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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [LoL] Equipment?  (Read 17169 times)
Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2006, 06:27:52 PM »

If you deleted the equipment list...the value of the character's starting money would be more up to the GMs judgement and harder for the other players to plan for the equipment they will plan to use/need...

So why give characters "starting money"? Why make players plan out what equipment they need? Sorcerer, Dogs, and company basically allow the player to say -- right in the middle of a fight scene, even -- "oh, my character has a [this thing], doesn't that make sense?" and the GM generally says "yeah, sure."

If that's too abusable for you, howzabout:

Quote from: hypothetical crunchy skill-based system
GM: Okay, the orcs have tied you up and thrown you in the dungeon.
Player 1: They took all our weapons, of course.
GM: Yup.
Player 2: Wait, my guy would have something concealed somewhere. A dagger or something. Y'know, out in the wilds...
Player 1: Is this a debating society or a roleplaying game? Dude, stop talking and roll dice.
GM: Yeah. What skills are you using?
Player 2: Uh -- Ranger at 17....
GM: If it were "Thief" or "Assassin," I'd give it to you at 17. Using "Ranger" like that takes a -50% penalty, so that's an 8.
Player 1: My character has "Lady of the Court" at 21...
GM: And knowing the Borgia-style court she came from, I'll let that count for concealed weapons at -50% too, but let me do his roll first, ok?
Player 2: Okay, Ranger 17 halved is 8 -- the rules do say round down, nuts -- but, wait, I have Wealth at 12.
GM: Halve it. You can use Wealth on almost any roll where it'd be useful to own something, but it's almost always halved unless, like, you're buying real estate or something.
Player 2: Fine, fine. 8 plus 6, then: 14.
GM: Roll.
Player 2: Got a twelve. Well, I made it, but two lousy Success Points.
GM: Okay, you have this little dagger up your boot they didn't find, but you have to get your bonds loose enough to reach it...

Or something.
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dindenver
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« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2006, 07:50:24 PM »

Hi!
  Thanks for the feedback Sydney!
  Well, the problem I have with "abstract wealth" is you usually end up having to make a system that converts it back into literal wealth. For instance in MEGS, Wealth 10 mesans you make so many dollars per year, etc. It can also force ridiculous/non-fun situations like not being able to get stuff because you already made your wealth roll for that week.
  I dislike odds-based equipment systems for this game, not because of concerns over abuse (you really can't craft rules that will stop that, in my mind), but over the effect it has on your game. Your character can become a "Felix the Cat" and just pull whatever they need out of their bag of tricks.
  I like that I got you thinking though and who knows I might come back and try something like this, but not right now.
  Does anyone else have anything to add?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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StefanDirkLahr
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2006, 08:06:57 PM »

Sure.

This last post highlights something - you say you don't want a "bag of tricks" effect on the SIS. You want the stuff to *be there* before the players think about using it, or even needing it.

I've been toying with something that might give you an alternate approach to managing possessions.

Say you have a Wealth trait - or several specific ones, whatever - that is in some way "leveled" (this just is my way of saying that it isn't all or nothing, i want to be clear). During character creation a character may buy a certain level of this Wealth trait (or traits).
Instead of using this level to do a skill check and pull something out of your hat (or so it appears metagamey), or having it give you X amount of depletable resource that players manage to get equipment (the typical money & list system), you equate the Wealth level with a subsection of the big table of Equipment. Frex: If you have a Poor character, they only can have access to stuff off of the Poor Equipment Table. But, depending on their circumstances, they have access to *all* of the stuff on that table, all at once.

Now for the catch - do you allow characters to loot stuff or not?

(A first glance answer would be that any loot gathered (however) could only contribute toward raising your Wealth level - in your game that means XP - and any losses of property contributes toward reducing Wealth level. I'm not sure if that is possible in your game - it isn't in DND, not really. Level Drain, aside.)   
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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
dindenver
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2006, 08:29:48 PM »

Hi!
  What you describe is the system Exalted uses almost exactly. It is OK, but not very realistic. And every version of this type of wealth system I have seen ends up just getting converted into actual money.
  Thanks for the idea though. Have you played any games where there were no equipment lists? What was it like?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
StefanDirkLahr
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2006, 09:06:04 PM »

I actually chose that way exactly because it fit my version of what i consider "realistic". (And by this i simply mean, coherent in terms of the setting, with the implication that what the setting leaves unsaid conforms to the way our world worked, in the nearest analogous situation, as mutually agreed upon, like everything else.)

