Guide How to Play a Bandit

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Resident Gerbil
Staff member
Application Master
Senior Admin
Aug 26, 2019
« This is a repost of a compilation guide on Playing a Bandit »
Note that, as of now, this guide is four years old. It's being copy-and-pasted in its entirety as it was originally posted.

Hey y'all it's ya boy Bobith the saltiest guy on New Dawn.

Now most of you know me for repeatedly playing bandit characters no matter what. That's not entirely true, but all the same I'm here to show you a few quick pointers on how to create semi-interesting bandits.

First off, your goal as a bandit isn't to "win" or kill as many people as possible. It's to provide entertainment to the other people on the server, and create a compelling antagonist that people will both enjoy RPing with, and one they really really want to kill.

A big part of banditry is your motives. The whole "I'm crazy and I kill people for no reason" trope has been done to death. It's better to put a bit more time and effort into your characters backstory, explaining why exactly they're the murderous piece of fecal matter they are. Flesh them out a little, give them hopes and dreams and fears just like any other person. Even though bandits are bad people, they're still people.

Since your primary goal is entertainment, you shouldn't kill everyone you meet and take their stuff. The most successful bandits are ones who create fear, and the only way to do that is to let people live so they can tell other people how big and bad and scary you are. For the most part just rob them, unless you've got a decent IC reason to kill them. At least I think it's better to do things that way. Torture is always a good way to generate fear as well, and you don't always have to kill people after you've committed your crime.

Combat wise you should avoid mechanical combat as much as possible. People absolutely hate getting killed by mech combat. Focus less on killing your opponent as fast as possible, and more on having an interesting fight. That way when you do kill them they get to write a cool obituary. Avoid one shot deaths with no warning at all costs. This goes for everyone, but if you do it as a bandit people will hate you as a person and your character, which isn't the goal. Only your character should be hated.

Give people a chance to respond to your actions. Far too often bandits will see a scene turning against them, and try to wrap things up instantly. If you're tying someone up, for instance, give them a chance to at least try and escape, if it makes sense in the scene that they'd be able to do so.

Emote EVERYTHING when restraining people. Otherwise they'll find a loophole and escape, and there's nothing you can do about it. That's your own fault.

Kidnapping is always more fun then just stealing things for everyone involved. If you want a generator for example, don't just walk into a camp and steal one when the owners aren't home. Yeah you'll get your generator, but it doesn't do anything to improve your character's notoriety. Hostage scenarios can be great fun when RP'd correctly, since it gives both sides a fighting chance, and there's a large chance you will get the goods you desire. Again, this is my opinion, if you want to play a thief by all means go for it. If you do play a thief, make sure you emote stealing things and RP it out fully. Just running into a room and stealing stuff from a crate while someone is right there looking at you is not chill in the slightest.

If you're dragging a dead body around or stolen goods around, and someone sees you, don't conveniently neglect to emote it. That's just poor RP.

The best bandits aren't pure evil so much as they inhabit a morally grey zone. If you're a dick to everyone, you won't last very long, and you won't be able to stir up as much drama as if you make some friends along the way.

Expect lots and lots of OOC drama when you play a bandit. That's life. It's okay to cry about it once and a while.

Here's Suicides dank bandit guide

Before RPing a bandit let us get your OOC mind ready for the savage acts of banditry.

1. OOC drama

The most dankness thing a bandit has to deal with. As Bobith said be prepared to face the most angriest of the 13 year old army. They will begin to say things they don't understand when desperate, calling on powergame and fail RP on everything. A good bandit resists the urge to roast the living shit out of this kid and hang him out in shoutbox. No pm him over steam in why he's wrong, but even after you do that. Be prepared for ignorant shit and constant taunting pms. He will bleed very long.

2. Bandit Mentality

There are many reasons you would want to become bandit. Tired of house RP? Your character getting rejected by every lesbian in the server?
Well by being a bandit you resolve ZERO of these problems.
Understand everyone has reasons for going bandit. In these steps below I'll go over more on IC reasons below. For now understand that there's no good or evil force. I could burn someone tommorow and be the good guy because the unlucky bastard on stake was a killer.



Episode 2.5 is back

Well there are many types of bandits. Let's get right to it.

Terrorist Bandits
Omar Barksdale
Santiago Carlosa
Nathan Sanderson

If done incorrectly, instead of harming a community you'll actually do it good. Let's talk about the most savage example Omar.
Omar was an independent third party faction to The Mall and The Compound at the time. The two super powers would be at war soon due to hostilities and suspicion of one another. To prevent this a certain politician sends him over to do as much damage as possible.
Omar pulls the savage shit on Compound. Bombing the place, shooting it up. Terrorists main goals are to instill fear and that's what Omar did.
Compound reacted by no longer accepting new people in and were kicking those out deemed unloyal. Basically the Compound was fucked.

