Re: augment-foraging

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 04:13:01 +0100

On Thu, Apr 29, 2004 at 06:45:03PM -0700, David Dunham wrote:
> Other than the affinities, all of this seems automatic. But some of
> it's situational (we're not always facing Lunars, and one time she
> didn't have her equipment). So every combat requires going through
> the sheet looking for them.

Well, if they're typical enough to be "semi-usual", you might want to write down a canned summary, or at least collect the abilities together or such like.  

> As for why different than HW: nobody would want to roll 7 times for
> augments. They were boring rolls (plus you could mess yourself up
> with an unlucky roll). So you just picked your one or two favorites.

I wouldn't take any wagers on "nobody", myself. But it seems odd that the groupthink has gone from '3 is too many' to '7 or more is normal and expected' for this reason alone, especially if you _are_ aware of it making things net slower. But they're both fuzzy (if not squishy) quantities, so perhaps not that odd...  

> I wasn't aware that there was a social contract for augment-foraging.

Well, I was paraphrasing someone else, and I'm not sure I'd have asserted it quite thus myself. But it's true to say that games do have social contracts, or "shared expectation", or whatever you wanna call it, and a given one may or may not imply something about this particular issue. e.g. in your HW incarnation, suppose one player had been rolling 8 augments per contest, as compared with everyone else's two; I'm sure it'd have been "noted". (Boringness, slowing down the game, distracting interactions, 'balance', or whatever...) Appropriateness per se is a separate issue.

In the initial phase of my current game I've played down augments to the point of almost non-existence, though that's likely to change along with some other 'level of detail' knobs. What concerns me is not so much the augments that _do_ vary from situation to situation -- if anything these can often seem a little penny-ante, compared to say the rules for Passions in Pendragon -- as the ones that don't. Just a bit crufty that in a game that purports to let you write down abilities that tell you how good you are at Whatever That Thing Is, you can end up with it not really doing that due to a large annex of add-ons that implicitly alters that, without actually saying so in as many words. I suppose what I'm thinking of is some sort of special pleading for augments that have a decent answer to "what's so special about _this_ contest" vs. ones that are "routine".


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