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Soulstone Economics

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I was looking at the price of Sole Stones on page 259 of the Core 2e book and am confused at the price structure.

You can get sole stone dust for 5script.  I understand that it is only one use but why not buy 10 of them vs one, zero LADE soul stone?  I understand that the sole stone can be recharged but it only has one charge vs 10 dust.  So maybe buy 1 LADE soul stone and a few bags of dust?

That said,  why would you ever buy the more expensive soul stones? I understand they are prettier but they still only can carry one charge. It would be nice that the more expensive soul Stones carried more charges or you could get an upgrade to them.  Say for every extra  50script they can add one extra charge capped at the LADE+1.  So a 1 LADE soul stone could have 2 charges for 100+50, or a 3 LADE SS could max out at 4 charges for 1,000 + 50+50+50.

 

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The Lade of a Soulstone affects the range at which it can absorb souls, so that's definitely an advantage to the more valuable Soulstones.

With regards to Soulstone Dust vs an Actual Soulstone, it's just a matter of economy. If you only play to need a Soulstone one or twice during your career, then Soulstone Dust is definitely more affordable. If you're a spellcaster, though, higher lade Soulstones are more valuable due to being a single, renewable purchase compared to a steady drain upon your resources. Plus, the higher the Lade, the easier it is to recharge the Soulstone in the middle of combat (which is always handy).

At some point, though, Soulstones start to become more valuable as gemstones than as magical items.

Is a transparent Soulstone the size of a bowling ball actually worth its inflated price?  Probably not. But people will still pay a lot of money for one, if only because it's really big and really pretty (see also: the Tavernier Blue/Hope Diamond which was/is so large as to be utterly impractical in the modern world).

(Also, it's worth noting that there's no mechanical difference between Raw Soulstones and Refined Soulstones; the Refined Soulstones are just cut and mounted in order to be prettier or to be worn as jewelry.)

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So a higher Lade Soulstone will BOTH absorb souls further away and proceed the draw over a lower one?

AND are you saying that a Raw Soulstone will work exactly like refined one?  So most players use raw?

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I'd imagine that I guild official probably wouldn't look twice at you having a nice cut soulstone set into a necklace, but they'd probably have some questions for you if you were caught with a raw stone.

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I actually got into the discussion of soulstone dust vs using a Soulstone with someone not that long ago in a local game shop.  The problem with dust is just the cost.  It is one thing to get it from time to time to keep a construct or limb animated *namely if someone does not have access to the spells to do it*, it is another to use it with your magic on a regular basis.  It becomes some pretty expensive "Bullets".  That is not to say a magic user might not want to keep a couple shots worth of dust on them for emergency.  Really need those spells to go off and you have the value but lack the suits? 

The problem with a normal soulstone is that unless you are up close and personal they can be hard to charge *unless you are without moral and will just take someone from the street for a recharge*.  A Lade 0 has to be on the person so unless you knock them just sort of death, press it to their chest, and then finish them off they can be hard to charge.  With Lade 1-3 you are looking at likely Melee range.  Better for someone that partakes in close combat or can move forward and finish someone off to recharge it.  Lade 4-6 is when you start to get some decent range on it and priority over other stones.  It is also a pretty expensive stone at that point.

The biggest use we had decided as the ability to use it as a (0) action for healing.  Not the 1/2/3 heal but the removing of one critical effect.  Not having to worry about surgery for some useless limb *incredible important if you are the group doctor as you cannot do surgery on yourself*.  Or just possible worse, you get some serious bleeding out going and don't have time to get your doctor.  It is enough that I suspect that plenty of Fated will try to get at least a single dose of dust to carry around for emergencies.  The advantage with a stone though is that you can possible recharge it when you are nowhere near a place you can purchase more dust and a single soulstone is easier to hide then four pounds of soulstone dust.

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What about soulstone availability ?
Is it something you find in every general store in Malifaux, or do you need a special dispensation from the Guild to get one?
Prices of the smaller ones tend to the first option, but the fluff says the Guild doesn't want people to have one.

