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Old 10-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #31
sir_pudding
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Originally Posted by PK View Post
Sure, but then you don't get to say that the other PCs get that character's extra gear and cash. If you never actually play the character, then they were never a part of the group.

(And really, if you disagree and think that it's fair to allow infinite "theoretical" characters to appear, drop their cash, and then disappear, then Wealth really doesn't matter . . . as you're basically okay with PCs starting with infinite cash, all donated by their fairy Schroedinger's companions.)
Well I don't think that they should be able to trade at all before they are played, it seems like an unnecessary extra step in character creation. If as you say, they were never part of the group, why should they be able to trade with them?
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:19 PM   #32
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

DFRPG is a role-playing game, designed to be played with a GM, who has the power to say "no." So the rules don't have to account for every single edge case. If someone tried making a rich PC whose sole purpose was clearly to die and leave all his stuff to that player's next PC, who didn't pay points for all that gear, I'd wreck that plan, one way or another.

But that doesn't mean all combinations of rich and poor PCs are bad. I've seen a group where the rich PC hired the other PCs. I've seen a group where a rich PC *owned* one of the other PCs. These kinds of power relationships aren't for everyone, but if the group wants to do that, it's fine.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:11 AM   #33
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Cowardice works just as it does in GURPS: It is about physical danger, mainly fighting, and doesn't have a social danger facet. Intimidation is social (even if it can have physical overtones), so it has no interaction with Cowardice. Fearfulness is the trait of being a general fraidy cat.
A good clarification. Thanks. (And to evileeyore for the similar response.)

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
In general, no – as in GURPS. Encumbrance has no effect when you use Acrobatics to pounce (Exploits, p. 40), dodge (Exploits, p. 48), deal with knockback (Exploits, p. 53), attempt the tricks in Speed Is Armor! (Exploits, p. 58), or break a fall (Exploits, p. 67). But for the specific tasks under Dungeon Parkour (Exploits, pp. 20-21), yes. You'll note that Adventurers, p. 12 speaks of "all uses" for Climbing, Stealth, and Swimming, but not for Acrobatics; this is why
Got it. FWIW, I've always penalized any use of Acrobatics for encumbrance, and will continue doing so as a house rule. But it's still good to know what the official ruling is.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
So long that you have to do it "before combat" – say, several minutes, so it makes no sense to try to do it when counting seconds.
Sounds good. If it ever matters, I suppose I'll say something like "5 minutes plus 1 minute per extra dose" – with more hurried application possible at considerable risk to the poisoner.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
All forms of Esoteric Medicine require a kit when you treat injury – so yes, this skill is nearly always used at a bonus in that context. Many uses don't mention the kit, though; e.g., weird treatments (Exploits, p. 63), dealing with swallowed acid (Exploits, p. 65), and counteracting a heart attack (Exploits, p. 66). That is, when the skill stands in for "general medical knowledge."
Sounds good... though, I just re-read the Healer's Kit description on Adventurers p114, and have questions again. (Sorry to pick at this, but the nitty-gritty of medical tasks is life & death stuff.)

I was about to ask whether the +1 bonus for a healer's kit means that it's essentially a good-quality healer's kit – but the description makes clear that it's basic equipment. (Which also preempts my follow-up question: "Isn't there a basic-level healer's kit?") So why the +1 bonus? If I'm inferring correctly: If a task can be accomplished by First Aid or Esoteric Medicine, then the healer's kit simply substitutes for a first-aid kit, which would also offer +1; hence the +1 for either kit. (From that bonus, I assume that the $50, 2-lb. first-aid kit itself counts as a good-quality first-aid kit; $10 plain bandages are its merely-basic equivalent.)

Do I seem to have that right?

As for Esoteric Medicine tasks that don't require a kit: Such tasks could logically exist, sure. But unless I'm missing a key passage, I wouldn't be able to pick that up from the rules text alone. None of the mentioned tasks (weird treatments, etc.) say a kit isn't necessary, while the healer's kit description lays down a pretty authoritative-sounding "Required to use that skill [Esoteric Medicine]". Unless there's a published clarification down the road, I think new players are going to read this as meaning that, yes, a healer's kit is always necessary for Esoteric Medicine (and thus the +1 bonus always applies).

While on the topic of kits, a few quick questions with reference to "Equipment Modifiers" (Exploits p7):
  • Would you say it's generally kosher to allow kit-based Esoteric Medicine rolls at -10 for no equipment? Or -5 for improvised equipment? (Again, this is a matter of how strictly to take that word "required" in the kit description. If kit-less attempts are possible, I'd think that a simple first-aid kit, the wrong specialty of healer's kit, or surgical instruments would count as improvised equipment; does that sound sensible?)
  • Keeping in mind that the general first-aid kit is already good-quality (if I understand correctly), is there a theoretical fine-quality first-aid kit ($200, 8 lbs.)?
  • Is there a theoretical good-quality healer's kit ($1000, 50 lbs.)? Fine-quality ($4000, 200 lbs.)? And if a basic healer's kit functions as a good-quality first-aid kit for a +1 bonus (for those tasks allowing First Aid or Esoteric Medicine), should a good-quality or better healer's kit function as a fine-quality first-aid kit for a +2 bonus?
  • I assume that good-quality and fine-quality surgical instruments ($1500, 75 lbs, +1 bonus / $6000, 300 lbs., +2 bonus, respectively) are perfectly allowable; any objections?

