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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:12 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
So from another thread, how about we look at the average life history of a bandit?

Let's say on average they are twenty years old and started their banditry at, say, the age of eight.

Now let's fit them out with some quite modest gear: Plastic boy armour (18,000 credits) and a NG-33 Laser Pistol (6,500 credits + 5000 credits for one e-clip)

So that's 29,500 credits worth of gear.

Or around 2458 credits per year. 204 credits per month.

Okay, we can lower it at the younger age and maybe shift that to increased earning at the older age. But otherwise, that's an idea of the distribution.

But how is the bandit getting these? Genuine question - if you don't want to think about it just to play the game, this isn't an attempt to force you. If you find the question kind of fun to think about, this is the thread for you.

I mean, who are they robbing, consistantly every month, that has that kind of money out in the wilderness yet also not enough defence that the bandit even has a chance? You know how food chains work - so how does this money chain work?

Are they stealing hens eggs or something from farms at age eight then when they can barely scrape enough together to buy a single bullet, they make a pipe rifle and start holding folks up or something?

What's each year of the average bandits life look like, in terms of income and upgrades?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:32 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: Central Michigan Region, US
Most bandits are part of a group, and a group would provide some degree of start up to their new initiates. This could be nothing so impressive as the list you provided, say a cloth vest with pockets for MED cut plates (15-25 points at best, no specials at all) and an SDC style rifle and some MDC ammo, up to a package deal for X years of time with the group, Bushman, L-20, NG-57, back pack and basic gear.

Considering how expensive Rifts Earth is supposed to be, you can't look at bandits as the classic type of highwaymen, with barely two credits to scrap together, minimal gear, and hollow bellies. Instead, they are almost closer to the level is successful pirate endeavors, and you can bet that they tend to be a bit better prepared for their new life then bandits of pre modern ages. Just look at the Pecos Empire Bandit, New West Bandit, and New West Highwayman as examples of their modest "training", however they came across it.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:23 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:14 pm
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I think you are looking at this the wrong way. A bandit isn't going to be someone who works hard earning money (whether honestly or not) to earn the money to buy their basic MDC gear. Most likely they will have stolen it. The backgrounds can be varied. Could be a AWOL member of a militia or military. could have gotten it from their gang who stole it from a store or convoy, stolen it from someone else, etc.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:26 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:23 pm
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Noon wrote:
So from another thread, how about we look at the average life history of a bandit?

Let's say on average they are twenty years old and started their banditry at, say, the age of eight.

Now let's fit them out with some quite modest gear: Plastic boy armour (18,000 credits) and a NG-33 Laser Pistol (6,500 credits + 5000 credits for one e-clip)

So that's 29,500 credits worth of gear.

Or around 2458 credits per year. 204 credits per month.

Okay, we can lower it at the younger age and maybe shift that to increased earning at the older age. But otherwise, that's an idea of the distribution.

But how is the bandit getting these? Genuine question - if you don't want to think about it just to play the game, this isn't an attempt to force you. If you find the question kind of fun to think about, this is the thread for you.

I mean, who are they robbing, consistantly every month, that has that kind of money out in the wilderness yet also not enough defence that the bandit even has a chance? You know how food chains work - so how does this money chain work?

Are they stealing hens eggs or something from farms at age eight then when they can barely scrape enough together to buy a single bullet, they make a pipe rifle and start holding folks up or something?

What's each year of the average bandits life look like, in terms of income and upgrades?



As the other poster mentioned most bandits will be working in a group so the initial start up gear is likely provided to them. Also as with bandits everywhere you are not talking consistent income like a 9-5 job you are looking more at big scores here and there. Given how expensive stuff is in rifts even a couple big scores in a year would likely be enough to support a bandit group.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:17 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
The whole 'a gang provides it' simply hand balls the question of 'how they get those wondeful toys' up river from the bandit to the gang. And how did that gang get the money/gear to initially form? They stole it from a bigger gang? How'd that gang get the gear? It's just handballing the question away, without answering it.

If people wanna say 'well, some bandit empires form when refugees initially find a pre rifts armour manufacturing factory and get it going, distributing armour pretty much for free amongst those loyal to them to form those empires', okay. That it happened over and over again all across NA seems slightly contrived to me, but if you wanna say it then it's one way of overcoming the issue.

Quote:
Could be a AWOL member of a militia or military

Not sure about AWOL - I'm guessing some would argue various militaries are pretty cool with their personel just up and leaving whenever they want. For me, I don't think AWOL soldiers would get away with it consistantly enough to really form the bulk of bandit gangs.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:44 pm
  

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Knight

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Noon wrote:
The whole 'a gang provides it' simply hand balls the question of 'how they get those wondeful toys' up river from the bandit to the gang. And how did that gang get the money/gear to initially form? They stole it from a bigger gang? How'd that gang get the gear? It's just handballing the question away, without answering it.

If people wanna say 'well, some bandit empires form when refugees initially find a pre rifts armour manufacturing factory and get it going, distributing armour pretty much for free amongst those loyal to them to form those empires', okay. That it happened over and over again all across NA seems slightly contrived to me, but if you wanna say it then it's one way of overcoming the issue.

Quote:
Could be a AWOL member of a militia or military

Not sure about AWOL - I'm guessing some would argue various militaries are pretty cool with their personel just up and leaving whenever they want. For me, I don't think AWOL soldiers would get away with it consistantly enough to really form the bulk of bandit gangs.



Given most bandit gangs likely have at least a few finger wigglers amongst them knocking over some caravans/fade towns/ farm settlements could be enough to get the ball rolling. Also easy enough to equip a good chunk of your forces with scavenged/hand made armor like fury beetle armor and what not. Even with some half assed armor like that you could rob most settlements and be immune to all SDC weapons/damage they have. They can also make a fair amount of muscle doing jobs for the black market as well.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:56 pm
  

Champion

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Location: Australia
What do you get from farms and fade towns and particular caravans that are weak enough to assault or pilfer from? Seems weak target equals weak spoils?

And killing fury beetles is easy???

Again, if there were some supernatural creature that shed it's skin like a snake and that skin remained MDC and could be worn, I'd say you'd have a point.

But again, because it's worth repeating: Killing fury beetles is easy???


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:46 pm
  

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Champion

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Even tough opponents have to sleep sometime, you get a couple bandits break into someone's house and slit their throats while sleeping and ransack the entire place and sell everything of any value.

Same thing applies to robbing caravans, or stores. Why rob them while they are open when you can rob them at night when they are closed?

Just because it's Rifts that doesn't mean everything has to be a full frontal assault. One time when we played a group of bad guys we'd wait until nightfall, then strike.
I remember one time when we just started out we tackled a guard, removed his helmet and crushed his head with a plain old rock. Then we took his MD Rifle and Pistol and killed everyone else. Sure some of them woke up and got some shots off, but they were all out of their armour and we surprised them so we had the initiative.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:31 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
I would assume the same place that modern bandits are getting their military grade weapons, armor, explosives etc. The costs in the books is for brand new equipment, not third hand knockoffs of second generation versions, Add in supplies from awol soldiers, scavanging from battle fields, or improvesed armor from hunting/traping MDC creatures (or plants for that matter). This is before they start preying on things like small homesteads, and villages (there is a reason its dangerous outside of towns) or extortion, or other petty crime. And if you steal something its free, so go take gear from those that have it, and give it to yourself, this works REALLY well if you have mages, psis, supers, shapeshifters and the like.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:46 pm
  

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Champion

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A bandit is not solely going to be out doing stick up jobs and night raids, just like today, they could sell drugs and contraband, prostitution, theft, gambling crooked style. Be a confidence man, get a smuck to get a loan or line of credit from NE they steal his crap at the initiation party. Kidnapping and all that stuff....they could also be doing odd jobs for food and shelter in the lean years/months.
I dont see most bandits as full time bandits the odds of living are low.

Ooooohhh and the more macabe way could be bring parts of people to a necromancer, slavery and cyber snatching


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:57 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
Razzinold wrote:
Even tough opponents have to sleep sometime, you get a couple bandits break into someone's house and slit their throats while sleeping and ransack the entire place and sell everything of any value.

Yeah, but it takes about 15 years to grow a human to the size where they'll have some kind of farm or such to rob. Unless such homes somehow have a great deal of money, the bandits will never get enough money because every target will be dead because it takes ages to grow a new target. On average, how much is ransacking the entire place worth (even if you don't kill the people there)?

Quote:
Same thing applies to robbing caravans, or stores. Why rob them while they are open when you can rob them at night when they are closed?

Just because it's Rifts that doesn't mean everything has to be a full frontal assault. One time when we played a group of bad guys we'd wait until nightfall, then strike.

I'm not sure caravans 'close'. But anyway, this doesn't solve the problem - any place that has thousands of credits of stuff in it will have spent an equal chunk of income on security - 'go in at night' doesn't somehow make fort knox easy to enter, for example.

Quote:
I remember one time when we just started out we tackled a guard, removed his helmet and crushed his head with a plain old rock. Then we took his MD Rifle and Pistol and killed everyone else. Sure some of them woke up and got some shots off, but they were all out of their armour and we surprised them so we had the initiative.

I'll skip the question of lose helmets - this still raises the question of how'd he get that armour and gun.

'they steal it' doesn't solve the problem, it just handballs the question to how did the target of stealing get that stuff?

Quote:
I would assume the same place that modern bandits are getting their military grade weapons, armor, explosives etc.

Modern weapons can fall into just a hundred dollars or less, for some saturday night special. Were not talking ten of thousands for just the basics. I don't think this assumption works, without some sort of cheap level of MD capability - does anyone want to argue ramjet rounds are more common than the book depicts?

Or are you saying early in their careers the bandit uses a cheap SDC gun - okay, what's the price, what can he steal (starting out with nothing) to buy it and how many months/years does it take?

Quote:
And if you steal something its free, so go take gear from those that have it

Sounds easy?

Quote:
this works REALLY well if you have mages, psis, supers, shapeshifters and the like.

Depends if your bandit encounters often have mages, psis, supers, etc.

If not very often, then the bandits don't really have recourse to this either.

Quote:
just like today, they could sell drugs and contraband, prostitution, theft, gambling crooked style. Be a confidence man, get a smuck to get a loan or line of credit from NE they steal his crap at the initiation party.

How much do the first things earn them out in the wilderness? Or do they have to be in a city? I'm just used to bandit encounters being out in the wilderness. Not sure where other people have bandits show up.

