Backpacks and bags


Equipment and Description

Grand Lodge

I have long been driven nuts by Backpacks and bags and sacks and other equipment used to carry stuff.

In 3.x a backpack could carry X cubic feet of equipment. Interestingly NO equipment was described with a cubic foot value. So, in essence we just loaded up the backpack and bags with an infinite number of items until we were concerned with encumberence rules.

So, in my backpack you could find my bedroll, my tent, a battering ram, a few lanterns, a couple lengths of rope, my fishing pole and net, the wizards alchemy lab was in the backpack as well, along with one of every type of weapon I ever found (yes I had an armory in my backpack).

Absolutely rediculous I know. But since the primary concern was weight and encumberance we were not concerned with what could fit in these bags and backpack.

I REALLY would like a simple note that a backpack can carry X amount of weight of goods rather than a useless cubic foot value.


Agreed. I hate looking on my players sheets and seeing things like ladders and Greataxes listed as in their backpack. Sometimes my players and I would even get into debates over what could fit reasonably into their backpacks and what couldn't, which just slowed down gameplay to a screeching halt.

Grand Lodge

In our games backpacks were sort of like bags of holding- weight counted but volume did not. :)

It was great when we got a bag of holding- we put an item in the backpack first, then put that pack into the Bag of Holding- we can carry an infinite amount of goods that way...essentially.

When I GM, I give Bags of Holding as loot at level 1, so I don't have to worry about encumberance ever again. :)

However, it is just silly to have so much junk in a backpack. Since everything already has a weight associated with it, it makes sense for apack to have a weight limit. While you may still get polearms carried in packs, you would likely have far less stuff in there.


Krome wrote:

In our games backpacks were sort of like bags of holding- weight counted but volume did not. :)

It was great when we got a bag of holding- we put an item in the backpack first, then put that pack into the Bag of Holding- we can carry an infinite amount of goods that way...essentially.

When I GM, I give Bags of Holding as loot at level 1, so I don't have to worry about encumberance ever again. :)

However, it is just silly to have so much junk in a backpack. Since everything already has a weight associated with it, it makes sense for apack to have a weight limit. While you may still get polearms carried in packs, you would likely have far less stuff in there.

Hehe, that's odd, I actually have done the same thing (the bag of holding thing at early levels, not the backpack in them). Great minds think alike, you know ;]

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think changing this makes sense. I've been bugged by this issue too.

Thanks for bringing this up, Krome.

-Skeld


In D20 Modern a backpack can hold 60 pounds of gear and has pockets and straps for attaching tents, bedrolls, and other gear. These are the hiking packs. Smaller backpacks (typically those used by students) can hold about 10 pounds.

I have transported that over for my D&D games. I also allow masterwork backpacks at 52gp, which provide a +2 circumstance bonus to Strength for figuring encumbrance.

Belt pouches hold 1 pound. For small characters, I reduce the load by 25%.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Although I can see the value of this sort of rule, I am a little concerned that it might lead to some strange situations. I could fit a lot more than 60 lbs worth of iron in a backpack, and a lot less than 60 lbs worth of feathers...

Is this an issue.. or is the weight concern the primary issue here.. that after about 60 lbs, things get ridiculous. In a perfect world, a backpack would have a volume and a weight limit... but that is just too complicated for our purposes.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Liberty's Edge

My old group had a saying; "Welcome to the party. Here's your mithral shirt and Handy Haversack."

HH's are the best thing since sliced bread for basic adventuring needs. You can carry all your misc. gear and a fair haul of treasure. If everyone in the party has one, you'll be fine for loot transport well into the mid-high levels (unless your players try to take the furniture). Any character I play with less than an 18 STR gets one ASAP.

Backpacks and belt pouches OTOH, fall quickly by the wayside. I think that keeping the rules simple is essential for space and sanity. Something like a 60lbs and 2 cu. ft. limit is reasonable for a good sized pack.

In general, I think it's important to keep the number of entries and rules regarding nonmagical gear to a bare minimum. Have you read the Dungeonscape rules for the rubber ball?! Most of this stuff should just be common sense/GM discretion.

What matters more IMO is fixing the basic economic model and making the craft skill rules more wieldy (it takes _how_ long to make a pistol shot?)

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Xuttah wrote:
In general, I think it's important to keep the number of entries and rules regarding nonmagical gear to a bare minimum. Have you read the Dungeonscape rules for the rubber ball?! Most of this stuff should just be common sense/GM discretion.

For the record, I did write some of the gear chapter of that book, but not that part.... That was all Rich.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Liberty's Edge

LOL! I thought an entry like "It's a frikkin' rubber ball! You can bounce it at stuff." would have sufficed. :)

PS can I get a masterwork one? ;P

Dark Archive

I think it's funny that there are capacity limits on magical backpacks, but not mundane ones ... :)\

I think a line of verbiage saying that fishing items out of a full backpack may require a DC 10-15 Dex check would be enough, but a weight limit would not be unreasonable either.

