Children

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Children are added by the Biotech DLC. They are smaller, slower, and less capable of work when compared to adult pawns, but gain skills as they age.

Acquisition

  • Having a baby age up to 3 or beyond.
  • Purchasing them from slavers.
  • Most quests and events where an adult colonist would join.

Note that raids will not have children, unless you enable it in the storyteller settings.

Summary

Children are humans from 3 to 13 years old. Younger pawns are babies. Older pawns, from 13 to 17, are teenagers - considered adult for most purposes. Children age 400% as fast as adults. A teen's aging will linearly slow from the child rate, until they become full adults at 18, where they'll age like adults. Their aging can be altered by using a growth vat or by changing the storyteller settings. These are in biological years; a child will biologically age faster than their chronological ("actual") age, for instance.

Children have important growth moments at ages 7, 10, and 13. These give the pawn access to new work types, as well as the choice of traits and passions. Giving a child access to Learning increases the possible choices. See #Development for more details.

Capabilities

Children as young as 3 can wield weapons, but are limited to child-sized clothing like the kid pants and kid parka, and can only do certain types of work. They receive penalties to Global Work Speed, Move Speed, and more, scaling with age. Due to their body size, they can store less nutrition and receive stronger effects from drugs. Children are also vulnerable to the Fleeing Fire mental break when seeing fire. Instead of Recreation, children have Learning, which gives them more options for each growth moment.

Teenagers wear adult clothing, have access to all work, lose their Learning need, and won't flee fire without Pyrophobia. However, they can only reproduce once they reach 16. And, teens retain a small penalty to work speed and body size until they reach 18, where they become full adults and all penalties are removed.

See Stats for a full breakdown of stat penalties.

Noncombatants

Luckily, children (until 13) do not always have to participate in combat. Children who are unarmed and have not been drafted in 24 hours are very low priority targets for enemies.[Verify mechanic] Adult colonists will virtually always be targeted over a noncombatant. If children aren't in the line of sight of enemy fighters, they won't be hunted down during an attack. However, they are still vulnerable to stray shots. Meanwhile, opponentless attackers and hungry predators will still target your children when nearby.

Mood

Children receive a moodlet for simply being young: at age 3, +16 Childlike joy, at age 6, +12 Childlike wonder, age 8, +8 Childlike enthusiasm, and at age 10, +4 Childlike confidence, finally lost at age 13. Children are happy when their parents are happy (+6 for each parent), and parents are happy when their children are (also +6 for each child). Other than that, most regular moodlets apply to them.

Adult colonists receive a +2[??] Happy youngsters for having children with high mood in the colony. Most receive a −6 moodlet for killing an innocent child.

Development

Learning

Children have a Learning need, which replaces Recreation. Children scheduled to do Anything or Recreation will satisfy their Learning need. Not only does a fulfilled Learning give mood buffs, analogous to Recreation at the same level, but it can also increase their growth score.

Learning Tasks

At any one point, Learning will consist of 1 or 2 of the following tasks, which may not always be possible:

  • Floor drawing: Children draw pictures on the floor in various places. This does not require any additional supplies and can occur on anywhere within or near home area. The drawings can be cleaned up the same way as any other dirt.
  • Lessons: The child(ren) sit together at a school desk. If an adult is present, they will instruct the children in a random, currently usable skill (e.g., when age 4 this can be Shooting, Melee, or Social), increasing the child's respective skill level. The speed at which the child learns can be increased by up to 60% by adding up to 3 blackboards near the school desks at which the lesson takes place. It also trains the adult's Social skill. Teaching lessons improves the child's opinion of the adult, for +8 Taught me a skill. The adult will additionally raise their opinion of the child: +4 Listened to my lesson.
  • Nature running: Children run around outside, similar to the adult "Going for a walk" activity. Care must be taken as nearby predator hunt or potential raid can occur near them, as they tend to run outside the safe zone near the edge.
  • Radio talking: Chat with people over the radio, which requires a powered comms console. This can interfere with the usage if required to contact another faction or a nearby Trader Ship orbiting above the colony.
  • Sky dreaming: Children lay on the ground and watch the sky, much like adults that are cloud watching.
  • Work watching: Children that are work watching will follow an adult, who does standard work. If the children is at a suitable age for the skill the adult is doing work on (i.e: Treating injury with medicine or attempting to recruit/convert prisoners), said skill will slowly be gained.

