Supplier Skill

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Jay Belarpin
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Supplier Skill

Post by Jay Belarpin » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:41 pm

Decision space:


I'm pretty adamantly against any skill which removes dependence of the ingame token economy or use of other valid skills which already reproduce these effects.

The Appraise skill tells you what items are worth in different places.

The Funding Skill represents a form of income you generate between events.

The Connections skill represents knowing folks willing to buy your crap or occasionally gossip with you.

The Acquire skill represents buying specific things with Allins (which can be earned with Funding or stolen from somewhere in game) or in some places, bullets. You can acquire salvage, components or even stuff!

Not to mention your rads can help you get stuff.

10 – WIDE WORLD OF JUNK (New Special Ability): Your keen scroungin’ eyes have taught you how to pick stuff that might be valuable out of the tons of broken stuff cluttering up the landscape.

-At check-in, you can declare that you’re using Wide World of Junk. You may spend rads in order to receive units of salvage, at a rate of 2 units of salvage gained for 1 rad spent.


30 -- FILTHY LUCRE (New Special Ability): Sometimes, you really need money. Fortunately, there's a ton of ways to get your hands on Allin Dollars. But no one ever gets anything for free, and the well isn't bottomless.

-At check-in, you can declare that you're using Filthy Lucre. You may spend rads in order to receive Allin dollars, at a rate of 10 dollars gained for 1 rad spent.


75 – SCAVENGER’S SURPRISE (New Special Ability): If you spend enough time poking around in dangerous places, you can sometimes turn up valuable stuff! Or worthless items, or weird things that make no real sense. This ability is a gamble, but sometimes it pays off.

-At check-in, you can declare that you’re using Scavenger’s Surprise. You may spend 10 rads in order to gain a roll on a secret table. The game staff will record your roll, check it against the table, and give you something based on the results.
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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Ander
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by Ander » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:04 pm

So this is an idea I've been considering for a little while. Every class can craft, but for some of them acquisition of raw materials can be trickier than others. Funding is inconsistent in this regard because not everything can be bought everywhere and Repair can be quite expensive for certain races/classes. So I am proposing the creation of a new Crafting dependent skill (à la Researcher or Master Craftsman) called Supplier which would alleviate this while being limited in scope to crafting components only.

Skill Description (rough draft):
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SUPPLIER - You make stuff. You make a lot of stuff. But you need stuff to make that stuff out of. Sometimes it's difficult to find the right stuff from which to make your stuff. But you know people who know people, and some of those people make the same stuff as you. And one of them is willing to help you out.

GAME INFORMATION:
This skill is restricted. you may not purchase it, unless you have 7 ranks in one of the following skills:
Chemistry
Electronics
Enchanting
Engineering
Medical

[Possible additional pre-req: One rank of Connections? (Just one, not one per rank)]

When you purchase the Supplier skill, you tie it to one of the craft skills listed above, which must be at level 7 or higher. The Supplier skill may be purchased multiple times. HOWEVER this skill is limited... You may only purchase a number of Supplier levels in any given craft equal to the levels of that craft that you know.
You may purchase Supplier for multiple craft skills, provided that each skill you purchase it for is at level 7 or higher.

OPTION A:
You receive [to be determined number] level 1 crafting components at time of crafting. These can be utilized immediately or saved for later.

OPTION B:
You have [to be determined number] "supplier points" which can be used to "buy" crafting components from your supplier. Higher level components can be purchased only if you have ranks of Supplier equal to the crafting level of the component in question. The cost of components is a number of "supplier points" equal to the crafting level of the component. These points do not "roll over" between events, they must be used at the time. The components purchased with them, however, can be saved.

OPTION C:
Whatever (probably much better) idea other people come up with in this thread.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Personally, I like Option B as I think it would provide the skill with a similar "usefulness curve" to crafting when buying additional ranks.

