|Bob Jonquet Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight|
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The funniest part of this is that everyone is right. All the suggested problems posited about the "other guy's" proposal is exactly what is going to happen. Not necessarily widespread, but this campaign is world-wide. There is a huge swathe of player variations. Would an optional rule become mandatory? In some areas and with some players, yes. Would it improve play? Yes, in some areas. Would some of the more extreme and arguably "straw-man" arguments come to fruition? Yes.
The reality is, some players are jerks and the consumable rules are not not going to change that. Rules do not dictate attitude. IMO, a reimbursement program will not be any more effective at encouraging GoodRightFun than what we already have. Some will disagree and that's okay. As I said, this rule like many others will be embraced differently from region to region. The current "pay it forward" is the most altruistic form of the cooperate tenet.
Another thing to consider is the the inequality in class participation. It could be argued that the fighter who stands in the front and takes the brunt of the damage is saving the squishes from the same damage. They "owe" it to the fighter to help in the healing. He has much less available wealth to devote to all the various "required" consumables because he has expenses (armor, shield, etc) that you don't have. So while my wizard standing in the rear with the backpack full of scrolls, wands, potions, etc. there is some level of expectation that he will use those items on the fighter because that is his role in the party.
In the end, most of the "bad feelings" regarding the use of consumables can be assuaged during character introductions. If everyone knows you are not going to use your stuff to help them, then they can buy their own. IMO, the worst situation is for people to know you have something, but they only find out at their direst need that you won't use it on them. Although it is "weird" situation that two players can buy first aid gloves, trade them, use them, and not be out any of their wealth, while the same two players who don't trade are "screwed." The current rules certainly encourage this type of "loophole," but it does work.
I'm not in favor of it, but one idea that was discussed (and shot down) a few years ago was to allow open transfer of goods between players with the caveat that you could never exceed the wealth you earned. Meaning add up all your gold. That is your wealth "cap" and you could not exceed that, ever. So it would eliminate the goods hording problem of that other campaign.
IMO, the tenet of cooperate is the most important one for the society. I like the way a quid-pro-quo system makes me feel. Adding a repayment program just feels less supportive of cooperation. It is also a self-fulfilling program. If you are the type that refuses to help your fellow agent, that will be revealed during play and you will garner like treatment. The "golden rule" can be a powerful thing. Course, this is just my opinion and YMMV.