Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Adventurer's Outfitter

As I figure out this OSR thing more and more, I'm realizing the point behind things that I never understood.  (What's the difference between rations and iron rations?  Why does the party need a linkboy?  What is block & tackle?)

Learning the ins and outs allows me to not only run things "correctly" but also to tweak things so that I can run it "correctly" the way I want to.

I love player handouts, so I've created this brochure called "The Adventurer's Outfitter" to help with initial equipment during character creation, and to provide info on some of the rules/mechanics during gameplay.

The final product via the link above looks much better than what you'll see below, but I wanted to offer an explanation of what's been done.

The Adventurer’s Outfitter

Free! Starting Adventurer’s Kit!
1 Backpack, 3 Pouches, 1 Sack, 1 Set of Normal Clothes, and 1 Waterskin

Iron Rations                                                1sp/day
-never spoil and don’t require preparation
Standard Rations                                       5cp/day
-will spoil, must be cooked
Cooking Pots                                                    5cp
Lard                                                                 1cp
Tinderbox                                                         1sp
-required for cooking and light sources
Candle                                                                             1cp
-120 mins, 10’ radius
Torch                                                                1cp
-60 mins, 30’ radius
Lantern                                                             3sp
240 mins, 30’ radius, requires oil
Flask of Oil                                                        5cp
Bedroll                                                               1sp
Soap                                                                   1cp
Personal Tent (1)                                              5sp
Regular Tent (4)                                              10sp
Grand Tent (10)                                              25sp
Pavilion Tent (25)                                       50sp
-it takes a number of turns equal to capacity to pitch the tent in a suitable area.

First off, I'm giving players some free stuff - the basics that I don't want them to have to worry about and would make sense for any adventurer to have.  (The backpacks and 3 pouches were inspired by James Young...I seem to be stealing a lot from him lately...)  

My players are inexperienced OSR players and so I feel it's necessary to spell out at least some of the necessities for them. I want to balance creative thinking and discovery with letting them know what I'll be a hard ass about.  This front page makes it clear that food, light and camping are important.  (I just made up the tent capacity thing based on light research and what seemed reasonable...)

Blank Book (5cp)
Paper (2cp/sheet)
Ink & Quill (1cp)
Chalk (1cp)
Scroll Case (1cp)
Local Map (1cp)
Kingdom map (10sp)
Spyglass (250sp)
Paper, ink & quill and chalk are essential for mapping a dungeon.
Ink & Quill are necessary for recording spells in your Spellbook.

Airbladder (1sp)
Fishing Gear (1sp)
Lock (7sp)
Vial/Bottle (5cp)
Winter Clothing (5sp)
Garlic (1cp)
Wolf’s Bane (1cp)
Hourglass (100sp)
Caltrop (5cp)
Whistle (1sp)
Manacles (10sp)
Steel Mirror (1sp)
Glass Mirror (10sp)
Silver Mirror (30sp)
Chain (1sp/ft)
Manacles (10sp)
Caltrop (5cp)

Crampons (5sp)
10’ Ladder (7sp)
Grappling Hook (5sp)
50’ Rope (3sp)
Block & Tackle (2sp)
Crowbar (2sp)
10’ Pole (5cp)
Miner’s Pick (6sp)
Mallet (3cp)
Drill (5sp)
Iron Spike (3cp)
Nails (1cp)
Shovel (3sp)
Wooden Spike (1cp)
Block & Tackle is required to lift large loads.
Iron Spikes require a mallet to be of use when climbing.

Horse & Cart
Wagon (75sp)
Cart (25sp)
Riding Horse (100sp)
Pony (50sp)
Mule (25sp)
Riding Gear (10sp)
Saddlebag (5cp)
Feed (5cp/day)

Instrument (>1sp)
Dog (1sp)
Reading Book (10sp)
Pipe (5cp)
Tobacco (5cp)
Fancy Clothes (>20sp)
Coffee (1sp)
Tea (1cp)
Ale (1/1cp)
Wine (5/1sp)
Liquor (20/5sp)
Tobacco, coffee, tea, ale, wine and liquor provide healing.

Guide (14sp)
Linkboy (4.2sp)
Laborer (5.6sp)
Teamster (10sp)
Mercenary (-)
Guides reduce chances of getting lost and can only be paid daily.
Linkboys (lightbearers), Laborers (loadbearers) and Teamsters (manage animals & loads) can be hired monthly at daily rate times 10.
Mercenaries can only be hired monthly for 100-200 sp.

You can go out for a night on the town to gain more XP. 
Roll depending on the size of the town:
Die x 100 sp
sp:XP ratio earned
Small Town
Large Town
Small City
Large City
Save vs Poison: failure means you had a zany, drunken mishap.
If you can’t afford the amount of sp you rolled, you are indebted to someone in town.

Here is a list of the other essential items.  Note that I didn't include holy symbols, spellbooks, specialist tools, etc.  These are items that I give to those characters for free, and if they want to buy them later they'll have to go to the correct source.  The equipment above is what you'd find in most towns.

First off, I've organized things by what makes sense rather than alphabetically, along with a few mechanics reminders.  I've included rules for alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco - all give minor healing boosts (with chances for addiction and dependency if overused).  I've condensed the list of retainers to those specifically suited to exploring.  Finally, I've incorporated carousing rules (which came from James Young, Zak Smith and Jeff's Gameblog.)  The cities list included here matches with my random city generator, which was inspired by D30 Sandbox Companion.

