A Challenge: Living Off the Land

A Challenge: Living Off the Land

Postby Toccatta » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:30 am

The following is a re-re-repost of a previous challenge which has become archived: It has been reposted to allow people to respond (which is normally impossible with an archived topic.) This time, I think I'll sticky it so that it doesn't need to be reposted again.

For a while now, my roommate and I have been playing a challenge concept and have had a great deal of fun with it. It's based off of an earlier challenge called "Living off the Land", but with a few changes and a few clarifications. I've had so much fun with it that I'm posting the rules for anyone that cares to give it a try.
  1. First and foremost, the challenge is about fun, not frustration. In any case in which a rule prevents a quest from being solved, the rule can be ignored in order to complete the quest, but ONLY to the extent required to actually allow the quest to be solved.
  2. You may keep anything that you take off of a vanquished foe if they were killed in an *UNPROVOKED* attack. You may NOT murder someone to get their possessions. According to Morrowind lore:
    Native Dunmer and Imperials alike recognize a noble's obligation to answer a challenge of honor. A challenge of honor is a public declaration of a scandal against a private party. Only nobles fight duels, and the higher the rank, the stronger the obligation. Law and custom despises dishonorable duelists. If the victim was bullied, intimidated, or goaded by a stronger party with suspect motives, magistrates often convict the stronger party of foul murder.

    For this reason, taunting an NPC into an attack in order to fight them qualifies as murder under the LOTL rules. If a quest requires you to kill someone, you may taunt them into attacking if necessary, but their possessions are off limits if you do. If the quest requires that you collect something they own, you may take the quest item only. Also, since a corpse will only stay around for 72 hours, you may always take a quest item from any corpse, whether you've been assigned the quest or not. This is to ensure that the quest item doesn't disappear with the corpse and to make sure that you'll have access to the quest item when you need it. To be true to the challenge, if you haven't actually been assigned the quest to retrieve the object, you should put it somewhere for safe keeping without using it until you actually are assigned the quest to retrieve the object.
  3. You may not steal objects or pickpocket other NPCs unless required to do so by a quest. Note that this depends on the wording of the quest. If the quest giver tells you to steal something, you MAY do so because of the wording of the quest even if you could have gotten the item by another means! If they tell you to acquire something, but don't tell you to steal it, then you may steal it to solve the quest only if it isn't available for sale anywhere.
  4. You may keep any money or items you find or are given for solving a quest, but may not sell any object. You may not purchase any PHYSICAL object, although you may spend money on any SERVICE, including (but not limited to) training, spells, spellmaking, enchanting, repair, or travel. For the purposes of the challenge, paying someone to create custom armor counts as buying armor, not as paying for a service. Note that you don't actually "pay" someone to create custom Stalhrim armor, so that's allowed.
  5. Since crafting is a very legitimate part of "living off the land", if you're using a crafting mod like Complete Morrowind or Morrowind Crafting, you are allowed to purchase each tool-kit which you cannot otherwise find or make, and you may purchase any non-respawning consumables that cannot be created in another manner.

    1. For Morrowind Crafting, this includes the crafting kit, woodworking kit, fletching kit, sewing kit, and a pot and saucepan. It does NOT include the crucible, shears, loom, pottery wheel, or spinning wheel since all of these can be found or made. Because the idea of the mod was to purchase wood instead of allowing the player to chop down trees, you may purchase wood (even though you CAN find it elsewhere with the new Morrowind Patch) and silverware for smelting. This allows you to exercise the mercantile skill so that it doesn't become useless... although it would probably be unwise to select it as a leveling skill!
    2. I'm not a Complete Morrowind person, so I can't give you specifics for that (or any other crafting mod for that matter). Use your best judgement... and remember the challenge is about fun.
  6. You may use the console to "fixme", "reset actor", and to adjust the timescale to something closer to real-time if you prefer. I find it's helpful to toggle full help so you can tell what is owned and what is not. It makes it easier to know what you cannot take (what counts as 'stealing') You may also use the console to fix KNOWN bugs. You may not use the console to bypass difficulties, COC yourself around the map, give yourself additional items, or undo bad decisions or unlucky events.

    A few points that were clarified in follow-up posts are listed below:
  7. If you are a member of a guild, you may use any items which are normally available to guild members provided that they are made freely available. This includes any items in the mage's guild and fighter's guild supply chests as well as guild-owned supplies. Items which are privately owned by fellow guild members are NOT included, as taking these would count as stealing.
  8. Equipment located on a corpse is considered "salvage" and is also freely available, provided you didn't have a hand in making them a corpse in the first place. Otherwise, rule #2 applies.
  9. Potions may be purchased only if the character is instructed to purchase a potion for a quest. Potions for personal use must be brewed by hand using reagents you've picked or found. Whenever you find potions, you should consider keeping a few in reserve, since quests which require potions cannot use the home-brewed variety, and unless you're specifically directed to buy a potion for the quest, this isn't allowed by the rules.
  10. With respect to taunting: Any activity whose sole purpose is to provoke an NPC into attacking qualifies as a taunt. This includes the dialog option "taunt" as well as the spell effect "frenzy humanoid". However, *normal* dialog which causes an NPC to attack does not qualify as taunting. i.e. If you tell the tax collector's murderer that you intend to turn him in, he will attack... not because you taunted him, but because he wishes to 'silence' you. This is NOT considered taunting and falls into the category of "unprovoked attack". All his possessions are yours if you defeat him; to the victor belongs the spoils.
  11. Barrels and crates around town that don't belong to anyone are fair game. Be warned that some barrels and crates ARE owned, and taking their contents may count as stealing. It's recommended that you use the console command "TFH" to display which containers are owned and therefore off-limits if you play the PC version. If you're playing on the Xbox, most of the barrels and crates in Ald-ruhn and Vivec are owned. In Vivec, the barrels and crates in the three Cantons associated with the three faction great-houses are owned by those factions. In Ald-ruhn, barrels and crates are usually owned by the faction house or private residence they are closest to. Use of faction crates and barrels is governed by rule #7.

By removing the ability to buy or sell anything physical, it shifts the object of the game away from acquiring large amounts of "stuff" towards improving your character and solving quests. It also encourages you to think inventively and come up with unusual solutions to common situations.

It's somewhat difficult to get started, and you should pick your skills carefully, keeping in mind the inability to buy anything physical...i.e. skills which require consumables (picks/probes for security and hammers for armorer) are difficult choices for leveling skills. Marksman also uses consumables, but arrows and bolts are plentiful enough that it isn't too difficult to use as a leveling skill.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I have.
"All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither; deep roots are not reached by the frost."
- Bilbo Baggins
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Toccatta
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