Finally, one more question about kits: Are there kits that are required for, or kits that can optionally aid, the following skills?
  • Diagnosis
  • Herb Lore*
  • Pharmacy*
  • Poisons*
  • Veterinary
*For analyzing, brewing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
No. Druids use the roots and berries in their kits, so even when Nature is in a bad way around them, they have access to that. Clerics . . . mostly, they pray and hope for the best, so their situation isn't the same.
Got it.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
If somebody thinks it's fun to play fantasy Reuben Tishkoff, why not?... It isn't any more "bad" or "broken" than somebody playing the cleric who shells out for Power Investiture 5 and lots of Energy Reserve to Bless people all the time and walk around at -1 to spells...
I don't think it sounds bad or broken either; it all sounds fun to me. Just wondering whether there were any major considerations that would throw cold water on the Moneybags scheme. (There are some minor ones, I see; your points about Signature Gear and Weapon Bond are good ones!)

In short, I'd be happy to let DFRPG players try this sort of thing; if they all enjoy it, then great. If problems do crop up, the GM should be able to come up with all kinds of subtle discouragements.

For example, just the social intricacies of dependence on Moneybags should give at least a little pause to more munchkin-y players. They'll want to keep in mind that, no matter how happily communal the group is in money-sharing, there'll always be that post-sale moment where Moneybags alone holds all the coin. (They do trust him completely, right?) Shady fences in town, and the thieves they deal with, will take note of all this cash flowing through one PC; lots of eyes will be on Moneybags as he makes his rounds of high-priced sales. And merchants who are willing to pay top coin to Moneybags, with his slick Appearance and smooth Charisma, might be less willing to cut sweet deals when he's surrounded by ragged, uncouth adventurer pals.

Finally, there's this problem: What if Moneybags – who didn't spend lots of points on sweet dungeon survival abilities – gets clobbered by an ogre? Boom, no more easy income.

Me, I'd pay good silver to see this scene of panic play out among a party of Dead Broke PCs: "Guys, don't worry, don't worry! We'll just get Moneybags resurrected! We've picked up at least $15,000 in loot, so we'll go to town, have Moneybags sell it all, and... wait... "

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
They'll be terrible at Intimidation due to low Will (a mere 8) and the Automaton trait (which gives -3). Starting at default Will-5, they'll have skill 0; with the equivalent of 1 or 2 points, they'll have skill 4-5. So I say go ahead and give them +2 because they need the help!.
Yeah, with or without Ginsu hands, I guess they won't be doing much Intimidation.

Good thing they don't negotiate, either. Shaking hands on the deal would not be advised.
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Last edited by tbone; 10-20-2017 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Edited note on negotiating with corpse golems, as they don't do that.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:47 AM   #34
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Well I don't think that they should be able to trade at all before they are played
Correct. Nobody is suggesting they should be, and I think this is where the discussion gap is.

If Mr. Moneybags starts play with enough equipment to kit up a band of Poor mercenaries to protect him in a dungeon delve, he can certainly give it to them after play starts. Which yes, if you like to drop them in the middle of a fight is going to be an issue for the Poor PCs, but the structure in DFRPG is that you start play In Town, looking for work.

Either way, however, if I change my mind about what character I'm going to play six times, I can't dump the wealth of the five unplayed PCs with the rest of the party, because they never existed. It doesn't matter if I changed concepts because I couldn't decide if I was playing a Knight or a Thief, or because the GM had to keep rejecting my character sheets because I couldn't follow the rules to save my life - the Knight and the Thief I didn't play didn't exist any more than the 10-headed ogre I tried to play but was told I was crazy for trying.

EDIT: I have been in or GMed for multiple groups where one PC was "The rich noble/wizard/whatever" and the rest of the party were employees; they decided the structure for them splitting the wealth was "payroll". Notably, we had one GURPS DF game where the rich guy also hired an NPC personal servant, a cook, a horse groom, two guards (to protect the surface campsite with all the NPCs while the PCs were down in a dungeon), and a guy to drive the horsecart that they used to haul loot. Which also meant buying food and tents for everyone, but they had a great night watch rotation.
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Last edited by Bruno; 10-20-2017 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:38 AM   #35
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

Many groups (okay . . . most of mine as a GM and several I've been in as a player) do something like this:
  1. Discuss general goals: "We need a healer," "More ranged weapons this time! We always get hosed by flying things," "No barehanded martial artists, ok? Tired of paying for replacement fists," "Don't forget to have two heavy fighters this time . . . I still remember when Sam the Ogre got mind controlled," and so on.

  2. Choose specific roles: "I'll take the cleric," "I'll play a scout," "Put me down for a barbarian," "I like knights," etc.

  3. Create characters (or dig up previously created ones) – and yes, however many the player likes. Sometimes done collaboratively.

