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Old 12-21-2012, 05:17 AM   #251
Gollum
 
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Default Re: What's with the modesty about stats?

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Originally Posted by trans View Post
Sam's cooking in Ithilien attracted the attention of Faramir's troops, which in the end had a major effect on the War of the Ring. These "unintented consequences" are one of Professor T's strong points, whatever his other faults as a writer. Certainly Sam is one of the great understated heroes.
Yes, of course... But what Sams exactly cooked and how he exactly did it is not described in detail (as far as I can remember)...

Now, that's not a all a problem. J.R.R. Tolkien remains one of the greatest author I've ever read, because it all depends on the subject of the story. In an adventure full of combats, mysteries and dangers, describing how heroes makes everyone of their lunch in full detail would just be boring! But in a story where the heroes are cooks and where the main goal is winning a master chief competition, thinks become very different.

And what is true for stories is also true for roleplaying games.

In most adventures, one roll is sufficient for making the lunch. And only if there is a challenge! With no challenge, it is just an ordinary non-adventuring task that a character with the default skill will succeed as well as an expert cook: no roll required.

Now, in a cooking competition thinks become different too. Rules have been to me more precise and more dice rolls are required... And this is precisely here than DX-based Cooking rolls or even 10-based Cooking roll can have a huge importance...

They will make a big difference between an IQ 20 doing things with the default skill and experts with thousands hours of training.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:16 AM   #252
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Default Re: What's with the modesty about stats?

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
Yes, of course... But what Sams exactly cooked and how he exactly did it is not described in detail (as far as I can remember)...
Check again. 'taters and a brace of nice coneys, complete with detail on herbs and salt.

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
Now, that's not a all a problem. J.R.R. Tolkien remains one of the greatest author I've ever read, because it all depends on the subject of the story. In an adventure full of combats, mysteries and dangers, describing how heroes makes everyone of their lunch in full detail would just be boring!
Not only were several meals Sam cooked detailed, but the role of other characters in procuring the incredients and/or reacting to his culinary choices was explored as well.

And it didn't bore me. In fact, what is much more likely to bore me is a style of storytelling where 'boring' stuff that establishes characters and relationships is glossed over in favour of high-octane action followed by more action. Combat and danger is boring and meaningless if it's happening to characters we don't know.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:23 PM   #253
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Default Cooking not valueless --

In the American Civil War (War Between the States for our southern brethren) at first the fresh faced volunteers on BOTH sides drew their chow (hardtack, bacon, beans, and salted meat. Sort-of meat) then cooked it themselves.

Between dirt in the food and too much grease and just bad cooking a certain ADDITIONAL number of coffee-boilers (the ACW term for "grunt") wound up in sick bay; some had so much intestinal irritation that it made them more vulnerable to other ailments.

When units started to detail (and supervise) company cooks the ailments declined. To some degree.

And, as late as WWII, getting a decent cook and having decent chow was a big morale boost.

So some capability in cooking, as in swimming, is almost always in every GURPS character I play.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #254
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Default Re: What's with the modesty about stats?

That's less about cooking, and more about "purifying" ingredients.
Cooking is about using edible ingredients to create palatable and varied. It's not about creating edible ingredients, in my opinion.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #255
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Default Re: What's with the modesty about stats?

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Check again. 'taters and a brace of nice coneys, complete with detail on herbs and salt.

Not only were several meals Sam cooked detailed, but the role of other characters in procuring the incredients and/or reacting to his culinary choices was explored as well.

And it didn't bore me. In fact, what is much more likely to bore me is a style of storytelling where 'boring' stuff that establishes characters and relationships is glossed over in favour of high-octane action followed by more action. Combat and danger is boring and meaningless if it's happening to characters we don't know.
Looks like I have to read this book again. Fine. It will be a pleasure.

Thanks for these precisions.
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