On the confidence thing, it still begs the question of how the other person got the money or how bandits, on a regular basis, get in touch with a rich target.
Your still working agains those targets who, even at night, are within the capacity of the gear you have (which at the start, is nothing).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:04 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
My comment about todays weapons are the ubiquitos RPGs, Grenades, Machine Guns and the like running around in many areas that have banditry. And yah, stuffs expensive, but its not imposible to get, it just is hard to get legally....which is why they are bandits in the first place.....As for starting with SD weaponry, sure why not? Start with some SD stuff, and take the MD stuff as you can get it, a SD bullet to the head is going to kill someone dead if they dont have a helmet (like many armors), and are plenty sufficent to knock off a small town that has only SD weapons and maybe one or two MD weapons. Looting the dead will be a big source of revinue.
Look at how bandits work TODAY and extrapolate.
*shrugs*
If you want to critique the asssumptions and have issues with it, thats fine, but its not impossible, just possibly difficult.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:29 pm
  

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Champion

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Also if you come across a battle field like their was in tolkeen, if the skelbots dont get you or their are not any you basicly found a gold mine.

As the poster before me said while near impossible to find a hand grenade in america canada and other 1st world nations. Finding one in Somalia and Mogadishu is childs play, an ak47 in full automatic in Africa's poorer nations cost about as much as a goat or two. It all depends on the parts of the wastelands and wildreness your in.

Also dont forget blackmarket loans of maybe some plastic man armor and an ng rifle. To them its almost nothing and they get a peice of your spoils.

Anouther option could be " dads" gun or armor maybe your family has one and you steal it and run away or are given it at 15 cuase your the man of the house and the like.
Alot of things require a bit of suspended belief like many things its a game and sometimes you just got to go with it


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:59 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
From what I've heard in the third world the machette is favoured for killing other folk. I don't think the banditry rules there just translate across.

I'm not sure about the loans thing
"So, in securing this loan, what are your skills Mr Bandit?"
"My skills are shut the hell up!"
"Congrats, here's your money!"
Alternatively it makes me think the PC's go in to sell the guns and the black market guy says thanks for handing them in, here's a voucher for a free coffee, cause the dudes never paid off the guns. Or if the PC's keep the guns, the black market turns up
PC "Hah, were not afraid of you, black market guys, cause the GM has to balance encounters so we'll beat you after a balanced fight and then loot you as well, hur hur!"
BM guy "Yeah, about that balance thing *BLAM!*"
PC *gurgle*

As for critique, I don't even have any hard numbers to critique.

Anyone want to point out what the eight year old bandit steals (or does) toward money? Or pick a year, any year - maybe what they are stealing at age 15, out there in the wilderness.

If it's just possibly difficult, it shouldn't be difficult to punt up a few numbers and notes on what the bandit is doing/stealing on average in each year of his life.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:21 am
  

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Champion

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At 8 your at your brother or uncle or father or the kind hearted bandit that took you in's side. Your fetching the coffe scrubbing the guns, digging the latrine, be up on watch, learning to shoot and hide and all that your not the one kicking in doors and stuff.

Think inner city crack dealers and gangs the " shorties" as watching out, selling pot, hanging around and learning the game.

Its not like at 8 some kid wanders off into the rifts wilderness with a hatchet and bam starts his life of crime.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:24 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
So, nothing. 9 then? Or 10? Or 11? As I said, pick any age you want.

When do they begin to aquire the tens of thousands of credits that eventually lead to the having the gear?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:12 am
  

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Champion

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The OP seems to be stuck in the belief that the Bandit (A)earns or steals enough to Legally Buy his equipment and that as a Bandit (B)you are limited to only wilderness encounters. Also that anyone with decent equipment (C) NEVER takes it off or (D) has spent an equal amount on security measures to protect their fancy gear.

However, the main question seems to be (E)where did the victim get such nice things for me to rob from him?

For part A I think that spits in the face of being a bandit. If I decide to live a life of crime I'm not going to hoard a fortune in money just so I can go out and legit buy equipment. That causes 2 problems 1st having a hoard of loot/credits/whatever is not going to be easy to lug around from one stick up to the next and dang if I'll leave it ungarded for someone else to swipe. 2nd. I suspect that if my bandit can walk into an arms dealers shop and just purchase anything he can afford, that there will be other less than savory fellows in the shop as well. When they see me walking out with my shiny new Wilks, well now I'm a target again.

As for part B. My opinion is that is a really limited style of gameplay. Sure there are lots of adventures to be had away from the urban sprawl. But for a character whose main MO is robbery, you're better off close to civilization.

C. The only type of body armor I that I can ever recall hearing of that was made to be worn consistently were the EBS from Frank Herbert's Dune. Those were made specifically to recycle sweat, feces (I assume), urine, and breath vapor to capture, purify, and reuse the moisture content. At some point the victim is going to take their gear off. To sleep, to bathe, to take a dump, to enjoy the intimate company of another, SOMETHING is going to cause them to take their armor off and let their guard down. Then BANG, STAB, CHOKE, CRUSH WITH A ROCK, your sdc attack has now killed an sdc opponent and gotten you MDC gear. Even if they decide to sleep in their luxury comfort deluxe body armor. I can't imagine that it provides 100% coverage. While you're counting sheep, I'm going to sneak up on you (that's what the prowl skill is for), shoot you in your face or other exposed area with my sdc weapon, and take your stuff. Leaving your very dead, sdc corpse to the critters to gnaw on.

(D) IRL example. Back in 2000 or so I spent $250+ on a Hoyt Magna-Tec Compound Target Bow. It went in a hard shell carrying case $35 (used) that i secured with a padlock $5. I spent 6.25X more on the bow (not including the half dozen arrows) than I did on the case and security measure to protect it. In 2010 I almost purchased a $1500 shotgun made by Beretta. What was I going to put it in? A $15 fabric carry case from Wal-mart. People just don't spend = amounts on securing their gear as they do purchasing it. Want another example? A brand new Nissan Maxima costs $32,420 http://www.motortrend.com/new_cars/04/nissan/maxima/
A new 2 car garage kit starts at $9150 http://www.horizonstructures.com/double ... #calculate
The car costs 3.54X more than the structure used to secure it.

In game terms, I don't believe that an NPC who can spend equal amounts on securing his gear against theft is someone that the PC's want to tangle with in the first place

E. As for where they got their stuff, that's for the GM to determine. The players only concern as a Bandit is, "How do I get that away from them without dying?" Could be any class of adventurer, a soldier separated from his company, a soldier set on guard while his group is bedded down for the night (oh wait, that's how Razzinoid did it). Any number of idea's work. All the Bandit has to worry about is getting the gear and not getting killed while doing it.

I'm currently playing a Mutant Tiger Hobo in a TMNT game. While I don't consider him a thief (as his main motivation), if he see's something useful and he can get away with it, he's taking it. Never once have I wondered why the person I stole it from, or beat up and took it from had it or got it in the first place. My thoughts were, "Do I want it? Can I get it? How bad of a beating am I gonna catch in the process of getting it?"

Just for the heck of it I'm going to address your 8yr old bandit scenario.
"Billy the kid, who is quite literally a kid, meet's Farmer Fran and family. Farmer Fran lives out in the wilderness and knows that life in the wild is rough. Meeting Billy, Farmer Fran feels sorry for the little scalawag and takes him in. No kid should be without a place to sleep and food to eat, plus an extra hand around the farm makes lighter work for everyone. Now living in the wilderness on a hardscrabble farm, Farmer Fran has seen his share of ne'er do wells and vicious creatures and has taken the steps to protect his family. He has a laser rifle for home defense (his grandsons will inherit this gun and the loan it took to buy it) and some pieces of furry beetle hide he found as a makeshift armor[he wears it like a poncho] (hey they've got to die somewhere. And who says you can't "find" the carcass). After a few weeks of what he considers slave labor (feed the chickens your own self!) and abuse (no way am I washing behind my ears!!) Billy the Kid has had enough. In the middle of the night, after the family is fast asleep, Billy sneaks out of bed and into the cabin's main room. There over the mantel piece, where it would be quick to grab when needed, is the laser rifle. Sitting next to the door, draped over a chair is the furry beetle hide poncho. Billy takes both of these items, along with all the food he can stuff in a sack, and quietly creeps out into the night."

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:15 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Quote:
When they see me walking out with my shiny new Wilks, well now I'm a target again.

Given the other thread this started in, it was about PC's stripping defeated bandits of their gear. So yeah, you're definately a target, whether it's crooks or PC's! Besides, I'm not sure black market sales are quite so static as a shop front.

Quote:
At some point the victim is going to take their gear off. To sleep, to bathe, to take a dump, to enjoy the intimate company of another, SOMETHING is going to cause them to take their armor off and let their guard down. Then BANG, STAB, CHOKE, CRUSH WITH A ROCK, your sdc attack has now killed an sdc opponent and gotten you MDC gear. Even if they decide to sleep in their luxury comfort deluxe body armor. I can't imagine that it provides 100% coverage. While you're counting sheep, I'm going to sneak up on you (that's what the prowl skill is for), shoot you in your face or other exposed area with my sdc weapon, and take your stuff. Leaving your very dead, sdc corpse to the critters to gnaw on.

It depends - have you done this in your game vs the PC's?
"Yay, just got up to fifth level! Okay, my PC's goes to sleep for the night"
"BANG, STAB, CHOKE, CRUSH WITH A ROCK, your PC's dead."

It just seems dreadfully convenient and easy. Why doesn't the big bad villain just hire a regular, no gear thug to kill the PC's this way, for example, if it's so doable?

I wouldn't think that for 90% of bandits this is really going to be viable. Sure, maybe it covers about 1 in 10 (to be generous).

Quote:
(D) IRL example. Back in 2000 or so I spent $250+ on a Hoyt Magna-Tec Compound Target Bow. It went in a hard shell carrying case $35 (used) that i secured with a padlock $5. I spent 6.25X more on the bow (not including the half dozen arrows) than I did on the case and security measure to protect it. In 2010 I almost purchased a $1500 shotgun made by Beretta. What was I going to put it in? A $15 fabric carry case from Wal-mart. People just don't spend = amounts on securing their gear as they do purchasing it. Want another example? A brand new Nissan Maxima costs $32,420 http://www.motortrend.com/new_cars/04/nissan/maxima/
A new 2 car garage kit starts at $9150 http://www.horizonstructures.com/double ... #calculate
The car costs 3.54X more than the structure used to secure it.

I kind of don't see your motives as being the same, given these items are simply unnecessary toys to you - your life doesn't depend on them. And you happen to live in the fat of a civilised first world country, where one can be relatively complacent. Particularly if one has house insurance that covers contents.

I'm not sure you're really putting yourself in the targets shoes.

