Friday, August 25, 2017

Quick Equipment Kits notes - from Pyramid 1/06

Yesterday the latest Pyramid came out, featuring an article by me.

Let me just get this right out of the way - loadouts are time-consuming to write. I expected to knock this off in a day or two, writing in my "spare" time between blocks of work. It turned out to take much, much longer.

As an article, it's physically long for its total wordcount. That's thanks to tables, layout (lists, not paragraphs), and formatting. It's why this article is in this issue, and not the one before - it's not small even if the wordcount is rather so.

As a writer, it's a tough way to earn a dollar. There is a lot of text re-use. There is a lot of page flipping, formatting, math, double-checking to ensure the math works, and double-checking consistency with the existing material. That's after you've made decisions about what needs to go into a loadout, knowing full well many people will look at it and say, "This, but not that, or that, and this thing instead - this kit sucks!"

With that out of the way . . .

I wrote this one to deal with an issue I tend to have with buying gear:

- it takes up a chunk of time;

- people forget all sorts of useful gear because they haven't memorized the contents of the equipment lists;

- it takes time to add up the costs and weights;

- full-out loadouts are useful for initial loading out, but not for replenishment or piecemeal add-ons or upgrades.

I tried to account for all of these issues with kits. I'd seen such kits in the Rolemaster Companion and liked them then. So I wanted something like that for GURPS.

If I've done my job right, it should be easier to:

- grab-and-go kits for certain skills and needs;

- replenish ammunition (or stock up), complete with containers if necessary;

- stock up on food by the week or month;

- get an idea of what is an "upgrade" for a set of gear, and what is usually core.

Hopefully I've succeeded!

Although all of this is for the DFRPG, the contents should work just fine for the regular DF line, as well, although the page references are for Adventurers, not DF1: Adventurers.


  1. They're definitely needed. Personally I was disappointed that Kromm didn't go with equipment load outs for DFRPG, and especially as it is meant to appeal to GURPS virgins

    1. One problem with loadouts is that you end up needing a large variety for any given character type. Another, they take up a lot of space. That's why DF13 is so big!

      So I'm not surprised they were left out. It's a logistically heavy tool.

    2. Perhaps, though I quibble with Kromm's reasoning that most players don't like them. Always struck me as the opposite.

    3. I liked the article. DF 13 is pretty close to usable for DFRPG out the gate anyway, if you just ignore the stuff about SM pricing, which I think is pretty helpful.

    4. I've never gamed with anyone that used load-outs as a Player. Now as a GM... I occasionally find them useful.

    5. I rarely have players use whole loadouts, which is also why I wrote kits, instead.

      I'm glad you guys found it useful or at least interesting to read.

  2. I've made enough characters that I don't feel like I really need loadouts, but I still enjoy reading them. And they're good reminders for newer players. So it's great to have this article.

  3. I went through DF 13 to see what the differences in armor would be. And, as expected, for the same cost, you're getting less in armor.

    I made a spreadsheet with the changes. I tried to keep everything as near the DF 13 outlay in armor cost as I could, going up to $10 extra. (Any GM who is going to piss and moan about $10 extra to a starting character needs to get a grip.) All load outs that got a price break got no more than $60 extra, other than the Burglar load out for the Thief, who got $108. (I tried to get Bilbo Light Scale for his Body, I really tried. He needs to steal some instead.)

    Almost all load outs lost DR. Few get more than DR 3; the Heavy Barbarian and Armored Martial Artist get DR 4/3 (Scale) to the Body. You'll have a lower-powered game for the first few sessions, until the players upgrade enough armor.

    A few load outs got big savings in weight, however. The Heavy Barbarian, Fighting Cleric, Crusader, Medium Warrior, and Heavy Warrior all got at least 10 pounds saved on load. The Armored Martial Artist, however, got 21 pounds extra weight, which strikes me as not a good deal for that particular template. I could see a Knight load out taking some extra weight, but not a Martial Artist.

    Maybe I'll make a blog post out of this, once I get the time to handle the table formatting.


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