Quote Originally Posted by mr.devolver View Post
I know that you probably want as few changes to vanilla as possible for better compatibility with other mods, but on the other hand, if the game code that governs traders is not flexible enough to work well with custom NPCs (which kinda defeats all madmole's claims that adding NPC followers should be easy enough for modders), then changing the game code is probably the only possible solution if you want your mod to look and feel natural and perhaps if you create a robust mod that actually works well in all kinds of different scenarios, other mods might benefit more from using this mod as dependency instead of the vanilla code in which case incompatibility wouldn't be an issue.
Adding followers can be done with vanilla.. they just kind of stand on top of your head. They have effectively set you as their attack target, but aren't allowed to hit you, because you are not configured as a target.

To change the traders, it'd just be an xpath swap, and they should work. It may make them vulnerable to attacks, which can be seen as positive for some.