Characters & Equipment

Unlike life and ability advantages, a character is free to pick whatever equipment they like, either as mundane equipment or as a character equipment advantage. Each setting provides a list of equipment, but this is just a sample. Players can work with Game Leaders to expand the list as needed.

Mundane Equipment

Most items a character uses are mundane equipment and may or may not be listed on the character sheet. As long as it makes narrative sense for a character to have a piece of equipment they have it. Mundane items do not have to be listed on the character sheet but players may wish to note important pieces of equipment or general types of equipment they are carrying, e.g. adventuring gear or tool box.

Character Equipment Advantages

Some people have a special affinity with certain pieces of equipment. Their experiences and knowledge of it run so deep, it becomes part of who they are. This is a character equipment advantage. Any item of equipment including living equipment such as mounts can be character equipment and a player can make mundane equipment part of their character any time they have character points to spend.

Character equipment advantages work exactly like other advantages and require the same character points to purchase. Equipment doesn't appear on character paths so any character can add any type of equipment as a character equipment advantage. The only requirement is that the character is able to acquire the piece of equipment and that is at the discretion of the Game Leader. The dice value for a character equipment advantage is set by the number of character points spent on it.

It is important to note that a piece of character equipment can only be greater than 1d6+0 when it is used by the character who spent the points on it. If they give their equipment to someone else, it reverts to the normal 1d6+0. When the character picks up an identical piece of mundane equipment it automatically acquires the dice value of the advantage. It is not the individual item of equipment that is special but the character's relationship to the equipment.

Other than the CP cost, character equipment works exactly as per mundane equipment. Ammunition is tracked in the same way, as is acquiring and resupplying equipment. As the players have spent CP on the equipment, Game Leaders should be lenient and not unduly deprive the player of their advantage. Just like life and ability advantages, the equipment is part of who they are.

Having living equipment such as mounts or henchmen as character advantages can provide interesting role playing opportunities. How far will the player go to save their trusty steed or rescue a loyal squire? Players are encouraged to name these people or creatures and give them a personality. Should they die they can be replaced at the first opportunity but players and Game Leader should seek to make the event more significant than a simple stop to resupply; a minor quest to find the best horse or holding a tournament for potential henchmen will add character and depth to the game.

Acquiring Equipment

It is always assumed that a character has the mundane equipment, such as clothes and food, needed for their situation. What this covers depends on the setting and the character. For a fantasy adventurer mundane equipment will include horses, tents, ropes, 10' poles and assorted other tools-of-the-trade. However, the 21st century accountant accidentally transported through a wormhole into the same fantasy world would come with pens, a calculator, a mobile phone and (somewhere) a house with a mortgage.

The assumption that a character has what they need saves on bookkeeping. A player may wish to write down what they have but the list does not have to be exhaustive. The Game Leader should always allow a character to have common sense equipment.

Players will naturally desire weapons and special equipment for their characters as well as basics such as food and lodging. The availability of equipment in a setting depends on the Game Leader and the nature of the game. It may be appropriate to limit characters to little more than sticks & stones or to start all characters with heavy weapons and full battle armour.

The key question a Game Leader should ask themselves when a player wants mundane equipment is what does it enable the character to do? A suit of armour that provides some physical protection is very different from one that enables the character to fly and comes with inbuilt weapons. Game Leaders should allow players to arm and protect themselves in a suitable manner and to acquire tools for specialist tasks such as lock picks.

Without the finite limits of money new players have a tendency to be greedy, grabbing as much equipment as they can "just in case." Game Leaders can tackle this in several ways: saying no and telling the player they are being greedy, using encumbrance effects, or requiring the player to explain how the character earned the money to buy the equipment. This last one forces the player to role play and, even it if it does not stop the character gaining the equipment, it adds backstory and depth to the game.

