So you want to play Chronicles of Elyria? But what do you want to be?
This new series looks at some possible professions, trades, and ways of life, giving you inspiration while looking at the detail we have for the mechanics of the game. It is available both in video or text depending on your preference. They are the same, mostly, so no need to read and watch! Please do remember that Chronicles of Elyria is in development, that means the information we have is not always exhaustive but is always subject to change.
This week’s profession will appeal if you have an interest in Player vs Player combat out in the open world. In being a defender of justice bringing lawbreakers to face trial. A blade for hire that can aid those who have had personal contracts broken. What about being the muscle that helps enforce the contracts that might not be of an entirely legal nature.
So you want to be a… Bounty Hunter?
Well, then you are going to want to know about contracts [contracts source], bounty tokens, tracking and how to capture other players.
There are two different types of contracts, implicit and explicit. Both are written by scribes, a skill you might want to learn the basics in as you will need your own contracts between yourself and your client. But more importantly, Scribes are people you might want to be friends with in the hope they push business your way. Hand out fliers to their customers, in case the worst happens! Networking is going to be the key to setting up a thriving business.
So what is the difference between explicit and implicit? Explicit is the traditional contract you might think of, you agree the terms set out in a document and sign to make it binding. Be that a contract for trade, services, or any task you can think of. These explicit contracts can be between individuals, for example, a blacksmith buying ore from a miner, between one person and many, perhaps a farmer recruiting labourers to help with a busy harvest, or between many, like how you will be splitting up your loot between the raiding party.
Implicit contracts, on the other hand, do not require you to sign them for them to be binding. Think of things such as laws, where simply being in the region the law applies to means that you are now bound by that contract.
Whatever the type of contract it is likely to have consequences if broken. Consequences that have to be enforced. That is where you come in Bounty Hunter.
If a contract is believed to be broken, then using a copy of the contract can create a bounty token. This token allows the person that possesses it to enact the agreed consequences on the player who broke the contract. That might be going to collect money, items, or even dragging them off to face trial. All tasks your average Elyrian might not be capable, or willing, to do themselves. Instead, they can hire you to take on that role. Give you the details of where the perpetrator is, or at least might be, and let you do the dirty work. Of course for a fee.
All sounds simple enough, but there are a couple of things to be aware of.
Firstly laws. Laws are made by players, that means they will vary, a lot! In some areas, it might not be possible for individuals to go and reclaim their own goods, or pay you for the privilege, and instead need a Sheriff to reclaim them. Other areas, laws might not exist meaning that contract is not worth the paper it is written on and cannot be enforced at all. This is especially true if you are looking to do a criminal gang’s dirty work as the sheriff is unlikely to look kindly on you asking for a bounty token on a failed assassination contract! Obviously, as a Bounty Hunter, you will need to make sure you choose a county that will welcome your services.
How do you actually find your target? This is the part where do not have all the details. When you are helping an individual hopefully they know a bit about who they went into contract with. It might be as simple as them telling you that it was Delilah who lives at the quarry on the outskirts of town. It might be the name on the contract is all you have to go from and you do not know if that is even the person’s real name or a false identity they have made. The same goes with those who have broken laws, while someone will have gathered evidence from the scene, got a name, and taken that to the Sheriff for them to raise a bounty token they do not know if that is the player’s true identity.
Creating identities and disguises are likely to be a crime, but those who go around breaking contracts especially other laws might not worry too much about details like that. We do know that if you have significant evidence to suggest that someone is wearing a disguise, you would probably be able to determine they’re in a disguise if you saw them and cause the disguise to fail [source]. However, how you gather such evidence we are not sure, though pulling on everyone’s hair to see if it is a wig is already ruled out! It might well be that you are back to networking, using contacts, talking to known associates, people in the area, listening to the gossip in the street and the like. Hopefully, we hear more about investigation and tracking skills in the future.
There is also one other issue with tracking, borders [source]. Your bounty token might only be of use in the Kingdom the crime was committed. So make sure you know what extradition treaties the bordering Kingdom has otherwise it doesn’t matter how doggedly your pursue them in foreign lands you might not be able to capture them, and might not get paid!
Let’s say you have found your mark, now what? Well if you are there to collect money or items we can assume that it will work in the same way as tax collectors [source], who also work from bounty tokens… perhaps they could rebrand themselves as Bounty Hunters too! In that case, you can either trade with the person for the money they owe or if they refuse then you allowed to collect it off them at their expense. What counts as their expense is not clear if this means you can hit them over the head and take their coin purse, or take goods to the same value, it might go back to local laws.
However, there is also the chance that you are there to bring the person to justice, and take them to jail. It is unlikely they are going to come quietly so combat skills will be needed to subdue them. While you are only looking to knock them out you are going to be fighting the full fight, so do not worry you are not missing out! Once you have them down you are able to do something most people will not be able to do. Bind them [source]. Restraints and keeping people hostage is not something that the Developers are overly keen on, because after all if you are the one being a hostage you are unlikely to be rushing to play each day! However, with a bounty token, you can bind someone and transport them in the direction of the jail. If you go off in the wrong direction or take far too long about it you are going to find your captive has slipped their restraints and run off. So make sure you are no leading them on a merry chase. Get them back and get them to justice!
So do you still want to be a Bounty Hunter?
Does the thrill of the chase call to you? Or does the idea of being the scribe writing those contracts jump out? Let me know down in the comments below or over on twitter where you can follow @ElyriaEcho. I hope to hear from you.