Attackmack
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Consumables

Sun 02 Jun 2019, 22:10

While i like the concept as it adds tension and can become a real issue, im having a hard time getting around the narration of it.

If a character carefully packs and rations her food (etc), i cant really see how it could potentially run out the first day without warning.
Similarily, another character only has a single ration but somehow makes it last for over a week.

In forbidden lands, which is kind of a goofy game to begin with, i think its fine, but the more serious and more sensible nature of Alien makes it feel out of place.

Thoughts?

Also, is it correct that you can lose more than one amount each time you check or is it a mistake? (Lose one level per 1 rolled). In theory a person carrying the max number of rations (6) can lose them all the first day, while the one with a single ration can last for days and weeks.
 
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Valyar
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Re: Consumables

Sun 02 Jun 2019, 22:30

My group and I are on the same boat when it comes for the consumables. We found various narrative ways why things can be depleted... some more plausible than others.

But for the Alien setting:
Air/Oxygen - too much stress or tension, rapid breathing, bad handling of the oxygen supply
Water - not controlling the daily intake and drinking too much due to lack of self control, egoism, stress, etc
Power - same as water/oxygen, I.e, bad management of the equipment.
Food - this is a bummer. Humans can survive for days without food.

And yes, in this game you can lose more than one unit of supplies, as each 1 (crawler) on the stress die reduces with 1...  
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Consumables

Sun 02 Jun 2019, 23:01

But you are not suppose to track consumables at all times, only when the supplies are scarce, so not when you are on a spaceship or in a colony (unless there is some problems that causes that particular consumables to be scarce). So on most session you don't need to keep track of the food and water at all unless you are trapped somewhere for a long time and there is no food and water there.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
Attackmack
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 13:00

But you are not suppose to track consumables at all times, only when the supplies are scarce, so not when you are on a spaceship or in a colony (unless there is some problems that causes that particular consumables to be scarce). So on most session you don't need to keep track of the food and water at all unless you are trapped somewhere for a long time and there is no food and water there.
Yes I understand this but the issue is that a character (player) is unable to estimate if the food they bring with them will last one day or 10 days...Its less of an issue for power or oxygen as its more difficult to ration or overview, and even water could be consumed at very different rates and I can imagine someone drinking far more than they wanted.
But if you must plan out a 4 day hike you can ration your food with good accuracy for those 4 days.
With the rules, as written, if a player asks me "How much food do I have" my answer must be "Who knows?"

It becomes a gamble, no matter how carefully and detailed a player plans their upcoming hike/exploration/whatever, they might run out of food/water(etc within even a single day...
 
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Valyar
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 13:10

You can always revert to the more "plannable" version of Forbidden Lands... Where you roll single die. In Alien as we use only d6, only the number 1 will result in depletion.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 14:00

If you don't like the consumable system, skip it. Just let one "supply rating" be one ration. Personally I like the consumable rule. You only use it when the conditions are a little bit extreme. People eat different amount or food can go bad. Also, you normally get the average amount of days worth of food out of it, it can differ a day up or down. If you have a food supply of four you will get 4 rations out of it. Rarely you will roll so bad so you get less, most likely it will last longer. But, again, if you don't like it, skip it.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
Attackmack
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 14:11

If you don't like the consumable system, skip it. Just let one "supply rating" be one ration. Personally I like the consumable rule. You only use it when the conditions are a little bit extreme. People eat different amount or food can go bad. Also, you normally get the average amount of days worth of food out of it, it can differ a day up or down. If you have a food supply of four you will get 4 rations out of it. Rarely you will roll so bad so you get less, most likely it will last longer. But, again, if you don't like it, skip it.
Yeah i will most likely skip it in any case but for the discussion i just find it a weird thing to make a random system for.
If you have 4 units of food it will usually last much longer than 4 days but on rear occasions it will all go the first day. Can of course be explained by some freak accident or event but i just dont find it fitting for a random mechanic.
 
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Valyar
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 14:15

I recommend to keep at least the oxygen and power, as those are really important in such environments. Many movies have people died due to lack of air and power :)
 
Jonas Ferry
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 14:23

I think it's important to only use the consumables system when interesting or dramatically correct. If you can plan your spacewalk or hike, have nothing weird happen, and finish on time, you shouldn't even have to roll. You're supposed to roll for air every turn, so how could you ever spend a shift on a spacewalk repairing the outside of the ship?

It's only when something unexpected happens, like you can't return from your spacewalk in time because the airlock is jammed, and suddenly there's a xenomorph on the outside of the ship chasing you: then you roll for air! Suddenly there's double tension. Same thing with food. If they know they'll be gone for four days and mark their daily food packs "Monday, Tuesday" and so on, there's no need to roll every day. But if they lose their backpack and have to survive on their one food ration in their pocket for multiple days, or otherwise end up in situations outside of their control, that's when it becomes interesting.

So I say that in the default controlled situation, you keep the consumable system in the background, but when you start asking questions like "do we even have enough food", that's when you roll. The GM should introduce the system when it adds tension, and otherwise assume the PCs have enough of everything to not put a focus on it.

Also, you can lose food in other ways than from overeating. It may spoil if it's fresh food, or perhaps the expiration date is long gone if it's food packs, or you drop some by mistake while hiking, or the local fauna finds your camp at night and steals some food, or some airborne particles affect it, and so on.
 
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Deep_Impact
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Re: Consumables

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 14:33

 I like the unpredicatablity of the consumables as it is, but houserules are legit. You'll skip an element of tension in favor of simulating realism. I remember a lot of movies where the protagonist taps on his manometer and suddenly the needle jumps to the red zone, because it was jammed.

In the "Chariot of the Gods" it's not even a catastrophy to go out of air supplies, just a possibility of being infected. More tension, more mistrust and interaction between the players. Sounds positive in my ears. Act II actually implies that it had happened, yet.
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