Thursday, November 18, 2010

Discussion: Handling Gear

So, the last couple of posts have had some interesting comments from people about their gear. It has me wondering, just how do the rest of you handle equipment and gear in your games? I've more or less laid out my thoughts on a lot of it over the last couple of days, so what about you?

Do you let the players get the cool items? Do you make them work for them, even if otherwise it would be fairly simple to get? Do you monitor their purchases to see combinations that could be game changing, or game breaking, as they are coming up?

How do your players transport there stuff around? Do you make sure that they could believably carry what they have on them? Or just give everyone that magical bag of holding Mk X that can hold three treasuries and an elder wyrm in it?

Let me know, and maybe we can get a good discussion going!


  1. Well for my games, I played a gnome paladin but I was teamed up with my best friend who was a Dwarf Barbarian who according to our GM "Could lift up the world with one hand by the looks of this strength Modifier". The GM still held us to the regular rules for carrying stuff (by weight threshold) but never said someone else couldn't carry you gear for you. The Dwarf carried most of my gear. Some times all of it and I would ride on his back just so we could get through stuff quicker. It was a good system.

    As for how we got the gear, the GM would usually make us work for them and tried to keep everything balanced. He did however give a few bonus almost game breaking items to those who did cool stuff for him outside of the game, not to say it was a bride. As an example, Me and the Dwarf would always bring snacks to the game. One day the GM made a joke about requiring Punch and Pie to finish the game, so the next game we brought three pies from Perkins and a few gallons of punch The GM is a diabetic and couldn't eat it those, so we got him his own special pie and a gallon of punch with low sugar. He was so thrilled that he gave the dwarf an epic sword and me the ability to make golems to fight for us.

  2. A lot of my games are either in a sci-fi or modern setting, so the whole concept of treasure hoards doesn't come up as much. Thankfully, I have players who 'self-manage' when it comes to how much they can carry. One in particular always carries as little as possible (the complete opposite of the walking arsenal), another is very precise about what he carries and how (he's ex-military, and has his 'rig' all planned out in advance, including how much ammo he could reasonably carry). Most of my other players fall between those.

    In D&D I always played fast and loose with treasure- that was, until the group got hold of a portable hole. This quickly became a 'vault' into which they would scoop coins and stuff- and pretty much eliminated the need for record keeping on my part.

    As far as gear goes overall, I am again in the lucky position of having players who tend not to abuse powerful weapons or artifacts. Take for example the badass Mandalorian armor one of my Star Wars players obtained. Though it doesn't quite make him a walking tank, it is pretty tough stuff. But the player has a pretty good grasp of when and where to actually break out that armor. He isn't one of those players who does EVERYthing in their armor.

    As far as 'game breaking' purchases go, I haven't really come across any of those. Or rather, if I have (from adventures written by others) I have eliminated them or toned them down to suit my own campaign. Such is the case with a Star Wars adventure that featured suits of power-armor. I knew that if I allowed this in my campaign, it would change the whole nature and feel of it, so I made it quite limited. i.e. it worked fine for frontal assaults and the like, but was otherwise slow and unwieldly- especially in full-gravity situations.

  3. Rolo, the more I hear about your Star Wars campaign the more envious I am of your players. It sounds like a real fun time, with a lot of stuff going on. Also sounds like you are having a real blast with all aspects of it.

    Being able to trust players with their own gear is awesome, and something I'm very glad I can do with my current groups. The reasonable 'carrying capacity' is also an awesome way to go over with things.

    There are a few people in my group who like the pre-loaded kit ideas. As a GM I'm fine with people not having them, however I think everyone has seen a definite benefit to them when one player showed me the back of his sheet which showed his grenade launcher went "Smoke, Smoke, Frag, Phosphorous" and thus didn't need to swap magazines to get some lethal rounds on target.

    Atraties had the same player do it to him (also with a grenade launcher) with a near-future spec ops game that he ran briefly.