Firstly, of course GM fiat applies, but I prefer to play rules RAW. The designers presumably put a great deal of thought into how their mechanics work to support roleplaying and I prefer therefore to use what they wrote.
Secondly, this isn’t a rant (or not intended to be), but rather intended to start a debate about how to use a potentially cumbersome part of the rules better.
OK, throat cleared, I come to the thorny(?) issue of ‘requisitioning gear’ and using the Influence stat to do so. This certainly works mechanically; I mean there’s nothing flawed particularly in the way the rules work for this. My ‘problem’ is I suppose a personal preference or bias. I find it difficult to use this rules-method to support the roleplaying experience.
Let’s be clear, what we’re talking about here is how the game mechanics limits/handles access to resources.
Why would a GM do this? Resources are limited to enhance play, provide motivation for adventuring, and to allow the GM to control access to more powerful resources or kit. It’s a time-honoured part of roleplaying, from the early D&D ‘equipment escalator by control of PC access to gold coins’ through to modern gaming and concepts like ‘acquisition based on influence’. Players usually like a nice bit of powerful kit and finally getting it can be a form of reward (like XP).
However, the practical upshot of the Influence base requisition appears to be a dull, cumbersome, and terrible PC experience when it comes to acquiring kit.
PC: I need a set of clothes
GM: Roll influence
PC: Ooh, and a chrono
GM: Roll influence – oh, bad luck, no watch for you!
PC: Better get a compact las-pistol too, we’re going under cover
GM: Roll influence
PC: Does that have any ammo clips?
GM: Just one
PC: I’ll need more
GM: Roll influence
Yawning and pulled out hair litters the gaming zone.
Something that could be handled simply and quickly by the player is turned into a tortuous and uncertain shopping trip.
PC: I need some kit for the under cover mission
GM: OK, you have some time to go purchase what you need
The player, a few minutes later has written down his PCs purchases and taken off his money spent.
I think it’s an odd choice to remove ‘item costs’ and coinage from the game, or perhaps rather that’s just my preference?
I understand why this might have occurred. The Imperium is impossibly vast and there are thousands of currencies, etc. What about exchange rates? Too complex. Mind melts. Also presumably, the design wants to remove this element of the gaming experience? PCs should be focussed on their missions, not on browsing the local markets? If so, I’m not sure why there’s requisitioning at all then?
However, I think this could have been easily solved. Simply cost everything in ‘Imperial Credits (IC)’. This represents the value ascribed by the Administatum. Local availability could then be handled as an adjustment to the value (las-tech is rare on this world, all las weapons cost +50%). Then, whatever currency the PCs have, if it’s a ‘formal currency’ accredited by the Administratum, give it an IC value. Local economies would be able to accept all currencies and have them exchanged at the local Administratum money-changer.
PC: I’ve got 500 Calixis Thrones and 200 Meglion Delts.
GM: Yep, those are worth 400IC total at current exchange rates. Go nuts at the bazaar!
That way, a simple, intuitive, and quick resource acquisition mechanic is maintained. For other issues like bribery and other influences, the expenditure of coin could then be established by the GM as an Influence modifier.
Basically, if a core part of the RPG experience ain’t broke, why break it?
But…we didn’t get that so I’ll soldier on with the cumbersome ‘Influence roll to get some Lho sticks’.
This ramble leads me to my question: how do you use the rules for resource Influence requisition rolls in your games?
(I’ll refer you to my first statement – I’m not interested in ‘I just ignore them and let the PCs have what they want’).
Edited by Luddite, 21 August 2014 - 03:22 AM.