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Old 07-12-2022, 09:09 AM   #1
agentdenton
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Default Kits.

I'm making a character in BL23C and gave him a basic survival kit. The kit didn't give a bonus to survival rolls, it contained an itemized list of contents, each item was on the equipment list and described in its own entry. So basically it was a bundle deal with a small cost discount.

Other kits for things like medical or technological work were abstract in nature, with a cost, weight and bonus for skill use. They were not itemized or described in detail.

So, one kit was fully itemized and described in detail, the others were fairly abstracted.

Which method do you prefer for 'kits' in rpgs? Detailed or abstract? I'd rather use detailed for rpgs, except in cases where detailed items are very impractical. While you could list every pill, inch of suture, bandaid etc in a first aid kit it's kinda impractical.
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Old 07-12-2022, 09:41 AM   #2
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: Kits.

As far as I'm concerned, the only reason to spell out the contents of a kit is if there are variations and those variations have a large impact on gameplay mechanics.

I do consider "these items are included, so you don't have to buy them separately" a gameplay relevant reason.
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Old 07-12-2022, 10:15 AM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Kits.

I generally favor an itemized list - largely because you can often use parts of a kit for off-label applications. If a medkit has scissors for cutting the gauze, you could use them to cut something else, while if it has needle and thread, you could dip the needle into that vial of poison you found and surreptitiously poke someone with it to deliver said poison... or bend the needle into a hook and tie the thread on more securely to improvise some fishing gear.
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Old 07-12-2022, 10:22 AM   #4
agentdenton
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Default Re: Kits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
As far as I'm concerned, the only reason to spell out the contents of a kit is if there are variations and those variations have a large impact on gameplay mechanics.

I do consider "these items are included, so you don't have to buy them separately" a gameplay relevant reason.
Hadn't thought about that last bit, good call. I just saw the discount.
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Old 07-12-2022, 02:43 PM   #5
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Kits.

I like being able to get through the boring shopping as quickly as possible. Getting a list of standard gear is a feature, IMO.

I like systems that say that your character can just start with this list of sensible items, or you can spend x monies if you like boring pretend shopping.
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Old 07-12-2022, 07:48 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Kits.

The itemized list can be interesting just for color or sparking the imagination, but having lists of every conceivable item isn't worth the hassle to me -- especially if you get gigged for overlooking some random thing in your assembled kit of 20 or 40 individual bits. For gameplay in most rule sets, you mostly just need to know if you have appropriate tools to avoid penalties or get bonuses, not match up specific problems with specific items in the kit. ("I'm sorry, you bought a 40w soldering iron whereas you really want the 25w to work on that little PCB... that's a -1.")
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Old 07-12-2022, 10:51 PM   #7
agentdenton
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Default Re: Kits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The itemized list can be interesting just for color or sparking the imagination, but having lists of every conceivable item isn't worth the hassle to me -- especially if you get gigged for overlooking some random thing in your assembled kit of 20 or 40 individual bits. For gameplay in most rule sets, you mostly just need to know if you have appropriate tools to avoid penalties or get bonuses, not match up specific problems with specific items in the kit. ("I'm sorry, you bought a 40w soldering iron whereas you really want the 25w to work on that little PCB... that's a -1.")
Yeah, listing every type of socket for a wrench, every type and size of screwdriver, etc. In a tech kit would be a Tad excessive. BL23C doesn't do this, but did itemize the basic survival kit.

Let me make a few minor excerpts from the book to illustrate.

The basic survival pack contents.
This backpack contains these listed items: Body Rehabilitation Injection (BRI), heat or coolant survival suit, five (5) days of food cubes and nutrient pills, slap bandage, binoculars, compass, rope (50 m), web gear, short range emergency transmitter (2*km range, c100), combat knife.

The engineer's toolkit.
The kit purchased is specific to one engineering skill (biological, computer, device, power, or structural). They are not interchangeable and a kit must be purchased for each skill in order to get the bonus for that skill. Engineering Skill Check modifier: +20.

I really think they got it just about perfect.
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Old 07-13-2022, 07:31 AM   #8
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Kits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I like being able to get through the boring shopping as quickly as possible. Getting a list of standard gear is a feature, IMO.

I like systems that say that your character can just start with this list of sensible items, or you can spend x monies if you like boring pretend shopping.
I can certainly see the appeal of that. Honestly, the ideal setup for a "kit" would be to have a basic description and simple effect (a skill bonus, for example), then have some way to see everything in it for those who want that level of detail. For something electronic, a button to expand the entry or link to a list of everything included could work; for a physical book, perhaps an appendix or similar that lists all the kits and their contents.
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Old 07-13-2022, 12:43 PM   #9
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Kits.

[ guess I mostly prefer itemized lists, except when it's a thing that primarily enables one skill.
So "Adventurer's Kit (backpack, bed roll, 50' rope, mess kit, flint and steel, etc." and "Electronics toolkit" are both good. What I really don't like is just a big catalog of stuff, a significant chunk of which everyone should get, and could have been grouped together, but instead I have to go through and pretend to buy pretend things ala'carte.
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Old 07-14-2022, 12:02 AM   #10
agentdenton
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Default Re: Kits.

I just had a funny thought about detailed item kits. Anyone see Dr. Strangelove when Slim Pickens was itemizing the contents of the bomber 's survival kits?

''Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

I've been in game groups I'd be AFRAID to give these kits to...
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