Books and Magazines

Are these consumable? Can they be given to another character? I know in the video game they’re a one time benefit but that’s also a single player experience :slight_smile:

Its a consumable. Pg. 62 the Perk “Comprehension” gives the player the ability to use the effect and addtional time. So i would say rule specific - no you cannot share (consumed on use) - but as a DM, you can make house rules as you want, but there will likely be balance issues.

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I kind of agree that they should be consumable. Only one character can use it, then it goes away. But how would you explain this in-game? I’m having trouble figuring out how to describe it without my players (one or two in particular) trying to rules lawyer me into letting the entire group having a shot at reading it.

In the video game it is a one time benefit but the book still exists. You can also then sell it on but retain the benefit of having read it. This is all perfectly thematic to how a book works :upside_down_face:

In Fallout 2D20 the issue would be, if you rule that the book is not consumable, every group would immediately share the book, all have a read, then all benefit from the perk. This is all very thematic but might be OP. I guess you could find a way to divide the odds of finding a book by the number of players to keep it level.
You’d then be able to have books as persistent items which could be sold on to traders once used.

As a GM, I’d say that the party could pass a book around but only one party member can benefit from the perk at a time. Honestly, nothing about how Fallout 2d20 uses books and magazines makes any sense in a tabletop RPG system. If you want the effects to be one time use, just say that the paper has deteriorated over time and that after one reading, the pages are too smudged/damaged to provide its benefit to anyone else ever again.

As a GM though, I have been seriously considering either completely scrapping or revamping the entire book/magazine system. Maybe make them function like reference manuals where they only provide a benefit if you have them in your inventory and have the time to flip through them while you are working on something. An example, having a grognak comic book might provide the ability to craft and/or upgrade a Grognak Axe at a weapons workbench. Or maybe provide a bonus of +1 repair when working on any melee weapons.

The whole temporary perk thing seems dumb to me.

And those kinds of options were considered… but they were ultimately considered to be too fiddly to be worthwhile, but we wanted some semblance of the experience of them in the games to be present. Does it stretch suspension of disbelief? Sure, but strict verisimilitude was never really an objective here, and that kind of dedication to realism is never really part of the Fallout games.

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Fair enough, but I would argue that temporary perks are far more fiddly than conditional stat bonuses.

Also books and magazines in earlier Fallout games provided permanent skill bonuses at the cost of in game time spent reading them. Given how big a difference a single skill point makes in 2d20 I can understand why that would be considered too much.

The whole one use consumable thing though, that is really immersion breaking. Yeah Fallout doesn’t have to be super realistic, but I think every party would have the same question of ‘why can’t I just pass this book I just read to my party member or sell it when we have used it?’
And frankly that is a perfectly valid question.

I will think more on this and see if I can come up with a system I think fits well with Fallout and the tabletop RPG experience. Right now I am leaning toward conditional bonuses and unique crafting unlocks at the expense of more time spent crafting or doing things because you are constantly referencing the material.

The book/magasine does not have to be destroyed after use. One way of handling it narratively, is by saying that the character simply cannot learn more from the text. It does still create the problem of multiple characters reading the text, but in most cases, I do not really think that creates too much imbalance :man_shrugging:

That being said, my players and I haven’t been playing that much and, though they have a magasine, they have still to read it.