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No these are really interesting thoughts! And very similar to thoughts I've had myself about other mechanics.

Basically a lot of this design has been sort of trying furiously to swim against the whirlpool of typical game design, because like if you treat it like an RPG I think it gets pretty horribly frustrating? There's no way of grinding items, there's no kind of obvious predictable order to when certain things appear... and all that's intentional, but if any mechanic accidentally flips the behavioral switch in everyone's head now that says "I need to grind and hoard and grind some more because that's what you do in games" the whole house of cards kind of...

wait, I've mixed like three metaphors there, haven't I?

Whatever, the point is that like I tried aggressively to avoid gamifying this in the typical ways but part of that involves integrating in some of the useful design space that grindy games can offer while still finding ways to signal, as you suggest, that this is a kind of exception.

Actually, the jump to another screen might be the solution here, since it loops the tapestries in with the mask and the root, taking advantage of those existing mechanics...

I may give that a try! :D