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[.11] Remove required packet colors?

Shades

Newbie
I suppose the question is why were colors put forth in the first place and is that reason still a valid one? To me, the only thing I could see is to define what type of cauliflower hand the person was holding so that you could tell if they were casters or alchemists. Also (unless I have the rules wrong), you can steal an alchemy globe and thereby steal the alchemical gas; it would be important to be able to denote what is an alchemy globe in the game.

I don't know if blue is necessary as the bow would be a good indicator that they're probably carrying arrows.
Arrows and spells used to be the same color, but arrows had to have string or ribbon on them. In practice, this turned to having the ribbon or string wrapped around the stem of the packet instead of trailing behind as intended. In the last rules change, ribbons were removed, and arrows were made blue.
 

markusdark

Knight
I should note I've been playing the game since 1992 so I've seen the changes over the years. Back when it was an unwritten policy that earth spells were green packets, celestial was blue, necromancy was red and alchemy was still orange. And before that, spell packets were made of corn starch and facial tissue so people could see the hit made by a spell.

And back in those days, bows were actual bows that fired padded arrows. Then the packet bow was introduced but packets had no color requirement. Then, for some reason, the ribbon was added - to make them look more like arrows I assumed. Then they turned blue. The question I have isn't about the history of (color) changes to arrows throughout the past but why were such changes decided to be put upon arrow packets specifically.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I remember the corn starch days, when packets were only reusable as long as it didn’t rain. >.>

And since I’m in the PNW, there wasn’t a lot of recyclin’.
 
The question I have isn't about the history of (color) changes to arrows throughout the past but why were such changes decided to be put upon arrow packets specifically.
Only two types of packets have mandated colors: arrows and gas globes. And the thing they both have in common is that they are both physical objects.

The idea behind the colors is that you should be able to immediately identify if someone is holding an arrow or a gas globe, because they are distinct physical objects that should be identifiable if we weren't using phys reps for safety reasons. Aura doesn't have a color (other than not blue or orange) because all energy looks similar, regardless of what is creating it. So, the energy of an unformed elemental energy attack is indistinguishable from the energy of an unformed Life spell or of an unformed arcane fear blast. Those effects only become distinguishable when formed, which is represented by the verbal for the effect.

-MS
 
Only two types of packets have mandated colors: arrows and gas globes. And the thing they both have in common is that they are both physical objects.

The idea behind the colors is that you should be able to immediately identify if someone is holding an arrow or a gas globe, because they are distinct physical objects that should be identifiable if we weren't using phys reps for safety reasons. Aura doesn't have a color (other than not blue or orange) because all energy looks similar, regardless of what is creating it. So, the energy of an unformed elemental energy attack is indistinguishable from the energy of an unformed Life spell or of an unformed arcane fear blast. Those effects only become distinguishable when formed, which is represented by the verbal for the effect.

-MS
The uncompelling part of this argument to me is that this is still a game of abstractions. If we replaced the arrow and gas globe packets with the distinct physical objects they're meant to represent, why is an archer walking around with 30 arrows clutched in his hand? Last I checked, that's not how you use a bow. Of course, the archer player is doing that so that their arrows are close at hand, so they can better represent going all "Legolas" and rapid-firing arrows toward the enemy. Legolas's arrows stick around in his quiver, though. Would we bring up in-character "hey, you must have big hands to be holding 30 arrows at once" though? I'd certainly hope not.

I'm okay with ditching the colors for these things because holding packets between our fingers is an abstraction. It's a way for we-as-players to be ready, so that we-as-characters can look impressive, but I believe it falls apart if we think of it being a literal representation of something in hand. I'm okay with getting blindsided by a spell/arrow/globe because I think it's reasonable that our super-cool high-fantasy characters can ready such a thing without completely telegraphing it to our enemy. I can't think of a property where wizards walk around with giant swirly hands all the time!
 
The physical component has another application. You can target physical hand held items as part of a shatter or disarm effect. So, if you are holding a gas globe or an arrow in your hand (including between your knuckles), I can Disarm or Shatter it. I can't do that with aura. The color allows me to identify whether that is true or not.

-MS
 
if you are holding a gas globe or an arrow in your hand (including between your knuckles), I can Disarm or Shatter it.
I agree that is totally supported by the rules, but is that useful? Would anything meaningful be lost if you couldn't do that? Shattering a single arrow seems more than useless, and shattering a single gas globe seems like a good way for a player to just say "Oh, that targeted my Cure Light Damage". I still really don't think that this one edge case is worth the hassle of tracking packet colors.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I agree that is totally supported by the rules, but is that useful? Would anything meaningful be lost if you couldn't do that? Shattering a single arrow seems more than useless, and shattering a single gas globe seems like a good way for a player to just say "Oh, that targeted my Cure Light Damage". I still really don't think that this one edge case is worth the hassle of tracking packet colors.
If you target a gas globe, it wouldn’t shatter an Elixir.

