I saw quite a few people at Empire last year… and have seen more in the excellent photographs of Oliver Facey, Beth Dooner and others, wearing lammies for either potions or herbs on string around their necks.
Aside from looking totally out of place against their costumes, I thought the principle of potions and herbs was that the player carries and uses a phys-rep, as described in the rules in terms of smell, colour etc - and then after using the aforementioned, discards or destroys the relevant lammie, later on when appropriate, or gives the torn pieces to the player upon whom it has been used.
So, how come so many players are going around, wearing IC what is essentially an OOC accounting tool designed to allow a method of accountancy or control / evidence over the use of magical or apothecarial effects.
Whats the PD stance on this? is there some powerplayer advantage to having no phys-rep but having a Sovereign Specific card hanging on your chest?
I’m with you on this one; each section on that page clearly states if either a) PD provide the phys-rep (and therefore no lammy) or b) the player must provide the physrep.
"You must provide a phys-rep for any herbs that your character owns, and the cards should be kept with the phys-reps, otherwise you cannot use the herbs in game and should not carry the cards on your person. "
The problem isn’t limited to potion necklaces. When trading I often encounter people with handfuls of lammies and no phys-reps.
I bring a hole punch with me to make holes in the lammies so I can attach them to things (I would love it if PD pre-punched them), and try to use inexpensive phys-reps that I don’t mind giving away. Although I do tend to use one bottle/jar for multiple doses of herbs. I also have a market basket to keep everything in. But I do end up with lammies without phys-reps because not everyone does this (and I can’t pack spare phys-reps of everything). And if just the lammies is all I have then that is what I’ll use.
If everyone gave away phys-reps for lammie items it could work well, you would end up with a communal pool of phys-reps floating around the player base. But it might be too big an ask?
I have a spare small bottle and a small spare mana crystal physrep in case of emergencies. I keep on meaning to expand it to a herb phys rep too but as a non -physick I’ve never carried around a herb on its own. I don’t have a problem with a bottle representing multiple doses.
In my head I am responsible for phys repping what I carry. If I give or trade away the item the next player should have a physrep, I’m not obliged to give away my OC stuff. If it were a sword nobody would even consider that the physrep would come with the ribbon, I would apply the same rule to portion phys reps. If there were loads sloshing around the system, yeah, I could see that but it would require considerable OC expense to physrep every lammy.
I figure I spend less on phys-reps than other players spend on beer.
In fact creating a pool of phys-reps is not expensive if everyone joins in, maybe £10 for each player to phys-rep all the lammies for one event? It only becomes expensive if you have freeloaders who can’t be bothered to bring phys-reps, and when they get given phys-reps discard them in a tent in favour of carrying just the lammies (which take up less space in a pouch) and then fail to bring the phys-reps to the next event thereby sucking phys-reps out of the pool. Those players exist, and in a system this big there will be hundreds of them (they also steal tankards from the bars, etc.)
So I agree with you that it is impractical. I just don’t agree with the reasons why.
While I totally agree with the above points, I’m going to play devils advocate.
With mana crystals and herbs being destroy on use items, and also stealable in game, attaching them to props isn’t convenient and I know a fair few people who are happy enough using the cards themselves as the physreps for those.
Potions on the other hand are almost always put in a bottle (I’ve got some very nice and inexpensive resin bottles from Skian Mhor which look the part) with the lammie attached either with a zip tie or a tiny rubber band.
Personally, I’d view a potion lammie attached to a physrep as that bottle being full, and if not attached then it’s empty.
I try and hide the lammie out of sight if the bottle is worn, but depending on the style of the bottle that might not be an option.
Lammies are a bit too big to comfortably fit in a lot of small pouches. With potions in particular you really need access to the lammy alongside the physrep because you have to open it up to know what the effect is, and after 5 seconds of roleplaying drinking the potion you ought to be able to take the effect ASAP. If your lammies are elsewhere you might end up losing the physrep or lammy separately from its companion, which is awkward.
I’ve wondered if cards for herbs and mana could be made smaller; potion lammies probably can’t be shrunk because pouches are a standard size, however.
An issue with players providing phy-reps is that they may not know they need them in advance (players with fleets or military units won’t necessarily know what their output will be before seeing their character pack). Should those players be expected to have phys-reps for everything just in case they end up getting them?
I’ve never seen a physik use a herb phys-rep to administer healing. I’ve seen people with surgical tools and bandages, but never “True Vervain” to heal with. I have seen specific mana crystals, e.g. Night mana, Autumn mana, but never general mana crystals. As for potions, the majority of the time, if I try and give someone my phys-rep for it, they push it back to me and only take the lammie.