Obviously this will need to be balanced to be useful without being game breaking. I have no desire to render Repair obsolete as a method of acquiring salvage, but I think we need something to help alleviate the situation I (and presumably others) have run into where your hard earned crafting ranks are essentially wasted for an event for lack of resources.

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jazzman831
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by jazzman831 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:30 pm

So if I understand correctly, the idea of it is it works like this: I have 7 levels of Engineering, so I can buy up to 7 levels of Supplier (Engineering). I choose to buy 2 levels, then Option A gives me (x*2) total Gearing and/or Structural components, and Option B gives me access to (x*2) Supplier points, which can be used to purchase Longarm and Pistol Frames or some combination of those and lower level components.

If I've interpreted that correctly, I'm leaning towards Option A, since Option B gets exponentially more useful as you add ranks, since higher level crafting components represent exponential effort and salvage to create. For instance, a each Gearing or Structural component gained using Supplier is like getting 1 "free" effort and salvage. Each Longarm Frame (only a level 2 component) is 6 salvage and 4 effort -- equivalent to an entire extra buy of Engineering, plus 6 free salvage.

How about Option C: each buy lets you ignore X amount of salvage while crafting. So you can create any components you want, but you've got to spend the effort to do so. It makes the skill less effective, but I believe it addresses the same issue.
-Jebediah the Proud

Jefferson Hendrix
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by Jefferson Hendrix » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:06 am

What about a cheaper skill with less focus on crafting?
Something like...

ACQUIRE – A good merchant has many contacts, including quite a few in the Enclaves outside of the Wasteland. By taking time to set up a meet and exchange with interested parties, they can trade their hard-earned Allins for weapons, useful items, armor, or whatever else they need.

GAME INFORMATION – The Acquire skill is never actually used during a game. It can be used prior to the beginning of a game day, or after a game day has finished. E-mail is a valid format for telling the Game Masters that you are using Acquire. To use acquire, you tell the Game Master what you are
trying to obtain, and he will tell you if your level of the acquire skill will allow you to purchase the item, and if so, the price of the item. If you pay that price at the beginning of the next game you attend, you will receive that item. Acquire can only get one type of item at a time, although you may purchase multiple copies of that item if they are available and you have the Allins to cover it. This skill may be purchased multiple times… Every level purchased expands the variety and range of items that you can acquire.

Note that prices in the Enclaves may be vastly different from those in the Wasteland.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Ander
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by Ander » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:59 am

jazzman831 wrote:How about Option C: each buy lets you ignore X amount of salvage while crafting. So you can create any components you want, but you've got to spend the effort to do so. It makes the skill less effective, but I believe it addresses the same issue.
You have talked me around to Option A rather than Option B, but I still think A is better than C. Simply ignoring a bit of salvage doesn't seem like much for what I assume would be a similar karma cost to a Researcher or Master Craftsman rank.
Jefferson Hendrix wrote:What about a cheaper skill with less focus on crafting?
Something like...

ACQUIRE – A good merchant has many contacts, including quite a few in the Enclaves outside of the Wasteland. By taking time to set up a meet and exchange with interested parties, they can trade their hard-earned Allins for weapons, useful items, armor, or whatever else they need.
I have added emphasis to the above quote to highlight the problem. The Funding skill can get pretty damn expensive if you are a non-fixer crafter. Also certain unlock-able classes can't get Acquire. ;)

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jazzman831
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by jazzman831 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:03 am

Ander wrote:You have talked me around to Option A rather than Option B, but I still think A is better than C. Simply ignoring a bit of salvage doesn't seem like much for what I assume would be a similar karma cost to a Researcher or Master Craftsman rank.
TBH it didn't seem like quite enough to me either, but I'm also afraid of giving away too much free effort. We haven't talked specific numbers yet, but we don't want to get to the point where you use your Supplier skill for more "free" effort than you get from your base crafting skills.
Ander wrote:Also certain unlock-able classes can't get Acquire. ;)
Some base races have an added cost to funding and IIRC, some higher-tier races cannot get funding at all. But I guess that's also kind of the point... a Ghoul Fixer is just always going to be a bad character build (or maybe... a good way to get around the race's social deficits... hrm... new character idea forming...)
-Jebediah the Proud

