Evildrsmith
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Cooking and camping

Tue 08 Dec 2020, 18:01

Ok, this is a similar comment to one I made regarding vehicles and hazards (and the nasty breakdown options).

I've INT 'B' and survival 'B' - so pretty good (above average).
For survival tasks, I'll be rolling 2D10, success on 6+, so in practice a 25% chance of failure if no modifiers.

For setting up camp (p141):
Make a SURVIVAL roll. If your roll succeeds, you find a sheltered place to spend the night, where you can all find cover from incoming fire and rest up before the next day’s journey. If your roll fails, you set up camp to rest and sleep anyway, but the Referee makes a hidden roll on the hazard table (page xx). Re-roll if the hazard is not applicable to the situation. The Referee can spring this hazard on you anytime while you are in the camp

For cooking (142):
Roll SURVIVAL. No matter if you succeed or not, your rations of meat, fish or wild food are turned into domestic food rations (page xx). However, if you fail, anyone who eats the food must make a STAMINA roll to resist food poisoning.

For both the above situations, an above average character is going to fail every fourth attempt.

That seems a little harsh.
Also, I suspect that as players, it will get very annoying.
Having it occur once can 'add a a dramatic challenge' but when your camp burns down twice a week, and everyone is exposed to food poisoning as well is likely to be frustrating and get in the way of the actual storey.

Possibly, the 'cook' specialty should remove any risk of food poisoning and 'quartermaster' removes the camp hazard (rather than each specialty just giving a +1 modifier)?

This would still make it overly harsh for groups without those specialties I think, but at least makes these non-combat orientated specialties much more valuable.

(EDIT): possibly, even without the relevant specialties, you only get the hazard or potential food poisoning event if the survival roll was failed AND you roll at least one '1' result
 
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Ser Stevos
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Re: Cooking and camping

Tue 08 Dec 2020, 19:49

For setting up camp (p141)
Make a SURVIVAL roll. If your roll succeeds, you find a sheltered place to spend the night, where you can all find cover from incoming fire and rest up before the next day’s journey. If your roll fails, you set up camp to rest and sleep anyway, but the Referee makes a hidden roll on the hazard table (page xx). Re-roll if the hazard is not applicable to the situation. The Referee can spring this hazard on you anytime while you are in the camp.

I think the operative words are "can spring." At the end of the day, the referee needs to make the call on how hard setting up camp will be. I personally like the SURVIVAL roll because it's different from other systems I play and adds another way for drama to happen that isn't always enemies attack in the middle of the night. But if the players happen upon a barn for the night, nobody is being made to make a SURVIVAL roll to set up camp.

For cooking (142):
Roll SURVIVAL. No matter if you succeed or not, your rations of meat, fish or wild food are turned into domestic food rations (page xx). However, if you fail, anyone who eats the food must make a STAMINA roll to resist food poisoning.

My problem with this rule is that it's very hard for players to do something that they know will hurt their character. Everyone will know that the roll was failed and the food is tainted. Only way I can see this not happening is that the referee will have to roll behind the screen, taking away a roll from a player to do and adding yet another roll for the referee to do!

For both the above situations, an above average character is going to fail every fourth attempt.

That seems a little harsh.
Also, I suspect that as players, it will get very annoying.
Having it occur once can 'add a a dramatic challenge' but when your camp burns down twice a week, and everyone is exposed to food poisoning as well is likely to be frustrating and get in the way of the actual storey.

Possibly, the 'cook' specialty should remove any risk of food poisoning and 'quartermaster' removes the camp hazard (rather than each specialty just giving a +1 modifier)?

This would still make it overly harsh for groups without those specialties I think, but at least makes these non-combat orientated specialties much more valuable.

