Wednesday 24 October 2012

Adventuring Equipment Issues

If a piece of equipment is so vital to the adventure, do not make the assumption that the player will think to spend their precious starting money on it.

I put the following items in this category:
- Torches (yes, I've had the players arrive at the dungeon without any of the characters having bought torches. I just gave them some, but see below for why this isn't ideal).
- Food.
- Clothing and Backpack.
- Tents, Bedrolls and Flint & Steel.

Likewise, if you handwave things like camping equipment and food, do not let players spend money on that stuff only to see everyone else get it for free.

My solution to this for Into the Odd is the new addition of this passage at the start of the equipment list.

All characters carry standard equipment, including simple clothes, a backpack, basic camping equipment, torches and a few days' rations.


  1. Now playing in a friend's Labyrinth Lord game and realizing how critical this issue actually is. Years of playing 3rd and 4th where we rarely kept track of rations, arrows, torches, etc, has made me forget all that mental energy expended in my first DnD game where I fretted about if I wanted two more torches or a warm cloak.

  2. Resource management can give interesting choices, but my preferences lean towards less focus on the details. Whatever the game's origins are, I don't want my D&D games to be about wilderness survival.

  3. Yeah, I'm definitely in agreement with you (maybe it didn't seem like it). I was trying to imply how silly it feels to worry about the 2 torches versus the warm cloak, particularly since these worries tend to become mute after the monetary reward the PCs get: it's only really an issue for new general issue adventurers.

    To put it another way, as soon as a high priest gives the PCs 20 gold for delivering a letter in the second session, that whole tension about the proper initial expenditure of tents/bedrolls/rations/torches stops becoming part of the game.

    So, yeah, as a player it feels like old-style adventuring systems go to an awful lot of trouble to have you worry about your inventory, only to have those worries pass very quickly in multi-session play. I definitely support this standard package idea.

  4. This works in non-fantasy games too. Can you really imagine someone in a contemporary or near future game not having a cell phone? Sure, if you want something kick ass and top of the line, go for it, but otherwise I'm going to assume you have one.