What I can offer about these guys is basically use fear tactics to the max. As for your motives working for a superior is usually a good one. Think of your other motives my head hurts.

That's one of the types of bandits stay tuned for episode three. But before than an intermission

And we're right back with an intermission.
Let's get some tips going on how to bandit.
Tips 101
1. A loyal crew
Whether this be an incestuous family, a Union, or an execution squad you need people backing you up. This refers to actual civil and military support. Propaganda is a good way to get this support and as for military, you see who's who and build it up over time.

2. Lots and lots of connections
Just like a politician your bandit will need lots of informants and sleeper agents around. This is extremely hard to build up and you will need lots of skills to do this. You can always be a bandit without it but it'll impair your abilities severely.

3. Beautiful theme
You'll need to pick one bad ass theme to go with your bandit. Edmund had the godfather thing going for him, and Duke had the Red Army thing. If you want to pick gay butt pirate theme go ahead and do it. Hell if you do that I'll downright support it. Just pick one savage theme. Current ones I see are gangs and rebel themes. So shoutout to y'all


I'd like to offer my opinion on the subject, and I'm absolutely sure this will turn into a tangent, so, buckle in, memers. (Or alternatively don't and do something better, like listen to undertale ost idk it's a good game okay)
As a general question, I'd like to impose a scenario on you all to put yourself in the shoes of the "bandit" who commits this heinous "one-shot kill", rather than the victim. We'll construct a small story about your character, whom we'll call "Bob" (get it because Bobith ahahAHAHAHAH) sneaking up on "Steve". Whilst Steve has never met Bob, the two have every reason to kill each other - we can say it's through rumors, radio communication, etcetera. For the purpose of demonstration, let's assume Steve is holding Bob's wife hostage for previous, well-performed "bandit-kills" that Bob performed on Steve's group - though, as I've mentioned before, Steve and Bob never met face to face.

You, our charming and rugged protagonist, set out to save your wife from this looney, and stumble upon Steve in a house in West Point, looting a fridge. Steve's player has no idea you're there, and simply continues to transfer items from the container without writing anything. For the rest of this simulation, I will color-code messages by Steve's player in magenta, and the messages by you, Bob's player, in baby blue.

Upholding the moral ethics of killing on AGN, you write something along the lines of: "Bob hears the metallic clanging of tin cans from within the house's kitchen, and as soon as he spots his wife's kidnapper, quickly proceeds to take off his shoes outside the house.", in order to alert Steve's /player/ to your presence, whilst maintaining the advantage Bob has from Steve's /lack/ of alertness. Good job, sport. You've earned twelve memepoints and a pastry of your choice.
Here's the catch, though: Steve is /supposed/ to hold similar values and obey the rules of AGN. Were his character to immediately turn around or to act in /any/ unusual way, he'd be metagaming. But if he doesn't find /some/ way to cheese the system, Bob has every right to a silent kill - going barefoot would eliminate the sound of Bob's footsteps, and essentially secure an immediate, easy kill. You, as Bob, have /no/ reason to keep Steve alive, as he's a threat to both you and your wife.

Also let's say you have a hatchet or something. Just to reinforce the idea that sneaking up undetected in Steve would result in an undisputable one-hit kill.

From here, our friend Steve has four options on how to proceed - all but one of which, are fucked:
1. Metagame. This is the obvious choice for Steve - he worked hard on his character, he can't just forfeit the effort spent on writing those eight...four...two and a half paragraphs of biography just because Lady Luck dictated Bob will run into him!
And so he'll metagame in one of two ways:
- He'll immediately get spooked, and write something along the lines of "Steve quickly finishes pulling those twenty five cans of soup out of the fridge and securing them in his bag, stands back up, and leaves through the door.", upon which, he'll sprint out of the house before you have a chance to respond or react; he wouldn't be in the wrong in doing so, either. You can't definitively prove Steve's metagaming - the decision is a rational one, and there's no rule against dick-ish, rapid sequences of events.
- He'll go on the offensive, and notice Bob. This option is slightly better, but bad nonetheless - he doesn't avoid confrontation, but denies Bob the obvious advantage of the sneak attack that he possessed. This can be done through the character pulling shenanigans like "Steve gets the overwhelming sense that he's being watched, and looks behind his shoulder to spot Bob sneaking up on him.", or "Bob accidentally punts a nightstand that has no business being there on his way to stab Steve in the back, immediately alerting his quarry to his presence." (The latter of which would also constitute as powergaming :^) )
- He'll pretend he has to leave IRL. A last resort, but one that can't really be moderated which improves its reliability. While it's incredibly suspicious that as soon as Steve was threatened, his grandma fell off the balcony, his wife gave birth and he just found out he has an identical, evil twin, it isn't illegal. This method isn't really common, because Bob will eventually ask Steve to return to the house when both of them are online, in order to start the scene over. Maybe people do it in the hopes that their attacker won't remember. Idk.

