I realize that the Resources costs are pretty abstracted, but it seems odd to me that all Skill Tools cost 8 resources. Rope for climbing and lockpicks for, um, lockpicking cost the same as prospecting tools and deadly poisons?
Also, in the description for Tools under skills it mentions that some skills could be listed as “traveling gear.” I went through them, but I didn’t see any with that qualification. Is that an oversight or did I miss it? I would think Climbing could fall under that category.
Keep in mind that the 8 RP’s represents significant quantities. It’s a stockpile. I mean, shoes cost 1 RP. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative. Rope isn’t the only tool you’re getting with that Climbing toolkit. You’re getting harnesses, nets, pulleys, maybe special shoes… whatever you might need. Same thing for Lockpicking; you’re probably getting skeleton keys in multiple sizes, lockpicks for all different styles of locks, files… maybe even bump keys. Get creative. Make sure you get your 8 RP’s worth.
Correct me if I’m wrong (as my BWG books still haven’t arrived yet), but couldn’t part of the Resources cost of said expensive items reflect the difficulty in obtaining specific skill kits, and not just their price in gold? I mean, lockpicking kits or climbing kits and whatnot aren’t something you’re gonna be able to purchase from just any old store. Even in a city, they’d be hard to find. So, the exorbitant price of skill kits could be explained as representing that. You have to bribe a few people to get the lockpicks. It takes a week to gather together all of the necessary items for a complete climbing kit, during which time you’ve spent 2 or 3 Resources on just food and whatnot. Like that.
I always assume a tool kit means you’ve got a fully fitted kit to do professional work. I mean, if you’ve got a cottage as property, you have a hearth and cupboard and some pots and pans for sure… but if you want to cook a feast? A 7 course meal? Carve up that ox and spice it correctly? You want a toolkit!
When you think of it that way, 8 rps make sense.
Most of the time, I’d just look at whether the player would have the basic tools as part of their property (“I own a manor.” “Yes, the manor has a kitchen.”), have access as part of their affiliations (“I’m the head librarian” “Of course you have parchment and ink if you need it.”), or whether it even would be an interesting conflict - and since most of the time scrounging for pots and pans isn’t, I just Say Yes.
But if it was interesting? Resources or Scavenging roll. Maybe a Circles Test if you need to borrow something weird from someone.
Note that camping cooking doesn’t require an 8 rps toolkit, the cooking skill says Tools: Traveling Gear. So your cooking while camping with just one pot and a couple utensils? That’s Traveling Gear.
When doing my recent burn, I was regretting my Trapping Toolkit costing 8 rps, and not being able to afford a Taxidermy Toolkit. But then when you consider I lobbied for a poor quality Hatchet as part of my toolkit, not so bad. And a Trapper’s toolkit is going to have some traps, snares, and lots of other bits.
The acquisition of tools in play is part of the game. It triggers the engagement with the Resources attribute, the Scavenging skill and the relationship mechanics. You’re not supposed to start the game with everything you need. As Devin so eloquently put it, your character begins the game off-balance and in need. You hit the ground running – and start playing the game and engaging the system.
So, should the resources cost for skill kits during character burning be the same once the game starts, or would a GM be encouraged to set whatever price seems reasonable? (Ie. It’s expensive to have your character start with what he needs [even shoes!], but once play begins, you are free to try and find what you need, and prices are as flexible as in the real world.)
The latter, I would think; the fiction dictates prices. You had a chance to pay $600/mo for an apartment in St. Louis, but now you’re in New York - you’re either paying a lot more or sleeping in a fridge. Alternatively, you can wait until your party travels to Troy, NY and maybe you can get that same apartment for about $500/mo.