A number of your space adventures include these as items, yet it is nowhere explained what they are actually supposed to be for, and their in-game function.
In game mechanics: what do they do?
Similar query about ammo. Is it assumed (eg in Oasis) that guns found actually have sufficient ammo, and 'out of ammo' is a delay inconvenience while you reload, or are you actually intended to keep track of ammo clips?
Post by mister frau blucher on Aug 16, 2011 9:17:15 GMT -5
Sorry, just noticed this!
Portable Power Cells - I wrote Void Station 57, and didn't include these items, so it was added later. I remember talking to George about it when playtesting one of his space adventures, as it confused me a bit as well. I thought we cleared it up in the rules, but obviously not! And for the life of me I can't recall what the deal was, whether they powered weapons or power armor or larger things like generators. George is out of the country right now, but tonight I will go back through Oasis and try to find what they do. We apologize for not being clear here.
As to ammo, we need a more consistent rule. The way it is written is just a simple rule, so you do not have to keep track of ammo - but if you prefer the more realistic path of keeping track of shots fired, there is nothing wrong with that. One thing we try to do is keep things simple, and sometimes we go too far for more experienced gamers. If you do want to keep track of ammo, and then spend a turn reloading when you are out, I promise it will not unbalance the adventure!
Portable power cells are used to power and recharge "heavy" equipment. This might mean interplanetary communication devices, or heavy weapons. It's our fault that we didn't clarify this, I will have to go back and look through AEE and Oasis and ensure that there are devices that require them for use.
As for ammo--we have a "failure number." The failure number gets rid of the excessive book keeping that would be required to take place if we were to keep track of individual magazines.
Additionally, the failure number puts some randomness into the equation. For example, for most people, when you're shooting you don't really count rounds, and when you run out of ammo, it's a bit of a surprise. Additionally, you don't know when your weapon is going to jam.
So for example, if your weapon fails on rolling two sixes when rolling for damage, then it's either that you've shot up your ammo too quickly, the weapons jammed, or it's bad ammo.
Once again, we have to go through our adventures and update. Thanks very much for spotting this.