2. Take it to OOC. This choice is the worst one of all - even worse than that first one!
And unfortunately, it's one I hear about far too often on this server. Destructmin Charlie refers to this as "bleeding", and while it may just sound like someone getting buttblasted and stirring drama, it's actually often a mechanism to weasel your way out of getting killed. It comes in many forms, too!
-You can get guilt-tripped! This is uncommon, but I've seen it happen. People will plead to give their characters a fighting chance, if not avoid the confrontation altogether. This is the most tame and understandable way of "bleeding", in my opinion, but..that being said, it's still wrong. It breaks immersion, it forces you (Bob) to metagame and do something you usually wouldn't, and it generally blurs the line between the game and reality. Remember Steve; the moment you did something as brash as kidnapping Bob's wife, your death is automatically not in vain and you will be remembered! It's okay to die!
- You can be threatened with a report! There is no repercussion for a useless report, but it's a very potent motivator because it puts you in Steve's shoes, AKA, it threatens you with the loss of your character, whom you've also spent a lot of time building and playing with. It's a slimy way to dissuade people from going through with their original plan for the RP, and in my opinion, the worst way to handle the situation, as it not only stifles present AND future creativity, by convincing players that their kill-rp-plan is bad /and/ illegal, but it's most often used against players who are new to AGN. People who worked their hardest on their app to get into this community, who are faced with the prospect of a quick termination - it's essentially bullying.
- You might face ridicule! While this isn't a method of preventing death per se, it's a way for Steve to lash out at you for daring to kill his incredibl- no, GODLIKE character. A way for Steve to come out with a dead character, but still feel like hot shit, because he made someone else feel like plain shit. I've seen this range from insults being hurled at the character itself (Bob is unoriginal, a dumb bandit character, and I hope his favorite limb falls off!), to plain bigoted and seriously hurtful things said about the player (Bobith you're just an eggplant and eggplants are the worst vegetables like that's not even what you're called it's actually aubergine omg). If you do this, go spoon a volcano.
- And in rare cases, you'll get marked for death! While this happens only in extreme cases, it's pretty damn hilarious when it does. Essentially what this means is that Steve's player will abandon AGN's rules and /expect/ a ban, aiming to do as much damage to you as possible before his account gets banned. I've actually had this happen to me once when I pointed out to a guy that he was metagaming, and logged on the next day to find his dead body in my house next to a lit campfire that wasn't there before. Talk about putting the arse in arson! (yes I know there's no e in arson shut up)

3. Bite the bullet, and accept the one-hit sneak-kill.
ahahaha are you kidding me no one does this lmao #sorryimnotsorry #justnewdawnthings
...Though it isn't the right thing to do either, in my opinion. I understand I'm probably in the minority on this, but I wholeheartedly believe that the "Death lurks at every corner" mentality is this server's last hurdle to fully realizing its potential. The mentality is why you hear about DayZ RP servers, but not Project Zomboid. Simultaneously, people put a lot of effort into characters and losing them so abruptly can be outright devastating. This is what method four will be for.

As it stands, as long as you have those two other options to weasel your way out instead of /dying/, your character and his journey loses all value. Developing it, roleplaying it as much as you possibly can and trying to make the most of the time you have with that character suddenly take second priority to making le funny lesbo jok liky liky XD, collecting useless bullshit like Kilns and Forges, and depriving others of their useless bullshit which neither of you need. Until this mentality threshold is breached, you'll always have your immersion stomped out by global chat - it will always be full of people using *R* as a synonym for *Cell Phone* and having casual banter over it (Hey remember how this is a 2 year, ongoing apocalypse in which most of your character's loved ones probably died and they've had to accept some hard truths about their mortality and the fate of this world? ME NEITHER), people using *R* as a synonym for *Shit you'd hear in a Runescape trading hub* (@@@@@@@selling 2 kilns for 3 shotgun shells 5 bottles of whiskey and 10 sheet metal so i can make a steam hammer that my character would never know how to build nor to operate), and people talking about who's dick they've shot off / how comfortable they are with having their dick shot off.