Equipment Quality & Upkeep

Low Quality = 5                                           ½ cost
Standard Quality = 3                                     at cost
High Quality = 1                                          x2 cost
Silver = 5                                                    x10 cost

-When attacking, if you roll equal to or less than the quality, your weapon takes a notch.
-When rolling for damage, if the roll is less than the number of notches, the weapon breaks.

Low Quality = 16                                          ½ cost
Standard Quality = 18                                   at cost
High Quality = 20                                                      x2 cost

-If an attack against you is equal to or greater than your armor quality, it takes a notch.
-Your AC is -1 for each notch.
-You may sacrifice your armor to reduce all damage from an attack to 1, the armor is now irreparable.

Arrows/Bolts: Full = 1d12          Refill Quiver: 10sp
-roll after each attack, at the end of a battle, and after hunting: on a 1, move to the next lower step die (1d10, 1d8…).  After rolling a 1 on a 1d4, you have 1 arrow left.

100 shots & powder                                     4sp
-gunpowder is highly flammable.

Repair Equipment
Town: pay 10% of total cost per notch removed.
Wilderness: spend 1 hour to remove the first notch received that day.

I'm trying out the weapon repair system with notches (James Young, as above, and Last Gasp).  Here's a one page summary for players on how to handle it. 

Since it costs 4sp for 100 shots & powder, and most guns only fire once per combat, then I don't bother tracking firearm ammunition - no PC has lived through 100 combats in my campaign.  (And I doubt one ever will...)

Melee Weapons

Small: 1d4 Damage                                  5sp
One-handed, easily hidden, allows shanking, first one does not count against encumbrance.
Examples: dagger, knife, club, sap, stake, cestus, hand axe, hammer, whip, garrote, stiletto, brass knuckles…

Medium: 1d6 Damage                            10sp
One-handed, not easily hidden.
Examples: short sword, rapier, axe, scimitar, cutlass, sabre, flail, mace…

Medium: 1d8 Damage                            20sp
One or two-handed, only does 1d6 damage if used one-handed, cannot be hidden.
Examples: battle axe, flail, mace, javelin, morning star, staff, spear, bastard sword, long sword, falchion, war hammer…

Large: 1d10 Damage                              50sp
Two-handed weapon, cannot be hidden, must always be carried in hands.
Examples: pick, pole arm, lance, claymore, long spear, two-handed sword, trident, large battle axe…

Is your weapon slashing, piercing, bludgeoning, grappling or a combination?

Can it be thrown (10’/20’30’)?  Does it have reach (10’)?  Can it receive a charge

Any other special qualities?

We have primarily ignored most of the various weapons rules (nobody has ever bought a spear, pole arm, etc.)  So just to clear up the noise, I went with basically four choices of melee weapons.  If a player wants a particular weapon, they figure out where it falls on this list and they can tell me if it does something like reach or can be thrown.   (The shanking rule is, again, taken from James Young.)  Also, I like the idea of having the first small weapon not count against encumbrance.  I think of this as having the sling wrapped around your arm, the stiletto in your boot, or a throwing dagger up your sleeve.

Missile Weapons

Small: 1d4 Damage                                     1sp
Range of 50’/100’/200’
One-handed, easily hidden, first one does not count against encumbrance.
Examples: blowgun, sling, dart…
Medium: 1d6 Damage                              25sp
Range of 50’/200’/400’
Short bow can fire every round.
Crossbow can fire every other round and ignores 2 points of armor.
Large: 1d8 Damage                                   45sp
Range of 50’/300’/600’
Must always be carried in hands.
Long bow can fire every round and has +300 to medium and long range.
Crossbow can be fired every third round and ignores 4 points of armor.
Penalties: medium range is -2, long range is -4. 

Pistol: 1d8 (1d4) Damage                       25sp
Range of 25’/50’/100’
Arquebus: 1d8 (1d6) Damage                   30sp
Range of 50’/100’/600’
Musket: 1d8 (1d6) Damage                       40sp
Range of 50’/100’/600’
Requires fork rest, 2-handed
-5 armor reduction at all ranges
Can be fired once per combat.
Causes a morale check.
Penalties: medium range is -4, long range is -8. 
Can be used as a melee bludgeoning weapon.
Has a -5 armor reduction when fired at short range. 

A similar simplified list for missile weapons.  Although, admittedly, not quite as streamlined as the melee weapons, it still clarifies gun rules for players.


Light: AC = 14                                        50sp
Protects 12-16
Modified: full body                                  +50sp
+1 encumbrance
Examples: leather, hide, banded, links, padded, studded…
Medium: AC = 16                                 100sp
+1 encumbrance point
Protects 12-16
Modified: full body                                +100sp
+1 encumbrance; +2 AC vs small weapons
Examples: pikeman’s armor, chain, scale, breastplate…
Heavy: AC = 18                                                1500sp
+2 encumbrance points
Fully body protection
+4 AC vs small weapons
Examples: full plate, half plate, banded mail, splint mail…
Buff Coat: +1 AC                                      15sp
Can be worn by itself or under armor.
Helmet: +1 AC                                         25sp
Can be worn by itself or with armor that doesn’t provide full body protection.
Shield: +1/+2 AC                                       10sp
+1 vs Melee Attacks / +2 vs Ranged Attacks. 
Can only be used while wielding small or medium weapons one-handed.

Is there anything special about the way your armor looks?  Does it provide better protection against certain weapons?

And here's a similar simplified armor system.  These are set specifically for the time period of my campaign (1632).

As always, I'm always interested in hearing feedback, or being pointed out to similar systems, ideas, counter-ideas, etc.!