Monday, June 27, 2011

Powering up pickpocket

Ok, I'm old school. I think pickpocket instead of "sleight of hand". Anyway, sleight of hand in NWN2 is pretty much useless. The amount of times it can be used in most content is generally around zero, and it's not really any fun when you can.

I'm trying to fix that. Crimmor is getting a custom pickpocket loot system to handle pickpocketing the random commoners, nobles etc you see in the city. Instead of just giving a few npcs bits of loot marked as pp-able, I'm overwriting the default OnInventoryDisturbed code for npcs. What is happening is that it will look at the npc tag and if the subtag matches one of the categories I define (commoner,merchant etc), the player will pp something from a random loot table. As it currently stands you can pp a useless item, a random amount of gold, or a useful item from a loot table. Since things are categorized I alter the percent chance of each outcome for each group. Commoners have the greatest chance of the pp result being something useless, and the player will get the least gold off them, plus only 1 in 100 will have a useful item. Merchants have fewer useless items, more likelihood of gold (and more gold), and a 5% useful item chance. Nobles have the most gold and a 10% useful chance. Npcs are marked on successful pickpocket, so you can't just repeatedly pp the same npc. One success per npc.

I plan on implementing trapped pockets as well, to add some risk to things. There will be a random chance that the victim has somehow trapped/locked his pocket. A sensible precaution in a time when thieves ply their trades so openly! Standard trap picking chances will be applied automatically, with the trap type and strength being determined via percentages. I hope to expand things to cause the thief other problems, like auto-summoning the guard (after all, someones bag just exploded in flames). Presumably the use of trapped pockets would mean using traps designed to function away from their owner, so the owner will not be damaged by their own trap.

For useless items I just give the player a text string popup "You have stolen a copy of 'Mobile Vegetable Peddling' by Jan Jansen." these strings draw from over a hundred useless items. The player doesn't actually receive a junk item. Gold is also done randomly, with a chance for greater or lesser amounts. And useful items draw from over 400 low level useful items. You might get one of the non magical books that comes with the toolset, you might get a bit of crafting material, or a potion, minor magic item (typically less than 1000gp full value) or scroll up to level 3.

Like all my custom work, I plan on making this available to the community at release time.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sounds exciting. In the OC, pickpocketing is dull - the npcs don't even change to hostile.

    Just make sure that pp-ing isn't dull in your mod, ok? Include a risk like city guards or hostile victims. Trapped pockets also do. Then make the risk worthwhile. Give the players the chance to draw item - useful or not - AND gold. Commoners arent beggars, you know? Beer, slings, clubs, torches, daggers, spoons... or other garbage thats worth less than 10gp still classifies as "useless" imo. The player will still not become rich even after pickpocketing 100 npcs.

    Keep up the great work!!