Is Resource Management “Fun?”

Panzeh

Explorer
if 95% of the time they weren't just immediately waived away by having a component pouch or arcane focus/holy symbol would needing to aquire the right material components for spells be categorised as resource management? have any of you played a campaign like that where you actually have to first aquire the piece of cured leather for mage armour, or the lightning-struck twig to cast witch bolt?
The gathering would absolutely dominate the game. You'd have to run through the mage's scavenger hunt for components before you actually got to anything good. Or you could make it prohibitive, but then the mage feels bad because not only are they limited by, say, the Vancian system, but oh, yeah, whatever spell they cast just has a component you can't find here so you have to do something else.

Even if the players overcome it, it would just end up being "i gather enough to cast a spell some arbitrary amount of times" and be done with it, which isn't much different from handwaving.

It might be interesting if there was just one player, but with a party, it'd be pulling teeth, like having the fighter have to roleplay out the care for their weapons and armor.
 

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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
The gathering would absolutely dominate the game. You'd have to run through the mage's scavenger hunt for components before you actually got to anything good. Or you could make it prohibitive, but then the mage feels bad because not only are they limited by, say, the Vancian system, but oh, yeah, whatever spell they cast just has a component you can't find here so you have to do something else.

Even if the players overcome it, it would just end up being "i gather enough to cast a spell some arbitrary amount of times" and be done with it, which isn't much different from handwaving.

It might be interesting if there was just one player, but with a party, it'd be pulling teeth, like having the fighter have to roleplay out the care for their weapons and armor.
i mean, most spells that require material components in the first place don't consume them in the process, but just the factor of 'you need to be in a place where you would logically encounter this' to actually gain the ability to cast the spell in practice, you're not going to find the 50GP diamond required for chromatic orb in anything less than a small city or mining town, or the vial of meltwater for rime's binding ice in a desert town, you'll need to go to a mountain village or snowy plains for that.

i guess this line of thought isn't too dissimilar to when you had to scribe new spells from scrolls and enemy caster's spellbooks in previous editions, you get what you got and had to use that rather than having your perfect spell list.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
The gathering would absolutely dominate the game. You'd have to run through the mage's scavenger hunt for components before you actually got to anything good. Or you could make it prohibitive, but then the mage feels bad because not only are they limited by, say, the Vancian system, but oh, yeah, whatever spell they cast just has a component you can't find here so you have to do something else.

Even if the players overcome it, it would just end up being "i gather enough to cast a spell some arbitrary amount of times" and be done with it, which isn't much different from handwaving.

It might be interesting if there was just one player, but with a party, it'd be pulling teeth, like having the fighter have to roleplay out the care for their weapons and armor.
Component pouches weren't a thing until WotC took over, and I don't recall my AD&D games being dominated by searching for bit of rabbits fur and bat guano.
 

rmcoen

Adventurer
Some games do make the martials care for their equipment. And match that with the casters spending time studying/meditating/refocusing. And the martials run out of repair supplies - and the casters run out of guano and glass rods.

And... mostly, that's not fun. For my group. Unless for some reason we're really leaning into it. A4 - Prison of the Slave Lords really drives this point home, and it's fun and exciting for a really odd one-off. Martial: "My character's female, so that's two loin cloths, I can still TWF with sandclubs baby!" Caster: "Hah, I found a spider! I can spider climb now, and if we find a centipede, whoo, look out!"
 

Panzeh

Explorer
i mean, most spells that require material components in the first place don't consume them in the process, but just the factor of 'you need to be in a place where you would logically encounter this' to actually gain the ability to cast the spell in practice, you're not going to find the 50GP diamond required for chromatic orb in anything less than a small city or mining town, or the vial of meltwater for rime's binding ice in a desert town, you'll need to go to a mountain village or snowy plains for that.

i guess this line of thought isn't too dissimilar to when you had to scribe new spells from scrolls and enemy caster's spellbooks in previous editions, you get what you got and had to use that rather than having your perfect spell list.
Yeah, I mean, that's a possible thing, but if you're going to make a spellcaster pick what spells they have ahead of time, and then they're fairly strictly limited in what they can cast based on the biome, it's going to feel like a very arbitrary restriction on top of the limitations they already have.

The general goal, of having it be something that just randomly comes to you, sort of feels to me like why a lot of people I know struggle with Traveller character generation- they come in with a concept of what they want to do, but Traveller chargen is about generating someone for you- you have a little bit of agency at the wheel, but you won't get exactly what you want. And I think, for the most part, people prefer getting what they want in chargen. The fantasy of playing a wizard is to cast spells, so if you're being told you can't do that, it can suck for a player.

Component pouches weren't a thing until WotC took over, and I don't recall my AD&D games being dominated by searching for bit of rabbits fur and bat guano.

I'm curious as to how you resolved that in your games- was it just "i look for bat guano" and "you find it, ok" or was the wizard taking a bunch of game time to find it?
 

rmcoen

Adventurer
You go to the wizard store in town before the adventure. You buy 50gp worth of guano, fur, and miscellaneous brick-a-brack. Done. Oh, and 100gp on a pearl.
 

Have any of you played a campaign like that where you actually have to first aquire the piece of cured leather for mage armour, or the lightning-struck twig to cast witch bolt?
Not a campaign, but I have played a session where my character had been teleported into the middle of the dungeon without warning, and arrived wearing only a towel. At that point, hunting up specific components for spells become relevant. It wasn't a very serious game: I'd been teleported into Castle Greyhawk.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
WIzard store, or maybe an apothecary or a herbalist. Something like that is often available. If not, you make sure you build in downtime (which I always do anyway) so that these things can be handled.

Most importantly for immersion is the PC describing the use of these items while casting spells during play.
You go to the wizard store in town before the adventure. You buy 50gp worth of guano, fur, and miscellaneous brick-a-brack. Done. Oh, and 100gp on a pearl.
 

rmcoen

Adventurer
This is a world with wizards in. Capitalism abhors an unfilled profit potential. SOMEONE is going to build a shop selling (literally) crap.
 

Panzeh

Explorer
Yeah, I can see it- honestly, for my next campaign i am considering having players have some kind of daily expenses relating to their supplies and just applying it when they come back to towns, give me encumbrance for what your supplies are, i'll give you a number to keep you refreshed, this is how much money you need to make a week, or you will have some consequences.

Judging by how much money there is in treasures, though, I suspect this will be fairly moot after the first couple of adventures- there'll be more than enough money to handle it.
 

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