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1 hour ago, Le gob said:

What about soulstone availability ?
Is it something you find in every general store in Malifaux, or do you need a special dispensation from the Guild to get one?
Prices of the smaller ones tend to the first option, but the fluff says the Guild doesn't want people to have one.

The Guild's doesn't actively sell Soulstones, but someone might still be able to purchase a Soulstone from them (if they're in good favor, have a good reason, and talk to the right person).

The Guild works hard to ensure that all of the Soulstones that come out of the mines get into their hands and shipped back to Earth (where you absolutely can buy Soulstones... for two to three times the Refined Value price, which is a very high markup), but Soulstones are still basically just rocks in the ground. Independent prospectors can find Soulstones and sell them freely, and there are some (very low key) independent dealers in the city that have a small selection of low-Lade stones for sale.

Alternatively, the Arcanists have a black market in the Quarantine Zone (Under Quarantine, pg. 21) where people can purchase raw soulstones for anywhere from 35% to 80% of their listed price... but that involves finding out the location of the Black Market (it changes constantly, hope you have an Arcanist contact you trust), making a trip to the Quarantine Zone (good luck!), and then dealing with the Arcanists (magical terrorists) and any other potential customers (most of whom probably don't mind jumping you and stealing your newly purchased Soulstones). But hey, cheap Soulstones. :)

There's a section in the upcoming Guild book that will go into more detail on the Guild's Soulstone policy (as well as a Soulstone-focused advanced pursuit).

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So soulstones are that hard to buy in Malifaux?  It just does not make scene with all the prisoners mining them that they wold be that hard to come by.  Or if so, robberies or heists would not leak more into the public.

That said is it OK to have them as decoration in a cane, or ring? If so, why do people not have more of them on their person?  I still do not understand at the rate they mined with train cars full of prisoners what they are doing with them all.  Surely the general earth population can not be buying them all at that inflated price.

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13 minutes ago, Guyon said:

So soulstones are that hard to buy in Malifaux?  It just does not make scene with all the prisoners mining them that they wold be that hard to come by.  Or if so, robberies or heists would not leak more into the public.

Between the watchful gaze of the Union and the Guild, getting Soulstones out of a Soulstone mine is not very easy. People do smuggle Soulstones out of the mine... but most of those people are doing so for the Union/Arcanists. Convicts can be expected to be searched upon exiting the mine to make sure they aren't hiding any Soulstones.

Even if a miner did steal a Soulstone, selling one would be difficult. The Contract Towns built up around the mines tend to be relatively small and isolated, and a miner who just "happened" to have a Soulstone is going to come under a lot of suspicion very quickly. Taking Soulstones out of the mine is basically stealing from its owner, and neither the Union nor the Guild take that sort of thing very well.

A person might get away with it if they have an accomplice that can sell the Soulstone back in the city, but then you run into a situation where your accomplice can easily run off with your money. If you're a convict, it doesn't really do you any good, cause what are you going to spend money on? You're still in the chain gang.

 

The raw Soulstones that are shipped back to Malifaux City are heavily guarded by the Guild, but they do get robbed from time to time; see Parker Barrows for an example of a very successful bandit. The Guild just tends to have more firepower than most independent groups, and even if one heist goes well, it just takes one bad heist to leave an entire bandit crew in a shallow grave.

It's sort of like modern bank robberies. They tend to go very poorly for the robber in question.

 

23 minutes ago, Guyon said:

That said is it OK to have them as decoration in a cane, or ring? If so, why do people not have more of them on their person?  I still do not understand at the rate they mined with train cars full of prisoners what they are doing with them all.  Surely the general earth population can not be buying them all at that inflated price.

High-ranking Guild officials do have Soulstone jewelry, but they don't tend to just walk down the streets of Malifaux City with them, save perhaps in Downtown. Once you get back to Earth, where things are far less "frontier justice," Soulstone jewelry becomes more common. In the fictions, you can see Masters - the movers and shakers of Malifaux - carrying around multiple Soulstones and even using them as barter currency.

