``Albert Einstein - "Never memorize something that you can look up."
Socrates on Writing - "[It] destroys memory [and] weakens the mind, relieving it of…work that makes it strong. [It] is an inhuman thing."
What is your GM's view of Self Reliance? Where does the character end and the gear begin?
Lockpicks, The Sword, Armor etc.. are tools and expected in Fantasy Characters. Sci-Fi Characters have portable computers, fire-arms, cybernetics, augmentation etc... What is Self reliance when gear come into play? better yet, is it "Wussing Out" when I pay money to have a stat increase, like in a Real World Education?
Need vs. Want
There was an argument about Traveller 5E and the lack of Index, and there some who said this was not a problem (for them). I follow the frugal reddit thread, and this question of "what I need" vs "what I'm comfortable with" is something of a recurring theme there as well, and very much related to Self Reliance.
if you want to go Platonic and have real defined categories... you're going to have a bad time when you are Defining Need and Want.
Then we have the mess Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.
Is money counted as gear?
The funny thing about this discussion is What is MONEY relative to a person, let get broader and ask what is material resources vs what makes up a "Character". in Biotech you buy augmentation with points in BT169 which strikes me odd and again "What is Self Reliance?" in regards of tools and abilities.
This is a hard question to ask for something as trivial as an RPG but it matters when you consider your child's education and if you are fighting market obsolescence. Its funny when I put fighting obsolescence sounds like we are in dystopia (regardless if I like the genre or not lolz).
What is weird is when we pay for education, and a character pays for a stat increase, some might punish the Character for the "Munckining" while rationalize it easily for people who are fighting obsolescence??? How about people who are very well off and paying for stat increase??? ugg...
The problem of Categorizing this strictly is basically one is making an Ethical or Moral judgement on something, punishing or rewarding based on their views, when its really a situation we have very information/time to process.
Things to consider. The economic cost of the skill, and what results matter.
Gear and Characters.
Weapons are extensions of characters? But we can upgrade to better weapons and armor... I can say the same thing with skills - we can upgrade from Accounting to Finance, from Spreadsheet to Programming, from Drawing to 3d Graphics, etc...
we all began from crappier but fundamental skills, then we forget them and use higher utility skills. Is dependence of Civilization and its Perks something to punish or deter in a game?
"what are you without the armor" was that funny line from Captain America in the Avengers movie. I mean "So what" you can say the same thing about Capt. with the super soldier serum lolz. I guess this is a bigger problem when people dont have matching expectations.
Wow, I can even go into the economic or game theory about this, but its really something that may get in the way of having a good time - having different expectations and setting these up.
I considered if I should censor myself because this is an uncomfortable topic, but what the hell.