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Wealth and the absurd sparsity of Weapon Tags

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  • Wealth and the absurd sparsity of Weapon Tags

    I haven't seen this written on here, so, I'm creating a post to say that the Wealth system as it relates to weapons is bonkers. According to the book, a weapon starts with 1 tag and you can add another per dot of wealth you possess. They state that every weapon should be custom designed. However, if you do this, it requires wealth three to get a knife, and only Bezos can afford an assault rifle (4 tags and 7 tags respectively). In the Trinity book, the upper middle class can afford one knife while the rich can afford a so many more. In this universe the movie "Knives Out" showcases the opulence of the family by literally having them hold out their knives during their shots.

    I'm not sure what the best solution is, but I lean toward two tags to start with and two tags per dot of Wealth. I'm going this route to bring it a bit more in line with reality and because the writer of the section says that the "weapon should be as special and unique as the character itself." How do other people feel about this?

  • #2
    I haven't really run into this as an issue. The example weapons have more tags than they need in many cases. Lower Wealth characters could easily get less potent versions. Knife is actually a great example as your average survival knife isn't going to really justify the Concealable or Thrown tags, dropping it down it 1 tag point and thus available to Wealth 0 characters.

    While in the Wealth section instead of the weapon section, you can always take on a Complication equal to the dots you're missing to get your hands on something. A Wealth 2 character that wants a weapon that costs Wealth 3 to get? Their Wealth drops to 1 for the rest of the session and they take a 1 dot Complication to deal with in getting it (or a future financial matter if the SG is feeling that will be relevant).

    And characters can get equipment through their Paths as well.

    So I've never really seen the need to modify this.

    Serious combat weapons are major purchases for most people. Your average gun-totting American probably has 3-4 functional guns that they've purchased/replaced over years, not in one run out to the store. For most people a $500 to $1,000 purchase is no small deal for their budget (and that's on the low side for a gun).

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    • #3
      In addition to Heavy Arms' excellent points, you also have the ability to take an Artifact for a Super-Science weapon. They don't quite get an abundance of tags, but you can save on Quality or other enhancement bonus tags by using the gimme enhancement from Super-Science weapons. This will really help you get that "special weapon" vibe.

      Another note, in Æon, weapons get 4 additional tags for free.


      Raksha are my fae-vorite.

      Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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      • #4
        My personal house rule for that is Wealth +2 tags for weapons and armors (Not counting the minimum of 1 Soft armor). I have to add that I never used it, as usually the characters have equipment related to their paths and hardly have to buy anything too expensive (maybe a car or a ship, but in this case the cost is balanced).

        Additionally, the enhancements of Assault Rifles don’t fit the tags, I would remove the Quality 2, reducing the total to 5 tags.
        Last edited by Mateus Luz; 04-01-2020, 03:27 PM.


        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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        • #5
          This might be me, but I'm not a fan of ludonarrative dissonance. I can understand what you're saying regarding that there are ways of acquiring the weapons through other paths than wealth, or, that wealth with problems is definitely something fun and fixes some issues. I also like that in another book it discusses getting 4 additional tags is a good idea. However, I think saying that there's a way around the base system so that it's fun isn't a good solution to the base system not being correct and that the Aeon book is already addressing the idea that there is a problem. Also, I think saying what if we didn't even just look at weapons and instead had artifacts also showcases there being a problem. In the real world, low-income people can and do get knives and most knives can be hidden on your person fairly easily, and, can be thrown. Additionally, the knife starts with 4 tags, so, even dropping the two tags mentioned above actually still puts it outside the range of wealth zero unless they have a complication, which is a bizarre idea to me, as most people, including the homeless, have a way of acquiring a knife. Again, just looking at the weapons section in the book, it says that the weapon should be as unique as the character itself. But, just looking at the actual weapon section, not using workarounds, if you can only acquire a regular assault rifle through complications, then that means that the mechanics of that section does not match the flavor of the same section.

          I like the idea of the way Aeon does it. Is that how most people are running it even if they aren't playing Aeon?

          Again, I'm not looking for "what if we just ignore the section and use different things."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
            My personal house rule for that is Wealth +2 tags for weapons and armors (Not counting the minimum of 1 Soft armor). I have to add that I never used it, as usually the characters have equipment related to their paths and hardly have to buy anything too expensive (maybe a car or a ship, but in this case the cost is balanced).

            Additionally, the enhancements of Assault Rifles don’t fit the tags, I would remove the Quality 2, reducing the total to 5 tags.
            I think the Quality is there to increase the Enhancement from 1 to 2. So far I haven't had to have any players buy anything either, however, I want to make sure I have a good response for them if they try to rather than just giving a shrug and saying "well, don't try to buy weapons."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by justinfernal View Post

              I think the Quality is there to increase the Enhancement from 1 to 2.
              Check the Two Handed tag.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post

                Check the Two Handed tag.
                The two-handed tag says that it gives +1 enhancement toward inflicting the Injury condition. That would not apply toward the initial roll or anything else. This means that with a two-handed weapon, when you hit, you have a free enhancement to apply toward injury, but not toward disarming or similar.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by justinfernal View Post
                  This might be me, but I'm not a fan of ludonarrative dissonance.
                  OK... but just tossing out that phrase doesn't really mean much. Ludonarrative dissonance, like suspension of disbelief, and similar concepts, are also things on a scale. It's not a binary. Pretty much all games have some level of disconnect between narrative and game-play (though ludonarrative dissonance is a bigger deal in video games compared to TT RPGs since video games craft a narrative for you while you're expected to craft your own narrative in a TT RPG).

