Monday, July 4, 2016

Kith-specific Equipment

Right now I'm playtesting a stupid fantasy heartbreaker with some friends who are nice to humor me. We started the playtest before I had even started writing a traditional equipment list and I just let the players choose whatever fantasy garbage they wanted, because why not right? Crowd source that shit.

Originally I had intended to have four separate equipment lists, one for each racial group. I wanted to do this because 1) I wanted a person's race to be a defining feature, not a piece of set dressing and 2) I thought it would provide good variety in equipment between players.

When I mentioned this conceit to a player, she pointed out that limiting choices in this way would limit a choices in a player's ability to define their own character concept. That is, if I gave the orcs all the sailing gear and winter clothing garb, it robs you of your cool Eskimo whale-hunter concept that you had wanted to play.

She's right, I think. Narrow bands of equipment lists are probably too limiting; equipment and inventory management is a big part of the game. But I had wanted your starting equipment list to be more than just a generic adventurer's pack. I wanted it to be flavorful. I wanted it to be fun.


To this end, I wrote up this little flavor generator today.

When you create your character, choose as many pieces of equipment from the Forge chapter as you can fit into your backpack. Then, draw randomly or choose descriptors for some of these items from this list.

Castle-forged Gear (Men)
1, …half-shattered, but in your family for generations
2. …hand-made by your mother just for you
3. …once belonged to your brother
4. …given to you as a present
5. …made by your  own hand as your journeyman’s project
6. …from a far-away land
7. …blessed by a cleric of Mythrys
8, ...marked with religious iconography
9. …marked with the insignia of your house
10. …marked with the insignia of a rival house
Jack. …plain but exceedingly well made
Knight. … once beautiful, but now tarnished
Queen. …gaudy and gilt, but with no real value
King. …ornate and princely 

Glamour-Woven Gear (Fey)
1. …slightly shimmering with prismatic colors
2. …made of obsidian blacker than night
3. …woven of eldwood vines
4. …emits a light hum when tapped
5. …seems to work itself
6. …always at the top of your backpack when you reach for it
7. …made of animal bones
8. ...grown fully made from a tree
9. …spangled with gem dust
10. …cooled in the waters of ancient Eldermere; yet cool to the touch
Jack. …carved by magic song
Knight. …primitive, but elegant
Queen. …painted with stylized animal iconography
King. …made by the hand of the Tripartite

Treasures Most Artfully and Masterfully Wrought (Underfolk)
1. …etched with a silvery script, detailing its history
2. …made of once-living crystal
3. …made of fallen star-metal
4. …banded with ancient bronze
5. …shaped in the semblance of a fantastic monster
6. …studded with crystal gems
7. …carven with runes that are only exposed by the light of the moon
8. ...covered by a delicate filigree of spun gold
9. …was never exposed to the light of the sun
10. …forged in the lava flows of the deeps; yet warm to the touch
Jack. …ancient beyond days
Knight. …reforged from an item of great history
Queen. …made by your own hand; an exemplar of your craft
King. …made by the head of your guild

Mostly Stolen Loot (Orcs)
1. …crude and jagged, but efficient
2. …carven from mammoth bones
3. …carven from dragon bones
4. …studded with glittering dragon scales
5. …wreathed in draconic iconography
6. …stolen from a temple of Mythrys
7. …stolen from the corpse of a hanged man
8. ...looted from a human crusader
9. …stolen from a halfling merchant
10. …bloodstained and dirty, but serviceable
Jack. …bears its name marked in runes
Knight. …a reward from your thegn, marked with the runes of your clan
Queen. …made by a wood-witch, blessed with her blood
King. …etched with golden runes and set with pearls 

I sort of like how it turned out. I like that humans cared more about the interpersonal relationships defined by the items than by the items' construction. I like how orcs "borrow" from other races. I like how they prompt players to think twice about dropping their starting sword for another weapon they find in the Dungeon. 

We'll see if it actually "does" anything though.

No comments:

Post a Comment