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Question about buying gear while character generation

posted Jan 25, 2018 00:25:33 by MarcMacholz
Hi there,
Me and my friends are wondering about how to acquire additional gear at step 9 of character Generation.
Do I get gear for assets 1:1?
Or must I use the assets to gain cashflow (like in the later game)?
Didnt find any answer in the pdf, we bought the core rulebook.
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10 replies
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Nathan.Dowdell said Jan 25, 2018 10:30:02
Right, I had an answer for this when I was asked about it on facebook... let's see if I can find it, so I can copy it here.

Ah, here it is:

For pre-game acquisitions, my inclination is for the GM to set aside a particular amount of game time as "pre-campaign prep time", during which characters may attempt to acquire any extra items they want - this might be a few days, a week, or a month, at the GM's discretion.

Heat generated, Cashflow lost, and Shortfalls suffered during this time carry over into the first session.

This has the advantage of not requiring an entirely separate set of acquisitions rules purely for character creation.

Alternately, you can try something a little more stratified with no rolling - though this is entirely off the top of my head:

A character may choose any number of items (or a finite number, set by the GM) to acquire pre-game. Each item costs a number of Assets based on the following factors - 1 per Restriction rating (so, Restriction 2 = 2 Assets), 1 if the Cost exceeds Earnings, and 1 per Shortfall the acquisition's Cost would inflict (use an average of the Cost here, rounded to the nearest whole number: each combat die is 0.5, a die with Tariff 1 is 0.667 per die, a die with Tariff 2 is 0.833, a die with Tariff 3 is 1, so an item with a Cost of 2+4 dice, Tariff 1 is 4.667, rounded to 5).

Hopefully, one of those two methods will be helpful.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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admiraljcjf said Feb 12, 2018 20:18:26
I just want to say thanks again for this answer.

It's great just to have a confirmation that this is something that needs detailing (is there any plan to drop something resembling these rules into one of the books later?). But either of these systems can work well.

For my own campaign we used option 1, and it produced characters with a good amount of equipment. Option 2 seems to produce characters who are a little "light" on equipment, unless you get VERY lucky with number of Assets earned during character creation and then burn through them like wildfire.

So, in short, unless you are very short of time, I recommend the first option (basically spending a "session" buying stuff before the first game).
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darkdaysdawn said Feb 21, 2018 23:32:32
On p71 of the Core book it says specifically that you may "spend your Assets to immediately purchase additional equipment..." To me, that sounds like you can subtract the cost of the gear from your total Assets. Yes, this is totally different than the normal acquisition rules but it does makes sense. You've had many years of time to acquire these items.
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admiraljcjf said Feb 22, 2018 02:29:01
That's a nice idea in theory, but HOW do you "subtract the cost of the gear from your total Assets"?

You don't actually spend assets to get gear directly, and unless you use the optional system suggested by Nathan above then there is no clear way to do that.
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janorichard said Feb 22, 2018 04:16:48
It could just be there as a reminder that PCs could purchase gear using the normal rules for acquisition with a pre-determined timeframe to do from the GM. You would use Cashflow as normal and when the game actually starts it would replenish as normal. Technically you would be using your assets if you spend them to get more dice for the Acquisition rolls.

Or, it could mean that you could spend your Assets just like Cashflow without the downsides of generating shortfalls. The weird thing here would be that some characters probably start with really crappy Assets compared to Cashflow and it wont help them much.

That section in Lifepath could definitely use some clarification.
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darkdaysdawn said Feb 22, 2018 20:58:41
Again, the rule on p71 says, "...spend your Assets to immediately purchase additional equipment...". It does not say you should calculate your Earnings and Cashflow, and make Acquisition Tests as normal.

Furthermore, on p54, if your are being Resurrected during your Life Path, it says, "...you can use Assets to purchase an alternative Lhost, either immediately at the time of your resurrection or during Decision Nine: Final Customization". Since you may not have used all of your Life Points at this stage, it is not possible to know your final Earnings or Cashflow. Thus, it would not be possible at this point to make an Acquisition Test -- it could potentially make the test more or less difficult and likely you will have the wrong Earnings and Cashflow numbers. Also, a Shortfall at this point would be meaningless. If you take more careers, your Earnings could go up or down. If you use Life Points to affect your Lifestyle Expertise in Step Nine, your Earnings could go up. Therefore, it seems the only way to *buy* and upgraded Lhost at the time of a resurrection during your Life Path is to "spend your Assets", just like the rule on p54 and p71 state.

I realize that Assets are not "spent" at any other time in the game. Thematically though, "spending Assets" during character creating isn't really "spending". It's just making one or more abstract Assets into a tangible asset like an LHost or other piece of gear. E.g. instead of a PC with 10 Assets, it's a PC with 3 Assets and a heavy pistol they got while they were working as a Pastry Chef or whatever -- as you work and age, your money turns into stuff, fills your garage, overflows from shelves, piles up in the backyard, gives your wife something to scream about, etc. All you're really doing at this point is specifying the exact nature of some of those abstract Assets.

@admiraljcif **That's a nice idea in theory, but HOW do you "subtract the cost of the gear from your total Assets"? **
--> 10 Assets minus gear cost = new total Assets. e.g. Heavy Pistol that costs 7 (as determined by a roll). 10 Assets - 7 Cost = 3 Assets + 1 Heavy Pistol

[Last edited Feb 22, 2018 21:03:21]
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admiraljcjf said Feb 23, 2018 02:29:12
Well, if you don't want characters to have a lot of equipment then that's one way to do it!
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darkdaysdawn said Feb 24, 2018 01:09:46
@admiraljcjf: Please explain how this limits how much equipment PCs can obtain?

What I proposed actually makes it easier to obtain gear during character creation. After character creation, the acquisition rules work as written.

Please read the title of the post, the conversation, and the associated rules closely using the printed book or newest PDFs. If you have any ideas, please share. If you're happy with one of the responses already, great.

If you're still unsatisfied with any of the suggestions, then try a constructive comment or ask more questions. None of us work for Modiphius -- we're all trying to figure out the rules issues together until Modiphius releases official Errata/FAQ to correct the many issues in the printed book (which is available now, btw).
[Last edited Feb 24, 2018 01:11:27]
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uthred said Feb 24, 2018 13:09:36
It limits how much equipment the PC's can obtain because it directly and permanently lowers their assets. Whereas if you use the actual acquisition rules it will only affect their cashflow (unless they want to spend assets to help with their acquisition rolls). Oh and if you weren't aware Mr Dowdell is one of the games designers.
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admiraljcjf said Feb 27, 2018 21:20:55
Have you looked at how many assets most PCs start with?

And how much items cost?

Most PCs won't have enough assets to buy more than 2-3 items (other than very cheap stuff), which is VASTLY less than most could afford if you allow them to roll out an initial "session" of purchases.
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