Consider the peasant in fuedal Japan: Even if he stumbles upon a forgotten cash of chinese coins whilst fixing up a dilapidated dojo, he cannot then go into town with his treasure and buy a Samurai's sword and armour. It is taboo. No, he must be careful, he must use his cash to raise his status accross the board to be accepted by daimyo, samurai, and peasant alike. And yes, this was actually possible, at least in times of strife.

Actual play without an equipment list varies a lot based on how equipment works in the game. I've played DND (3.0) without using the tables or any concept of cash - anything that wasn't magical wasn't worth our time - we just used the "magical item construction rules" in the back of the book, and lots of negotiating, to "find" just the magic items we needed (or wanted) in the monster's treasure stash. (This was all done under the classic GM's rule of law, mind you.)

I remember an Elfquest game where we had equipment, but i don't remember ever using any stats for it - a bow let us shoot things, a spear let us stab things, and so on. The effects were determined by our character's abilities (and negotiated dramatic apeal - the part that stands out is when we pulled the whole "Pulp Fiction moment to just waste a nasty beast, outright).
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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
StefanDirkLahr
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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2006, 09:25:21 PM »

That Elfquest example gave me an idea:

What if equipment depended on the skill you used it with?
A character with Average Bow skill has an Average Bow.

What if you could buy your equipment (with character points) as modifiers to the controlling skill?
My Average Bowman lays out some extra XP to get a Masterwork Bow.

What if your relative level in the skill let you have a equivalent of level of equipment for free?
My Master Bowman has a Masterwork Bow, gratis.

What if taking fallout to your equipment XP level caused you to temporarily or permanently lose Equipment Levels?
My Master Bowman has his bow confiscated after failing to convince the town watch that he can keep it; if they'll give it back to him when he leaves town he gets his bow back then, if they keep it he has to make or buy a whole new bow, costing some XP.

Possibly Nifty?
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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
Tommi Brander
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2006, 10:22:43 PM »

My fantasy heartbreaker has weapon- and armour lists, but nothing besides that. And no cost given to them. Bartering is cool and nicely removes the need of fixed costs.
For starting characters, I give what seems appropriate. Characters with access to blacksmith with relevant skills can start with quite formidable arms and armours, for example.
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dindenver
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2006, 11:19:38 PM »

Hi!
  Thanks Semp! That equipment based on skill level idea is real cool. I'll have to think about that...
  As to what I have now is everything is done with a Skill. and the diff numbers are based on you having the right tools of average quality. If you don't have the right tool, you might get a penalty or not be able to use that skill at all. I think the focus on Skills takes equipment away from center stage, but sill becomes a factor
 
  Thanks for posting Tommi!
  Well, basically, since there are not character classes, and the skills are broad in every category, there is no real way to use the system you mentioned in my game. But it is an idea.

  Let me know if anyone has anything to add in the realm of actual mechanics/play examples of games without equipment lists.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
StefanDirkLahr
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« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2006, 12:53:25 PM »

Tommi, that "equipment list as reference" idea is pretty cool. So you have a list of system-empowered equipment - stuff which really is just like any other Trait that goes into defining a character's utility - but you've made the equipment itself the resource players use to acquire new stuff, rather than something additional (like money). 

How do you resolve the looting issue? That is, what mechanics do you have to keep players from focusing on collecting and selling (junk) loot from their enemies just to barter up for better stuff, a la Diablo?


Here is a big question regarding system-empowered equipment: How is that part of a character's abilities denoted as "equipment" differentiated from any other ability a character may posses, such as skills & talents? What does that accomplish?  Is it worth introducing a completely different purchasing system (like money) to reinforce that differentation?

This is a cool thread. I'd love to see some more answers to these questions.
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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
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