It's not the general Earth population that are purchasing Soulstones, however. The Guild's primary customers are the nations of Earth, though people that aren't deemed threats and haven't upset the Guild can still purchase Soulstones for private use. They're one of the few ways to reliably cast magic back on Earth, and the Guild has a stranglehold on the market (excluding Arcanist and Ten Thunders smuggling, of course).

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OK I am a new player so I may be wrong, but I am not sold on solestones being that bad to have in public.  Even the rules have them set in items for players to get as rewards. For example pgs 140 & 141 of Under Quarantine there are a few of them.  It say they can not be bought but found or given as a gift or as a reward.

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In most of Malifaux City, walking around with soul stone accoutrements is a terrible idea.

  • If you're in Guild-patrolled areas (so-called "safe zones") like the Downtown area and you're not a well-known Guild member, it's inviting scrutiny from the Guild. The range of assumptions will go from potential Arcanist to idiot rich person, with people looking to target either one.
  • If you're not in those safer areas, it's like driving a really nice car in a rough neighborhood. Locals in general are looking at you as showing off, local thugs see a payday, and local law enforcement see you as someone doing illegal activities.

It ties into what @Mason mentioned above with who controls it and how "law" is handled in Malifaux.

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Thanks for the clarification.   .. but 10 Script for a raw sole stone does not seem like " driving a really nice car"  LOL

I am just confused why Wyrd would make a game with lots of rules you need to learn about magic and solestones and then make it hard for the player to use.  Sort of like playing Monopoly and the telling the players to just use one die even though you gave rules for doubles. LOL  Just don't have magic in the first place if you don't want us to use it  even though many encounter have magic for the bad guys.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Guyon said:

Thanks for the clarification.   .. but 10 Script for a raw sole stone does not seem like " driving a really nice car"  LOL

I am just confused why Wyrd would make a game with lots of rules you need to learn about magic and solestones and then make it hard for the player to use.  Sort of like playing Monopoly and the telling the players to just use one die even though you gave rules for doubles. LOL  Just don't have magic in the first place if you don't want us to use it  even though many encounter have magic for the bad guys.

 

 

One script doesn't equal one dollar. The TTB2 mentions in the fluff that many freelance mercs will work for 2 script a day.  That's not profit, that's the total.  Half of that can easily be spent on a meal and a room for the night.  And you'll need that room since you'll need to take a couple jobs in town before you can afford to travel to another and still turn a profit.

Soultones aren't needed for magic.  They're a help, but they're hardly required.

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5 hours ago, Guyon said:

Thanks for the clarification.   .. but 10 Script for a raw sole stone does not seem like " driving a really nice car"  LOL

I am just confused why Wyrd would make a game with lots of rules you need to learn about magic and solestones and then make it hard for the player to use.  Sort of like playing Monopoly and the telling the players to just use one die even though you gave rules for doubles. LOL  Just don't have magic in the first place if you don't want us to use it  even though many encounter have magic for the bad guys.

You mean sort of like making a game where precious metals like gold, silver and platinum are important to the players, and then making it difficult to acquire them?  After all, the players have to go out and slaughter underground communities and perform other atrocities in order to acquire that sort of thing in Pathfinder.

On Earth, soulstones were responsible for making magic feasible again.  That resulted in wars over control of the resource, and setting up armed camps in an alien world (Malifaux).  And then the story goes from there.  And, coincidentally, this tool for making magic feasible again is fueled by death and human misery.

What's confusing about the attraction of that premise?  

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4 minutes ago, DarkSpade said:

One script doesn't equal one dollar. The TTB2 mentions in the fluff that many freelance mercs will work for 2 script a day.  That's not profit, that's the total.  Half of that can easily be spent on a meal and a room for the night.  And you'll need that room since you'll need to take a couple jobs in town before you can afford to travel to another and still turn a profit.