Quote:
In game terms, I don't believe that an NPC who can spend equal amounts on securing his gear against theft is someone that the PC's want to tangle with in the first place

E. As for where they got their stuff, that's for the GM to determine. The players only concern as a Bandit is, "How do I get that away from them without dying?"

I'll just clarify - I haven't been talking about PC's as bandits. I've been talking about exactly how much a PC could expect to loot from a defeated bandit.

That said, I think the players concern can be broader than that whether they are playing a bandit or an adventurer. I think it can be interesting to get into why there are people to fight, rather than just 'there are people to fight'. I mean, otherwise can you just have the PC's find bundles of cash on the ground - and they'll never wonder about that? If not and it'd seem out of place, I'm just taking the question a little further.

With your billy the kid example, again it doesn't seem something that 90% of bandits would have an opportunity to have. I mean, don't these farmers learn after the first time? Do they never talk about it? Or think ahead in regards to their most precious items? Maybe bar a door, perhaps? And the fury beetle hide just being found? Can we get some stats on how long it takes to do that? Never mind a loan system in the wilderness.

I'm thinking that really the idea of bandits in rifts, unless you invent loans and fury beetle hide finding rules (and that it's easy enough to make a poncho) and more, the idea of bandits just doesn't work in rifts. The authors given it a quick brush over, but like some books or movies have holes in their plot, the idea of bandits as is has a hole in it.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:11 am
  

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Knight

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This problem goes away if you "fix" MDC by either getting rid of it or adjusting the ratio such that the cheap and ubiquitous SDC weapons become effective again.

Starting out with $30k worth of equipment might be hard to justify, but starting out with a $900 assault rifle or $300 shotgun isn't as much of a stretch.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:22 am
  

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Knight

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Noon wrote:
What do you get from farms and fade towns and particular caravans that are weak enough to assault or pilfer from? Seems weak target equals weak spoils?

And killing fury beetles is easy???

Again, if there were some supernatural creature that shed it's skin like a snake and that skin remained MDC and could be worn, I'd say you'd have a point.

But again, because it's worth repeating: Killing fury beetles is easy???



Primative man hunted mammoths with nothing but wooden sticks. Yes killing fury beatles if you have a big enough group of people would be pretty easy. Do it the old fashioned way chase them off a cliff and if necessary wait for the crippled critter to starve to death. If primative hunters with minimal MDC weapons can kill dinos in the dinosaur swamp bandits can do it to a fury beatle.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:39 am
  

Champion

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Noon wrote:
But how is the bandit getting these? Genuine question - if you don't want to think about it just to play the game, this isn't an attempt to force you. If you find the question kind of fun to think about, this is the thread for you.


This is the only answer that works. Rifts economics is screwy, and we see evidence of that screwiness every time we're given any facts or figures. The only possible way that there could be so many badasses (bandits, adventurerers, or otherwise) out there with so much badass MDC weaponry and armor is that the Rule Of Cool trumps basic common sense.

And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in a setting like Rifts, the Rule Of Cool should be applied liberally to everything. The whole premise of the setting, after all, is that impossibly cool things are all over the place and that events like dragons trying to punch out giant robots are perfectly reasonable.

Or in other words I've long since given up even trying to apply common sense to Rifts, because the source material is completely devoid of it. The more you think about stuff like economics, the more you realise that it's completely ****** and makes no sense at all.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:57 am
  

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Rallan wrote:
Or in other words I've long since given up even trying to apply common sense to Rifts, because the source material is completely devoid of it. The more you think about stuff like economics, the more you realise that it's completely ****** and makes no sense at all.


The setting is totally salvageable if you're willing to make the effort. As I mentioned before, if you "fix" MD/MDC, then suddenly you can apply real world economics.

Unfortunately, fixing the setting only goes so far if you insist on using the system as presented.

--flatline

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If I don't provide a book and page number, then don't assume that I'm describing canon. I'll tell you if I'm describing canon.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:45 am
  

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Knight

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Noon wrote:
Quote:
When they see me walking out with my shiny new Wilks, well now I'm a target again.

Given the other thread this started in, it was about PC's stripping defeated bandits of their gear. So yeah, you're definately a target, whether it's crooks or PC's! Besides, I'm not sure black market sales are quite so static as a shop front.

Quote:
At some point the victim is going to take their gear off. To sleep, to bathe, to take a dump, to enjoy the intimate company of another, SOMETHING is going to cause them to take their armor off and let their guard down. Then BANG, STAB, CHOKE, CRUSH WITH A ROCK, your sdc attack has now killed an sdc opponent and gotten you MDC gear. Even if they decide to sleep in their luxury comfort deluxe body armor. I can't imagine that it provides 100% coverage. While you're counting sheep, I'm going to sneak up on you (that's what the prowl skill is for), shoot you in your face or other exposed area with my sdc weapon, and take your stuff. Leaving your very dead, sdc corpse to the critters to gnaw on.

It depends - have you done this in your game vs the PC's?
"Yay, just got up to fifth level! Okay, my PC's goes to sleep for the night"
"BANG, STAB, CHOKE, CRUSH WITH A ROCK, your PC's dead."

It just seems dreadfully convenient and easy. Why doesn't the big bad villain just hire a regular, no gear thug to kill the PC's this way, for example, if it's so doable?

I wouldn't think that for 90% of bandits this is really going to be viable. Sure, maybe it covers about 1 in 10 (to be generous).

Quote:
(D) IRL example. Back in 2000 or so I spent $250+ on a Hoyt Magna-Tec Compound Target Bow. It went in a hard shell carrying case $35 (used) that i secured with a padlock $5. I spent 6.25X more on the bow (not including the half dozen arrows) than I did on the case and security measure to protect it. In 2010 I almost purchased a $1500 shotgun made by Beretta. What was I going to put it in? A $15 fabric carry case from Wal-mart. People just don't spend = amounts on securing their gear as they do purchasing it. Want another example? A brand new Nissan Maxima costs $32,420 http://www.motortrend.com/new_cars/04/nissan/maxima/
A new 2 car garage kit starts at $9150 http://www.horizonstructures.com/double ... #calculate
The car costs 3.54X more than the structure used to secure it.

I kind of don't see your motives as being the same, given these items are simply unnecessary toys to you - your life doesn't depend on them. And you happen to live in the fat of a civilised first world country, where one can be relatively complacent. Particularly if one has house insurance that covers contents.

I'm not sure you're really putting yourself in the targets shoes.

Quote:
In game terms, I don't believe that an NPC who can spend equal amounts on securing his gear against theft is someone that the PC's want to tangle with in the first place

E. As for where they got their stuff, that's for the GM to determine. The players only concern as a Bandit is, "How do I get that away from them without dying?"

I'll just clarify - I haven't been talking about PC's as bandits. I've been talking about exactly how much a PC could expect to loot from a defeated bandit.

That said, I think the players concern can be broader than that whether they are playing a bandit or an adventurer. I think it can be interesting to get into why there are people to fight, rather than just 'there are people to fight'. I mean, otherwise can you just have the PC's find bundles of cash on the ground - and they'll never wonder about that? If not and it'd seem out of place, I'm just taking the question a little further.

With your billy the kid example, again it doesn't seem something that 90% of bandits would have an opportunity to have. I mean, don't these farmers learn after the first time? Do they never talk about it? Or think ahead in regards to their most precious items? Maybe bar a door, perhaps? And the fury beetle hide just being found? Can we get some stats on how long it takes to do that? Never mind a loan system in the wilderness.

I'm thinking that really the idea of bandits in rifts, unless you invent loans and fury beetle hide finding rules (and that it's easy enough to make a poncho) and more, the idea of bandits just doesn't work in rifts. The authors given it a quick brush over, but like some books or movies have holes in their plot, the idea of bandits as is has a hole in it.



Given the number of magic users/MDC Debees running around getting a gang capable of killing minor/major MDC opponents in a straight up fight butt arsed nakkid is still very possible. And most people realize hunting is easier in a group so using some of the spoils from these conflicts to outfit friends/lackies to help hit bigger scores makes a great deal of sense.

Just look at the dinosaur swamp books you have barbarians even less educated than your typical bandit and they have MDC armor made from critters they have killed and MDC capable weapons. People are smart and desperate people can do some amazing things when they feel they have little to lose.

Primative people evolved hunting mega fauna modern people could figure out the same easily enough. Sure they may loose some people now and then but a single fury beetle would likely be enough to outfit most of a gang in armor that makes them nearly invulnerable to SDC weapons. This kind of hunting is talked about in the dinosaur swamp heck if you really want its hide the less MDC weapons you use when hunting it the better as you don't want to blow the hide up so it is better to trap or stampeed something to its death. MDC critters like fury beetles and dinosaurs still need to eat so once they are trapped it is just a waiting game at that point until they starve if the trap itself does not kill them.

If you want to see how bandits can work just look at africa today. You have people so poor they can barely afford food and yet are heavily armed with RPG's, grenades, assault weapons on rigged up vehicles with light machine guns. They did not go out and buy all these weapons the are for the most part stolen over and over and over again by gangs hitting other gangs or people joining a gang and then leaving taking all their stuff with them to start their own gangs.

Given the durability of MDC weapons and armor unless they are attacked and destroyed in combat they can last hundreds of years with minimal maintenance. So while farmer joe may not be able to afford a new laser rifle the one he got from his grand dads grand dad still works just fine. So unlike modern weapons that eventually rust and become useless due to ill repair MDC weapons unless actively targeted and destroyed will work for centuries. This makes bandits scavenging battle sites of more powerful forces a very viable way of piecing together armor/weapons. Even broken MDC armor can be cobbled together to make hodge podge armor that is still highly effective. Think of bandits like jackles they attack the sick and the weak and follow more powerful forces around to steal what they can from around the edges.

Do this long enough and you can get like the pecos bandits where they have grown strong enough and there is enough of them that they can take on just about any force they are likely to encounter to steal their stuff.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:02 am
  

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Knight

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Comment: Evil GM
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Rallan wrote:
Noon wrote:
But how is the bandit getting these? Genuine question - if you don't want to think about it just to play the game, this isn't an attempt to force you. If you find the question kind of fun to think about, this is the thread for you.


This is the only answer that works. Rifts economics is screwy, and we see evidence of that screwiness every time we're given any facts or figures. The only possible way that there could be so many badasses (bandits, adventurerers, or otherwise) out there with so much badass MDC weaponry and armor is that the Rule Of Cool trumps basic common sense.

And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in a setting like Rifts, the Rule Of Cool should be applied liberally to everything. The whole premise of the setting, after all, is that impossibly cool things are all over the place and that events like dragons trying to punch out giant robots are perfectly reasonable.

