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Author Topic: Pewter Problems  (Read 1970 times)
ZetaStriker
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« on: January 10, 2012, 02:19:29 PM »

I feel a need to start a discussion about Pewter, because reading the rules, I can't figure out a way to get its most interesting applications to work. Obviously it's a very powerful metal, but it's burn time seems far less than the novels indicated, probably for game balance. This part I understand and am okay with, but the problem is that in my opinion the most charming use of the metal is the unending endurance and accelerated healing it grants the user . . .  and with 5 minutes per charge, neither application seems like it would ever see use in game.

A character would need to spend weeks and week of game time doing nothing but buying Pewter to ever have enough to induce Pewter Drag, and it makes the Inhuman Endurance trait simply useless because there's no possible way to ever use Pewter for days in a row. Even the healing bonus is gimped, because you need to burn Pewter for a minimum of 8 hours - a whopping 96 charges! Obviously the Unconscious Burning Stunt helps alleviate this, but even that's not perfect - you need to have 3 charges in your system to get the 9 hours needed to recover the extra point of health, but at the 8 hour mark the remaining charge turns poisonous and deals one point of damage, counteracting the healing.

It just seems odd to me that we'd have all the rules for Pewter Drag and other things Vin and other managed in the novels, but the burn time on the metal would so clearly make that a near impossibility. If 5 charges is a bar of metal, Vin would've had to have been weighed down with a quite literal ton of Pewter to run all day and night the way she did with the rules as written here, and I can't see a way to allow players to do the same without changing it.
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Aminar
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 03:07:05 PM »

I have to agree.  Admittedly, it feels to me like the amount of metal one can obtain is severely limited compared to the books.  I've just started allowing my players a couple charges per allomancer they take down.  I don't want them to have to constantly scrimp on what they burn, its not how my style goes.  Instead they just have to be a little careful and not flare all the time.  Basically I fudge things even more.
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ZetaStriker
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 04:00:46 PM »

I might instead change how Pewter works . . . for instance, letting it have a slow burn at 50 minutes that allows these endurance feats but not the extra Physique dice would work well, I think.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 04:51:29 PM »

Good points. My impression is that extended Pewter Burning was generally a story thing i.e. the GM would make such available through story means, which sort of matches the books where the Pewter is normally provided at these moments from outside sources.

On saying that, I think long term uses of Pewter needs examination. Maybe make Longburning Pewter stunt allowing the Thug to burn charges of Pewter at a rate of three hours for the purposes of healing, increased speed and avoiding Pewter Drag. Or making this a second charge rate for Pewter for those purposes. That doesn't undermine the Unconscious Burning Stunt either as its useful to burn when unconsious, and actually aligns the system with that stunt in some ways.

In terms of the toxic healing issue, isn't this resolved simply by the Pewterarm ingesting the Pewter charges individually rather than in one lot. My impression from the books that long term Pewter use was generally administered over time than in one lot.
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Agent 333
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 05:00:17 PM »

I was under the impression that you couldn't be poisoned by metals you were still burning. Yes, if they're in your system unburnt it'll be a problem, but while your actively burning it?

Maybe make a "Pouch of Pewter Dust" piece of equipment for buying in bulk? When Kell and Vin went on their run, they didn't take vials, they swallowed handfuls of pewter and washed it down from their canteens. Not something you'd normally do, but it's effective when your going on a drag.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 05:10:16 PM »

I was under the impression that you couldn't be poisoned by metals you were still burning. Yes, if they're in your system unburnt it'll be a problem, but while your actively burning it?

Page 271 says when a charge is not completely burnt off. This means that if you are still burning a charge that was ingested eight hours ago, then you suffer the toxicity. Your suggestion seems to work but given that you don't need to continuously burn a charge it would be too easy to spam by starting to burn a metal, stop and simply avoid the toxicity and have most of a charge continually in your system.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 05:12:13 PM »

Maybe make a "Pouch of Pewter Dust" piece of equipment for buying in bulk? When Kell and Vin went on their run, they didn't take vials, they swallowed handfuls of pewter and washed it down from their canteens. Not something you'd normally do, but it's effective when your going on a drag.

