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Old 11-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
TroyGuffey
 
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Default Gizmo (Reference Books only)

What would be the CP cost if my archeologist always carries around 6 reference books, and they are usually the ones needed for the adventure? (Like a Gizmo)

What's the Accessibility Limitation for Reference Books Only?
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

I'd really just call it a perk. Gizmo's advantage is flexibility, and "Only 1 of 6 reference books" is an -80% limitation in my opinion.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
I'd really just call it a perk. Gizmo's advantage is flexibility, and "Only 1 of 6 reference books" is an -80% limitation in my opinion.
I think the OP actually has 6 undefined text books that could be any of an undefined library of textbooks. That said, I largely think "textbooks only" is probably -60% to -80% anyways, so you just then need six levels of Gizmo if I've interpreted the situation correctly.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I think the OP actually has 6 undefined text books that could be any of an undefined library of textbooks. That said, I largely think "textbooks only" is probably -60% to -80% anyways, so you just then need six levels of Gizmo if I've interpreted the situation correctly.
Is there really any difference between six random reference books and one book that also happens to have the same information? Having a portable device with a huge reference library is only 1 point of signature gear at TL8+. What's the actual game effect of having a reference? A small bonus (+2 maybe) to a non-practical use a skill?
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

Well it means that you always have a heavy object to whack a guard over the head with also. Even after they search you and lock you up.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

If it boils down to +1-2 to skill rolls to recall some fact if the player has several minutes to consult the library, I'm not sure that's really worth more than a perk. Yes, it gives a small bonus to a large number of skills but the time required as well as restricting it to non-practical use seems to be a significant limitation.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Well it means that you always have a heavy object to whack a guard over the head
Plus, you always have some nice kindling. Wadding for your bullets. Toilet paper. Margins for taking notes, especially of innovative proofs of interesting theorems. A way to insulate small frozen items good for a few hours, at least. The ability for small children to reach the table better. Equipment for working on your Hobby (Flower Collecting) skill...
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

If you record weight for the books, or they can be stolen, soaked, etc., that's another limitation. It sounds like a perk, one per book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Is there really any difference between six random reference books and one book that also happens to have the same information? Having a portable device with a huge reference library is only 1 point of signature gear at TL8+. What's the actual game effect of having a reference? A small bonus (+2 maybe) to a non-practical use a skill?
Even if the OP's game is set in the 2010s, I don't think that library will be useful for obscure archaeology until the mid 21st century. Most new archaeology books only come out in hard cover; older ones are typically only available as out of print hardcopy because of lack of demand and copyright issues. Then there are books that won't fit on a small, low-res display (and all computer monitors today are low res compared to cheap print). So a typical obscure reference in the humanities is several hundred dollars and the fruit of much searching through used book shops and bookfinder.com
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Last edited by Polydamas; 11-19-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

Its a limited gizmo. One point. Maybe two. Of all the things in the world, books is a pretty small category. And then if he can pull out 6 a session 6 points total. 1 per session would be one point... 3 per session 3 points ect.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gizmo (Reference Books only)

Some missing information might be useful to know. What is the TL, and why specifically six books?

But in anyway, let's consult the rule text for Gizmos:

Quote:
You always seem to have just the
piece of gear you need. Once per game
session per level of this advantage, you
may pull out one small item of equipment
that you could have been carrying."
Okay, so that covers your book being the right one for any given occasion. The number of levels covers the frequency of availability, adjust as you perceive the need. The 'could have been carrying' element is no problem, but do note that it says 'small item', so personally I'm thinking that doesn't cover massive tomes, and I'd think that a standard textbook is a the very outside of 'small item' scope, if permissible at all. A Cosmic (Rules Exemption) modifier could address the size issue.

The text continues:

Quote:
This “Gizmo” remains undefined
until you reveal it. It does not even
“enter play” until you take it out; thus,
it cannot be damaged, lost, stolen, or
found in a search.
So he doesn't need to specify the number of books. If he's going to carry six books anyway, your probably best specifying them and their contents so they might be useful without using up a use of Gizmo, and leave the Gizmo itself an undefined among the rest of the books.

Quote:
A Gizmo must be small enough to
fit in an ordinary coat pocket, and
must meet one of three criteria:

1. An item you own but did not
specifically state you were carrying.
...
2. An item that you probably own,
and that is in keeping with your character
concept, but that is minor or
ignorable enough to leave unspecified.
...
3. An inexpensive device widely
available at your tech level. ...
Here's where we run into a little difficulty. I don't think this criteria 1 or 3 matches the stated need for this character. As to 1, the idea is that he doesn't have to know in advance what book to own. Regarding 3, any but the most pedestrian reference works can't really be called inexpensive, even at TL8.

That leave criterion 2. A reference book is in keeping with an academic character, certainly. Is it minor and ignorable enough to leave unspecified? I'd say yes, provided it's mundane to the setting. The sticking point is, however, 'probably own'. A lawyer probably owns legal references, an archaeologist probably owns archaeological references, but is it likely that each would own the other? Not really. I think to allow a Gizmo to cover this situation you have to be somewhat liberal with the concept of 'own'. For example, a professor generally has privileges respecting his university's library, and might be interpreted to be sufficiently probable ownership. Or, the character could be a Wealthy intellectual, presumed to have a large private library as part of cost of living.

As to pricing Gizmo to limit it to reference books only, we've seen that that would eliminate two of the three criteria, so arguably its a reduction of -66.7% right there, before you even consider the further restrains within criterion 2. Following this thinking, an -80% end point is not unreasonable.
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