Over time as the story of a character progresses the nature of their mundane equipment will change. New types of danger will need new equipment and players should discuss with the Game Leader the nature of the kit they now carry. Characters also tend to grow richer with each adventure and can afford to buy better quality equipment. This makes no difference to mundane equipment as it only gives 1d6+0 when used in an action but does allow the characters role playing opportunities. Exclusive venues may now let the character in or they may find themselves living in nicer areas with influential people as neighbours.

Shortages

Just because a character has all the obvious equipment they need, this does not mean they will never run out of supplies. A party of adventurers that sets out on a three day journey but gets lost in the wilderness for a month will be short on rations. The assumption that a character has all the equipment they need works against the players in this situation as they only needed rations for three days. An experienced adventurer would always carry spare, maybe five or six days' worth, but certainly not a month.

It is unfair and poor gaming for Game Leader to suddenly announce that the party is starving, has run out of petrol or has used all its ammunition. Characters will be checking their supplies and will be aware when they are in danger of running out. Game Leaders should warn the players when they are in danger, first with hints: "Today's rough terrain used more fuel than normal," and then with clearer signs: "As you prepare for dinner, you open the last crate of rations."

When dealing with equipment and supplies, the Game Leader should always remember the narrative of the game. What makes the better story - a party rushing to save a city or a party carefully detailing everything they are carrying before setting out? Placing characters in survival situations where they must cope with shortages of food or equipment can make a great story but forcing players to deal with minutiae all the time is boring.

Resupply

How often characters can resupply themselves will depend on the setting. If the game is taking place in a city, characters can be constantly topping up their supplies. For those adventuring in the wilderness, acquiring new ammunition or replacement parts will be more difficult. However, shopping is not the only way to top up equipment. Parties will also be able to pick up supplies from defeated enemies. It should be assumed that characters always take useful or valuable supplies when they are found.

As with all issues to do with equipment, the Game Leader should keep time spent on bookkeeping to a minimum. Simply letting the players know they can refresh their ammo stocks and that the store of rations has been refilled is all that is required.

Ammo

The one area of equipment that may require bookkeeping is ammunition for weapons. This includes bullets for guns, arrows for bows, power-packs for lasers and how many throwing spears or daggers someone is carrying. Ammunition can even cover supplies for magic spells and vials of human blood for satanic rituals. Any equipment or ability that requires a limited resource to work is considered to need ammo.

Game Leaders should decide at the start of the game, when characters are being created, how they wish to tackle ammunition. In some settings the abundance or shortage of ammunition will make a big difference to some types of characters. Players need to be told this before they start creating their characters.

There are three main ways for groups to handle ammunition and each gives a different style of game play.

Abundance
Ammo is unlimited, guns never need to be reloaded, players do not have to track ammunition supplies at all. This style is great for high fantasy, space opera and similar games where the story is much more important than the details.
Rationed
Characters are only carrying a limited amount but will be able to easily resupply when they reach the next city or base. Players will need to track how much ammo they are carrying, guns will need to be reloaded during combat and ammo can run out. This style is more in line with action movies where hero needs to reload their gun at regular intervals in a fight but never has problems finding more ammo.
Survival
Ammunition is rare, the characters only have what they carry and resupply is difficult or impossible. The style is great for post-apocalyptic games where players have to decide whether a threat justifies the use of limited resources.

The three styles of play are not mutually exclusive. A Game Leader can allow most weapons to operate under the Abundance or Rationed principles but require some high-powered weapons to use the Survival approach. Mixing styles can generate great plot lines as players quest to find more supplies for their favourite weapon. The Game Leader should be careful not to unfairly restrict the abilities of a character by placing too many limitations on their weapons but not on other people's.

Various keywords affect ammo usage. Discard indicates the weapon is a single use item that cannot be reloaded and Discard (x) shows the item can be used x number of times before being discarded. The Capacity (x) keyword shows how many rounds or charges the equipment can hold. The Autofire (x) allows the weapon to fire or discharge multiple times in a single action but with additional costs in terms of ammunition and accuracy.

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open/mechanics/core/loot.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/06 13:08 by darth_tigger
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