*scampers off soap box*

And now, we arrive at the fourth option. I realize this is something that will never, ever be officially implemented in any way, but it's the rubric I follow in any fight scene, or sneak attack scene I have roleplayed, and it has never disappointed me (Though here, I will only focus on the methodology I followed in a sneak attack roleplay, to stay on topic). I will list it here as the alternative I use to deal with this issue, and one that I hope might help any one of you who face it. This will also be a bit of a cunt to explain.
I say that it'll never get implemented, because it assumes your opponent has the same "Death at any moment" mentality, and same way of handling things.
Rather than outright kill Steve, you, yes /you/, Bob, are going to do something that ends with both players satisfied.
Because this will be the longest fucking thing ever, and because this is something you will do as Bob, rather than as Steve, I'll spoiler it.
4. Challenge the other player to equalize the playing field.
Now, what I just said might sound like an instruction you'd hear from a Bomb Disposal Squad, it's the most concise way I can sum up this idea. Allow me to explain.
What if on our way to cleave Steve's head into a spaghetti dinner, we made a couple of mistakes, and thereby challenged Steve's /player/ to exploit those mistakes to level the playing field?
Let's assume Steve's player is the second coming of the messiah himself, and he decides to handle it through method three - accepting his death. He'll respond to us with something along the lines of...
"Steve continues packing the veritable smorgasbord of food he found in the fridge with a genuinely happy smile - ironically, he'd consider this to be a lucky day..."
Well dang, looks like he's just about ready to die...but what if we throw him a bone?
"Bob silently shuffles through the backdoor and towards Steve. He slowly makes his way through the carpeted floor of the living room with his hatchet brandished menacingly in his hand, as silent as a sock-wearing ninja made out of felt. He sees the reflection of the bastard that kidnapped his wife in the metallic, smooth finish of the refrigerator door... he can't wait to wipe that happy-go-lucky grin off the fucker's face!"
Sounds like you're just rubbing it in, right?
Pay very close attention to this excerpt:
"He sees the reflection of the bastard that kidnapped his wife in the metallic, smooth finish of the refrigerator door."
This right here, is the key of this technique. It's a mulligan that Steve can use to escape the one-hit kill and transition into a proper fight - you, as Bob's player who listen to Gramps' advice, planted that sentence there /specifically/ for that reason.
If Bob can see the reflection of Steve's face in the refrigerator door, Steve can see the reflection of Bob's body in the refrigerator door, and can thus anticipate and react to the attack.
"...His day is about to be anything /but/ lucky. They say good always triumphs over evil, but when said evil is as stealthy as a ghost's shadow..."
Dang! Looks like Steve's player wasn't witty enough to catch onto that little bit of leeway...let's come up with something a bit more noticeable and emphasize it, shall we?
"Closer and closer, inch by inch, Bob approaches this fridge-raiding maniac...though based on Bob's current facial expression, calling someone else a maniac might be a tad hypocritical. As the cold breeze of the November night intrudes into the house through Bob's entry way, he can't help but feel a bit like Jack the Ripper, stalking his prey through the icy Victorian streets of least until the breeze continues on its journey past him."
This time, the entire second half is the mulligan we give Steve. The entire reason for that Jack the Ripper analogy in the second half of the message, is to try and conceal Bob's current vulnerability. If we remove all the artsy-fartsy stuff, we're left with this:

"Bob gets closer to Steve with a maniacal expression on his face. A cold breeze flows into the warm house through the door Bob left open behind him. It passes over Bob, and then proceeds forward."
Steve is forward. Steve is raiding a broken fridge in a warm house - there shouldn't /be/ a breeze.
"...It's as if the grim reaper himself is placing his frigid, skeletal hand on Steve's shoulder, aware of what's to come...wait. Why /is/ it cold, outside of lame middle-school poetry? Steve was absolutely sure he closed all entrances to the house, lest that maniac Bob finds him...maybe a zombie opened it...? Steve quickly peers over his shoulder to make sure he isn't about to lose his bottom to a biter."
End scene. I won't go any further with this because this is already overwhelmingly long and boring, but we've managed to accomplish a few things by following this method:
1. We avoided a one-hit kill AND a metagaming situation - which means both Bob's and Steve's interests have been fulfilled.
2. We, as Bob's player, gave ample opportunity for Steve to escape the one-hit kill. Were he not to follow the second hint, we might have offed him with the hatchet, whilst having proof that Steve was given two separate opportunities to turn the tide.
3. We've maintained our advantage: Bob is practically a few feet away from Steve with a hatchet. While this isn't a one-hit kill, we're at a very clear advantage, as Steve will have to fend off an armed, angry, and mediated foe while he himself is unarmed, surprised, and weighed down by cans of soup. Even though the kill isn't guaranteed, since both players follow the "Death everywhere blah blah etcetera" mentality, Steve's chance of survival is slim.
4. We've exercised our creativity and Steve's thinking, by thinking of methods to help Steve out and giving him hints as to how escape this fiasco!
5. We've reinforced the trust between us, and Steve's player. We took a route where we purposefully gave ourselves handicaps for Steve to exploit since we didn't want his effort to go to waste, while simultaneously making him /earn/ that effort.

Idk. I don't have any good closing statements.
Somebody take my keyboard away from me look at all this horseshit
god damn someone teach me how to format my posts to look pretty, this is awful
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