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I was attacked by a stranger and defended myself just with my fists while wearing a bandana. I still got reported to law enforcement by a witness. The other guy was marked as 'deceased' on the map afterwards.

Is there a way to NOT kill an NPC (that attacked me) in a fight and therefore not being reported to the authorities by witnesses?

Seems that neither the most non-lethal weapon (=none) nor the bandana nor just defending against an unprovoked attack were enough. So what will?

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    While these are all good questions (ones that I've been curious about myself), asking multiple distinct questions at once will make this post difficult to answer and closed as too broad. It's best to edit this down and ask additional questions separately as necessary.
    – Virusbomb
    Jan 7, 2019 at 21:16
  • I think you mean deceased not diseased. Each of these has individual answers though as virus said
    – n_plum
    Jan 7, 2019 at 23:32
  • Thanks for the diseased/deceased hint. Reduced the test to only pose one main question.
    – Chaos_99
    Jan 8, 2019 at 7:43

3 Answers 3

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NPCs won't attack you without some kind of provocation.

Causes for NPCs to attack you would be (there might be more):

  • You ran or bumped into someone hard enough for them to retaliate if you don't walk away fast enough
  • Wearing a bandana (it's sometimes easy to forget to remove it and not notice). People tend to get suspicious and will ask you to remove the bandana. If you ignore repeated comments regarding the banda, you might get attacked.
  • You wander into a place where you're not wanted (someone's camp, for example). They'll often warn you to leave and then attack when you don't.
  • Opposing gang members (O'Driscolls/Lemoyne Raiders/etc.)
  • A scripted scenario

Most of the time, simply running away will limit any impact on your honour scale/bounty. While you could waste time beating them as gently as possible or trying to hog-tie them, this increases the chance that law enforcement officers will turn up and make the situation worse.

Given enough looting of dead enemies, you should have enough funds to comfortably pay off the bounty should you be affected.

The game doesn't really punish you for earning bounties - you just pay them off. However, having a higher honour level does enable some missions later on in the game.

To prevent the "wanted" status, you need to stop the witness from contacting the law. Do this by either killing them or convincing them to stay quiet (an early mission takes you through this scenario). If your fight is in a town, then all you can do is run and get out of the red area as quickly as possible, and then pay the bounty if you're identified as being guilty.

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  • 'Wrong place' and 'scripted scenario' technically probably covers anything, but I'd like to add that people do attack you without being provoked. Bandits, drunks, opposing factions, etc. Not all of them warn you before shooting.
    – Chaos_99
    Jan 9, 2019 at 9:56
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Fight them with your fists, but be aware of their state. If you beat them too much they'll die.

Just hit them a few times and defend. If you knock them down, they should give up and move away. Bashing the attack button will ultimately lead to you beating them to death.

So just fight with fists, but be a bit more defensive. This has worked for me at least, when people have started a fight with me in towns for various reasons.

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  • Thanks. I didn't know the fistfight-mechanic was this 'analog' and you can control how much you beat them up.
    – Chaos_99
    Jan 9, 2019 at 10:00
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    Pretty sure it's still counted as "assault" if someone sees it Jan 13, 2019 at 17:06
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If your question is primarily how do I stop an attacker (without running) and not be reported to the authorities for murder.

Your best two options are:

  1. As David said, use your fists but be careful. You're going for a knockout, not a kill.
  2. Pull out your rope and hogtie the assailant. This will prohibit them from fighting further. If you pull out the rope and attack like you would with your fists, Arthur will hogtie them for you. What you choose to do with the tied up body is up to you.
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    Thanks for the hint about hogtying them from close range. I'd dismissed this option before because I always tried from a distance and found it to difficult to throw and hit the target.
    – Chaos_99
    Jan 9, 2019 at 9:59

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