It begs the question as to why such a Pouch couldn't be split up IMO
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xyzzyllyzzyx
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 10:51:04 AM »

Two thoughts on making pewter last...

1) Simply allow one to use the "Unconscious Burning" stunt while conscious without requiring a stunt - ie, you can burn one charge for 3 hours with limited effect.  Some justification from the source material:  it was mentioned several times that Ham didn't wear cold weather clothes because he didn't notice the cold due to pewter, implying that he was able to keep up a low burn of the stuff without expending his supply.

2) Just as one could easily obtain a steel sword, or an iron tool, couldn't you also purchase a pewter goblet or some such and break that down into smaller pieces for burning over the course of the day.  I mean, even just using the rules...buy a pewter metalmind and eat that...  In other words, allow only the standard vials as props, but allow a resources roll to buy a big hunk of pewter for extended burns. 
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Stubbazubba
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 11:46:42 AM »

The alloy that makes Allomantic Pewter burnable without making you very ill is much rarer than that alloy found in household items, it takes precision to get it right, hence metallurgists have a business mixing alloys for allomancers.  Buying a pewter goblet or silverware would only make you sick, and not give you much, if any, Allomantic powers.
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Aminar
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 12:01:37 AM »

That's not even really implied in the books themselves.  It's pure conjecture.
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EmpactWB
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 01:17:52 AM »

Not really. Weren't we given the proper proportion of Allomantic Pewter? The one in the Coppermind entry for Pewter gives us 91% tin to 9% lead. Considering that real-world pewter tableware can be as little as 85% tin with a host of other metals in alloy, it stands to reason that you can expect to be ill and not get much if anything when scavenging tableware. Worst case scenarios include death, illness, and there being so few other metals (or so little lead specifically) that it counts as off-brand Allomantic Tin instead of off-brand Allomantic Pewter, screwing you out of what little boost you were hoping for anyway.
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Baijo Gosum
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 09:18:00 AM »

its times like this I wish I hadn't loaned out my mistborn trilogy lol

I think in the conversation that kelsier had with vin when he was first explaining allomacny was that a non "allomantic" alloy of a metal wouldn't make you sick, you just wouldn't get as much power.  So non allomatic pewter just wouldn't give you as much juice

A different alloy of a allomatic metal would make you sick, they discribed it one point as being worse than a pewter drage.  Vin mentioned this at the begening of well of ascension when she was trying to discover the proper alloy of alluminum.  She didn't die, but it made her sick until, on the 5th try, they found the right one.

A metal that is no allomatic entirely would kill you, like if you tried to burn mercury or something lol. 

If I ever get my books back I'll check for sure
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EmpactWB
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 12:53:48 PM »

Page 138. "'If the mixture is only off by a bit, you'll still get some power out of it,' Kelsier said. 'However, if it's too far off, burning it will make you sick.'"

Page 159. "'I warned you that impure metals and alloys can make you sick. Well, if you try to burn a metal that isn't Allomantically sound at all, it could be deadly.'"

I've often wondered what the cut off is. Would trace amounts of copper make it enough to be just sickening instead of lethal? We know that some unsound metals are required for alloys (lead being the big one here). Do they make you kinda sick or risk killing you? Without solid information on the distinctions, I've assumed it's always a crapshoot if you try to burn them without testing filings, like Kelsier recommended.
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Aminar
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 01:46:09 PM »

In common usage yes, but odds are that most alloy production in Scadriel would be allomantically sound for practicalities sake.  We don't know what the standard proportions are but why make non allomantic pewter?  You have to have a whole seperate system for the allomantic stuff then.
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Stubbazubba
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 02:45:43 PM »

Yes, you would.  Because you can spend less time ensuring accuracy on your pewter if you know it's not for allomantic use, thus lowering the cost of production by reducing the need for exact quality control.  Allomantic alloys vs. non-allomantic alloys would be like fish to be cooked vs. fish to be used in sushi.  If you're making a pewter goblet, you could spend the extra money to get an expert metallurgist into examine each piece to ensure that it's appropriate for allomantic use, but your competitor will skip that step and sell their pewter for a much lower price.  Therefore, non-allomantic metal products tend to be cheaper and dirtier than allomancer's metals.
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