Or in other words I've long since given up even trying to apply common sense to Rifts, because the source material is completely devoid of it. The more you think about stuff like economics, the more you realise that it's completely ****** and makes no sense at all.

And the economics of (insert RPG name here) make any sense?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:07 am
  

D-Bee

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Noon wrote:
The whole 'a gang provides it' simply hand balls the question of 'how they get those wondeful toys' up river from the bandit to the gang. And how did that gang get the money/gear to initially form? They stole it from a bigger gang? How'd that gang get the gear? It's just handballing the question away, without answering it.

If people wanna say 'well, some bandit empires form when refugees initially find a pre rifts armour manufacturing factory and get it going, distributing armour pretty much for free amongst those loyal to them to form those empires', okay. That it happened over and over again all across NA seems slightly contrived to me, but if you wanna say it then it's one way of overcoming the issue.

Quote:
Could be a AWOL member of a militia or military

Not sure about AWOL - I'm guessing some would argue various militaries are pretty cool with their personel just up and leaving whenever they want. For me, I don't think AWOL soldiers would get away with it consistantly enough to really form the bulk of bandit gangs.


Real life history must seem awfully contrived to you, then. How did pirates get their start-up capital? Where did all those ships come from? Cannons? Guns?

There were literally thousands of them (ships). It's the same for Rifts-era bandits.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:11 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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flatline wrote:
This problem goes away if you "fix" MDC by either getting rid of it or adjusting the ratio such that the cheap and ubiquitous SDC weapons become effective again.

Starting out with $30k worth of equipment might be hard to justify, but starting out with a $900 assault rifle or $300 shotgun isn't as much of a stretch.

--flatline


Especially when for another few hundred credits, both of those can be up-rated with MD amunition, rendering the need to "fix" MDC void.

a 300cr shotgun with 400cr worth of ramjets is about as deadly as a cheap laser rifle and deadlier than a much more expensive pistol - with the same or better range then the pistol, too.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:29 am
  

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Knight

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
flatline wrote:
This problem goes away if you "fix" MDC by either getting rid of it or adjusting the ratio such that the cheap and ubiquitous SDC weapons become effective again.

Starting out with $30k worth of equipment might be hard to justify, but starting out with a $900 assault rifle or $300 shotgun isn't as much of a stretch.

--flatline


Especially when for another few hundred credits, both of those can be up-rated with MD amunition, rendering the need to "fix" MDC void.

a 300cr shotgun with 400cr worth of ramjets is about as deadly as a cheap laser rifle and deadlier than a much more expensive pistol - with the same or better range then the pistol, too.



Again I would like to point out that once MDC weapons enter into the "economy" they only leave it when they are actively targeted and destroyed. Over time these things are getting handed down potentially from generation to generation. So all the current world bandits access to heavy military hardware is amplified by the much lower equipment attrition/maintenance issues.

Throughout history bandits have managed to get heavy armaments for their time there are many methods for how this happens but if you get the right environment to support it history has shown it pops up time and time and time again.

One thing that also has been overlooked I think is simple desertion. One of the most common bandit gang formation scenarios is men who served together in a war together saying to hell with it and taking their armor and weapons and heading for the hills. Given the huge amount of tiny city states this is probably one of the bigger sources for continued amounts of well equiped bandits.

Joe bob the slack jawed militia in his plastic man and his 1d6 damage pistol may be the lowest of the low in the city militia but if he deserts and becomes a bandit to farmers and peasants he is a juggernaut of destruction. Well until he runs into a town with a guardian but thus has been life for bandits for thousands of years the strong feed on the week until they run into somebody stronger than them.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:04 pm
  

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Champion

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Also if we want to talk about how the bandit gets his gear being so expensive look at the robot pilot in his litterly millions of dollar robot, or a rouge scholar getting armor and mdc weapons plus gear for his trade and scince/lores. The bandit has a way more realistic starting gear list.

A lv1 robo pilot has 20mil + in gear, if he did not steal it or get it willed to him he hasnt had time by lv1 to aquire that wealth. Even going the deserter route, hes worth tracking down as he basicly stole a tank and an infantrymen's set of gear.
You kinda just got to go with it for starting gear or come up with some fancy math and a back story.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:38 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
Quote:
Primative man hunted mammoths with nothing but wooden sticks. Yes killing fury beatles if you have a big enough group of people would be pretty easy. Do it the old fashioned way chase them off a cliff and if necessary wait for the crippled critter to starve to death.

Yeah, but where are the rules for such crippling?

Could you give some rules, house or otherwise, toward the cliff hunting method, please? Or even some method of flipping them on their back and keeping them there until they starve method. And how often, on average, can it be done? Every day? Once a month?

Quote:
the Rule Of Cool trumps basic common sense.

The interesting thing about fighting bandits to me is the economic forces that atleast in part drove those people to those acts.

Take it away and it's not cool to me. It's just a dry power fantasy where bandits exist simply as walking treasure chests for the PC's to profit from (not that I don't play the borderlands 2 video game, where it's exactly like that)

Maybe I lack a qualification to play, in that I don't find much cool in regard to this?

Quote:
Given the number of magic users/MDC Debees running around

As I said above, if in your own game your bandits have magic users and MDC debees, okay, that makes some sense. But if your own game generally has only regular joe bandits show up, then this doesn't make much sense. Is it the former?

Quote:
Just look at the dinosaur swamp books

This is the thing - the dinosaur swamp books (although focused just in the dinosaur swamp) start to fill in the gap in between those with no MDC and those with MDC factories - the eco wizard is kind of a filler between the two who can essentially make MDC gear for nothing.

But your talking about it as if it was printed along side the first rifts main book when it came out, so many years ago.

I'm trying to address the problem that existed for many years when the rifts book was out, but nothing like dino swamp was out.

If you want to say bandit eco wizards are everywhere - well, that's not exactly how the books depict it, but it could be a kind of solution. It really didn't work for all those years previous to dino swamp being printed, but anyway...

Quote:
MDC critters like fury beetles and dinosaurs still need to eat so once they are trapped it is just a waiting game at that point until they starve if the trap itself does not kill them.

Could you give some rules (house or otherwise) for that, please? What material is the trap made of?

Quote:
Even broken MDC armor can be cobbled together to make hodge podge armor that is still highly effective.

Could you give some rules (house or otherwise) for that, thanks?

Quote:
One thing that also has been overlooked I think is simple desertion.

Ignoring whether it's a question of all bandits being deserters, again this raises the question of how that military armed itself to begin with? It just hand balls on the question.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:00 pm
  

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Knight

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The dinosaur swamp talks about what is involved with trapping/hunting dinosaurs with minimal/no MDC weapons so if you are curious about that check it out there. Heck there is always the old fashioned way of find ones dead of old age/other creatures/ natural mishap. Chase the big critter off a cliff into a river most of the big critters are not great swimmers so let nature take its course fish it out skin it.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:09 pm
  

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Knight

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Noon wrote:
The whole 'a gang provides it' simply hand balls the question of 'how they get those wondeful toys' up river from the bandit to the gang. And how did that gang get the money/gear to initially form? They stole it from a bigger gang? How'd that gang get the gear? It's just handballing the question away, without answering it.

If people wanna say 'well, some bandit empires form when refugees initially find a pre rifts armour manufacturing factory and get it going, distributing armour pretty much for free amongst those loyal to them to form those empires', okay. That it happened over and over again all across NA seems slightly contrived to me, but if you wanna say it then it's one way of overcoming the issue.

Quote:
Could be a AWOL member of a militia or military

Not sure about AWOL - I'm guessing some would argue various militaries are pretty cool with their personel just up and leaving whenever they want. For me, I don't think AWOL soldiers would get away with it consistantly enough to really form the bulk of bandit gangs.


Wait you are asking how a group of thiefs gets gear? Could it be they stole it, maybe left overs from when they bushwacked a caravan.

Also giving real world history, some bandit groups might be secertly sponcered by some goverment. Do you think that the CS whould be beyound equiping low life humans to harrase rob and kill D-bees?

Awal is a bigger issue in rifts than in modern world, as once they leave your territory you realy have verry little way to capure them. Shure you could send a squad of rangers or SF after them but is a loanly grunt worth the effort. Also if they flee from a fight that whent bad they could be mistaken for beeing KIA. Heck an entire miliarty patrol not coming back from a hostile front might be over looked. Givien the constant combat envorment, and the lack of orgonized extradition laws and the lots of seperte little nations close together there could be thousands if not 10s of thousands of desertion in a year. They could provide a sizeble portion of the bandits.

Genrealy speaking thou I whould place most bandit gear a step or two below a starting charter if not equal to. Becuase even with ambush tatics they need some abilty to take down caravans witch hire PCs as guards. Athou lone/small group travlers might be a good sorce of weapons. Fade towns and farms will have some weapons and maybe some armor. If you sneak in catch them off guard you could raid their stock pile and get away.

Now desertes from farm town milita, whould probaly be bottom barrel mostly robing other farm towns for supplies and money.

By the way how most small towns get the gear is it could be heirloom or they slowly buy it overtime with their meager earnins. You keep shooting people down saying they are handballing logiistics in rifts. But here is the thing Logistics in rifts never make sense. How does the CS get the materal to crank out millions of suits of armor power armor and robots, how can they support a military that on one front equals 1/10 the population. How is it that every manurfacuter has a near unlimited abilty to make nucler reactors?

But fine you want logical justification; A magical rift opend up and droped it at their feet.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:57 am
  

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Austrelia has rules on cobleing random armor together, dinsosaur swamp has information on hunting (and more improvised armor and weapons) another source is upgrades. They started with some sdc guns and some md ammo for them, and maybe some grenades. They used that to knock off a few people that had some better gear. They did a stint in a milita for whos-its-ville for some money, then they went down the river a ways, while there they scavanged some pre-rifts artifacts (little stuff like pop cans, and coins) to sell, for their next fix. While selling that stuff they mugged a few people in the city, burgled a couple homes. As they fled that town they killed two of the deputies, and snatched the guns of the bodies......and so it goes.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:05 am
  

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When the Rifts hit, it hard and fast. The population was decimated in less than a week, all but destroyed within the year. Monsters, internal strike, suicides, ley line storms, starvation, predatorial deprivations (both natural and supernatural), the works.

The thing is, nothing we see says the number of firearms in North America (our focus group of the moment) went down between 2013 and 2098. But those same firearms mostly didn't get to be used. The military et all, NEMA, federal, state and local police, private security, corporate security, heck, even mall cops, all got wasted pretty damn quick. Many without a real fight, some expending their entire carried ammo supply, most in terror and fear for themselves, their families and those they were desperately, and often uselessly trying to protect.