Soultones aren't needed for magic.  They're a help, but they're hardly required.

That's what I end up looking at. Highly skilled mercs doing a babysitting job or milk run get paid 2 scrip per day on the job. Therefore a single 10 script soul stone amounts to the same pay they would get for about a week's worth of being a bodyguard or running errands; assuming that your client likes you enough to keep you around for that week and you're covering your expenses from a previous job. Otherwise stealing that single 10 script soul stone is roughly the profits of spending a week and a half trying to keep an idiot alive in the Badlands or running various low impact errands.

If you're not one of those highly skilled mercs, but you're still a merc, you might still get hired for that job at that rate, but your competition field is wide and fierce. You might only get a couple days' worth of work like that per month. Hopefully you're a good hunter or have friends with resources to cover room and board for the rest of the month; not to forget any dues you might have for certain faction memberships or fees that you end up paying to not end up spending time explaining to the Guild that you're just an honest freelancer helping out honest citizens.

If you're not a merc at all, you don't get that kind of pay. Per the fluff, a lot of people are tempted to risk their lives becoming a merc for the pay increase over common work, to include guardsmen, entertainers, and tradesmen. The advantage of being a laborer (or entertainer or tradesman) of some sort is that your room and board comes with the job, so whatever little bit you are paid amounts to profit (unless you're having to cover dues and/or fees encountered in the course of trying to do the work expected of you).

 

Someone who has enough financial liberty to buy a soul stone to wear about town is a walking target. I use "driving a nice car" as an example because if you're a native of one of the slums and have that kind of money to throw around, Law Enforcement (typically Guild, but may be 10T or Arcanist depending on where exactly) will assume you didn't get it through approved channels, even if you are one of them. They may even assume that you have it in that part of town for the purpose of using or recharging it.
Modern era Earth, if you have a nice car in a poor part of town known for its various troubles, police and some locals will assume that you're profiting from those troubles, even if you saved up honestly earned money for months (or years) to afford that nice car. Their base assumption is that you got it by doing something wrong and that you are using it to continue doing things that are wrong.
Back in the Malifaux context, and accounting for the context that @solkan describes: even if you earned honest wages enough to buy the soul stone, all the misery of the Gunpowder Wars, the Guild control over Earth, and the woes of Malifaux are linked to that soul stone. From the point of view of the denizens of the slums and rougher areas (especially Contract Towns), you either are profiting or are looking to profit from their troubles.

Those who don't care if you got it through approved channels or not may be looking to acquire it for themselves.. and they know they can guarantee it being charged by murdering you while you're wearing it, then taking it off of your corpse.

 

These sorts of reasons contribute to it being a bad idea to walk about wearing soul stones. Maybe the better example than "a nice car" is walking around with a genuine Rolex in a bad neighborhood. If you've got the influence, connections, or just plain prowess/meanness to keep from getting randomly mugged, that's great. But you have to sleep some time.

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A few things.  Why would the average person want a soulstone even?  They really only have three uses outside of selling it.  The first is using it for magic.  But as said you do not NEED one to harness magic Malifaux side like you would if you were on Earth.  Having one also can makes you a suspect of being a magic user.  Not nearly enough to arrest you in a just world but the Guild has plenty of corruption.  If you are a nobody some corrupt guards might think it is okay to 'arrest' you on suspicion of being an arcanist or resser or what ever excuse they throw out.  Then they take the soulstone and pocket it and if you are lucky they don't make you disappear.  The second reason for having one is to animate constructs and limbs, in which case you would have it likely at the shop or in your lab so no worry about someone seeing it on you.  Third is to heal a nasty injury, but again possibility of people trying to steal it.

To me the average person would be better off keeping their scrip hidden at home, in a secret pocket, or the lining of some clothing.  Much easier time utilizing it.

