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Is Resource Management “Fun?”

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
They aren't a necessary evil. Plenty of games don't use hit points at all - some of them much grittier and more "realistic" than D&D. Using hit points is a choice at this point.

So I agree with @Aldarc - this is special pleading in favor of familiarity.
As I said, I balance my desires for simulation with my player's desires to play a game they're familiar with. I don't want  more abstraction.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Not in my experience. The spell bloat in D&D came long after I quit that system in the early 80s.
Continual Light and Tenser's Disc are in the 1e PH, meaning they were in place before the early 80s. :)
I also find that players who come from video games are more inclined to respond well to resource management.
Interesting; and a bit surprising in a positive way, in that I'd expect video gamers to be accustomed to the game doing the tracking for them and thus their not being impressed with having to do said tracking themselves.
 

Pedantic

Legend
On the light spells and bags of holding note, those items are only significant in a context where they do solve a problem. A bag of holding is interesting if and only if its presence means something about what the party can carry now that they couldn't before. Even if it's say, an assumption of mid-high level play that PCs will no longer be tracking ammunition or worrying about hauling around rations, there's still reasons to put rations in the game to allow for that qualitative change in gameplay (and to make those items/spells/abilities appealing rewards).

Which is not to defend any particular implementation of logistics-solving items, which definitely feels pretty haphazard and scattershot over the various editions. 5e has handed out so much darkvision while still having torch/light rules, for example.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I do not like “free” light, food or water at the lowest levels. (I wish light was a spell and not a cantrip at least).
It's an easy fix to make...
Though come to think of it….I don’t think we track water in any way!
Which most of the time makes sense; in most situations water is commonly available somewhere nearby, and even in a dungeon or similar the occupants (unless they're all undead!) have to get water from somewhere. That said, it's surprising how many adventure writers skip this little detail and don't put a clean-water supply in the dungeon....

The only time I worry about tracking it is cases where it's not available for a length of time e.g. a desert crossing or an open-ocean ship voyage.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
I just want to say that I'm finding the discussion fascinating, even if it's not actually producing any resolution. It's certainly got the wheels churning in my brain about ways to make resource management a relevant part of the game, and also where and when to abstract things.

Just to comment on Hit Points, I personally find them to be a useful, if occasionally annoying, abstraction. I can certainly appreciate the attrition-based simplicity that they bring to the game, even if they have historically come with a truckload of "What exactly are hit points?" baggage.
I can also appreciate that part of what makes hit points annoying is that (in D&D at least), they are bundled up with Armor Class, which really ought to be called "Defense" given how hit points interact with it and what they represent. If they don't represent physical damage, but rather fatigue, luck, divine favor, etc., then they should recover much more quickly than "daily."

But then we need a different system for handling ACTUAL wounds, and determining if they're serious. Separately, it occurs to me that if one wanted to lower the damage resistance ramp up curve, one could potentially make the damage numbers much lower, have them need to scale much less, and the system could still work. Which makes me want to glance at both Fantasy AGE and my old Green Ronin-produced Warhammer Fantasy game, both of which I think used slightly different systems.
 

Even if it's say, an assumption of mid-high level play that PCs will no longer be tracking ammunition or worrying about hauling around rations, there's still reasons to put rations in the game to allow for that qualitative change in gameplay (and to make those items/spells/abilities appealing rewards).
I mean no offense, but my first reaction is that sounds like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop! ;)
 

Pedantic

Legend
I mean no offense, but my first reaction is that sounds like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop! ;)
I mean...that's kind of the whole appeal of level progression. Problems are hard, you grow, and the hard problems become easier or irrelevant, and previously impossible problems move down to merely hard. Resource management is actually a pretty good example of a divide there though. Resource management that becomes obviated over time is progression in kind, instead of progression in scale, which are pretty different but tend to get lumped in together.

Increasing AC, such that you can't hit a dragon at all at level 1, and can't miss a goblin at all at level 15, is a question of scale/magnitude, where you're better at something, and thus able to tackle the "hardest" version of the thing....but the task is exactly the same as it was at the lower level. You declare the same action, and use the same decision making as a result.

Having to worry about say, how many days of food you can carry, and thus, how far you can travel from your home base, vs. how far with pack animals, vs. distance is an irrelevant concept we have access to teleport, is an example of progress in kind, as the nature of the problem being solved and/or the nature of player decision making around the problem changes entirely.
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
It's an easy fix to make...

Which most of the time makes sense; in most situations water is commonly available somewhere nearby, and even in a dungeon or similar the occupants (unless they're all undead!) have to get water from somewhere. That said, it's surprising how many adventure writers skip this little detail and don't put a clean-water supply in the dungeon....

The only time I worry about tracking it is cases where it's not available for a length of time e.g. a desert crossing or an open-ocean ship voyage.
You know, I thought of that after the fact. Water is acquired on the way or at the site most of the time.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
In halfway tempted to use inventory points from fabula ultima. Still wouldn't be tracking ammo, but for things like healing pots or maybe the players need a length of rope, they can instead expend 1 or more inventory points and just have the item (no hoarding items, you spend the points and use the healing pots, for instance).

When they return to town they spend a certain amount of cash to restock on inventory points for the next quest.
 

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