Growth score

Each day, children will raise their growth score (shown at the bottom of the screen when a child is selected) proportionate to their Learning need. The growth score can pass through 8 tiers of learning, and each will grant more rewards during a child's growth moment. Tiers give you more flexibility in choosing a child's next trait and gives more passions. Once a growth moment has passed, the child's growth tiers will reset to 0, and you'll need to keep them learning to gain more rewards.

A child with constantly fully-satisfied Learning need would achieve a hypothetical maximum of 180 growth points, but 162 is the highest value displayed. Changing the child aging rate in storyteller settings adjusts the growth point gain proportionately. Therefore, average Learning need can roughly predict the final growth tier of a child, assuming the child completes the entire growth stage within the colony.

Growth Tiers and Rewards
Tier Points Traits Passion Min Av Learning
0 0 1 from 1 options - -
1 30 1 from 2 options - 17%
2 55 1 from 3 options - 31%
3 80 1 from 4 options - 44%
4 100 1 from 4 options 1 from 1 options 56%
5 120 1 from 4 options 1 from 2 options 67%
6 135 1 from 4 options 1 from 3 options 75%
7 150 1 from 4 options 2 from 4 options 83%
8 162 1 from 6 options 3 from 6 options 90%

Growth moments

Babies become children at 3, and children experience growth moments at 7, 10, and 13, allowing them to gain traits and passions. When a child hits the biological age for a growth moment, a notification will pop up that lets you pick new traits and passions. The selection is randomized, and increased by the growth tier. You can choose their traits/passions within 48 hours of the birthday, and view their bio/health from the selection screen.

During a growth moment, your child may randomly receive a new nickname, such as John Doe gaining the nickname Johnny (becoming John 'Johnny' Doe). Like other colonists, you can always change their nickname from their bio.

Age 3

At 3, your baby transitions to childhood and additionally undergoes a growth moment. Now that your pawn is a child, they can walk and talk, wear clothes, and do basic activities. Their Play need is also replaced with a new Learning need.

On their birthday, you will receive two notifications. The first is about their transition to childhood: "<Pawn> became a child", giving you 12 hours to decide whether to keep a child of your colonists as a colonist or enslave them. You'll also receive a notification about their growth moment: "Growth moment for <Pawn>", which may include a new nickname for your child that you'll have 48 hours to change. Both of these decisions can be postponed until their deadlines.

 Baby <BABY NAME> has grown up and become a child! (S)He is now old enough to do the following work: <LIMITED WORK> Children do various type of work. As they get older, they become able to do more work types. They also do various child-specific recreational activities. Children need to wear specific child-size apparel. 

With IdeologyContent added by the Ideology DLC, the child will now follow one of the ideoligions your colonists currently believe in. This seems to be chosen at random, and does not have to be the ideoligion of their relatives or friends.

 <BABY NAME> has decided to become a follower of the ideoligion <MAJOR COLONY IDEOLIGION>. By tradition <BABY NAME>, born to <MOTHER NAME> of <COLONY> (and) <FATHER NAME> of <COLONY> / unknown parents, is a colonist/tribesman, but exceptions can be made... Should <BABY NAME> remain a colonist/tribesman? 

Children and their caretakers maintain any social opinion modifiers that arose during infancy, but these wear off over time. They immediately become aware of any pawns on the map that they hadn't met while babies, and gain the normal opinion modifiers for every pawn, like those based on beauty, traits, and ideoligion.