But the weapons themselves? They mostly survived, even if they weren't mega-damage alloys and poly-ceramets. There are working firearms left over from the 1850s still, rare as they are, and by 2010 or so, these weapons had gotten tougher, cheaper, lighter, more compact, the works. And that was even before the coming of the MDC age. And the same thing applies to armor really. Most of it never got used. Personal Protection Gear (Kevlar vests on cops, or the equivalent), military issue armor for 2nd line Reserve and Guard troops, Corporate security, SWAT/HRT teams units, stuff simply lying around waiting to be bought, sold, delivered, the works. Stuff cobbled together form a half a dozen mangled bodies, the rest recycled into a pile as spare repair materials, the litany goes on.

By 2100, the planet had mostly "calmed" down, but the main damage had been done, the population was a small fraction of what it started at, but those weapons, armor, tactical, security and civilian gear were all still out there. And there wer smart people desperately coming up with ways to keep themselves equipped in MDC class gear too, not many in any given area, but it takes one collection of civilian armorers with access to the latest edition of The Anarchists Cookbook, and they can cobble together explosive shells in their basements. Thing 3D printers, plastic shotgun shells, kitchen sink brewed explosives and propellants, and carefully (or not so carefully) shaved MDC scrap, and you have a 12 gauge MDC round.

So fast forward, but not so far as you would think really. 2150 hits, and most of the production centers are entirely gone, right? Sure, but there are still micro fabrication units. It needn't be entirely contained in a crate, but if you have on in the back of a panel van, in a garage or basement, or even at the back of a cave complex, you can continue to make the parts you need, so long as you can get the raw materials. Given how ubiquitous MDC weapons and armor were for the military (your nation either had it, or hoped no one decided to take them over for whatever reason) I can't imagine it would be all that difficult to get hold of most of them. There are people in Montana making 60% of what you need to make an AR-15 based rifle, and other people in North Dakota making another 60%. Between them there is some overlap, but for anything short of ammunition, they can make it. Ammo isn't that big an issue now either, so I can't imagine it would have been in 2098, especially since a lot of if was energy clips that can be recharged a whole lot of times, before you can refurbish them and do it all over.

Fast forward yet again, this time to ~-35-25 P.A. Now there are people that have reestablished industry, and are selling weapons to anyone who will pay for them. Others are simply giving them away to make people trust them and group together as a political group. The biggest, like a certain group near Chi-Town, are actively trying to mount a real military effort , which won't matter until a few decades later. But while 95% of that military will stay true, some will not, and of that 95%, some get kilt, and their weapon left laying around because most supernatural predators can't use them, and many mages simply don't feel the need to pick them up, their magic is "just betta".

Come all the way up to 100 P.A., and we now have multiple mega industrial concerns, and even some that would be military industry by choice. Northern Gun, Manistique Imperium, Wilks, Triax, the Black Market to name a few. And the whole time, Archie is having his bots randomly disburse dribs and drabs of stuff around to help people protect themselves. Some of which gets found by the wrong sorts, some of which gets picked off the rapidly cooling corpses of the right sorts, and some of which gets sold to get them through a lean winter.

And the best part? That stuff that was still being salvaged back in 2098, the stuff that could have been 10-15 years old already? Quite a bit of that is still out there still, repaired and reconditioned all to hell and back, but functional non-the-less.

There isn't actually any reason for use to assume that there are MORE MDC weapons than people on the North American continent really, and maybe something like half of those people do or could have access to MDC armor. The C.S. issues 3-4 weapons to each of their soldiers (longarm, sidearm, vibroblade, grenades), and have lost literally millions of soldiers in the last century alone! Now add everyone of the MDC capable nation states out there to the list, and presume similar (well, an order of magnitude fewer, since none of them but the C.S., Tolkeen and the Federation of Magic have fought such a massive war here...oh, and Archie, the Mechanioids, the Shemmarian Nation...right, lots of people...Pecos Bandits verus C.S./Vampires/Other Bandits/P.C.s...)

I mean, how many Native American weapon and armor fetishes have been lost? C.S. weapons? Northern Gun weapons form independent kingdoms? Whatever weapons Archie and Hagen toss about, in addition to the Shemmarian inspired weapons that sometimes get handed over? And that isn't including Techno-Wizard weapons, which are much more "choosey" about who can use them, since P.P.E. clips are a recent thing. (In my settings, a small percentage, say about 2-3%, or the population have developed an ability similar to psionics. Instead of having powers, they get 4D6+P.E.+1D6 per additional level P.P.E., and can instinctively use it to power T.W. weapons and a few other (super) naturally occurring options. But that isn't common, and I guess isn't strictly relevant really.)

And the whole time, these weapons are changing hands, into and out of bandit hands. What happens when you take out a group of say, 10 bandits, and gather their gear, and sell it to someone else? A town, a traveling merchant arms dealer, a Wilks/Triax/NG weapons store, what ever. Do they break the weapons down for parts? Possibly, but not likely. Instead, they issue or sell them, depending, and likely at a premium price too, just to move them. (Unless you are the Black Market, in which case you charge more than the weapon is actually worth, and no one calls B.S. on it...) These weapons get sold to whomever has the money, and if a bandit groups gets a decent score, wanders into town, and sees a dozen old but serviceable laser rifles on sale cheap, they might even opt to spend some of their ill gotten gains to simply purchase more equipment, possibly even better equipment of they are hard scrabble enough.

The point is, there is no reason this gear isn't easily, almost believably obtainable...the mystery is why there is an extra zero on the end of most of it?!

Especially the freaking E-Clip recharge rates!!! I call freaking shenanigans!!!
.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:27 am
  

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Gryphon, I'm going to say it before the OP gets a chance. "But where did they come from? How did the all those pre-apocalypse dealers, armies, Nema, police, anybody get their MDC equipment? How did they ever come up with enough money (in their huge golden age cities/states/nations) to purchase even the cheapest MDC item? To say that there were thriving economies just handballs the issue and isn't a logical answer."


They see me trollin'. They hatin'.

Gryphon, thank you for the precise, accurate (afaiac), and logical explanation.
If the anyone finds fault with your logic as to how MDC items are relatively commonplace (but not by simply everyone), then I call that being critical just for the sake of it.

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keir451 wrote:
Amazing Nate; Thanks for your support!

Razzinold wrote:
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The Oh So Amazing Nate!

Nate, you sir win the internet for today! You've definitely earned the "oh so amazing" part of your name today. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:00 am
  

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flatline wrote:
Rallan wrote:
Or in other words I've long since given up even trying to apply common sense to Rifts, because the source material is completely devoid of it. The more you think about stuff like economics, the more you realise that it's completely ****** and makes no sense at all.


The setting is totally salvageable if you're willing to make the effort. As I mentioned before, if you "fix" MD/MDC, then suddenly you can apply real world economics.

Unfortunately, fixing the setting only goes so far if you insist on using the system as presented.

--flatline


Salvaging it is a fix that would ruin the game though. Cthulhutech (another RPG where giant monsters trying to punch out giant robots is an everyday thing) suffers really badly in later books from looking too closely at the setting and trying to explain how everything works. And it's a terrible, terrible mistake on their part. Players expect a shiny anime future (with eldritch horrors lurking around the corner), and the books gradually dole out a gritty cyberpunk world that doesn't match expectations. And ridiculously implausible ideas that you wouldn't think too hard about in a more stylised setting end up looking more and more unworkable as the setting gets more and more detailed.

Basically if you've got a game that's all about combining a bunch of awesome things and being over the top, the last thing you want the writers to do is show you the man behind the curtain. It's anticlimactic, it frequently ends up being self contradictory, and it just draws attention to the fact that a lot of the game's awesome things don't really make much sense.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:20 am
  

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The thing is it's been 200 years - in terms of armour that was around at the apocalypse, it's been chewed and spat out atleast once.

Quote:
Stuff cobbled together form a half a dozen mangled bodies, the rest recycled into a pile as spare repair materials, the litany goes on.

I'm not sure there are really any rules for building MDC armour from scratch in the text, beyond a vague reference of the GM saying you've found scraps, then the GM maybe saying you've put together some armour.

My point is, I don't think there's anything there that if I said 'you can do X to build some armour' various people here wouldn't flat out disagree and there wouldn't really be anything in the text that says either party is right or wrong. Like something you can just say here and people just agree on it. Maybe if we work out some rules here we could get a few people to alteast give them the thumbs up.

On guns, well what about the adventurer effect, lets call it? The adventurers kill bandits and then sell the guns to the BM. Sure the guns aren't being destroyed, but they aren't in free circulation anymore either. I agree on the idea of them being scattered around in the chaos earth timeline though.

I mean, if you want to pitch these guns get sold for cheap (or cheap and on loan and the BM has a rather nasty repo squad), go for it. Lets see if we can get some mutual agreement from folk on the rifts forum.

Quote:
And there wer smart people desperately coming up with ways to keep themselves equipped in MDC class gear too, not many in any given area, but it takes one collection of civilian armorers with access to the latest edition of The Anarchists Cookbook, and they can cobble together explosive shells in their basements. Thing 3D printers, plastic shotgun shells, kitchen sink brewed explosives and propellants, and carefully (or not so carefully) shaved MDC scrap, and you have a 12 gauge MDC round.

But what are the rules for this?

Some people see it as me complaining (and then decide they are allowed to break forum policy because of that for some reason), but they are missing the point - what rules on this could you say without someone here going 'nah, it doesn't work that way!'. If it's straight forward, just list the rules and (ignoring me for now) no one will argue about whether it can be done.

But I suspect someone will argue. Sure one can ignore them, but it basically leads to a fragmented user base. Can we find some specific rules on this that everyone agrees on/avoids fragmentation.

Quote:
especially since a lot of if was energy clips that can be recharged a whole lot of times, before you can refurbish them and do it all over.

And I mean if you've seen the length of the threads on the recharge price of e-clips - some folk think if you've got a bicycle generator, you can recharge one (despite the cost of a recharger given in one book). Others think the cost is so high because the need to be refurbished every time.

Quote:
So fast forward, but not so far as you would think really. 2150 hits, and most of the production centers are entirely gone, right? Sure, but there are still micro fabrication units. It needn't be entirely contained in a crate, but if you have on in the back of a panel van, in a garage or basement, or even at the back of a cave complex, you can continue to make the parts you need, so long as you can get the raw materials. Given how ubiquitous MDC weapons and armor were for the military (your nation either had it, or hoped no one decided to take them over for whatever reason) I can't imagine it would be all that difficult to get hold of most of them. There are people in Montana making 60% of what you need to make an AR-15 based rifle, and other people in North Dakota making another 60%.