That said, I don't think it is that hard to get one if you have the money and the desire.  The Guild cares more about the ones going through the Breach then the ones floating around Malifaux.  Not that they don't care about those ones, they are just lower on the priority list *Unless they are a high lade*.  Depending how serious you are about getting one I imagine you can accomplish it with risk.  Whether it be high risk like trying for the Black Market, or lower risk of looking for some prospectors with some low grade material they want to offload there is markets for soulstones outside Guild control.

I imagine though those with some inroads can purchase them from the Guild, possible even official channels as long as you are not on some list of theirs and everything seems legit enough *You are a private engineer working on a device you want to patent with the Guild that could make finding smuggled soulstones easier but it needs to be soulstone powered*.  There is also the possible you might have  a good contact in a high rank that can get your foot in the door *after which your wallet has to speak* or less honest member who has a system to offload some before they are refined.

 

I worked pretty hard last TTB campaign I was in to get my soulstone.  My character came across it in a mine they were helping clear out and worked it out herself *Take that you Labor TN 15 Challenge* and kept it secret.  Of course back then you could use them for suits not just for magic but other skills so it was more useful for the mercenary but she saw it as a potential means to help pay her ticket back earthside.

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One thing: from Colette's fluff, merely being caught with a soulstone is enough for Guild witch hunters to take you in for 'questioning'. Colette went to a lot of trouble to get her stone into the pocket of someone that was going to kill her so that the Guild representatives at her theatre would arrest him instead of her. They didn't end up taking him alive.

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1 hour ago, EnternalVoid said:

  Why would the average person want a soulstone even?  .

That is my point. Players are not average people. And players can afford soulstones.   Wyrd had us lean a lot of rules for a game that they do not want us to use half the stuff. So sure you can get a soulstone and pull it out in in your room, or sit there and do magic ny your self safely. But where is the fun in that?  Why not let people buy then and use magic and then hunt down the abusive and evil users.   Just look at gallery of NPC's they all use magic and soul stones and we get punished using a game mechanic that we paid real money for. 

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Why would even the average player want one over the scrip?  Scrip can get you guns, bullets, food, even company.  The people that want Soulstones tend to want them for a reason.  IE they are generally magic users or they want to have one in case they get stabbed in the gut and are bleeding out with no doctor in sight.  To many players it is merely something that is worth a several days pay if they can sell it but they have to sell it to see the scrip.

You don't have to lock yourself up in a room; Just DO not wear it as jewelry around your neck and on your fingers *Or put them in your weapons were anyone can see them*.  Keep them in your pocket.  Nothing I have seen in the rules say you have to reveal them to the world to use them.  They can be stuffed in your pocket and you can use them.  So if you use them to help your magic people will have a hard time telling unless you are holding it for all to see or shouting that you are using a soulstone.  I imagine that is how most people that have Soulstones use them, very lowbrow.  If you have a gun, even a permitted to have a gun, are you going down the street waving it in the air?  Or go around showing it off every time you go into a store or walk down the street?  Does not matter if you are a good person and mean to protect the innocent or what not; you are going to draw attention and more often than not in a bad way.  Go ahead and have your stones, use them and what not, just understand that to some people they are going to look like specialized Loaded Weapons.

It all comes down to the Fatemaster when it comes to punishment.  I imagine how they handle it will vary. 

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I assume people in the know will be able to tell if you use a soulstone to heal.  The rules say that people that know magic can tell what field you are in form seeing your spell. So I suppose they can tell you just healed in a bar fight.

But Why does WYRD not want us to have sole stones to just heal? Why add a bunch of stuff they don't want you to use?

 

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30 minutes ago, Guyon said:

That is my point. Players are not average people. And players can afford soulstones.   Wyrd had us lean a lot of rules for a game that they do not want us to use half the stuff. So sure you can get a soulstone and pull it out in in your room, or sit there and do magic ny your self safely. But where is the fun in that?  Why not let people buy then and use magic and then hunt down the abusive and evil users.   Just look at gallery of NPC's they all use magic and soul stones and we get punished using a game mechanic that we paid real money for. 

