Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quick Equipment & Encumbrance Sheet

NOTE: An updated version of this is available here.

Hello again OSR blog-sphere,

I've been running more Basic D&D pick-up games lately to acquaint my players with the beautiful simplicity of the 0e Systems. We're having quite a bit of fun.

I thought I would share something that has been very useful in our games. As I'm sure many of you know, the portion of Character Generation that can take the longest amount of time, irrespective of system, is the purchasing of equipment. Even with multiple copies of the equipment lists and calculators, the process still adds quite a bit of time onto the process of character creation. With player death being a relatively common occurrence, the need to generate new characters on the fly quickly is also important.

Inspired by the genius of the “Ye Fast Pack” at the end of B4 – The Lost City, Jeff's Merry Merwik’s Prepackaged Provisions and another pick-and-choose Equipment system I can't seem to find right now, I wanted something that provided a little more customization, while still keeping the process quick and on a single sheet.

Here's the Sheet (direct link)

Some Thoughts and Elaborations:
  • My players typically just end up using this sheet to track most of their basic equipped items by highlighting or marking the items they choose. This eliminates the need to transfer items to their Character Sheet, which cuts down on even more character generation time.
  • Although I'll always have a soft spot for using coins (cns) as the weight measurement for character encumbrance, we're currently using a slightly modified version of Raggi's LotFP system to track gear in "slots" rather than strictly by weight. The column containing a number or fraction next to each item represents it's encumbrance. The values are very general, and I've tried to take into account how bulky an item is or how carefully packed it must be to be stored safely.
  • Players seem to start with a little bit less equipment and currency than if they would have rolled their 3d6 x 10 and went shopping at “Bloodbath & Beyonde.” I'm fine with this, as I tend to start my adventurers a little more pauper-ish. I suppose some extra Miscellaneous picks could make up the balance.
  • The Random Impedimenta table is available in a previous post (it's my intention to convert it to PDF, as I always like to have a printed copy for pick-up games).
  • Some combinations of equipment are impossible to acquire initially, while other entries are repeated throughout. This is by design and tends to lead to interesting player choice's for their equipment. Platemail armor is too expensive to show up on the Armor list.
  • We currently do not limit weapon or armor use by Class as all weapons do damage based on Class HD. Only Fighters, Clerics, Elfs and Dwarfs are trained to use heavier armor. Thieves, Magic-Users and Goblins may have penalties to Thief Skills or have issues retaining spells. (We're using Untimely's Spell Retention house rule)
  • The Scrolls present in the Weapon Columns are usually randomly determined (for spell and level). The Magic-User Scroll could also be for a spell already present in the caster's Spellbook that the caster had the foresight to scribe prior to adventuring. I allow Clerics to call miracles from Scrolls even if they do not possess any spell casting ability.
Suggestions or Constructive Criticisms? Questions? Let me know in the comments. I'd also like to know how it works out for you if you end up getting any mileage out of it.

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