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Poll
Question: If you were *forced* to choose between only two options for gearing up in an RPG, which would you choose?
I like it quick and dirty (less time choosing gear, but also fewer options)   -28 (62.2%)
I like shopping (complete freedom, but also tons of prep time)   -17 (37.8%)
Total Voters: 44

Author Topic: Priorities, Priorities: Gearing Up (Time vs. Freedom)  (Read 3972 times)
Crafty_Pat
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« on: May 03, 2012, 08:17:54 AM »

We're curious. If you were *forced* to choose between only two options for gearing up in an RPG, which would you choose?

(Yes, you only get one, and no, there are no other options.)
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:35:59 AM »

Quick and Dirty.
Even if there are less options, and more prescribed ones, the group can get that part out of the way faster.
The thing is, they love shopping in RPG's, who doesn't? However the massive list of every variation of every type of gun giddies the group. The gadge system was great for customisation but they drew a blank when given a shed load of modifiers to add to things.
It was great, but the gear tables were like looking into the sun at times. My "fix" was to have lists of recommendations for types of missions.

I love that 50% of the game tends to be prep and planning, but the gear drags 75% of play into that state in my experience of 2.0.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 09:41:44 AM »

"Giddies," huh? That's a new one for me. Had to look it up.

Vocabulary upgraded! Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 10:38:13 AM »

Quick & Dirty works with the Bundles best.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 10:42:20 AM »

Speaking as one of the gun bunnies, I love the huge list of everything, and I rather enjoy one of the arms agnostics giving me a caliber telling me to GO.  Some folks feel the same way about vehicles and gadgets.
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 10:48:45 AM »

Is that like "giddy as a school girl", "giddy up, cowboy", or something different?

I like to go for the dramatic, so I would choose time over freedom. "The world is in jeopardy! Again! Dr. Maniacal (who keeps Maniacal as a last name, anyways?) has threatened to turn all of the world's satellites into killer laser platforms! Here is your equipment: Floss, a candlestick, and a busted radio with this piece of used chewing gum on the back. You are to 'procure' additional equipment in the field as necessary. Get going agent!"

Give them stuff then boot them out the door. Let them solve the inevitable complications that crop up MacGuyver-style.
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TheTSKoala
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 10:49:46 AM »

Speaking as one of the gun bunnies, I love the huge list of everything, and I rather enjoy one of the arms agnostics giving me a caliber telling me to GO.  Some folks feel the same way about vehicles and gadgets.

+1 for me.  If I can get a Five Seven with a tac light disco ball on the 1913, firing giant marshmallow exploding 5.7mm from a 100 round massively extended gun can magazine, I'll take it!

If you toss me an HK MP5 with normal jelly bean bullets and no "Kitty meowing" suppressor, just like everyone else, I tend to get sad koala'd.  

Is that like "giddy as a school girl", "giddy up, cowboy", or something different?

I like to go for the dramatic, so I would choose time over freedom. "The world is in jeopardy! Again! Dr. Maniacal (who keeps Maniacal as a last name, anyways?) has threatened to turn all of the world's satellites into killer laser platforms! Here is your equipment: Floss, a candlestick, and a busted radio with this piece of used chewing gum on the back. You are to 'procure' additional equipment in the field as necessary. Get going agent!"

Give them stuff then boot them out the door. Let them solve the inevitable complications that crop up MacGuyver-style.

^ Yes.  This is typically how we ran SC2.  Oh.  You came to stop a bank robbery?  Fantastic.  They just discovered a Nuclear Bomb rigged with Zombie plague in the Kindergarten next door.  You can fix that problem too, right?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 10:53:20 AM by TheTSKoala » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 10:54:04 AM »

I'm all for the vehicle/1.0 approach: a standard category that can be modded with add-ons. More complex lists should be a MAG-like expansion to the core book.
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 11:00:34 AM »

...  You can fix that problem too, right?
Of course we can!  It just needs MOAR DAKKA.
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 11:14:59 AM »

I will always take Quick and Dirty, and then say "but...".

I've seen countless Living Spycraft tables where the gearing up phase really dragged. With new players, it is brutal. An experienced player pretty much has to walk that new player through picking gear and help make the picks for them (brutal in the original 2.0 printing), all while somehow making their own. I can say that while it was intriguing, it didn't sell the game well. Throw in more than one new player and the feedback was usually "I had a blast, except for picking gear".