On the battle field, everyone is so frantic in succeeding in the battle that most player just don’t care about the RP aspect of the phys-rep. They’re happy to sit through a chant or some hand wavey magical role play, but no one wants you to pull out some basil to feed them or drink whatever your mystery juice is. As much as it would help with the roleplay aspect to actually have phys-reps used, finding a player interested in waiting for it is extremely unlikely.
The only success I’ve had for phys-repping potions is Goosewhisper Infusion around a fire, making a concoction of tea for someone to inhale. Those times have been a lot of fun and make my character feel like an apothecary and not a vending machine.
Even off the field, most potions seems to just get used as lammies with the player ripping off the tab and reading the potion.
That’s just my experience from the last year as a new player. I assumed this was the normal gameplay that this rule was ignored for herbs and mana crystals.
[quote=“Kerrima”]I’ve never seen a physik use a herb phys-rep to administer healing. I’ve seen people with surgical tools and bandages, but never “True Vervain” to heal with. I have seen specific mana crystals, e.g. Night mana, Autumn mana, but never general mana crystals. As for potions, the majority of the time, if I try and give someone my phys-rep for it, they push it back to me and only take the lammie.
Really? Eeep. I’ve only been healed a few times on the field (I’ve only just started fighting again after a long time spent non-com) and those were mostly with magic, where I could assume the character burnt their personal mana. I was once given a lammy and told to “…chew on this…” which I found really odd and disappointing.
Clearly my current plan to phys-rep all the potions my next character will carry and/or sell is going to have mixed success. My plan to combat this is to play to the rules and get this to become a standard thing… although I know it may be hard to press against something that is ingrained.
"You must provide a phys-reps for any herbs that your character owns, and the cards should be kept with the phys-reps, otherwise you cannot use the herbs in game and should not carry the cards on your person. "
"… You can also focus on phys-repping a suitable container for the herbs instead if you prefer. "
My basic answer is yes: the wiki explicitly says (in sections other than herbs too, that was just an example), that if you don’t have a physrep you should not carry the lammy. Lammies are an OC thing to aid game mechanics, phys reps are IC objects that characters can interact with. You’ve got to have both.
Even just a plain cloth bag full of pebbles/twigs/etc. would do for a lot of things; you can say it contains anything (and the lammy would confirm it if they asked to check). It doesn’t have to be a perfect phys-rep, just not playing a card trading game.
My herb physreps are tea bag contents tied into a little bit of cloth with a tie in the appropriate colour. I do re-use them, at least until they get too wet, muddy or bloody to discern the colour, but as they are OOC worth very little I am not worried about it.
I tend to just press them to the wound, and tell the patient this will sting a little, so they can roleplay as wished.
Does mean I am not carrying alot of stuff in my pockets, yes more cards than phys reps but I do have enough for actual use.
I usually keep my mana cards in a pocket along with some loose mana crystal physreps. It’s not really feasible to attach the cards to the crystals, tbh. My personal mana card stash tends to be in a small container with some loose crystal physreps too. That said, when handing crystal mana to people/receiving it, I’ve noticed that generally people (including myself) don’t hand over phys-reps to go with it. I think that’s partially due to some etiquette confusion - do I hand them over, then you hand them back but it’s sorta OC that you do because they’re my phys-reps and I need them to go with other mana that I might acquire this event? Do you keep them? When do you give them back, if at all? Etc.
When it comes to trying to give people things to chew on or drink to phys-rep potions and herbs, this is not a good idea. Plenty of people have allergies or reasons not to take particular substances, and when Joe or Jane Q Random is handing you a potion and saying ‘no really, go ahead and drink this’ you have no idea what is in it.
Ah, I’d run into that a couple of times - both times I was just given the card, but when I asked “do you have a physrep” they handed me something appropriately crystalline to physrep it. I thought that was because both characters were from Urizen, though, and maybe they assumed another Urizeni would already have a pouch full of mana crystals to represent their stash.
On trading I’m presently getting alot of students involved in empire and the idea of possibly loosing a few pounds of phys-reps every event to trade might put some of them off trading entirely (Particularly if they are borrowing the phys-reps in the first place.) Presumably there are characters that are net providers and net users of mana and herbs, even assuming everyone is on board with the initial making all phys-reps of cards. The used physreps would begin to accumulate on people who performed the rituals. Also for the spoils of war (either up time or Downtime) the player who got the card might not have been expecting that item to phys-rep.
Herbs are easier than mana because there are more cheap herb phys reps around, but still I tend to source my own herb phys-reps rather than place the OOC burden on the character who provides them. (That being considering she generally passes me a wicker basket of herbs to sort out it’s fairly easy for me to slip my phys-reps in without being jarring.)