It could, in theory, hit a Cause Light Damage, but not in 2.0, as they won’t exist.

Edit: Taken a step further, I could target “handheld gas globe,” and it would probably hit something you were preparing to use against me. That could be situationally useful, if I know you’ve got access to Silence Globes.
 

JeffL

Newbie
Denver Staff
Do we want to split off the discussion of whether we should stop tracking arrows? I'm more interested in that part...
 

DiscOH

Artisan
As far as I know, tags aren't tied to gas globes until consumed. This makes any sort of non npc gas globe interaction basically impossible to enforce.

Npc gas globes are purely thematic and therefore up to the story teller's discretion.

The entire rule basically has no function.
 

Inaryn

Knight
Marshal
Players should be following the good sportsmanship rule regarding their gas globe usage. If I've got three in hand and you take them from me, I owe you three tags of what I was intending to use.

NPC's throwing gas globes shouldn't be going out without also having tags on them.

Good sportsmanship, honesty, and trust matter.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I echo the sentiments about good sportsmanship, honesty, and trust. We are, and always will be, an honor system game. No matter how vigilant we are, it will always be easy for people to cheat or...make advantageous retroactive decisions (“Gosh, I was definitely only holding cheap poisons in my hand when you disarmed me, not the good stuff that I’m pulling out now!”).

If you’re worried about the ability to enforce a rule, it means you’re not willing to assume your fellow players are playing honestly, and that’s the wrong approach.
 
Players should be following the good sportsmanship rule regarding their gas globe usage. If I've got three in hand and you take them from me, I owe you three tags of what I was intending to use.

NPC's throwing gas globes shouldn't be going out without also having tags on them.

Good sportsmanship, honesty, and trust matter.
I'm curious why you are willing to accept the concept of NPC weapons (ie. shoddy weapons that don't have tags), but not willing to accept the concept of NPC gas globes. They are both effectively weapons and the reasons for allowing the first seem to fully apply to allowing the second.

-MS
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
I really don't like the NPC gas globe rule for multiple reasons. I wish it would go away.
 

Inaryn

Knight
Marshal
I'm curious why you are willing to accept the concept of NPC weapons (ie. shoddy weapons that don't have tags), but not willing to accept the concept of NPC gas globes. They are both effectively weapons and the reasons for allowing the first seem to fully apply to allowing the second.

-MS
Boffers require maintenance and proper construction techniques. They're harder for monster camps to get and maintain. Packets just need to have the right kind of bird seed in them. I mean, really, you only have to look at the GS reward for boffers vs packets to understand that. And it's that simple understanding of that out of game limitation on boffers that makes me willing to accept the concept of NPC weapons versus NPC gas globes.

Or, to put it simpler... I don't expect weapon tags on everything because I'm not a jerk.
 

DiscOH

Artisan
Good sportsmanship has no impact on players not needing to decide which packets they're throwing until they make a call.

I might have 1 globe in each hand but 10 different globe tags on my person. If I haven't decided which globe I'm holding and you shatter it, sportsmanship doesn't cover that interaction.

Similarly, I can retroactively decide that the arrow in my hand is/isn't silver/vorpal up until I throw it. Until tags and packets become connected this is how it will always be.

It's silly that the game allows for spell like packet malleability without spell like packet immunities.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Good sportsmanship has no impact on players not needing to decide which packets they're throwing until they make a call.

I might have 1 globe in each hand but 10 different globe tags on my person. If I haven't decided which globe I'm holding and you shatter it, sportsmanship doesn't cover that interaction.

Similarly, I can retroactively decide that the arrow in my hand is/isn't silver/vorpal up until I throw it. Until tags and packets become connected this is how it will always be.

It's silly that the game allows for spell like packet malleability without spell like packet immunities.
Ehhhh, I guess we interpret good sportsmanship differently, then. If I pull out two globes with the intention of tossing a Nausea, and I get Disarmed, I’m not going to pretend it was a Paranoia just because, mechanically, I can.

That’s because me pulling out a poison happened in-game, my character had a reason for what he did and how he was going to do it, and changing that decision retroactively for a mechanical advantage “feels” like cheating, even if I know I’d never get called on it.
 

Shades

Newbie
It's silly that the game allows for spell like packet malleability without spell like packet immunities.
Agreed. Removing packet color seems like it cleans up the rules in this issue. Arrow, Spells, and Gasses(and I am assuming Traps) all work differently with regards to repping them, and none of them work the same way as other weapons (ie, you can reuse reps with different tags and the tags don't have to be attached). If we make them all work like spells, we can eliminate 2 whole rules. I am not saying that we should eliminate all of the rules, but we should probably work on eliminating these weird edge cases.
 
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