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Ander
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by Ander » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:28 am

jazzman831 wrote:TBH it didn't seem like quite enough to me either, but I'm also afraid of giving away too much free effort. We haven't talked specific numbers yet, but we don't want to get to the point where you use your Supplier skill for more "free" effort than you get from your base crafting skills.
Perhaps, but why not exactly? At the absolute minimum Master Craftsman provides 7 effort per buy compared to 4 from buys of the base skill.

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jazzman831
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by jazzman831 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:33 am

Well, for starters, I totally forgot how Master Craftsman worked when first looking at this skill. If each buy of Supplier is only going to get you 1 or 2 first level components, then that certainly doesn't seem too gamebreaking. If anything, it's a little low. I'd maybe go as far as 4. So if we price it like Researcher/Master Crafstman, it's 5 karma to get the equivalent of 4 effort and 8 salvage. It effectively raises the maximum amount of effort you can use per game, but by the time you are reaching those levels you probably aren't using it all each game anyway.

I guess it just kind of seems like there could be a simpler way to handle the whole thing. As far as the part of the crafting trees I've seen, any component just breaks down into salvage and effort, which is why I was initially thinking that if the skill just supplied salvage (or virtual salvage) it would be much simpler. What this doesn't cover, however, is cross-skill components, i.e. when you need a level 1 electronics component to complete a level 2 engineering item.

I dunno, the more I think about it, if we can figure out the numbers so that each buy isn't exponential, I like Option B more and more. That way you can, for instance, max out one crafting skill and not be dependent on buying or finding components from the other skills in which you aren't as proficient. Without knowing a ton about higher level components it''s hard to be definite. Maybe each buy allows you to obtain 1 component of that level or lower... i.e. if you have 4 levels of Supplier, you could choose 1 each from the 4th, 3rd, 2nd, or 1st level components, and you can substitute any component for one of a lower level (to get, say, one 4th and three 1st, or two 3rd and two 1st).
-Jebediah the Proud

Plot
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by Plot » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:11 pm

I think I might be misunderstanding something, so just checking to ensure I'm following along the same trail of thought on this one:

What's being proposed would be the first ever character build skill that grants a PC free item tags every event that aren't in any way linked to actually playing in character and also aren't bought through Rads; yes?

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jazzman831
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Re: Supplier Skill

Post by jazzman831 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:52 pm

Well, when you put it THAT way... (Though to be fair, we were also talking about options to have your logistics period without appearing in game. Funding + Acquire = free item tags.)

Ok, then let's take a step back.

Problem: a set of skills which require significant karma investment to become useful are also at least partially dependent on the whim of plot to be usable.*

Why? Crafting requires either salvage or components (which themselves require salvage to create). The only way to currently acquire these things is through "adventuring", spending rads, or earning allins and finding someone willing to sell these things.

Should that be the case? If yes, then there's nothing to change. If no, then:

We do already have a skill that allows for free (and in some cases, infinite) allins. I don't think it's that outlandish to also allows a skill that allows for free salvage. A skill that provides components, which can otherwise not be used for anything besides crafting, is not that dissimilar from a skill that provides salvage and effort.

But maybe we are thinking too out of the box here. What if we just had a skill called, say, "Scrounger", such that each buy gives you X salvage at the beginning of a game event? This still doesn't solve the "but I need a component from a different tree" issue, of course, but perhaps that's supposed to be a problem. Note, too, that Tashia had another solution in another thread for the "I have more effort than salvage" problem, so it's clear that this is frustrating for crafters.

*If I want to play devil's advocate here, my problem statement also includes such things as Thermoptic Camo, Avatar, and Exo Armor. But I don't think a 4-karma skill available to everyone should be equated with a 30-karma class-exclusive skill.
-Jebediah the Proud

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