Why are you blaming Wyrd for something that is ultimately Fatemaster discretion? It sounds like you're mistaking a feature that helps balance out the power of magic for a bug. In this same subforum there are questions about how to handle balancing various spell effects so that the Fated who have those spells/powers can actually have a challenge. The extreme suspicion, jealousy, and paranoia about magic use and items that enhance it is one of the costs of using magic. It's not unlike how augmented limbs have costs beyond the initial buying price, and similar to them, it's Fatemaster discretion how those costs are enforced (monthly maintenance, social challenges, interaction with the Guild and the Union, etc.). It is a design feature that allows Fatemasters to present a challenged to the Fated that takes more than "okay, I use these three soulstones and cast this spell while standing in the Guild Elite Division HQ, after the party's Oxfordian Mage boosts all my stats to 5 for a 24 hour period. If I get wounded, I'll use this fourth soulstone to heal" to solve.

@EnternalVoid posed the question on what motive would an average person have for a soul stone, and proceeded to provide three possible motives for an average person to have one and why that motive might not be enough for the average citizen to have one on them on a day to day basis. Fated characters are not average people, but if your Fatemaster is sticking to the look and feel of Malifaux as presented in the various books and fluff, Fated characters have reason to try and not draw the wrong sort of attention. 

As for the gallery of NPCs: the ones that use magic openly that are not Guild sanctioned are branded outlaws by the Guild, and should they find themselves caught are very likely to end up Witchling spawn after being interrogated by Sonnia. The ones that openly carry soulstones either have a small army backing them up, or end up dying to someone who does. If an NPC is using magic where the Guild cannot see, they may (again, FM discretion) find themselves running afoul of other factions or people.

This is Malifaux.

Bad Things Happen.

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4 hours ago, Guyon said:

That is my point. Players are not average people. And players can afford soulstones.   Wyrd had us lean a lot of rules for a game that they do not want us to use half the stuff. So sure you can get a soulstone and pull it out in in your room, or sit there and do magic ny your self safely. But where is the fun in that?  Why not let people buy then and use magic and then hunt down the abusive and evil users.   Just look at gallery of NPC's they all use magic and soul stones and we get punished using a game mechanic that we paid real money for. 

I think you are relying too much on the idea of "fun". Now, I know that's what games are supposed to be - fun, but the world they are set in is really not.

First of, let's not forget that Malifaux is a frontier world. In the real-life frontier, sure there was a lot of gold - it was literally under people's boots, and a lucky guy could easily find it and wear it. It would attract a lot of unwanted attention, but it was possible. Now, imagine that gold could kill people - like, had gunpowder properties, creating explosions and such. That would change the situation dramatically, wouldn't it? Now, if you wear a golden necklace, not only you are getting the attention of various outlaws and just folks who really need money - you are now a walking threat, and you will be treated as such by the authorities. Sure, maybe you are wearing that necklace because it looks pretty, but good luck explaining it to every single law enforcer you meet. And, speaking of law enforcement: the Guild are not the good guys - they are the strongest guys. Never forget that the Guild treats the Malifaux world as their property, soulstones - as their most valuable asset, and it will not tolerate anyone who might potentially be a threat to it. That is basically the logic of the setting, and that is the logic that the Fate Master has to follow.

I can understand the frustration. Most RPGs allow players to look, act and feel as badass and as Mary Sue-ish as they wish: it is entirely OK in something like DnD for a warrior to wear the helmet made of the skull of a dragon he has slain, for mages to have levitating gems floating around them, and so on. I get it: it's cool to have a soulstone in a walking cane, or on a ring, or whatever (same as, for a school-boy, it feels cool to have a pocket-knife with him). But the Malifaux world is gritty and cynical. Here, such a character will not be cool - he will be stupid, and will get punished for his stupidity very quickly. Taking Warhammer as an example: imagine someone walking around a city with a warpstone around his neck. It is stupid, and so is showing off soulstones in Malifaux.

And, personally, I don't see it as a restriction - I see it as another beautiful aspect of the setting. Malifaux is a complex world with a lot of contrasts and various aspects. Exploring those aspects is quite a pleasure, and that's what TTB allows FMs and players to do.