Previous dice rolls do not affect the current dice roll and remember you're rolling two dice for that SURVIVAL check but I get your point. Hell, it could be failure after failure or success after success. I do like the idea with the specialty changes to make 'cook' and 'quartermaster' more appetizing but I agree too that it would be "overly harsh for groups" that don't take those specialties. Think of these rules for camp and cooking as tools in the referee's toolbox. There's nothing that says the referee cannot ignore the camp hazards if a fire has already destroyed something valuable that week or a character takes their time cooking the venison and nothing happens.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Cooking and camping

Tue 08 Dec 2020, 19:59

In Mutant: Year Zero, the players have Contaminated Grub and Grub that has been purified. The players know this and of course they don't eat contaminated food but they may face the grim choice, to either starve or to eat the contaminated food.
“Thanks for noticin' me.” - Eeyore
 
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aramis
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Re: Cooking and camping

Tue 08 Dec 2020, 22:46

I've INT 'B' and survival 'B' - so pretty good (above average).
For survival tasks, I'll be rolling 2D10, success on 6+, so in practice a 25% chance of failure if no modifiers.
For both the above situations, an above average character is going to fail every fourth attempt.
Two factors make your math insufficiently accurate.
1: Specialties (which make it AB, or 1d10&1d12)
2: Pushing.

so if you have a cooking specialty, cooking is now 7/12 rather than 5/10, so 5/12*1/2=5/24
Pushing allows you to reroll, without further penalty, unless you fail again.
So without specialty, that reduces it from 1/4 to 1/16, or 6.25% chance of failure
With specialty, 5²/24²=25/576̃, or about 4.2% chance of failure.
so, 1 in 20 meals. And that assumes field conditions and hunted meat in a landscape that's seen Chem and Nuke warfare.
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omnipus
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Re: Cooking and camping

Tue 08 Dec 2020, 23:04

Also, helping.

And note that the food poisoning roll itself is essentially a saving throw, with a +2 modifier. so the chances of even someone with D Strength/zero Stamina contracting it are only 50% (AFTER the initial failed cooking attempt, whatever odds those were.)

I see your points but I'm going to play it RAW until further notice. It may not feel realistic but the escalated chances of *something happening* are everywhere in the rules, and I think they may balance out. It takes a lot longer than 3-18 days to heal a shattered knee, but that's another place where the game departs from reality in the name of keeping things moving.
 
Evildrsmith
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Re: Cooking and camping

Wed 09 Dec 2020, 13:30

Well, it's a year after the global supply chain collapsed, so it seems reasonable that those people that are still alive have learnt the basics of survival, and can actually cook (and make camp) to a generally safe standard. Those that haven't would, for the most part, be dead by the time the game starts in July 2000.

Specialities are specialties - not something that everyone has, so not something that should be needed just to do routine things.

A roll of B+B represents a better than average capability and is the same as a B+C roll with relevant specialty bonus, (and B+C is still better than most would have). It doesn't really matter how you get to the B+B roll - it's a solidly good ability, yet gives 25% chance of failure at what is a routine task.

I don't see that either of these tasks (cook or camping) should be eligible for pushing - While they are 'actively performed actions' in that the character is doing something, the result of a failure is not known to the characters until some time after the event, so they are more of a 'passive roll' (the character is 'unaware', as noted in the description of passive rolls).

Omnipus - yes, accepted. I've not considered the odds that potential food poisoning becomes actual poisoning.

However, I still see this as effectively a random game mechanic that is going to be continuously imposing itself on the game play, It seems to contradict the text on page 43: "you should never roll
dice unless it is absolutely necessary. Save the dice for dramatic situations or tough challenges."

These are routine tasks that for the most part are not going to be tough challenges.
 
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omnipus
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Re: Cooking and camping

Thu 10 Dec 2020, 03:10

That last bit is a good point.
 
Langdolin
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Re: Cooking and camping

Thu 10 Dec 2020, 06:43

Or. The GM could just drop the roll until such time as they want a little drama. Or if the team is fatigued. Or high stress. But for normal days not roll at all.

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