I use the term creatures fairly loosely as this portion of the document applies also to NPC's which may be various different Species/races. As slang I will refer to creatures as a mobs very often in this document. This is common slang among the RPG community. A creature is anything which is not controlled by a person which you may interact with on some level. An example of this would be an Orc guard outside one of the orc cities. Not all creature interaction will consist of fighting. Detailed below is some of the information you will need to know about creatures in order to play the game. Mobs in the game will all be based on the fantasy genre so you can expect creatures like dragons, fairies, etc. You can also expect common animals in the normal world like bears, lions, deer, rabbits, etc.
A spawn is a concept which most gamers are probably familiar with. For those of you who are not the idea is basically this. A spawn is where a mob may appear. You need to have spawn places so that creatures do not quickly go extinct as players kill them off. The ideas is you fill the world back up gradually as the mobs are killed off. Ideally you want to have roughly the same number of mobs spawning as getting killed (although this may not always be the case) so that the area contains roughly the same number of creatures at any given time.
Typical RPG's have mobs spawn over and over again in the same place and will spawn directly on top of you if you are standing in the wrong place. While this makes designing the game easier its not terribly realistic. We will have mobs (some) spawn somewhat dynamically in two respects.... First they will spawn in order to fill up an absence of mobs in the zone. In other words as mobs get killed other mobs will spawn. Secondly the place that they spawn will not be the same each time. Also mobs will never spawn in front of you unless this can be explained in some way. For example a magic user may spawn directly in front of you as he could apear out of thin air or a groundhog may burrow up out of the ground in front of you so he could spawn in front of you as well. The actual mechanics if how this will be pulled off behind the scenes are really beyond the scope of this document, but it is important to know what is going to happen even if you don't understand how.
Faction basically means friendliness, if you have good faction with a mob then the mob probably wont attack you. If you have bad faction with a mob however you had better watch your step near that mob. Faction with a mob is determined by a number of factors. Many mobs have a faction associated with them that you can (through various methods) raise or lower. Your faction with a mob will also be affected by things you do around it. For example some mobs will immediately have lowered factions if you attack their friends... others may not care. When you kill a mob you may also wind up having faction adjustments. For example if you kill an Orc guard you will likely not be very well liked by other orcs. Unlike many other games you will take very small faction hits every time you attack a mob. So even if you do not kill a mob if you hit it you will hurt your reputation a little. To relate this to the real world ... if you were to go around hitting cops it doesn't matter if you kill them or not people are not going to generally like you because you are mean to police officers. The same concept will hold in the game.
Field of Awareness:
A concept which is very similar to what many other games call an Aggro range. Basically this is an area which a mob "can" be aware of your presence. However unlike other games just because you are within this range does not mean that you will be noticed. Also this range is not just a plain old circle around the mob.
- A lion may have a 360degree 20ft radius of awareness because it can smell you up to 20ft away
- A Beholder may have a 150degree 50ft radius of awareness in the front and a 360degree 2ft awareness in general because it can generally only see in front since it is a giant eye. However it will become aware of things that are very close to it... 2ft
If you walk within a mobs field of awareness the following things are taken into consideration. First your faction is checked, if your faction with this mob is good then it will not attack you no matter what. Next it looks at your distance and karma. These two values have the following relationship. If a person has a maxed out bad karma then the probability of being attacked as soon as you are within the radius is near 1. For someone with maxed good karma the probability of being noticed is near zero when just entering the field of awareness, and gradually gets worse as distance from the mob decreases. Karma will effect this probability however the probability will never be exactly zero or exactly one. Closer distance will always mean higher probability.
A big part of a Role Playing game is an acquisition of wealth and rare items. To this end many mobs will drop items for you to pick up after killing them. Unfortunately because of this many of us have played games where mobs drop things that just don't make sense. For example it really doesn't make any sense that a lion would be carrying around 5platinum of loose change; I mean for starters where on earth is he carrying it. It would make more sense if you could get meat, claws, teeth, etc. from a lion. You should also in many cases have consistent drops. It makes no sense for example that some lions would have meat and others would not, on the other hand it does make sense that some would have more teeth than others.
This type of drop/loot scheme forces the developers to be a little more clever about loot, however it adds a bit of realism to the game as well as presents an avenue to have vast numbers of player created items. These player created items fit well into the scheme of this game since it is the method of non combat advancement. A player could for example sell lion teeth to a vendor who later sells it to a player who makes a nice neclace out of it. You may also have other clever methods of drops.
- Dragon: A dragon usually drops a huge amount of gold and a few choice items. This really doesn't make sense... I mean does the dragon have a big old pouch that you fished it out of... The following would make more sense: 10 dragon meats, 2 perfect dragon teeth, 10 damaged dragon teeth, 1 golden key, 1 perfect dragon scale and 10 damaged dragon scales. And then the golden key can be used to open a door in the back of the lair which may have a huge store of gold and a few choice items... The dragon meat may be used for baking, teeth for weapons and alchemy and the scal for armor and alchemy.
- Pegasus: normally you would find some gold and some random premade item. For example in EQ it was a cloak and some gold. It makes far more sense to have some fur, hooves, and feathers drop. These items again could be used in some crafting.
Much like most other games creatures can occur at various levels. You should be able (through your entire gaming career) be able to take on a mob of equal or lesser level. There will be rare exceptions where a mob may have an extraordinary amount of hit points or for whatever reason is basically un-killable but in general if a mob is of equal or lesser level you should be able to kill it. If a mob is within 6 or so levels you should be able to kill it with a good group. Anything higher than that you either have to wait until you are a higher level or bring an army with you. You will be able to tell by looking at a mob approximately what level it is. This will be gauged by color. Ex green would be a very weak mob. This may seem to not fit into role-playing but think of it this way. You don't know how strong a lion really is but you have read stories about it and you have a pretty good idea it would kill you. Similarly you would know if you have a good chance of winning a fight with the school bully... the same logic holds here. If you are an adventurer and your business is going through strange lands you will know a great deal about creatures and how dangerous they are.