A few quick points, in hopes of grounding the discussion:
Shoes cost 1 RP. SHOES!!! Anyone thinking that their 5 RP on ‘arms’ is wasted can always REALLY watch those RPs get wasted by buying fucking shoes.
A whole business is 1 RP more expensive than superior quality arms, which costs the same as some damned bound books.
BW is not balanced, never was intended to be, never will be. Play Hero System if you want every build point to be equal. I quote:
The resource point system isn’t designed to quibble over small details like “How many arrows do I get?” or “Does my horse have a saddle?” When buying a horse the cost of bit, bridle and saddle is included; when buying a sword the scabbard is part of the cost; take a quiver and as many arrows as you think you’ll need when buying a bow
So purchasing Arms in the Resource Points System isn’t designed to make sense, even when compared to the other purchases within the Resource Points System.
Just accept it as it is, don’t think about it too much, (“Ignore that man behind the curtain”, “Everything is being handled by top men…Top Men!”)
I do tend to over complicate things sometimes, apology to the tread, as most of my ramblings here should have been posted in Sparks as an alternative method.
It isn’t designed to make sense, be reasonable, be realistic, or anything like that.
It’s also not designed without balance in mind. BW has balance, it’s just not quite like the kind of competitive balance in other games.
Some of BW has to be accidents or shrugs, but Luke put a ton of thought and testing into a lot of it, and the idea seems to be to produce better games and more interesting choices. That is what the 5 RP is for, I imagine. It’s designed around the value of armament in terms of game choices.
Now, maybe it’s not perfect. These conversations are worth having. But realism or reasonableness aren’t good metrics. And everyone knows Luke’s completely unreasonable. Reasonable people wouldn’t make Orcs.
Exactly, it’s balanced but not as to how much things cost. Chargen gives you the character as intended, thieves with little daggers, Knights with mail and sword, barons with their manses to watch over. It does not care beyond that what things cost.
So if a character concept called for numerous safe houses complete with clothing and weapons stash at each location (say, 5 small houses, plus 5 leaky shacks spread throughout the land) the cost for weapons, clothes, and shoes to stock all of these locations is only 7 rps (12 rps with finery) as each is basically take as much as you need?
However, traveling gear, skill kits, and armor would need to be purchased for each location, or carried with the character from place to place?
I’d be willing to expand some skill kits to being semi-duplicated in each location. That is, I think that I might allow someone whose Writing toolkit is not yet expended to declare that each of their boltholes has some writing tools in them; but if it gets expended once it gets expended everywhere.
Similarly I would let someone test Resources to have some stored armour in a bolthole “retroactively” if it makes sense in context.
With 10 houses, bought in character creation, we’re talking a lone wolf who has stuff stored everywhere (otherwise I’d take affiliations and Circle up some places to go when the heats up). I don’t think we’re stretching anything to give them a supply of the necessities- weapons, clothing, shoes- in their safe house(s). But, if it doesn’t fit your game, don’t do it. And if having 10 safe houses and being crazy prepared does not fit the PC, you know what to do.
This has come up twice so far, the first was a conman with a network of cover families for his different identities, the second was a mage who had various houses and shacks where he could fly to in falcon form and have basic supplies waiting for him.
Doesn’t sound like a Burning Wheel character. What burning wheel character life paths give you enough RP for 5 well-appointed safehouses and would still need them? I didn’t say BW lets you make any character you want. It lets you make any character it wants.
Leaky Shacks and Small Houses are not what I consider to be well appointed, even if they do run about the same rps as a Manor in burning.
And the point is to use the character burner to create the character you want to play, not play the character the game says to play.
Sure, we have rules and lifepaths that may not let us do everything we wanted in burning. But, we can get enough of the nuts and bolts down to create the beginnings of the character (conception) so that we can create the rest as we play the game using our BIT’s (as well as our wits) to do so.
Cover families I would do as an affiliation. If you need a place to stay you just Circles the people who live there. You get loads of free stuff if you buy relationships and affiliations instead of property.
And I’d say the BW ethos is to play the character the game gives you, and you want to play. There are difficult decisions so that you don’t just play a character exactly as you want to. Your desires are fuel for the fire.
If the rulebook doesn’t explicitly state that you can take as much as you want with a single RP expenditure, than you can’t. Arms states this, for example. Land, kits, relationships etc do not. So one RP expenditure gets you one home, one gets you one tool kit for one skill, and one gets you a relationship. This is part of the inherent setting.
Specifically, owning land is a big deal in BW. Most cannot afford it, as intended. But this is BW, so there are other ways to get what you want without buying 10 homes and families to stuff inside. Circles can do it. Safe House-wise can do it. Affiliations and Relationships will do it. (10 hateful wives is really cheap!) In fact, spending RPs to build that sort of network might be the hardest and most expensive way to do it.
Unless, of course, you are adapting Burning Wheel to specific setting in which people run around with multiple houses. In which case, you’re basically hacking the game and are free to do whatever with RP. But I think it’s good to approach it from the POV that you’re hacking the game, which may require additional changes.
You could set an RP cost for “Network of Safehouses” that I’d count as gear rather than property. Yes, it’s land and buildings you own, but the point is that you’re not getting use out of them except for emergencies.
Burning Wheel is a game about making hard choices. This starts at Character Burning. The purpose of having dice and mechanics is to force you to tell a story that you would not otherwise have told; the purpose of lifepaths is the force you to make a character that you would not otherwise have made.
That said, there are things just missing from BW, particularly if you’re going for a setting that drifts far afield from baseline BW. Safehouses don’t model all that well with the BW rules in the standard way. You can make it work, or you can make up a new way. Either one is fine.
Not being able to get something you want because there are other things you want or no easy path is a hard choice. Safehouses not existing is not a hard choice, it’s just an oversight.
“But, we can get enough of the nuts and bolts down to create the beginnings of the character (conception) so that we can create the character in play using are BITs (and our wits) to do so”
(The rest of the statement Taelor quoted from)
For example, one of my players wants to play a seasoned knight, sworn allegiance to his king, expert swordsman, protector of the innocent, defender of the Faith (and all that). With four lifepaths he has enough of the basics (nuts and bolts) to create his basic character concept, but not enough to make him the way he envisioned him to be (seasoned), that will have to come about in play.
The conman with the safe houses purchased his properties, affiliation and relationships to provide a ring of thieves, fences, and safe houses to work with (thus guaranteeing such things existed) while giving the character a decent resource attribute (B2 I think).