I've also suggested adding to the game what you've basically suggested - 'Gremlins' that "steal" Food and Water from the player.
That's also a nice idea, although somewhat different from what I was thinking of.
I was thinking more of something like the guards at the gate to Kuudad or on the road to the dwarven village. But instead of human guards, there would be giant birds that would let you through only when you did not
have food on you. If you had any food on you, however...
That would allow for creating an area where food would be scarce, as you couldn't stock up in advance.
Maybe later, when you were stronger, you could kill the birds for fulfilling a quest.
Huh. I didn't realize that's what you were getting at. I definitely think something along these lines is a cool idea, though I suspect it's the kind of thing you could only implement at one or two points in the gameworld...
But having to play through an area of the gameworld while having no
food in your Inventory would be a good challenge.
That's different from your Gremlins, I think, although I'm not sure I fully understand the idea. What are the Gremlins doing when you don't have food on you?
Good question - I hadn't really considered that question. I guess they could still steal water from you, if you didn't have any Food Items on you, along with an accompanying message in the Narrative Text Box. (And with every time a Gremlin steals something from you, there should be an automatic "Spotting" roll to see if you spot them as they steal from you...)
I guess if you're out of both Food and Water... maybe they'd just leave you alone?!
And I suppose there need to be messages about what got stolen from your inventory?
Yeah, I guess if you've never played Ultima III before, the "Gremlin" idea is probably kind of vague.
But, yeah - presumably Gremlins would be "invisible" (unless "Spotted"), and when "invisible" (or, also during combat?...) they could steal Food (or other?...) Items from your inventory.
In Ultima III, they'd just pop up, but you could never engage them in combat.
For Eschalon, I think if you "Spot" Gremlins, you should be able to attack them, but they should probably be really easy kills (say, 5 HPs, or something...).
Note, that I'm not exactly expecting BW to add Gremlins to Book III. But it might be kind of a cool addition if he did...