As a frequent player of a Wheelman, I enjoyed creating a custom spreadsheet by caliber and type of mission/terrain covering the more likely picks I would make, including all modifications. It took hours of work to create that spreadsheet so I could make the decision in 30 seconds during actual play at the table.

So, I really think Quick and Dirty is best for the game. But, I don't see why the foundation of quick and dirty picks can't allow for an option to do more work. It's a bit like this:
Option A: Choose a gun from these three. The gun is a good gun.
Option B: Choose any "unmodified" gun, which is weaker than the one in Option A, then add x gadgets/upgrades/components and you end up with a good gun.

We can take it further, where Option A is really: Select one of these three bundles, then add one item from this list and optionally swap any item on the bundle for one of these 3 mission-specific picks. Option B is to design your own bundle with all the work of customizing/etc.

A different model, which I probably like better, is where your personal gear would be customizable and your mission gear would be a quick pick bundle. It might look like this:
1) Every PC has some personal gear. You might do the original two choices above (A, take a modified quick pick that is good; B, take an unmodified pick and modify it until it is good). This works well, because you can either whip up a quick PC and play or you can spend tons of fun time at home customizing your personal gear for your style. Everyone wins.
2) During the mission's gearing up phase, you are given bundles. It's the agency resupply van that pulls up, it's what Q has in his headquarters, it's your group's secret cache, etc. The bundles are quick pic, with maybe the option to swap an item or two, but no customization. We want this to be super-fast, mission-specific, and part of the fun is picking at the table.

Aside: I'm an admin for the D&D 4E Ashes of Athas organized play campaign. In this campaign (set in the Dark Sun setting) all PCs are part of the Veiled Alliance (undercover mages, wanted by the government). We used a refreshing "kit" of equipment to lessen the issue of tracking gear. But, in retrospect, I wish we had gone with a bundle pick at the start of every mission. I think the adventures could have been cool if you had to choose between extra water and rope, between sun protection and extra ammo, between the 10' pole and the grappling hook. (And, of course, the adventures would reflect those choices, making such equipment valuable in different scenes).
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 11:39:37 AM »

Two things...

  • Only mods can see the voting results, which is intentional. We would appreciate it if the mods would not reveal the results. Thanks! Smiley
  • We love the feedback and appreciate the varied responses (and want to see them keep coming), but... the point of this particular exercise is very clear-cut: if you were forced to choose one and only one of the above options - lots of time spent in gearing up for ultimate freedom OR more time playing in exchange for fewer options, which would you choose? In this hypothetical case there is no middle ground, and the differences are stark (LOTS of time taken for freedom or FEWER options for more time playing). Let's please focus only on those two choices.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 11:44:56 AM by Crafty_Pat » Logged

Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 11:58:28 AM »

Complete freedom for me, within those 2 choices.    That way I as a GM have more flexibility in what I give or allow the players to do.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 12:05:46 PM »

Two things...

  • Only mods can see the voting results, which is intentional. We would appreciate it if the mods would not reveal the results. Thanks! Smiley
  • We love the feedback and appreciate the varied responses (and want to see them keep coming), but... the point of this particular exercise is very clear-cut: if you were forced to choose one and only one of the above options - lots of time spent in gearing up for ultimate freedom OR more time playing in exchange for fewer options, which would you choose? In this hypothetical case there is no middle ground, and the differences are stark (LOTS of time taken for freedom or FEWER options for more time playing). Let's please focus only on those two choices.

Okay.. while I'm standing by my vote.. I just want to clarify.  What is LOTS?  Something to the point of game breaking 45 seconds for Dirty or 7 hours for ultimate freedom or.. something closer to 1 min for dirty vs. 20 min for options?
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 12:14:55 PM »

Okay.. while I'm standing by my vote.. I just want to clarify.  What is LOTS?  Something to the point of game breaking 45 seconds for Dirty or 7 hours for ultimate freedom or.. something closer to 1 min for dirty vs. 20 min for options?

YMMV, but in my games complete freedom tends to mean you spend about half of every session on planning and gearing up.

This is not to say that I prefer to play this way - only that unless I step in and force players to make choices more quickly than they would naturally, it winds up a 50/50 split.
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 12:17:38 PM »

The only solution I had as a player in LSpy to this was to generate a list of preferred gear based off of each Caliber for my Gear choices. It made gearing up faster usually by half the time.
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Crusader Citadel

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