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Alternative resting system for future installments


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As I have stated in other threads, I've never been a huge fan of the resting system in IE games and PoE. I find it breaks my immersion if I picture my party settling down for an 8h session of R&R, sometimes in some of the most hostile environments imaginable and with dragons and Vampires just yards away.

 

I also don't like the "per rest" skill-limit because it doesn't make for interesting resource management. Instead you end up "conserving" them for the hard fights...that don't end up coming before your next rest. Ar you blow through all of them too quickly and end up having to rest despite the last rest just being an hour ago.

 

And yet somehow my group is still willing to travel 3 days without resting at all.

 

Yeah it just makes no sense in a video-game and is a relic of the old D&D ruleset which just sin't relevant anymore.

 

 

So instead I wanted to propose a different, more appropriate system, based on the even-older Realms of Arcadia series from 1992 (similar to Wizardry).

 

In it time would pass fairly slowly when in a city or zone. Characters generally wouldn't tire much based on exploration. You could still go to taverns and wait or rest if you needed to wait for a particular hour of the day but otherwise exhaustion wasn't really a factor.

 

This changed when you traveled across the world map. Instead of being an instant teleport you could follow your group's progress across the map along the route. At the end of every day, the group would make camp and you could assign every group-member a specific task.

 

- You could assign people to night-watch, reducing the chance of being attacked at night (random encounters will local wildlife or bandits mostly)

- You could assign people to cook, which depending on what dish you cooked for the group, gave everyone a special bonus for the following day.

- You could assign someone to hunt, which would get you various supplies. This was only really needed if you were running low on food because characters always had to eat. If they went hungry they wouldn't heal.

- You could assign someone to look for water for if your group didn't drink, they wouldn't regain Stamina/Mana over night.

- You could assign someone to treat wounds, which would increase the healing everyone received from resting and removed wounds.

- You could assign someone to recover, which removed any wounds they might have received.

- You could assign people to collect herbs which would give you an appropriate selection of regional herbs for brewing and healing wounds.

- You could have a character brew new potions, which would allow you to use these potions the next day as you couldn't just brew them "on the fly".

- You could also have a character enchant gear, which too wasn't possible "on the fly".

 

I can't think of anything else at the moment that would make sense, but you get the idea.

 

What I liked about this system is that it really helped characterize the different members of the group. You really noticed when Amoen, your Hunter, was heavily wounded and needed to recover and thus couldn't go hunting that night. You noticed when you replaced your primary herb gatherer with the Alchemist dude because while you now had access to much cooler potions, you now needed to buy most of the ingredients.

 

It also enhanced the sense of "here's a group travelling through a hostile and barren land" as certain environments left you starved for resources. If you were looking to travel through a desert for three days, you better prepare for it by stocking up on water and supplies.

 

For PoE such a system would also provide a good basis for expanding on the secondary skill system. Because currently, it feels a bit underwhelming. 

 

It would also provide a great opportunity for more "chose your own adventure" stories as "...while looking for water you come across a strange fountain unlike anything you'd seen before....". Or "while out hunting your prey you are surprised by a huge bear...".

 

Of course, abandoning the current resting system would require reworking some of the current game-mechanics, first and foremost the "per day" skill limit. But that's a matter for another topic.

Edited by Dee-Jay
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This is of course a missed opportunity in many games. Overland travel is treated at most as a super simple minigame. Recent example is Wasteland 2. It has a water meter (completely trivial since refills are everywhere) and handful of random encounters, almost all of which are of low in quality (much worse than in some older games like Fallout 2). And radiation which is actually just a plot barrier you need to collects items for to bypass it eventually.

Edited by Zorfab
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As I have stated in other threads, I've never been a huge fan of the resting system in IE games and PoE.

 

The rest system is too fundamental to the design of this game to change at this point in the development process (ie, after development is ended and the game has been released).  Changing rest would require a redesign/rebalance of almost every aspect of the game.  It's unrealistic to expect such a massive change to be made.

 

No amount of new threads about the rest mechanic will change that situation.  For the sake of cutting down on unnecessary forum clutter, it might be better to just add comments or suggestions to the threads that already exist about this topic.

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I quite like this proposal. Sounds like fun.

 

The only game I can think of that had anything remotely like this was Jagged Alliance. There, your characters had to rest occasionally, but not everybody got tired at the same rate depending on how fit they were, and you could do a bunch of different things in downtime: treat wounded characters, train up militia, repair gear, operate installations like hospitals or radio towers, and of course practice their skills. Wounded characters needed time and medical attention to recover. It was quite fun and really added to the immersion.

But of course, that was a tactical squad-management game rather than a traditional RPG. It was easier to fit such a system in, because there was an active enemy presence and squandering too much time training and whatnot would lead to counterattacks and the enemy making progress.

I don't think such a system could be shoehorned in an RPG and work well. But something like the OP describes could work if the game was designed around it. It would make dungeon design tricky, though.

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