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)
Glamour-Woven Gear (Fey)
Treasures Most Artfully and Masterfully Wrought (Underfolk)
Mostly Stolen Loot (Orcs)
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.