(in response to a complaint about Alchemicals being limited in charm selection to what their city can afford to build)
It’s not a worse design decision than “Sorry, your state literally cannot afford to build the Artifact you want to buy.”
Like, that’s kind of the point of Alchemicals. Ultimately, you serve the state and not the other way around. If you don’t want to play a character type that can have his char-op decisions overruled by bureaucrats, then don’t play Alchemicals.
The point of Alchemicals is that if you want to improve your character, you better damn well improve your nation. This isn’t a neat bonus effect, or a nifty little side benefit. An Alchemical is exactly as powerful as his home nation can afford to make him.
And that’s how it should be.