[HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

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Warior4356
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[HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#1 Postby Warior4356 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:57 pm

How does this work, say you have a ghost rock reactor. Do you have to make a check everyday or every week. Does this making building an AI or a refrigerator dumb because of the likily hood of them exploding from a daily roll.

Just to be explicitly clear, my question is: with a junker device that is in a static state of on, like a reactor or an air conditioner. Does this require a roll everyday or every week. It is not being touched by a human, it's just stilling there on.

Phasma Felis
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Re: [HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#2 Postby Phasma Felis » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:52 pm

IIRC, by the rules-as-written, it's a daily check. I agree that that's pretty counterproductive and really discourages PCs from making mostly roleplay-oriented devices like refrigerators. I would make always-on powers check stability weekly. (Some of them were also prohibitively expensive in terms of G-rays for daily use, IIRC, but I don't have the books handy.)

Fists-of-Dorn
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Re: [HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#3 Postby Fists-of-Dorn » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:00 am

Going by the rules:

The Junkman Cometh, page 57 wrote:A device must make a Stability check the first time it is used each day. All devices, used or not, must make at least one Stability Check a week.


You would check any "always-on" device at the beginning of the day- whenever you and the Marshal decide the 'beginning' of the day is.

You could also work with your Marshal and not worry about making checks for the device except when it would be dramatically appropriate to do so (reactor-powered vehicle and the heroes are trying to get somewhere within a limited timeframe).
Instead you roleplay the vehicle (whatever the device may be) having small setbacks pretty routinely. In the case of a vehicle breakdown, the Junker spends time fixing it while the other heroes grumble (with the Junker reminding them just how much time his wonderful invention has saved them, so putting up with a few hours of down time should be nothing for them to put up with). The other heroes can tell stories, conduct challenges of skill (marksmanship, card playing, etc.) to busy themselves.
From time to time the Marshal may even organize a short adventure for the heroes to collect a part necessary to the function of the device, giving the heroes a reason for exploring an area they may otherwise have chosen to ignore.

Whatever you choose to do, just remember that Junk-tech is not supposed to be reliable in the way that mundane tech is. It is supposed to offer moments of supernatural ability at the cost of higher maintenance and scarcity (powers known to the Junker and the Junker himself being the rare things, not the components with which the Junker crafts said device). It's understandable to strive for stability in Junker-tech devices, but in the end it just causes the supernatural-ness of their creations to lose some of their luster as players come to expect the device to work nigh-flawlessly every time they use it (i.e. the device becomes just another mundane thing available to them).


-Fists.

Phasma Felis
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Re: [HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#4 Postby Phasma Felis » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:10 pm

Fists-of-Dorn wrote:Whatever you choose to do, just remember that Junk-tech is not supposed to be reliable in the way that mundane tech is. It is supposed to offer moments of supernatural ability at the cost of higher maintenance and scarcity

I agree in general. The trouble is that they have several decidedly mundane powers on their list that are still subject to constant stability checks. A badass gun that explodes once a week is trading reliability for power; a refrigerator that explodes once a week is just useless. You'll never get enough benefit from it to make up for the cost in time, risk, and resources.

It also muddies the message when three of the four archetypes in The Junkman Cometh have junker versions of entirely mundane equipment (a radio, an assault rifle, and a mini fridge) for their starting gear.

Jack_Spade
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Re: [HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#5 Postby Jack_Spade » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:11 am

Fists-of-Dorn wrote:A badass gun that explodes once a week is trading reliability for power; a refrigerator that explodes once a week is just useless. You'll never get enough benefit from it to make up for the cost in time, risk, and resources.

That fridge though has an instant-cooling ability, or flash-freezing, which has numerous beneficial short-term uses. And also, cold beer, which is definitely more valuable than warm beer.

Assuming that cold beer is worth at least double that of warm beer, you can turn a hefty profit in any given town, even if the device itself only lasts a week before needing repairs. Effectively, a device like a cooler or mini-fridge is a method of feeding the Junker cost-free indefinitely, assuming the town is in need of trade or alcohol (a given), as well as keeping himself modestly stocked in parts.

To summarize, the value of cooled drinks (a lost convenience) and freeze-dried goods (a handy means of survival) is much higher than the alternative, even if you have to rebuild it from week to week.

Now, this value may be lost if you're running Deadlands purely as a combat simulator, but that's only because of your priorities having changed. Food can and should be an issue normally, so having a method of either trading services for food or keeping food longer than it typically would last is a valuable resource.

Fists-of-Dorn
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Re: [HOE] Stablity checks for always on equipment.

#6 Postby Fists-of-Dorn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:34 am

Jack_Spade wrote:
Fists-of-Dorn wrote:A badass gun that explodes once a week is trading reliability for power; a refrigerator that explodes once a week is just useless. You'll never get enough benefit from it to make up for the cost in time, risk, and resources.

That fridge though has an instant-cooling ability, or flash-freezing, which has numerous beneficial short-term uses. And also, cold beer, which is definitely more valuable than warm beer.

Assuming that cold beer is worth at least double that of warm beer, you can turn a hefty profit in any given town, even if the device itself only lasts a week before needing repairs. Effectively, a device like a cooler or mini-fridge is a method of feeding the Junker cost-free indefinitely, assuming the town is in need of trade or alcohol (a given), as well as keeping himself modestly stocked in parts.

To summarize, the value of cooled drinks (a lost convenience) and freeze-dried goods (a handy means of survival) is much higher than the alternative, even if you have to rebuild it from week to week.

Now, this value may be lost if you're running Deadlands purely as a combat simulator, but that's only because of your priorities having changed. Food can and should be an issue normally, so having a method of either trading services for food or keeping food longer than it typically would last is a valuable resource.


Aside from his misattributing the quoted text to me ( :wink: ), I agree with Jack's assertions here.
Each device is as valuable as it is allowed to be.
Regardless of which devices have a higher value within the game, depending on what aspect receives the greatest weight, I again recommend that these stability rolls be generally ignored and instead just agree to roleplay the device having minor to moderate inconveniences during regular play. It can really let the characters grow and shine without the stability roll mechanics forcing themselves in to play whenever there is no real dramatic purpose for it.

-Fists.


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