I think a game text saying roughly how many of these units there are, the resources they need, whether anything is destroying them over time and whether new ones are being made, would go along way.

Given they are kind of the lifeblood of humans, it seems as much the stuff of adventure hooks as the farmers crops, lives and homes being threatened.

Quote:
Others are simply giving them away to make people trust them and group together as a political group.

Skeptical. Do you actually mean they have to give an oath to the political group before they get handed a gun? Oath breaking still has some effect in the PA.

Quote:
But while 95% of that military will stay true, some will not, and of that 95%, some get kilt, and their weapon left laying around because most supernatural predators can't use them, and many mages simply don't feel the need to pick them up, their magic is "just betta".

I'm not sure I buy the snobby mage effect.

Are you saying 1 in 20 soldiers deserts? Presumably were back to less humane days where desserters, if found, would be killed.

Perhaps you could argue they steal one of those micro fabrication units and desert so they can repair their armour (otherwise they just face attrition in the wilderness then death, rather than a wage and no mark of death if they stay in the millitary)? Which again would be handy to know what basic (readily obtainable resources) the unit needs (perhaps the unit could work of a bicycle generator in this case)?

Quote:
Archie is having his bots randomly disburse dribs and drabs of stuff around to help people protect themselves.

Maybe I haven't kept up on Archie, but last time I saw he was a manic depressive after killing a whole bunch of folk. The books say he's doing this now?


Quote:
There isn't actually any reason for use to assume that there are MORE MDC weapons than people on the North American continent really, and maybe something like half of those people do or could have access to MDC armor. The C.S. issues 3-4 weapons to each of their soldiers (longarm, sidearm, vibroblade, grenades), and have lost literally millions of soldiers in the last century alone! Now add everyone of the MDC capable nation states out there to the list, and presume similar (well, an order of magnitude fewer, since none of them but the C.S., Tolkeen and the Federation of Magic have fought such a massive war here...oh, and Archie, the Mechanioids, the Shemmarian Nation...right, lots of people...Pecos Bandits verus C.S./Vampires/Other Bandits/P.C.s...)

Again though, the adventurer effect - they kill, loot, then put the guns out of cheap/free circulation because the BM asks the book listed prices.

I mean, I've toyed with stuff in my game like a home made pepperbox pistol, like this, but with twenty pipes which fire in a wave so they can do a burst of 20 explosive rounds (which does 1D4 MD, from the mercenaries book). So folk can make their own guns to a degree.

And I KNOW if I list that here, some folk here will go 'Oh no no no, that just wouldn't work'. You can figure out stuff, but you can't talk about it here and so have nothing in common with other rifts gamers.

So here, what are the numbers of soldiers lost and gear lost with them? Numbers that folk here wont argue with? Maybe we could work out something, which would be good. But my point is, you can give a rosey description, but if people just argue your numbers (instead of everyone just nodding), then it's not working out as an answer.

I'm sure some folk here might agree with what you said, but then if you gave the number of soldiers lost and gear lost on average, they'd disagree with those numbers. Which means they don't really agree with what you said.

Quote:
And the whole time, these weapons are changing hands, into and out of bandit hands. What happens when you take out a group of say, 10 bandits, and gather their gear, and sell it to someone else? A town, a traveling merchant arms dealer, a Wilks/Triax/NG weapons store, what ever. Do they break the weapons down for parts? Possibly, but not likely. Instead, they issue or sell them, depending, and likely at a premium price too, just to move them. (Unless you are the Black Market, in which case you charge more than the weapon is actually worth, and no one calls B.S. on it...)

If I understand you right, I think you mean 'rock bottom' rather than 'premium' (which would be a mark up).

As I've said, my main concern is splintering off from the main understanding of rifts, in adopting such an idea - ie, if you show those lower prices, some folk will likely go 'no way would they be that low - you can do that in your game, but I think it's silly' and then you don't have much in common with them.

Sure it's believable...for some people (I think pepper spray in a raptors eyes blinding/aggitating them is believable as well - but some folk here would have none of it)...but the hard numbers will simply fracture you away from others who think it's rediculous.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:33 pm
  

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Thread unlocked after review. Posts targeting other posters and not the post have been removed.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:35 pm
  

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I deserved that. After i posted the tirade, i was reminded of my previous post about "just grow up." :oops:

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keir451 wrote:
Amazing Nate; Thanks for your support!

Razzinold wrote:
And the award for best witty retort to someone reporting a minor vehicular collision goes to:
The Oh So Amazing Nate!

Nate, you sir win the internet for today! You've definitely earned the "oh so amazing" part of your name today. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:39 pm
  

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Noon wrote:
So from another thread, how about we look at the average life history of a bandit?

Let's say on average they are twenty years old and started their banditry at, say, the age of eight.

Now let's fit them out with some quite modest gear: Plastic boy armour (18,000 credits) and a NG-33 Laser Pistol (6,500 credits + 5000 credits for one e-clip)

So that's 29,500 credits worth of gear.

Or around 2458 credits per year. 204 credits per month.

Okay, we can lower it at the younger age and maybe shift that to increased earning at the older age. But otherwise, that's an idea of the distribution.

But how is the bandit getting these? Genuine question - if you don't want to think about it just to play the game, this isn't an attempt to force you. If you find the question kind of fun to think about, this is the thread for you.

I mean, who are they robbing, consistantly every month, that has that kind of money out in the wilderness yet also not enough defence that the bandit even has a chance? You know how food chains work - so how does this money chain work?

Are they stealing hens eggs or something from farms at age eight then when they can barely scrape enough together to buy a single bullet, they make a pipe rifle and start holding folks up or something?

What's each year of the average bandits life look like, in terms of income and upgrades?


You're coming at this backward - it's not "how did this bandit get MD gear?" but rather "why did this soldier/mercenary become a bandit?" Because bandits don't just have MD gear; they also have hand to hand combat skills and WP skills, and presumably men-at-arms OCCs. They've got their starting MD gear and skills because someone, somewhere, trained them to be a soldier. That could be a mercenary company, a major military, a minor military, or a militia, but someone trained and equipped them. It could even be an illicit organization, like the various Black Market factions, or the Pecos Empire

The proto-bandit has then absconded with said gear & training and turned into a beginner bandit. With success comes opportunity for said bandits to purchase or capture better gear; with failure they become someone else's loot piñata. This wouldn't be that hard to do - most militaries wouldn't have the resources to track down AWOL soldiers, and even the CS would have very limited abilities to do so outside of their securely held territory, let alone town militias. Some might only go AWOL after dangerous action, and are presumed killed back at base/headquarters.

Also, the nature of Rifts Earth would make SDC armed & armoured bandits very rare I think, and only for the nigh-suicidal. Banditry is already pretty dangerous as jobs go, but in Rifts, one bad call ends you. If you try to stick up that seemingly unarmoured guy with your SDC rifle and he turns out to be a mage, or a master psychic, or one of the countless other things that can look human or non-threatening but still kick ass, that's it for you. It's a Darwinian pressure selecting for bandits to only have MD gear and weapons.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:16 am
  

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First things first…

*Hands Nate one Internetz*

Bravo chief, bravo.

Next…
So what if it was chewed up, either by monsters or by machinegun (railgun) fire? Some of its still useful, and it all comes form a time when there were as many soldier in service as there are people in existence in 110 P.A.! And that isn’t even counting the police, security, corporate security, mercenaries, and survivalists out there.

As for rules for rebuilding armor, Field Armorer has it all. If you can repair up to 20 points of damage to armor, you can fix it as needed. Since its unlikely you can actively manufacture MDC material in the field, you are instead using raw materials, replacement parts, or salvaged pieces to do the job instead. Your guy took a 14 point hit to the upper arm? Well, we pop that part out, and replace it, with a new one or a salvaged one. Patching is a worst case scenario here, as structural integrity is adversely affected. There isn’t anything to disagree with here.

Now if we are talking about simply making new suits of armor, then there are issues, but those same issues are both beyond the scope of Rifts as written, and are of no real concern to players, and not even to GMs. Anakin and Co go to a planet, and Trade Fed Droids are being made, but we aren’t there to get a glimpse of the inner industrial workings of the Trade Fed, we are there to see choppy, burny, fry…ee(?) deathy things instead.

And you have to understand, once anything, regardless of what it is, leaves the factory floor, even into storage at that factory for shipping, it IS in circulation. Maybe its gets sold. Maybe it gets issued. Maybe the factory gets bomb or Rifted or blasted or covered in lava, and 500 years later someone recovers some of those stored weapons, but they have been available since the point they became not simply raw materials and spare parts, but actual weapons, or anything else for that matter. The Black Market, that weapons shop owner, or even weapons distributors such as Northern Gun, Wilks, Naruni and Triax aren’t going to just get rid of those weapons permanently, as in destroy them. They probably reduced the price on what they were selling for those weapons as a trade option. They are going to refit them, and ship them to an unknown secondary weapon ship for sale just to recoup their expenses there. If it isn’t overtly competing with the weapon sellers, then it isn’t a competitive factor, and weapons are ALWAYS going to sell in Rifts Earth…hell, most things will sell fairly easy come to think of it.

And I have to admit to really, really having the Black Market source book, because quite frankly, it is garbage. You are not going to have five separate but more or less equal organization competing in a given market and not have some degree of strife. And when you are talking about organizations that are made out to be every bit as nasty and underhanded as we think, there is zero chance there aren’t nearly continuous inter-market wars going on, even with groups such as Chicago and the New West regions not really competing a great deal. It’s actually made all the worse by attributing the stupid percentage of trade to them, which makes no sense for an organization that’s every bit as black as it says on the box! None of the major weapons distributors will like them, since they are competitors willing to blow up retail ships, copy their product and undersell them with relative trash, and compete openly in an almost militant manner in many markets. In the C.S., Free Quebec, and most any other “civilized” nation, they will not be legal in any way, and tolerated in only the most minimal of ways, and yet they are supposedly running everything. ********.

Right, rant over, carrying on now…

You’re next bit about where are the rules for this sort of thing are somewhat misguided as well. The rules aren’t printed because they aren’t something a GM really needs. You are running the game, you decide this. It isn’t like asking how long it takes to reload, or how to shoot, or where to find such and such. You are asking about something that is explicitly the purview of a given GM to decide. Can this be done? Yes or No, if Yes, the GM determines what you need to do it, and who long, and what you need to roll. If No, the GM has decided you aren’t capable of this feat of engineering (though he better be somewhat fair about this.) You have to decide these things for yourself, because that sort of detail is the main reason we don’t have a Rifts guide to making Gunz, Power Armor, Giant Robots and such. They tried that with playable robots, and frankly, it didn’t work out real well. It’s too easy to abuse that system. Anyone wants to argue that, fine let them, but remind them that in the end, as the GM (presumably) it’s their job description to determine this sort of thing, alongside the weather, where the C.S. patrol/bandit raiding party/Atlantean Slaver group and similar are really at.

