Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's in your haversack?

As a GM I don't really like for my players to build complicated and "complete" adventuring kits.  It takes some of the drama and ingenuity away from the players and their characters.  Yes, having that grappling hook and rope makes scaling the castle wall easy, but its much more interesting when your lumbering hulk of a fighter has to make several athletics and acrobatics checks to climb jumping from window to window, silently, avoiding notice from the patrolling guards.

I don't want my players to be completely unprepared, just not prepared for every situation.  The adventuring gear that the party has must be appropriate given the types of characters being played and how they are written into the story.  It makes sense for a professional guide through the Underdark to come prepared with grappling hooks, ropes, lanterns, climbing gear and possibly ten foot poles and what not. But the novice mage who is awoken in the middle of the night and pushed out the door with what meager supplies he could grab on his stumbling way through the darkened hall, would not be similarly prepared.

So, what would my PCs have in their haversacks? Let's see...

Corrin, a very young sell sword (1st level Fighter), whose camp was destroyed in a surprise attack in the middle of the night, runs off into the woods and catches up with a ragtag band of other Sell Swords and Sell Wands.  During his flight from the camp he was only able to manage to grab a few things other than his sword.

In Corrin's haversack you find:
  • Haversack/Backpack
  • Sword
  • Dagger/Knife
  • A few days rations
  • A fire brand (torch)
  • fishing twine and hook (already in haversack)
  • cook pot and travel cup
  • Waterskin
  • Flint and steel (already in haversack)
  • Whetstone (in hand sharpening sword when the attack started)

This is all that makes sense for Corrin to have grabbed during a hurried escape.

1 comment:

  1. For me, a slightly more annoying problem is that ALL of my players have purchased their own Handy Haversacks, turning them into great hoarders of various junk.

    I have on occasion turned this to my advantage. My friend, Tendrilsfor20 gave me the idea to have a dragon cast a modified dispel magic spell on the group, which, rather than sealing their bags, caused them to vomit out all their contents just before the dragon wing-buffeted them out of its lair. The wizard learned a valuable lesson about secure spellbook storage.

    If they are using magic bags, you could cause similar headaches, like lingering anti-magic fields that prevent access to that much needed 50' rope, or traps with an offset line of attack that closes a heavy door or fires a secondary charge 11' away... but that would be mean ;)