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NPC Aggression and General AI Statistics


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Here are the NPC common roles and the AI statistics to match:

Aggression: 5, Confidence: 50, Energy Level: 50-70, Responsibility: 50-100

A responsibility of 50 is pretty typical. Higher levels of responsibility affect the NPC's reporting of crimes. With a responsibility of 100, they will give you a bounty and psychically report your crime to guards. Energy level is how often they will move around when they've selected a wander package. If you want them moving around a lot, set their energy level higher. Confidence affects how much damage the NPC will endure before running. When an NPC's disposition to the player or another NPC drops below their Aggression, they will attack. The Aggression of non-aggressive or good NPC's should be set to 5.

Aggression: 5, Confidence: 50, Energy Level: 50-70, Responsibility: 50-100

Aggression: 5, Confidence: 100, Energy Level: 50, Responsibility: 100

Bad Guys, like Bandits and Marauders:
Aggression: 100, Confidence: 95+, Energy Level: 70+, Responsibility: 0

Evil Wizards have a lower confidence, around 75.

Evil Characters, like Dark Brotherhood members:
Aggression: 5-30, Confidence: 80, Energy Level: 80, Responsibility: 20-30

Be careful with Aggression set to higher than 5. Even setting it to 10 or 15 could make the NPC attack others or the player. Counter this with factions.

Important note on Responsibility:
Responsibility controls an NPC's inclination to commit crimes. It also controls whether they will report crimes or not. With a Responsibility of 30 or lower, the NPC will commit crimes, like stealing food if they have an eat package and are not given a supply of food. This is why City-Swimmer in Bravil usually winds up dying. I like to use her as a trainer, so I make sure she has a supply of food in my games. Don't use Harvest Containers without OBSE 20+ if you want her to be able to access the food containers located around the city - there is a bug in the base game that prevents NPC's from accessing containers if there is a script on them. OBSE 20+ fixes this.

If you are setting up an NPC to buy and sell stolen goods, their Responsibility needs to be set to 30.

Those are guidelines. Dark Brotherhood members usually have a higher Aggression and lower Responsibility, for example. In fact we have to lower their Aggression via script when we have them leave the Sanctuary or they will attack everybody in sight. Most of them have an Aggression of 30.

Replicating an Existing NPC

Sometimes it's easier to start with an existing NPC that's similar to what you want. Here are the steps:

  • Double-click on the NPC you wish to copy and change the Editor ID (that's the field labelled ID). I like to click OK at this point and when prompted with Create New Object?, click YES. Now double-click on your new NPC and finish editing.
  • Change the Name of the NPC.
  • If there is a script attached, click the arrow on the drop-down list and press the Space bar. This should change the script to NONE.
  • Change any of the other details of the NPC, like Class, Level, Combat Style, etc.
  • Change the flags like Essential, No Persuasion etc.
  • Adjust the Stats as needed.

Now for the most important steps:

  • Click the AI button and change the AI Attributes to match the character of the new NPC, if needed. In particular, pay attention to the Aggression and Responsibility.
  • DELETE ALL THE AI PACKAGES. You can keep the generic aaaDefaultExplore packages if the NPC is using them. Look at the package details and make sure that they do NOT reference a specific location.
  • Click the Factions tab and delete all the Factions and Ranks. This is very important. Factions are used to control the dialogue and most NPC's that have the wrong dialogue have that because their factions are still set to the original game factions.
  • Click the Inventory tab and delete any items that are custom to the original NPC. Keys are a prime example.
  • Click the SpellList tab and delete any custom spells.
  • Click the Face and Face Advanced tabs to tweak the appearance a little bit from the original NPC.


Tip: If you're not sure what to set their stats to and you don't want the game to calculate their stats, turn on Auto calc stats and then turn it off again. The game will reset the stats according to the class and level you set. Now you can customize them.


Note about Class Selection:

The DarkArcher or DarkMage classes are identical to the regular Thief and Mage classes except they are customized for the Dark Brotherhood NPC's. Also be aware that some classes like MerchPublican are used in dialogue conditions so you may find your new NPC suddenly has spoken dialogue. You can click the Dialogue button in the NPC edit window to see if your NPC is affected by this.

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