Rat quest

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Wip quest.png This article covers a work in progress quest.

Work in progress quests get currently fleshed out and are not ready for review yet. Once they have been fleshed out in detail and are ready to be reviewed, they become submitted quests.


This is a quest for the PARPG tech demo.

For a full and up-to-date listing of what is required please have a look at Techdemo_Asset_ToDo (and update it if you found something not listed there yet).

Contents

Overview

This is a cRPG "in-joke" quest because ALL (and I mean ALL) cRPGs have some sort of "rats in the cellar" quest. Usually as a combat demo. So we want to do something a little different. Currently, it's not assigned to an in-game location, but it should be attached to something that's experienced relatively early in the game.

The scenario: Rats are eating up the stored grain!

Typical preposterous RPG solution is to have the player act as exterminator, killing rats one at a time or in bunches, gaining experience and familiarity with the combat solution. If the PARPG player tries this, he will find Rats very easy to kill - but pointless. Rats aren't stupid enough to just line up and be killed one at a time. They hide. They avoid the player. So, while the player, if he's patient enough, can kill all the rats he wants - it doesn't help solve the grain problem. There are always more rats.

Rats are also an important food source - but not if they are eating the communities grain. So killing the rat does give the PC "dead rats" to eat or as trade goods, but this should not really be worth the time spent hunting them. He might gain some experience with a ranged weapon - but the cost of ammo is not trivial - and this is really no greater benefit than spending any time/ammo to train a ranged weapon skill.

To solve the quest - the player has be a little creative:

Rat quest solutions

  • (crafting character) - build rat traps. Requires materials, bait, and time, but will get the job done. A pretty difficult engineering task, and someone has to continually check the traps.
  • (diplomatic/trade solution) - what eats rats? Cats! The player hears a rumor of a nearby settlement that has somehow solved it's rat problem. It turns out that they have a crazy cat lady, who lives a little ways from their grainary.. The lady keeps her house warm by chopping wood and lets a big band of cats stay there. In return they bring up a couple juicy rats to eat every day (cats will do this). The player has to negotiate with her to get a litter of kittens and a cat. The PC brings the cat back to the problem area, and presto - no more rat problem. Note that this does not "produce" rat corpses for sale/trade, but requires zero maintenance.
  • (scavenging/sciency solution) - Somewhere nearby there is a store of Gliftor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,3-Difluoro-2-propanol) - a pesticide developed in the mid 70s in the USSR. The PC first has to first find the research paper describing Gliftor's effect on voles, then learn where to get it. The rat poison belongs to an old Russian chemist. He doesn't really need it but he's not going to give it up for free either. You can trade with him, but if you talk science with him he will give you a good deal; maybe even let you have it for free. The PC takes the poison and poison the grain. It's toxic to rodents and some other animals (see File:Gliftor.pdf), but not humans. However, the poisoned rats are not edible.

Locations

These are all described here: Location

  • Grainary - Where the rats are eating the grain
  • Crazy cat lady's house - A nice little shack in some woods near a neighboring settlement. FULL of cats (like 50!) and one crazy purple lady who takes care of them.
  • Chemist's Shop - Where the old russian chemist has the Gliptor

Characters

  • Some dude,gives you quest to solve the rat problem
  • Old Russian chemist - has the rat poison. Likes to talk science. Using violence to get the Gliptor is a marginally sucessful result - he gets some revenge on you somehow.
  • Crazy Cat Lady - see, e.g | Cat Lady. She's old, lives alone in squalor, and wears purple. She loves her cats and keeps them warm and safe from predators (humans, mostly). In return they catch rats for her, which she cooks into a savory stew. She has a shotgun. If you convince her that you will give some cats a good home and take care of them, she will give you a litter of kittens. You cannot steal the cats or kill the lady.

Objects

  • Reference article - A scientific article describing the use of Gliftor to eradicate voles. A hint for the player for "chemical warfare" solution.
  • Crate of Gliptor - A couple years' supply of rat poison.
  • Box of Kittens - A box of kittens you get from the crazy cat lady.
  • Rat traps - You have to craft these and bait them.

Outcomes

There are a few degrees of success in this quest - each one giving you a little more respect within the community. And possibly a supply of rat meat! Killing or intimidating the old chemist works in the sense that you can get the poison... but he gets his revenge by poisoning you (with Polonium 210?). Who knew he was a KGB chemist? Killing or intimidating the crazy cat lady doesn't get you the kittens - they are too well hidden. If you try to grab a few grown cats, they scratch you up (possible infection) and just run away to their old haunts.

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