  4. Select characters from among that stable. Sometimes done collaboratively.

  5. Tweak characters in collaboration with the others in the group to maximize ability coverage and minimize undesired overlap; e.g., "Oh, you have those spells, too? No problem, I'll take this other set."

  6. Establish the final, tweaked characters as a team and come up with a team origin story. In effect, the team is a "character" created by everybody.

  7. Tweak team logistics collaboratively to maximize effectiveness. The characters are finalized at this stage, but we could imagine them saying things like: "You're short on cash? I can loan you $900 for a greatsword," "I'll carry your healer's kit so you'll stay at Light encumbrance," "Let's pool all our leftover money in a fund for group basics, tents, and such."
I think those last three steps, especially step 7, might explain the missing link in the conversation about wealth.

Actual play starts after step 7. Steps 6-7 for a party amount to establishing a rationale for working together – a good thing, in general. In effect, the GM lets the players do a little pre-adventure discussion and trading as a reward for not being a rabble with no motivation.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:11 AM   #36
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
For example, just the social intricacies of dependence on Moneybags should give at least a little pause to more munchkin-y players.
I'd also like to bring up that some PCs might have disads that make this level of money trust harder for the PCs (if not the players themselves).
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:31 AM   #37
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<snipped verily> If someone tried making a rich PC whose sole purpose was clearly to die and leave all his stuff to that player's next PC, who didn't pay points for all that gear, I'd wreck that plan, one way or another.
This is pretty much my thought on the matter. I'm not an adversarial GM, but if someone pulls a stunt like this I just say "Yes, that's very clever. But no." And when they insist, I just remind them the world will set itself right.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:19 AM   #38
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Correct. Nobody is suggesting they should be, and I think this is where the discussion gap is.
Kromm's example of the longstanding mercenary company seems to imply that the Moneybags character gave gear to the Dead Broke PCs a long time ago, (which to my mind means they aren't Dead Broke). Then he says that the Dead Broke PCs still start with nothing. Hence I have a confuse.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:24 AM   #39
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Many groups (okay . . . most of mine as a GM and several I've been in as a player) do something like this:
Well mine too, except nothing actually "changes hands" before the game starts and they make characters that reflect the backstory that is established; so if they are for example a longstanding mercenary company they won't all have Dead Broke except for the Very Wealthy captain.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:11 PM   #40
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Dead Broke PCs in a party with not-Dead-Broke PCs who give them gear are still Dead Broke!

Their gear comes from donations – not from starting money or extra money bought with points. They start with nothing bought in a way that allows Signature Gear (or Weapon Bond, unless the GM feels generous). Due to Dead Broke, they cannot spend points on extra money to mitigate that, or for any other reason, and they have no selling power (0%). In effect, they are bottom-of-the-social-ladder individuals who serve a wealthy master who happens to be a fellow adventurer . . . their gear is their master's, not theirs (whence the absence of Signature Gear), and society refuses to accord them any financial privileges (whence the inability to trade points for cash or to sell anything).

The only facet of Dead Broke the rich associate lets the others avoid is -$1,000 apiece in gear (worth about -2 points apiece on its own). That wasn't free. The PC providing the gear spent money and possibly points to do so, with all that implies for the party's overall capabilities. Imagine:
Team A
  • One Wealth (Very Wealthy) individual with 220 points in abilities useful in the field. Gives away $17,500 and keeps $2,500 for personal gear, which can include Signature Gear and weapons with Weapon Bond.

  • Five Wealth (Dead Broke) people with 250 points in abilities useful in the field. Each has $3,500 in gear from the person above, which cannot include Signature Gear or weapons with Weapon Bond.

Team B
  • One Wealth (Average) delver with 247 points in abilities useful in the field. Traded 3 points to have +$1,500 in cash, for a total of $2,500 in gear, which can include Signature Gear and weapons with Weapon Bond.

  • Five Wealth (Average) adventurers with 245 points in abilities useful in the field. Traded 5 points to have +$2,500 in cash, for a total of $3,500 in gear, which can include Signature Gear and weapons with Weapon Bond.
Both teams have $20,000 in gear, distributed the same way (1 × $2,500 + 5 × $3,500). Team A averages 245 points in adventure-useful stuff, while Team B averages 245.3 points in adventure-useful stuff. Team A has one person with signature or bonded hardware; Team B has six people with gear like that. Team A has one star seller (sells at 100%), but can't do business if anything happens to that person; Team B has six salespeople who can sell at 40%, possibly a bit better if any have suitable abilities (as any bard, thief, or cleric is likely to).

I honestly couldn't tell you which is better – it looks like a genuine coin toss to me. I see Team A spending a lot of time at first rescuing their Very Wealthy pal from danger, because if that person dies, they're out of luck selling treasure; yes, the player could create a replacement, but not right away. I see Team B doing better in battles but not quite as well at getting rich in town. I imagine it comes down to what the players find fun! And regardless of whether anybody gets killed, after the first adventure, starting gear won't matter much anyway and the real meaning of Wealth level will be selling treasure. Having one person be good at that to compensate for the rest isn't any different from having one person having, say, huge reaction bonuses and doing all the negotiating for a group full of people with disadvantages that give reaction penalties.
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