Research factors confuse me...

I’m probably not interpreting it correctly but the Research factors confuse me a little. It says that the GM factors the Ob for Research based on the questions you ask and the sources you have available. Then it goes on to list blueprints and designs of traps as higher factor than second-hand reports of traps. If I have blueprints at my disposal shouldn’t it be easier to have questions answered about traps? Or is the idea that you don’t qualify the documents you have before you research them, and if you want your unqualified documents to be blueprints it is a higher Ob? That doesn’t make quite as much sense to me as the Asking Around bit, which is based on what is true about the location, and not about your resources. If your documents acted as supplies and the factors had to do with the nature of the location (i.e. factored as: notorious and simple traps, common traps, ancient well-hidden traps, traps that only the designers know about) then it might make more sense to me. If there’s a misinterpretation in there somewhere, please correct it for me. Thanks.

Those factors aren’t for sources. You research, hoping to find blueprints, which are much better than second-hand reports, for example.

Hi there. If you have the blueprints already, you don’t need to research them. You do research when you have access to things like a library, ancient etchings in a lost temple, or some madman’s journal. Who knows what you’ll find when you dive into those things. If you’re looking for a second-hand account about the traps, well that’s comparatively easy. A number of people may have written about the horrible traps that guard the famous treasure (only the penitent man shall pass). But finding the actual designs/blueprints among the documents you have access to? That’s much harder.

Edit: Ah, Thor addressed my concerns. I see now, so the player does in fact say to the GM “I want blueprints”. It’s the player’s responsibility to directly address the specificity of his inquiry when defining his research attempt. (Unlike Asking Around, where the GM knows in advance what information is out there) Got it. I’ll leave my prior post for posterity.

Two things about that:

It says “the sources of information available to your characters” which seems to have an implied “already”. In fact, it says you have to have an old tome or something of that nature in order to use research, which suggests even stronger that it’s about what you already have. However I’d be willing to accept your interpretation as quite sensible (whether it’s purely a literal interpretation or not) if not for point number two…

How does this work from the GM’s perspective? Are they players saying “I want blueprints, sir, give them to me now”? That seems odd. What I would expect the players to be asking is “What traps can I find out about”. If magnitude were the nature of this test and extra successes could be applied to greater detail of knowledge, then what you are saying makes sense, you researched well and found blueprints instead of second hand accounts. But that’s not how it works. You determine the factors in advance. Which means the player says “I want to know what traps there are” and the GM decides what exactly? Does he already know that there are blueprints out there and does he raise the Ob because what the players could find is really helpful and helpful things have a higher Ob? That doesn’t really make sense to me…

I think it’s a case of “how much info are you trying to get?”

Basically, how willing are the PCs to risk failing the roll, in view of the advantage that they could obtain?

Yep, it does make sense now. If you’re really looking for the good info you’ll dig into the more obscure tomes, and if you fail it will either exhaust you doing all that research or you won’t find anything, and not only that but you’ll have missed all the obvious stuff in the more common books and stories. It works.

I’m still not entirely convinced that’s what the description naturally leads one to believe, though, and it does talk about having to have the resources, so I’m not sure how to parse that. Does you mentor have to be in town so you can use his library? Should we assume a library location in most towns? Is a library of tomes part of any scholar’s inventory (eek, heavy!)? What does it mean when it talks about finding tomes? Surely that’s what you are looking through for the information you want, though that’s not how it’s been described in this thread… It just raises questions for me, though I can certainly work with it.