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Swing Kid
The rules for looking for reagents are pretty straight forward, but if you have a mage in your group who is very interested in using their downtime looking for reagents, it would become pretty impractical for the player and the GM to manage this without taking up too much table time. Lets assume that the GM/Player trust has been earned (matter of fact, both commonly GM for the same group). Does anyone have any good house rules (or better - if there are references to books that may have been missed) for managing this, so the player can just manage this themselves?

For clarity, we aren't talking about rules for the actual search once a mage picks a spot, but rather house rules for getting an idea of how many times a person could look in a day (assuming they are serious about searching), how do they find the hotspots in the first place, etc. How to figure in potential confrontations while hunting, etc.
Tecumseh
The interval for the test is one hour (SR5, p. 317).

Buying hits is a common approach to managing downtime activities. Unless the player's Alchemy pool is exceptionally high, this will only produce 2-3 successes. That, it turn, only produces about one dram of reagents.

Reagents sell for 20 a dram. If the player wants to spend their downtime at a 20/hour job, it's not terribly game-breaking.

If trust has been earned, like you say, I often use Willpower to limit the number of hours a day (or days in a week) that the character can spend searching. An Alchemist will likely have a high Willpower, but keep in mind that all time spend harvest reagents is time not spent on new skills, or healing damage, or hanging out with contacts, or otherwise being productive in the rest of their personal life.
Swing Kid
Thanks. Solid ideas.

If the player had a few favorite places, the rules as written could be used as often as they replenished naturally. I am curious what one might think about how a character who was very knowledgeable about the subject (good Arcana skill), and great at the actual hunting skills (Alchemy and Perception), might find places to search. Do you believe these searchable locations are very common, or require a lot of knowledge about the areas (knowing where reagent hot spots are).

Thank you so much for your advice.
Tecumseh
If a character is built to be good at something, I try to let them be good at it. This is doubly true for less-common skills like Arcana and Alchemy.

Reagents are Availability 0 so I would say that they are relatively common. I don't know if the analogy is apt but I think of it as hunting for mushrooms in the forest. Not every part of the forest has mushrooms, but lots of places in the forest do. Of course it helps to know where to look, but a bit of random searching will eventually pay off too.

If they player is REALLY into it then I would let them pick up a knowledge skill for "Reagent Hunting Spots" to make their knowledge official instead of inferred from their active skills.

One possible approach is to use the tangential skills (Arcana, Perception, knowledge skills, etc.) as a teamwork test for the base Alchemy/hunting test. On average, every 9 dice in the teamwork test will add 1 hit to the base test. Since it takes 2-4 hits to generate an extra dram of reagents, the player would need to have 18-36 teamwork dice to score an extra dram. (This is oversimplifying a bit, since 9 dice / 1 extra hit could bring the base roll up from 1 hit to 2, meaning the difference between nothing and something.) Again, not too game-changing, but potentially fun for the player.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Aug 1 2016, 01:06 PM) *
If a character is built to be good at something, I try to let them be good at it. This is doubly true for less-common skills like Arcana and Alchemy.

Reagents are Availability 0 so I would say that they are relatively common. I don't know if the analogy is apt but I think of it as hunting for mushrooms in the forest. Not every part of the forest has mushrooms, but lots of places in the forest do. Of course it helps to know where to look, but a bit of random searching will eventually pay off too.

If they player is REALLY into it then I would let them pick up a knowledge skill for "Reagent Hunting Spots" to make their knowledge official instead of inferred from their active skills.

One possible approach is to use the tangential skills (Arcana, Perception, knowledge skills, etc.) as a teamwork test for the base Alchemy/hunting test. On average, every 9 dice in the teamwork test will add 1 hit to the base test. Since it takes 2-4 hits to generate an extra dram of reagents, the player would need to have 18-36 teamwork dice to score an extra dram. (This is oversimplifying a bit, since 9 dice / 1 extra hit could bring the base roll up from 1 hit to 2, meaning the difference between nothing and something.) Again, not too game-changing, but potentially fun for the player.



Except that NO CHARACTER will ever benefit from 18-36 Teamwork Dice, since you can only apply a number of dice equal to your Skill Level. *shrug*
Swing Kid
QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Aug 1 2016, 04:06 PM) *
If a character is built to be good at something, I try to let them be good at it. This is doubly true for less-common skills like Arcana and Alchemy.

Reagents are Availability 0 so I would say that they are relatively common. I don't know if the analogy is apt but I think of it as hunting for mushrooms in the forest. Not every part of the forest has mushrooms, but lots of places in the forest do. Of course it helps to know where to look, but a bit of random searching will eventually pay off too.

If they player is REALLY into it then I would let them pick up a knowledge skill for "Reagent Hunting Spots" to make their knowledge official instead of inferred from their active skills.

One possible approach is to use the tangential skills (Arcana, Perception, knowledge skills, etc.) as a teamwork test for the base Alchemy/hunting test. On average, every 9 dice in the teamwork test will add 1 hit to the base test. Since it takes 2-4 hits to generate an extra dram of reagents, the player would need to have 18-36 teamwork dice to score an extra dram. (This is oversimplifying a bit, since 9 dice / 1 extra hit could bring the base roll up from 1 hit to 2, meaning the difference between nothing and something.) Again, not too game-changing, but potentially fun for the player.



I really like this. Thanks for the input!
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