                  I also like that in another book it discusses getting 4 additional tags is a good idea.
                  It's worth noting that's for a future setting to represent a higher level of tech available (esp. after the impact of super-science).

                  However, I think saying that there's a way around the base system so that it's fun isn't a good solution to the base system not being correct and that the Aeon book is already addressing the idea that there is a problem.
                  The base system is fine. It's not "incorrect." As well, Paths being a source of equipment rather than Wealth is also part of the base system (and is more central as a mechanic than weapon creation). Aeon doesn't "address" that there is a problem, it just changes the numbers for the above cited reason. Aeon's changes are something that counters ludonarrative dissonance: equipment is mechanically better for the cost in the future of TC as the narrative says technology is significantly more advanced.

                  In the real world, low-income people can and do get knives and most knives can be hidden on your person fairly easily, and, can be thrown.
                  There's a huge difference between a combat knife, and a 3-inch blade you keep for EDC.

                  And you can throw anything. Most knives are not designed for being thrown and do not justify the thrown tag to avoid penalties for throwing things that aren't meant to be thrown as weapons.

                  You can make a Wealth 0 Knife that's an accurate model of most knives people have that are sturdy enough to actually hold up to a fight.

                  ...which is a bizarre idea to me, as most people, including the homeless, have a way of acquiring a knife.
                  Right. They don't buy them with a pile of cash they don't have. That's why the game lets you get equipment without having to go through Wealth. If you steal a knife, you don't need to have Wealth = tag value - 1 to steal it... because that would be really bad ludonarrative dissonance. If you still a knife you just get it. If you're poor and you do a some favors to some sketchy folks to get your hands on a gun.... again... you don't have to go through Wealth because that wouldn't make sense.

                  But, just looking at the actual weapon section, not using workarounds, if you can only acquire a regular assault rifle through complications, then that means that the mechanics of that section does not match the flavor of the same section.
                  Well, considering most people live in places where automatic weapons are illegal... I'm not sure that's the case at all. Starting with an automatic weapon should come with some complications attached to it.

                  This argument also not very clear. You can customize your weapon using whatever tags suit you to make it individualized. Whether you can afford weapons with 3 tags, or 6 tags, your ability to customize them doesn't change. The flavor and mechanics mesh fine, even if you don't agree with the cost scheme.

                  Again, I'm not looking for "what if we just ignore the section and use different things."
                  None of us are saying that. TC isn't a system where you can analyze sections in isolation though. It's not built for that kind of thinking. The weapon creation system was written with the Path equipment rules in mind.

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                  • #10
                    Enhancements are never applied to initial roll. You can only add enhancements if you get at least one success in the dice.

                    Your point is valid anyway for sure, but in the Katana description just below, it seams it is applying anyway to the enhancement.


                    House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
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                    Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justinfernal View Post
                      ...the base system not being correct and that the Aeon book is already addressing the idea that there is a problem.
                      This isn’t what’s happening. Aeon isn’t saying there’s a problem with the base system, it’s saying 100+ years of scientific development (including several years of super-powered R&D) tends to pack more things into equipment.

                      Or put it another way - my car today has a lot more features and equipment than a car of 100 years ago, but they both cost around the same compared to wages of the time. But I’m not going to say the system is broken if a game set in the Adventure! era doesn’t give me a car with air bags, ABS, cruise control, traction control, streaming music player etc.


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                      • #12
                        I was gonna respond, but then Heavy Arms and Bunyip did it perfectly for me. Cheers.

                        To try and contribute further though, consider this Wealth and Cost abstraction as player facing guidance. The actual Cost of something in game has a number of factors, Supply/Demand, economics yadda yadda. So even though an assault rifle has a rather high Cost for character generation or path Access, there could be a mostly automated factory churning them out so they can be purchased relatively cheaply.


                        Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                        Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
                          I was gonna respond, but then Heavy Arms and Bunyip did it perfectly for me. Cheers.

                          To try and contribute further though, consider this Wealth and Cost abstraction as player facing guidance. The actual Cost of something in game has a number of factors, Supply/Demand, economics yadda yadda. So even though an assault rifle has a rather high Cost for character generation or path Access, there could be a mostly automated factory churning them out so they can be purchased relatively cheaply.
                          Not to mention the only place you can buy an automatic weapon in Wallmart is US (and not all the states), any other place in the world will require some good reason to have one for personal use (I believe here in Brazil you can’t buy one legally, period).


                          House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                          Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                          Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                          • #14
                            It's illegal in the USA to buy new automatic weapons. Outside of specific professions, the general public can only legally own an automatic weapon if it was made before the mid-80's law that banned them for civilian use. You can buy weapons that can be modified if you know how, and there's issues with things like bump-stocks, but you can't just walk into a store that sells guns and buy the equivalent of the assault rifle in TC core. No amount of cash is going to let you walk into a store and buy something they can't even legally keep in stock.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              It's illegal in the USA to buy new automatic weapons. Outside of specific professions, the general public can only legally own an automatic weapon if it was made before the mid-80's law that banned them for civilian use. You can buy weapons that can be modified if you know how, and there's issues with things like bump-stocks, but you can't just walk into a store that sells guns and buy the equivalent of the assault rifle in TC core. No amount of cash is going to let you walk into a store and buy something they can't even legally keep in stock.
                              One more reason for a Assault Rifle being so expensive...


                              House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                              Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                              Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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