I am on one side of that E-clip argument actually, but either way, see above. You as GM have to decide that for yourself really, and since we know it happens in game, you have to decide what’s involved there. There’s your ultimate handball by the way…most of this stuff you are asking will garner only opinions, you need to figure out the answers for yourself, even if its only to point at someone and say “I think he is right!”

Do those adventure hooks tell us how much food, water, adobe blocks, 2x4s, and similar cost or how they are available? No, cause that’s one of those things that wastes page space and should be handled in house. I don’t need the book to tell me how much an axel for a wagon costs, I’ll figure it out myself, thanks.

The C.S.s is essentially the largest North American example of a group that routinely hands guns to anyone willing to fight for their cause. They don’t psychically scan them to determine which are really bandits, which are really deserters form another military force, which are mercenaries hat worked for Larson and company. Are the D-Bees? No. Are they Mages? No. Are they Psychics. No. Are they something notably dangerous otherwise? No. Fine, raise your right hand, repeat after me, here’s your rifle a short while later, possibly as short as a week or two if you are already combat proficient. Otherwise, figure 4-5 months tops, and you get a top notch suit of armor, several weapons, the even more expensive collection of clips and grenades for them, and an opportunity to bug out will come along soon enough.

I’m saying some number do desert, I have no idea what that number really is, and really don’t care for specifics honestly. Over a period of 5-6 decades, it’s a significant number, and probably is as high as 1 in 20 in some settings.(BTW, those micro fabricators are sort of a misnomer really. They are either small car sized units you feed stuff to and they magically spit out what you want, which in the Golden Age is entirely possibly, and at the height of tech for Japan, Triax, the C.S. and a few others might still be, or they are cottage industry level ships, where they get the resources over a period of time and carefully construct what they need, a few weapons at a time, building these things to last for a long time just to be safe.) If they desert, they go to a small town and settle in, stashing their C.S. issue gear under the floorboards, or selling it and buy other, cheaper stuff, or falling in with others of a similar mind set and a dozen of them waltz into Hind End of No Place Worth Mentioning, The Back of Beyond, and inform the townies that aren’t ready to face them that they are in charge…or else…

In the past Archie has supplied humanity with supplies to let them survive, placing them where he was sure others would find them, and in most cases they would assume that they were pre-Rifts leftovers (they might even have been such a thing, only they were stashed in a storage hall in Archie’s realm instead of randomly buried in a while in the ground that looks like it might once have been something else.) I can’t say for sure whether he is still doing this officially, but I would still have him doing it anyhow, if only to ensure there are sufficient weapons in the hands of people that might oppose some group he would rather not get too organized on him.

Ignore the book prices, I do. I flat knock a zero off everything you can easily pick up, because an AK can be gotten for less than 100 dollars (true story, over in Iraq, the US was brining police in from the states to train the Iraqi police effectively, but knew they were potentially in danger, so it allowed these guys to armor and arm up however they wanted to mainly. This one police department ended up with like 20 of their guys near Samara, and opted to set them up properly so they would come home in a year. The bought them armor similar to what we wore, and also bought them 75 dollar Hungarian AK knockoffs…and 1,200 dollar upgrade kits!!! This sort of stuff is what we expect of Uncle Sam, but apparently even larger police forces aren’t free of it! Anyhow, where was I?) So the equivalent for Rifts can’t possible cost ten grand or more, that literally makes no sense. An NG-L5 costs 16,000 credits, a magazine priced by the Black Market (for some stupid reason this is treated as the standard, rather than the C.S. price being the standard instead) costs 10,500 on average. That makes a ready to rip cheap laser rifle cost around 26,500 credits. Put bluntly, the books are wrong, since the concept of Economies of Scale says so. If you can arm, armor, and ship a million man army to a location outside your boarders to eliminate an enemy city state, MDC capacity is ubiquitous. If it is that common, it doesn’t cost as much as the new car would. (Possibly more, depending on the real value of a single credit.)

If you want to stick to using book prices, go ahead, but don’t complain when that makes no sense. You can’t have it both ways here chief. Your idea of a pepper box isn’t even required, a simple Colt 1911a1 knockoff made of low grade MDC materials (say, 10 MDC, rather than the higher amounts suggested in some books) firing a simple explosive, saboted light armor piercing, gyrojet, ramjet, whatever, doing a “mere” 1D4-1D6 damage is perfectly reasonable for something much, much close to reasonable prices, but then you are tying yourself to a supply train. On the other hand…to save your family, you might be willing to trade away 25% of your farms output a year to remain in shells. Though I would expect a simple rifle firing a 7.62mm round instead, then you can load cheap SDC ammo to hunt and practice with if you need to, and a rifle is far and away more useful and threatening than a sidearm. (Unless it’s a Deagle! A Desert Eagle scares the pants off most human beings! Cept dirty Harry, and that’s cause he has his own brand of butt kicking iron at hand…)

If you buy a car (very, very few break this rule) its value depreciates at a staggering rate very, very rapidly. If you buy a gun…well…not as much, and maybe even not so much, many of htem actually hold most of their value or increase. But if you own a weapon and use it home defense, and therefore practice with it a few times a year or more, then it is going to depreciate in most cases, as you aren’t making a collectable out of it. That weapon will sell for significantly less (look at carious gun magazines on the subject, you will see a loss of value, depending on many variable of course. I had a chance to buy a civilian M-4 clone for 575 bucks once, form a gunship owner. Its sticker price was closer to 1m400 dollars, and there wasn’t zip all wrong with it, it had simply been owned for a year and sold to him on the cheap.) So if you kill ten bandits and sell their likely hard used and probably somewhat older weapons, you can expect that the buyer won’t pay you anything close to real value for them, but he also won’t attempt to sell them for their starting value either. Rift’s rule books don’t cover this in any way, really, other than telling you how little you can pay PCs for their loot, and how much more you can charge them for their new toys. That goes back to you being the GM. Decide for yourself what the value should be, be as fair as you want, or not, your players will get sick of you being unfair soon enough and set you straight. (Be more worried about maybe being too generous, those same players won’t have any issue taking advantage of your largesse.)

BTW, I did not catch the brew haha, but I am hoping I wasn’t part if it!

.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:18 am
  

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Noon wrote:
Razzinold wrote:
Even tough opponents have to sleep sometime, you get a couple bandits break into someone's house and slit their throats while sleeping and ransack the entire place and sell everything of any value.


Yeah, but it takes about 15 years to grow a human to the size where they'll have some kind of farm or such to rob. Unless such homes somehow have a great deal of money, the bandits will never get enough money because every target will be dead because it takes ages to grow a new target. On average, how much is ransacking the entire place worth (even if you don't kill the people there)?


True, but you are also assuming that the bandits continue to rob the same area repeatedly, they could constantly be on the move and do this to multiple small towns/villages/isolated farm house, etc. Taking a second look at my response I am altering it slightly, they could steal everything of value, including the people and sell them into slavery.

Noon wrote:
Razzinold wrote:
Same thing applies to robbing caravans, or stores. Why rob them while they are open when you can rob them at night when they are closed?

Just because it's Rifts that doesn't mean everything has to be a full frontal assault. One time when we played a group of bad guys we'd wait until nightfall, then strike.

I'm not sure caravans 'close'. But anyway, this doesn't solve the problem - any place that has thousands of credits of stuff in it will have spent an equal chunk of income on security - 'go in at night' doesn't somehow make fort knox easy to enter, for example.


They don't always have to target high end places that have 'thousands in credits on hand', small places have money too, it will take you longer to earn more but every credit counts. I realize that there could be security (but places with security today still get robbed). So you see a weapon shop in town and you break in and the alarm goes off (assuming everyone in your bandit gang is unskilled and nobody knows how to deactivate it, which is unlikely but possible) so you run in with your gang of about 10 people (each person grabs 3 rifles) and you now own 30 MD rifles. Kind of like if I wanted to rob a gun store today. I smash in a window (hide my face from the camera) go in grab whatever I can while the alarm is blaring and run out. Sure it's a stupid way to commit and crime and there's a good chance I'll be caught but that's because nowadays, I'm assuming it's a little easier to hide/dissapear during the time of Rifts, kind of like back in the frontier days. You could rob someone and move three towns over and nobody has heard of you. News would travel slower in Rifts because not every town is going to have communications with each other (at least not how I play). I run Rifts more like frontier times, major cities (CS) are connected, some smaller ones are but not every town.
So yes nighttime doesn't always equal successful mission, but it's better then walking around in broad daylight with armed people all around you, least in my opinion.

Noon wrote:
Razzinold wrote:
I remember one time when we just started out we tackled a guard, removed his helmet and crushed his head with a plain old rock. Then we took his MD Rifle and Pistol and killed everyone else. Sure some of them woke up and got some shots off, but they were all out of their armour and we surprised them so we had the initiative.


I'll skip the question of lose helmets - this still raises the question of how'd he get that armour and gun.

'they steal it' doesn't solve the problem, it just handballs the question to how did the target of stealing get that stuff?


Sorry about this one, I guess I wasn't clear enough (made sense to me when I wrote it but it would since I knew the whole story since it was a game that I played in :D ). In this scenario we were the bandits, so that's how we got our starting equipment. We jumped a guy and killed/scared off the rest of the camp and took their equipment.
We didn't kill everyone and we didn't get all their equipment but we got enough to get us started.

Hope you don't mind but I ignored/removed the rest of your post since it wasn't directed at me because those were not my questions you were responding to.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:57 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:23 pm
Posts: 4404
I always took the prices in the book to be the prices you paid if you actually purchased the item brand new from a store first hand. So unless you are visiting a bigger city like merc town or one of the northern gun cities you are probably purchasing the item second or third hand with the price drop to match.

The black market buys used weapons for 10-20% list price and I would doubt could get much more than 40-50% list price for the best selling items. Take the 75 dollar AK most of those are probably 4-5 hand initially army surplus weapons that "fell off a truck" so their initial cost never gets seen by anybody but a government that originally ordered them and probably got a huge bulk deal discount anyway. So yes they don't charge much for it because A) they probably didn't pay much if anything for it in the first place B) 75$ actually is a pretty reasonable amount a hard cash in a war torn country probably enough to live on for a few months if you are careful.

