Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Equipment every delver has, but not on their sheets

One source of endless amusement to me as a GM is when the PCs go to do some "mundane" delver task, and explain how they'll do it.

"We tie up the goblins and gag them."

"We make a litter out of two sticks and a cloak."

"We burn them with oil."

"We make torches out of old rags and sticks."


My next question is the showstopper. "With what?" or "Who has those materials?"

In my experience as a GM, every players assumes their delver has, as part of some other thing on their character sheet, some or all of the following:

- string
- rope strong enough for the heaviest guy in the party to hang from, but capable of being used to bind hands
- a cloak, which can function as a rainslicker, bedroll, travois or stretcher canvas, useable for disguise, and an endless source of strips for gags and bandages
- a small knife, capable of any and all edged and pointed tool tasks
- some oil, usable for light or setting anything on fire

Nearby, are:
- sufficient burnables to set anything on fire and keep it that way
- especially straight, sturdy sticks ranging from 6' to 10' long, capable of being made into spears or cut into wooden swords
- water, sufficient to put out that fire they just made
- cover capable of hiding the entire party but not of concealing any enemies

Needless to say, none of this is generally true.

Anything else you've assumed you just have as a fantasy PC, or which your players just assume they have?


  1. Truer words were never spoken.

  2. Once we argued whether swords were sold with scabbards or not.

    1. Heh. In GURPS, they are.

      I should post my "Boot Hill" story about starting clothes.

  3. Somewhat related: Arrows are always easily retrieved, even if you missed your mark by a mile in a dense forest.

    1. Obviously.

      It's like how a prone target on a hard, stone floor is an easy target for a bladed weapon - and easy shot for a full-power strike. Missing has no negative consequences, because you missed and therefore clearly didn't hit the floor. Also, it's impossible to miss, and breaks verisimilitude, unless a PC is being attacked.

  4. "Anything else you've assumed you just have as a fantasy PC..."

    I never do that, but then I keep meticulously detailed equipment sheets for my Characters. So much so I've had GMs get frustrated with me asking "How many arrows do we recover after the fight". To be fair though, those GMs didn't care or track that stuff, until suddenly they did, so they were more of the "and now it's dramatically important for you to be out of something" and hated that I kept records that they were ignoring.

    "or which your players just assume they have?"

    Everything. I've had Players decide they had matches in campaigns that didn't even have that technology.

    1. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches, distilled hard liquor, springs, screws, and wire, and lightweight, high-calorie and monster-bribe-worthy rations that last forever are all TL0 inventions in the mind of many players.

    2. Well, at least TL 3. They're found right next to the bronze axes at the local Wal*Mart Super Center...

      In one game I'm in, a city-based game, in an empire, a civilized empire, a PC just tried to argue that instead of selling our ill-gotten loot (we knocked over //Imperial// Mages and all their gear has Imperial Guild crests and such) to our local fences (if they'll even take it) or just burning it (hoping to reduce it's trackability and then History spellness), we should, and I quote, "Go find a barbarian tribe to sell it all too..."


      Okay, now, I'll grant you this is a very Kitchen-Sink, adventure is within 2 weeks of the mega-city, type of Dungeon Fantasy setting... but... barbarians? //Within// the empire?

    3. Empires, by definition, include people who are not the ruling nation, pre-industrial governments were often thinly spread, and e.g. the latter Roman Empire included multiple examples of tribes being settled within the frontiers. Normandy is a more recent, and more "frozen north", example.

    4. Yeah... we're really not in that situation. This is one of those "So how many weeks travel, how much danger, and how much money should we spend to earn a few hundred more bucks?"

      I should have caveated; we aren't in the 'heart' of the empire, but we are in very civilized territory, and neighbors are generally civilized as well...

      The city is a bit of a "border" city, but it's a TL4 "large port city", and the neighboring country isn't some backwards podunkia. We're talking a vaguely 'Perpignan' or 'Nice' style medieval port city... and there are no 'barbarians' anywhere near those cities.

      I mean sure... if we're going to cross over into "Fantasy Spain/Italy", but they're not really what anyone would call properly "barbarians".
      (I mean, cases could be made, I have at least one character that would call them barbarians, but that character is pretty racist...)

  5. The game evileyore is referring to is mine, and the player proposing this is also one who gazebofies every piece of flavor text in a text based pbp game, when half of the other players have weirdness magnet, necessitating a lot of nonsequitor descriptions. This player is also trying to build custom shit out of low tech that is really unnecessary, like a lantern shield for a character who can cast continual light...

    1. I've had one of those. They're the kind who will try check every individual coin and sell it for more than face value to "collectors," which apparently are a thing. Some color text on a variety of cool coins becomes a treasure slog of "It's just worth its weight in silver because it's just a measured weight of silver."

    2. /laughsin'didthatonce'

      To be fair, the GM did introduce a precious metals exchange rate disparity between two countries in a game where I was playing a polymath Wizard with Gate* magics who also had Economics (TL3) at 20 and photographic memory and Mind magics... and was a very, very, very bad person (zero compunction about thoroughly dominating people).

      .* Okay, in fairness I didn't have Teleport high enough to take advantage of it //right away//, but I did very, very shortly and whoa boy did things escalate fast at that point. My character very thoroughly, and deliberately destabilized a few countries economies and racked it in over the flames of war that erupted.

      Did I mention he was a very, very, very bad person? Like the best at being the worst.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...