3-year-olds gain the Childhood background Child: The story of [their] childhood is still being written. They also gain the ability to learn the shooting, melee, and social skills, although they start with 0 experience in them.

Capable work types
Firefight Patient Doctor Bed Rest Childcare Basic Warden Handle Cook Hunt Construct Grow Mine Plant Cut Smith Tailor Art Craft Haul Clean Research
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Learnable skills
Shooting Melee Construction Mining Cooking Plants Animals Crafting Artistic Medical Social Intellectual
- - - - - - - - -

Age 7

Capable work types
Firefight Patient Doctor Bed Rest Childcare Basic Warden Handle Cook Hunt Construct Grow Mine Plant Cut Smith Tailor Art Craft Haul Clean Research
- - - - - -
Learnable skills
Shooting Melee Construction Mining Cooking Plants Animals Crafting Artistic Medical Social Intellectual
- - - -

Age 10

Capable work types
Firefight Patient Doctor Bed Rest Childcare Basic Warden Handle Cook Hunt Construct Grow Mine Plant Cut Smith Tailor Art Craft Haul Clean Research
- -
Learnable skills
Shooting Melee Construction Mining Cooking Plants Animals Crafting Artistic Medical Social Intellectual
-

Age 13

When a child turns 13, you will receive the notification: "Child" became an adult. They are not full adults yet, but are now considered adults (or teenagers) throughout the game, and have access to all work types.

They wear adult clothing, dropping their too-small child's clothes if wearing any. Their Learning need is immediately replaced by Recreation, removing any mood effects from learning, and teens no longer have the +4 childlike confidence' moodlet. Drug dependency genes take effect at this age, as if they last took the drug on their birthday.

Some kids get special changes upon turning 13. They'll receive the background of Tribal Child / Colony Child, dependent on scenario, or Vatgrown Child if they spent enough time in a growth vat. Tribal children will get the Natural meditation focusContent added by the Royalty DLC.

Capable work types
Firefight Patient Doctor Bed Rest Childcare Basic Warden Handle Cook Hunt Construct Grow Mine Plant Cut Smith Tailor Art Craft Haul Clean Research
Learnable skills
Shooting Melee Construction Mining Cooking Plants Animals Crafting Artistic Medical Social Intellectual

Stats

Children and teens have various penalties to speed and effectiveness. Specifically, they have a multiplier to the following stats: Move Speed, Aiming Time & Melee Hit Chance (thus, DPS), Arrest Success Chance, Global Work Speed, Market Value, and Body Size. Each trait is affected differently by age: Global Work Speed rises steadily until adulthood, whereas Move Speed changes in jolts by life stage.

Aiming Time Multiplier by Age
Melee Hit Chance Multiplier by Age
Arrest Success Chance Multiplier by Age
Global Work Speed Multiplier by Age

Move Speed

Age 0-2 3-9 9-13 13-18 >18
Speed Factor x0.2[1] x0.75 x0.85 x0.95 x1

Market Value

Age 0-2 3-9 9-13 >13
Value Factor x0.5 x0.9 x0.95 x1

Body Size

Certain traits are indirectly affected due to a child's smaller body size. These include drug effectiveness, Carrying Capacity, Meat Amount / Leather Amount, and nutrition capacity. Stats that don't differ for teenagers include food consumption, Maximum/Minimum comfortable temperatures, and Filth rate.

Age 0-2 3-9 9-13 13-18 >18
Size Factor x0.2 x0.35 x0.58 x0.8 x1

History

  • Biotech DLC Release - Introduced. Previously, pawns under 18 were still smaller, but did not have any special mechanics.
  • 1.4.3555 - Children now deprioritized if not holding a weapon and not drafted. Teen (13-17) aging rate now smooth scales from child age rate to adult age rate. Added preceptsContent added by the Ideology DLC relating to child labor.

Notes

  1. As defined in the game defs, however in practice not applicable due to babies being unable to move.