescorted. Equipment comes with the problem of needing someone to sell to anyone as well as repairs. If you're not trained in paw fighting, and your weapons break...Good luck finding another one.


Antagonists need food, just like every other player. The problem with them is that they are probably excluded from other player's charity, on account of robbing people, and they usually lack good methods of eating for themselves. Scroungers will lack the satiated buff from cooked food, and there is almost NO way for antags to have enough interactions with other players to sustain themselves.


Because bandits are almost entirely parasitic, they have to rely on interactions with other players to keep playing their characters. While roleplay is enforced, the problem is that players will STILL often choose to run or fight, rather than give into the demands that bandits need to survive. From a mechanical perspective, you can't blame them, since they're less likely to lose as much from the looting mechanics as they are the sheer amount that bandits need to live. On this note, antagonist players don't want to ruin the experience or day of the receiving player. Unfortunately, due to how scarce resources are, especially to those who are not a high level gatherer, those character's simply can't afford to lose much. I don't see it as being a satisfying experience for either end.


"But Carlos!" You say, in Farwoods you're not MEANT to be able to do everything on your own, with one specialization. While this is true, let's see what services bandits will need: Weapon/armour crafting, food, repairs, and scrounging. This is pretty much only the bare necessity. So you need at the very least 3 characters for any bandit group if you want to play a reasonably broad range of combat characters. This limits the types of groups that can do this type of play, and if you add more it starts looking like a massive faction, fully self sustained instead. At that point there's a very different incentive to drive conflict.


The logistics systems at play in Farwoods leads to antagonistic groups naturally ballooning into something that they didn't want to play to begin with, or completely being starved out both mechanically and in character. They are, in general, too unforgiving for small groups and individuals, which is only exacerbated by the in character isolation caused by robbery.

The code of conduct suggests that conflict should be taken in good faith, and that good faith applies to victims as well. Under the current mechanics, I think it is too punishing for the victim for either party to feel good about these types of interactions. The end result of banditry shouldn't be to steal days of equipment or supply and potentially make (newer) players quit. It should be a mostly fun or positive experience for everyone.


I think it's interesting, thank you for taking the time to write on it. I've had few direct experiences with bandits or antagonist characters but I know they are very good for the roleplay aspect, because tales of them persist long after their escapades. So if antagonists are a desired part of the Farwoods experience, there's an interesting, fine line to tread to make it fun to be one, while not making it *too* fun. Or rather, fun in a different way, and allowing for both an established 'bandit faction' that can somewhat sustain itself as well a viable path for single, opportunistic, combat-oriented characters.


It's a tough problem.

Naturally, I think Bandits will want to avoid targets that look hard. That makes sense.

But there probably should be some sort of realistic penalty for weaker characters /not/ giving in if they'd just be guaranteed to lose and not get away anyway. Because as you said -- it's just better for themself still.

GM Ethos

I see a lot of fair points in this post, but not a lot of solutions. I agree with you and we've taken steps where possible to balance things between antagonist and victim. My perspective is that people will always be upset about losing anything, regardless of whether it was fair or not. But how, exactly, would you propose we solve these issues?

I buffed paw fighting to make equipment less necessary for preying on the weak. I added the imperial crystal to give bandits a judgement-free place to be fed. I think there are places in the game amoral enough that you can get weapons, armor, food, and repairs even if you piss people off by mugging them, though I understand that finding them is not guaranteed.

Given that this is a game people play quite a lot, the scarcity of resources is necessary. Neo is an example of what happens without that scarcity. You collect oodles of stuff, and then what? It's all locked up behind impenetrable burrows anyway so there's nothing you can do about it. But at the same time we can't just let you rob anybody, or the game will quickly become unfun when you can't be there to guard your burrow 24/7. We think that businesses and faction bases are acceptable targets for burglary; these are generally places with plenty, anyway. We have plans to make them more attractive targets, without making it easy to break into them.

As for my feedback on your personal banditry adventures, Carlos, I will say this: The Library and its immediate outskirts are not a good place to rob people. Not only are there tons of witnesses around, but most of the people there are new and don't have much. Bandits should be skulking around the areas where gatherers acquire their valuables: good mining spots and gathering spots. You may not encounter as many people this way, but it's far more likely that they will actually have something worth taking, and they're far from being able to secure those valuables or get to somewhere safe running away from you. These people will be more likely to cough up something, especially if you catch them on their way back when they're likely overweight.

Changes to how the inventory works will also make stealing easier. That's all I have to say on the matter.


I can't speak for any of the other veteran players but I personally was walking around with a plan to pay off any bandits I ran into. But I never did.

One Against Tempests

My solution is to not have anything to rob. If you don't have anything to be taken, they can't take it from you. Not much can be done to you permanently. It's sort of a poison pill strategy. You can still play, and still roleplay, and work towards things. But they aren't going to get much.


Well, what happened in this case is that I handed my cloak over in order to bait Carlos into taking it, or making the better decision not to -- in front of anywhere else. I would certainly try to negotiate my way with bandits in general, unless I have a good feel of how strong they might be. In this case I ultimately had the power; Carlos made an unwise decision (IC) but I know that's not entirely what's being discussed.

Still for context to the summoning:

The original summoning was to back him into a corner, with an avenue for escape, to try to use words, but things didn't go as planned. I don't blame him for attacking his way out in that case, but it wasn't going to make the critter very friendly afterwards either.

The second summoning was definitely just a sort of response to what happened after the first. 

Just the same, a Bandit going after someone like Hugo or Lumi or Agouti or Vit probably deserves what may come to them; and part of the charm of the game is not knowing which critters ar actually very good fighters and which ones aren't. Bandits will have to be choosy to be successful. Don't go after hard targets, try to find out which ones aren't as hard as they look, and find clever ways to negotiate with what you want. And most importantly, hide identity!

You have to be careful if you want to be a Bandit, particularly if you intend to interact with the majority of critters, especially around the library where it's largely people trying to help new critters. If you act against them, that's a lot of people you're pissing off if you are not good at hiding yourself.

You can also try to recruit middle men of sorts, critters whose primary role is trading hard to trace stolen goods (such as materials) in a smart manner. For high profile items like equipment, you will probably need to find a fence. 

And this is sort of reflective of reality, actually...

Edit: also be mindful of the friends they might keep. If they have strong friends, it's probably worth cutting your gains early.