 

Returning to the cane example. If I ran a game, and a player wanted to have such an artifact for the awesomeness purposes, I would warn him about the implications of possessing such a thing, and then I would allow it. And have his character run away from Guild patrols, witch hunters, outlaws, Arcanists, beggars with knives - the whole goddamn world, until that player either learns his lesson of how brutal the world can be and gets rid of the thing, or manages to overcome all obstacles and earn the right to be awesome. Because at that point, he is awesome.

Malifaux is a world that allows nearly everyone to achieve greatness. But you have to earn it, and it will be REALLY hard. And painful.

Also:

4 hours ago, spooky_squirrel said:

This is Malifaux.

Bad Things Happen.

 

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Regarding the prices and economics. Somewhere in the fluff it was stated that the Guild invites workers to Malifaux offering them a 3-years contract, but by the time the contract expires, the workers are caught Breach-side in the web of debts and obligations. That is the Guild's instrument of keeping people in the mines - debts, taxes, loans etc. So yes, you could work for a week or two and buy a nice, shiny soulstone - that is, if you don't want to pay off your debts and are ready to face the consequences.

And, again, regarding "Wyrd not wanting us to use magic". Real world doesn't want us to use guns, most of the time; doesn't mean you can't, it's just going to be difficult. If you want something, find a way to get it or to do it, and be ready for the consequences. If you want to use magic in Malifaux, either submit to the Guild and have yourself a pretty collar of a sanctioned mage, or be discreet about it, or throw fireballs left, right and center and get ready for troubles. Wyrd wants you to be creative, they want you to live in the world they created, with its freedoms and obligations; they don't want you to own that world (in various meanings of the word "own" that are not welcome in a civil discussion).

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10 hours ago, Guyon said:

Wyrd had us lean a lot of rules for a game that they do not want us to use half the stuff.

As a new FM trying to acclimate my group to the game for the one-shot we tried, I can see where you are coming from. Opening a fantasy book that has magic as a core component, and reading right off the bat magic is illegal and will have you jailed or killed before you even get into is a bit of a shock. "Let me show you this awesome thing that I know you'll like, and you've been waiting for, but first a list of all the bad things that will happen to you."

Malifaux is a gritty, rough place as  @L3gion mentioned (and who I am piggybacking off). Coming from D&D as my only sizable tabletop experience with RPGs, it's quite a paradigm shift to understanding TTB that I still struggle with a bit (a TTB 1e oneshot is the only RPG I've run so far). In this regard, TTB seems more about players who are above-average making their way through a world that is a gritty 'realistic' dystopia - the government is corrupt and authoritative, pretty much everyone/everything is unfriendly, and scraping by for most people is more the norm. This is a big departure for my players because they have to shift from a swords&sorcery or dungeon crawl to a more cautious and consequential environment (depending on campaign/GM/DM/FM of course).

These things that 'Wyrd...do not want us to use" are things that are inconvenient for the player to deal with, but the character would want to have/use them (and would have to accept/plan for the consequences). Fated are operating in a grey area, and in order to be successful and/or powerful, your characters are probably going to be doing some illegal/shady stuff. Even if the Fated are 'good guys', it's more down to earth (down to Malifaux?) - some talented people step up (possibly reluctantly or for reward or because they were coerced) to save the day as best they can. Playing in those grey areas seems to be where the 'fun' is. Again, I haven't had much playtime yet, but that is the impression I get from reading the books and the forum, and it has been a mentality shift to craft the 'look and feel' of Malifaux for the players. Without approaching it that way, I can definitely see why it seems like you're not supposed to be doing x,y,z and would be frustrating. 

Thanks for starting this discussion, I've been picking up a lot of info from the comments, and your premise was sort of sitting in the back of my subconscious as I was trying to adjust to the ruleset. Teasing out the 'intended' approach has been helpful to me in trying to teach and run the game in my group. 

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