Posted: Mon 03 Jun 2019, 15:13
I like this approach!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.