One thing that has to be remembered is player characters are not joe schmoe dirt farmer they are all exceptional people and at the high end for equipment/skills for what is going to be found and are going to be almost universally better equiped than a comprable NPC.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:38 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Hi Gryphon,

Thanks for your posts. One of the underlying issues here is that in another thread I posted my house rules for self repair of armour, which per point of MDC is free 80% of the time. I said it was to avoid paying for armour repairs by grinding - and Colonel_Tetsuya was all like 'But why, when bandits have $$$$$ in gear to loot from them?'

We have a problem, but in the way we all solve it, someone else will just not agree with that. And it's tiresome to pretend I'm playing Rifts, but if I ever mention any of the work arounds for the problems, someone else thinks it's, at best, unnecessary - but then they have work arounds which seem unnecessary or handwavey to me. I mean, you can't even agree with my pepperbox pistol, and your Colt 1911a1 has me thinking the heavy ramjets are for 14.5 machineguns in order to do 1D4 MD each (a wider cartridge size and machineguns use a longer round than a pistol). I could go through your armour notes and argue - why are you only going to ever suffer 20 damage or less at a time? And wouldn't armour be reduced to zero MDC at some point - so is that like repairing armour at that point, or is it like building new armour (and if they can't build one from scratch, then armour is dissappearing from availablility)?

But these questions are just a symptom of the bigger problem.

But it seems like no one thinks there is a problem, because they have the one true answer (tm) to it all with the way they do it and everyone else is just being stubborn or something when they question it.

When really were all just flying in different directions in trying to solve the problems in the setting and not at all playing the same game. I may as well be posting in the 'other games' forum.

See, if whoever is involved in a thread recognised that were just splintering off from each other, we could atleast work out a compromise on rules between us - maybe you accept my pepperbox answer, maybe I accept your armour answer. And so on.

But everyone thinks they have the one true answer and doesn't need to (I guess I look like that too). Even though if you put numbers and rules up for it, others will argue your one true answer - so are they just being stubborn or silly, or is that it is not the one true answer everyone will acknowledge? Or I guess one can be vague and rather like 'a wizard did it', say there are micro factories 'out there' but be vague on how many and what they require to make anything and what they make (does it make whole guns, or just various components?).

I'm tired of, over and over, either finding how little I have in common with another 'rifts' player or that to have something in common with them I must absolutely adhere to their one true answer (no matter how flawed I see it, they will accept no compromise cause it's all the true answer to them)

I guess I didn't say that at the start - it was there in questioning bandit pinata's, but not yet fully articulated. I'll pay that.

And yeah, no ones obligated to have a conversation along those lines. But I'm not interested in just absolutely adhering to someone elses idea of the one true answer - so I'm up for some talk involving mutually agreed compromises on how things work out. I could go through the micro factory idea and work out a compromise we can both agree on, for example (it'd still just be our agreement - alot of rifts players just wouldn't buy into it, I'm sure).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:52 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 2098
Location: Central Michigan Region, US
Those "symptoms" are a part of the biggest problem actually, that we are dealing with simulations of real life that aren't intended to perfectly simulate anything like real life, and in many cases to simulate things that don't exist in real life. No matter how you go about it, you can't simulate magic, mega-damage scale lasers, or even railguns, since what we have are in no real what Rifts has. You just gotta be willing to ignore the issues and play the game.

As for someone telling you that you are wrong, let'em, that doesn't make em right. I think you are trying to ask for too much from the game developers with this line of questioning...but that doesn't make ME right, and you have every right to ignore me or anyone else, reasonably politely of course.

And seeing as how none of us are devs (well most, I think one or two have been contributors, but i can't say for sure), anything we do hash out isn't going to stand up to scrutiny many times. And what with the number of people that have put forth ideas, which may or may not get shot down, there are multiple opportunities to explain some of the more egregious problems away. But you are going to have to be willing to simply let your eyes glaze over a bit, nod and smile, and accept that there are either no explanations available, or you are going to have to make up your own.

For me, the beliefs that this is an S.D.C. setting, or that M.D.C. is a rare commodity, simply doesn't fly, and the various materials in the books "proves" it too. Pretty much all classes include M.D.C. in their abilities or gear sections, and a great many of the threats you can face are M.D.C. creatures or villains. Since this scale of capability isn't rare in those places, it probably isn't rare anywhere else either, and so it really must be so common that Bandits can have it in significant amounts. I have no issues with giving Bandits sub standard gear on the cheap, but a really successful crew wouldn't be adverse to totting around Wilks, Triax, or even Naruni gear of they could buy or steal it, now would they?
.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:41 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Quote:
Those "symptoms" are a part of the biggest problem actually, that we are dealing with simulations of real life that aren't intended to perfectly simulate anything like real life, and in many cases to simulate things that don't exist in real life. No matter how you go about it, you can't simulate magic, mega-damage scale lasers, or even railguns, since what we have are in no real what Rifts has. You just gotta be willing to ignore the issues and play the game.

The 'simulation' issue is just a strawman. It doesn't require some complex simulation. It's as easy as writing a rule saying anyone with the advanced electronics skill can make a micro factory after X amount of time if they have Y mundane materials. It then takes Z mundane materials and ZZ time to make a MD gun with the micro factory.

Then we have some grounds for discussion.

Quote:
As for someone telling you that you are wrong, let'em, that doesn't make em right.

It means were not talking - that's the problem.

What's this forum for - just telling each other how were right? Or avoiding talking about all the things we do that no one else would agree with, just mentioning the vague, undetailed stuff that will probably pass public inspection?

Gryphon wrote:
but a really successful crew wouldn't be adverse to totting around Wilks, Triax, or even Naruni gear of they could buy or steal it, now would they?

I've no idea. That's why I started this thread.

Currently it all seems to be based on hand wavery rather than what's involve with a crew getting successful or how they steal it.

Generally when someone implies there's a principle involved, like becoming successful or stealing, I imagine there's more to the principle than 'and I hand wave it into being so'.

Otherwise it's not that they are 'successful' or that they 'stole it', that's just flavour text. Fluff text. Hey, fluff is nice and nice is nice - I'm just saying it's not anything more than fluff.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:45 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:23 pm
Posts: 4404
I guess I am kinda confused why it seems so odd a bandit starts off with some MDC gear when pretty much every single character even really non combat orient ones start off with light MDC armor/light MDC weapons. The lore implies that MDC is not super common but then all the class descriptions go to show that it isn't very rare either.

One could ask why does anybody start with any gear. Is it hand waving and fluff text to assume everybody does not start out completely naked? This is a role playing game and characters do not simply come into existence in a poof of light well most don't. They existed in that world were born/grew up and during that time stuff happened. That is what character back stories are for. The starting gear list is a template for typical items your character will have when they start but how they were acquired and what exactly you start with is between you and your GM as you make your characters backstory.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:47 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 9481
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Noon wrote:
Quote:
Those "symptoms" are a part of the biggest problem actually, that we are dealing with simulations of real life that aren't intended to perfectly simulate anything like real life, and in many cases to simulate things that don't exist in real life. No matter how you go about it, you can't simulate magic, mega-damage scale lasers, or even railguns, since what we have are in no real what Rifts has. You just gotta be willing to ignore the issues and play the game.

The 'simulation' issue is just a strawman. It doesn't require some complex simulation. It's as easy as writing a rule saying anyone with the advanced electronics skill can make a micro factory after X amount of time if they have Y mundane materials. It then takes Z mundane materials and ZZ time to make a MD gun with the micro factory.

Then we have some grounds for discussion.

Quote:
As for someone telling you that you are wrong, let'em, that doesn't make em right.

It means were not talking - that's the problem.

What's this forum for - just telling each other how were right? Or avoiding talking about all the things we do that no one else would agree with, just mentioning the vague, undetailed stuff that will probably pass public inspection?

Gryphon wrote:
but a really successful crew wouldn't be adverse to totting around Wilks, Triax, or even Naruni gear of they could buy or steal it, now would they?

I've no idea. That's why I started this thread.

Currently it all seems to be based on hand wavery rather than what's involve with a crew getting successful or how they steal it.

Generally when someone implies there's a principle involved, like becoming successful or stealing, I imagine there's more to the principle than 'and I hand wave it into being so'.

Otherwise it's not that they are 'successful' or that they 'stole it', that's just flavour text. Fluff text. Hey, fluff is nice and nice is nice - I'm just saying it's not anything more than fluff.



Where does your idea of fluff/hand wave end and having to roleplay out the entire backstory of every person on the planet begin though? I can assume that the bandits that the PCs meet with the MD stuff are the sucessfull ones that have managed to already scrounge/loot/steal stuff....the unsucessfull ones wont be there. Just like I can assume that there are lots of ley line walkers out there with no usefull adventuring skills, or that there are wilderness scouts with terminal cancer.....that doesnt mean that I have to have them as PCs. By the same token I don't neccisarially need the stats for a micro-factory any more than I need the stats for the GED line at lone star....its not relevant since production will pretty much be "what ever is best for the narative"

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:25 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 1718
Location: Carson City NV
I gotta agree, to say that any char short of a rich son or duaghter has the means to start with heavy body armor and oodles of highly skilled training and the tools to use them you have to do some hand waving or some basic stuff, like he found it on a dead guy after an air strike ect.
A bandit getting armor and md weapons is less insain than say a pa pilot starting with two suits of pa and a car and armor and weapons and cash.
Or the special forces occ from mercs getting to start with a splugorth or nurani robot if they roll well.
Heck where does the rouge scholar get all his adventuring skills gear and weapons if he is lv1 one and is basicly walking around with 2 or 3 doctorates. In varius areas no less.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:12 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 916
Location: Neuschwabenland
Comment: The only place worth going is too far.
A bandit character I had in the early 2000's was one of my all time favorite rifts characters. I played him up to 5th level because at that point he had so much gear/cash/etc I couldn't see him reasonably having a motivation to keep going. So I retired him and he was used as an NPC who ran a tavern/flop house in the burbs that he paid for with his cash.

I started him with scrap armor and a wilks rifle. By the time he was done he had stolen a suit of super SAMAS and drove a mountaineer.

On another note a bandit campaign where all the bandits are dedicated to Jesus Malverde would rule-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jes%C3%BAs_Malverde


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:19 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
eliakon wrote:
By the same token I don't neccisarially need the stats for a micro-factory any more than I need the stats for the GED line at lone star....its not relevant since production will pretty much be "what ever is best for the narative"

Well currently 'the narrative' has to be seperate from the stats, because there are no stats.

But if you had the output of the micro-factory, it would in part generate narrative.


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