Suppose a ranged combat character in the Numenera setting, using a non-artifact ranged/thrown weapon. Say, a heavy crossbow.
There is limited ammunition that players usually have to buy. After a combat, presumably a player will try to recover some of it.
Try as I might, I can’t find any hint in the rules how to deal with it.
Is the amount of ammunition in Numenera more of a “how many shots can be fired in an encounter” limitation, or a constant resource burden on the ranged-combat player? Is it a default assumption that ammo is going to be mostly lost, or mostly recovered?
My expectation is that a certain amount of ammo should be recoverable, but not all - bolts can break, after all. I could potentially give the player super-durable synth bolts if I wanted to make them unbreakable, but logic suggests some will still be lost.
One can approach this creatively by describing reasons for each lost piece of ammunition (a foe breaks off the arrow sticking in it; a bolt misses, hits a stone and splits in half; a knife hits a bandit in the neck and he slumps into an abyss), but that would mean I take full control of how much ammo is recoverable. Is that fair?
Maybe it would be more fair to the players to have a player (not the GM, that's not the Numenera spirit) roll for ammo recovery after the encounter. But then it needs a rule on how it works.
Rolling on each shot is NOT an acceptable rule, as it goes against the Numenera streamlining and minimal amount of rolls by GM.
Interestingly, I thought at first that ammunition is far more expensive in Numenera.
D&D: A Heavy Crossbow costs 50gp, while 10 bolts cost 1gp. That's a 500:1 ratio of weapon to ammo.
Numenera: A Heavy Crossbow costs 7 shins, while 12 bolts cost 5 shins. That's a ~ 17:1 ratio of weapon to ammo.
However, if I compare the price of ammo to price of other adventuring gear, like rations or rope, it comes out roughly the same. So, in Numenera "regular" weapons are very cheap, but that creates as illusion of expensive ammo.