improved Reading mechanic


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The topic on reading while down with Parasites got me thinking how much the books and reading add to TLD. However, could the skill books play even a bigger role? As always, my suggestions aim for increased difficulty at maximal ease of implementation. 

Beddy-bye reading has been covered. And improved book schemes have surfaced in the wishes, too. Perhaps the following slight tweaks to Skill (and other) Book usage could get more mileage out of the existing fantastic mechanic?  The downtime during blizzards, longer cooking sessions etc, perhaps even while ice-fishing (if we had signalling ice fishing systems) would be nice to spend with a book instead of endless Solitaire. Books in blizzards are a cozy-feeling thing, not to use the im word. 🙂 This could work if the skill upgrade from books came initially fast, possibly unpredictably, but slowed down over time to require lengthy revision. 

A) Obfuscate the reading progress. You read each book until the character goes e.g. "That does it, I got this."
You read all books in 30-min installments with no progress meter -- the first book of each type gives a fast benefit, but you can keep on reading for quite some time with diminishing returns. If we stepped back from the current game-ish 1-X hours of reading-and-done mechanic to a gradual style of learning, potentially the books would be more valuable. And more fussy, you'd have to baby them instead of turning to fuel. And you perhaps could still squeeze some benefit from reading again the Archery 1 you did 160 days ago? Non-linear progress would also work beautifully with B) below.

B) Read in bed (or the chairs...), maybe while under certain afflictions, too 
It would not ease much since you'd likely need light to read. Gain only 2/3 of the warmth bonus due to holding the book? And probably more common than anyone cares to admit is that folks read until they fall asleep -- and then in the morning see the dead candle and wonder how far did I get? So if some afflictions (Parasites, ribs?) allowed reading but forced you to bed, while that could carry a risk of falling asleep: needlessly burning the light source down and not gaining that much knowledge in the end, I think it would balance out.

C) Introduce serialised books. 100 issues of bound guns&guns should be plenty.
Giving unique IDs to the skill books and then serialising e.g. Mending 1 Mending 2 (or use years for more flavour "World of Mending 1989-91"?) would, as previously suggested, mandate the player to get 'em all for leveling. Realistic, too, come to think, it would not be out of place for an island community to barter book series or bound magazine annual subscriptions of yore between households. 

D) Give a reason to carry and stack basic books. E.g. each book in an indoor location prevents/shortens cabin fever? 
The suggestion that even the random books could somehow be more than just fuel is interesting. Albeit it eats away at the dog eat dog world feeling what with the grotesque dead bodies, burning cash for fuel, I admit, this could further force the player to optimise carrying and storing the books instead of using them as more reliable firestarters.

E) Autogenerate titles for the random standard books
I know that unique burning-book titles would add to the database complexity, but IMO it would be a fitting touch. Hinterland for sure has shown such storyline chops. 

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I would like to see an animation that shows the pages of a book being turned rather than the "passing time" circle we now have.

One issue I have with the skill level-up scheme as it is currently is that any Level 5 skill can be achieved without reading any of the books (rendering the Booksmarts perk basically useless).  Regardless of the order in which skill books are read, I would like to see 20 points needed to reach Level 5 of each skill to be obtainable only by reading books.  That is, no matter how many fires you light in the game, the best you're going to do towards getting to Level 5 is 80% unless you read at least two book on the topic.  Rather than just add a 1 point (10% bonus), I would change the feat to give an additional 10 points per book read (cutting the requirement to be able to reach Level 5 from two books to one).  I would get rid of the caps some of the books have (e.g. Frontier Shooting Guide, which only gives points if read prior to reaching Level 3 Rifle Firearm).

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  • 2 months later...

Give a reason to carry and stack basic books. E.g. each book in an indoor location prevents/shortens cabin fever? 

I think this is an amazing suggestion 👏It makes total sense to balance out a frustrating game mechanic while adding some extra use to an already existing item. 

Edited by deadBee
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