But what Xuttah said is correct -- by 6th level, what fits in a backpack takes a back seat to what fits in a Handy Haversack ...


Archade wrote:
But what Xuttah said is correct -- by 6th level, what fits in a backpack takes a back seat to what fits in a Handy Haversack ...

QFT

Grand Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Although I can see the value of this sort of rule, I am a little concerned that it might lead to some strange situations. I could fit a lot more than 60 lbs worth of iron in a backpack, and a lot less than 60 lbs worth of feathers...

Is this an issue.. or is the weight concern the primary issue here.. that after about 60 lbs, things get ridiculous. In a perfect world, a backpack would have a volume and a weight limit... but that is just too complicated for our purposes.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Honestly the problem is how much you want to make of it. Our group thinks backpacks are the most silly item in the game. Already you can store an infinite amount of gear in it since there is no weight limit. You can litterally put a dozen suits of plate armor in a backpack with room to spare! There is no weight limit. There is a Cubic Foot limit, but no gear is listed with a cubic value so it becomes meaningless.

One backpack can litterally hold- one bedroll, one tent, one fishing pole, one net, one battering ram, one alchemy lab, one armor kit, one weapon kit, a climbing kit, a keg of water for every member of the party-regardless of how many party members are in the party... in ONE backpack... because there is no limiting value used by all items.

No matter what there will be ways to abuse it or cry it is not realistic unless both weight and volume is used for every item. However, if a limiting value is to be used it really should be one that has some kind of real meaning.

I, in no way, feel it necessary or realistic to include volume for every item listed. You guys just don't have the time, space or need. But IF a value is listed at all, then it should be one that is already used.

Let's compare it this way... you want to buy a car that gets 40 MPG and ask the dealer how many gallon does the tank hold... and he said the tank does not hold gallons at all but holds 1,000 linear feet of gas... that is how silly backpacks are. :)

Grand Lodge

Archade wrote:

I think it's funny that there are capacity limits on magical backpacks, but not mundane ones ... :)\

I think a line of verbiage saying that fishing items out of a full backpack may require a DC 10-15 Dex check would be enough, but a weight limit would not be unreasonable either.

But what Xuttah said is correct -- by 6th level, what fits in a backpack takes a back seat to what fits in a Handy Haversack ...

And when you figure how much stuff is in a pack, maybe a few rounds as well :)

And BTW I would be just as happy if the limiting volume was completely removed and just left to GM decision. What gets me is the useless unit that is used. Why even waste ink on that?

Liberty's Edge

So, we put a limit on the space it has and the weight it can bear. Leave the volume of mundane items to DM discretion since the HH makes it moot in a few levels anyways.

Grand Lodge

Xuttah wrote:
So, we put a limit on the space it has and the weight it can bear. Leave the volume of mundane items to DM discretion since the HH makes it moot in a few levels anyways.

But the Haversack is not listed in PRPG. In fact I have never seen it before. Where is it found?

Scarab Sages

Krome wrote:
Xuttah wrote:
So, we put a limit on the space it has and the weight it can bear. Leave the volume of mundane items to DM discretion since the HH makes it moot in a few levels anyways.
But the Haversack is not listed in PRPG. In fact I have never seen it before. Where is it found?

pg 377 left column

Liberty's Edge

Krome wrote:


But the Haversack is not listed in PRPG. In fact I have never seen it before. Where is it found?

Handy Haversack pg 377 PFRPG


One problem with all this, in a lot of RPG's, the weight of a lot of items is a lot higher than it should be. I don't have my copy of the beta with me, so I can't account for that in Pathfinder, but, 3.5 was very bad about that.

Liberty's Edge

Sighvat wrote:
One problem with all this, in a lot of RPG's, the weight of a lot of items is a lot higher than it should be. I don't have my copy of the beta with me, so I can't account for that in Pathfinder, but, 3.5 was very bad about that.

I think they're largely unchanged from the SRD. You could check there and come up with a list of suggestions. Keep in mind that modern materials are ususally lighter than their medieval counterparts.


This is one of those places where players have to be willing to bow to common sence.

For the first 8 or 10 levels of our current campaign, we had a string of pack mules. (Then they were killed in a hot down draft, but by then we had some big bags of holding.) That was the only way I could reasonably explain how I could carry all the weapons and such that were stripped from fallen foes.

If we are going to leave the volume to common sence, can we have some more reasonable weights for some of the items? In the past the excessive weights were used to show bulkiness...

Liberty's Edge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Although I can see the value of this sort of rule, I am a little concerned that it might lead to some strange situations. I could fit a lot more than 60 lbs worth of iron in a backpack, and a lot less than 60 lbs worth of feathers...

Is this an issue.. or is the weight concern the primary issue here.. that after about 60 lbs, things get ridiculous. In a perfect world, a backpack would have a volume and a weight limit... but that is just too complicated for our purposes.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Before 3E, equipment was rated by encumberance rather than just weight. Everyone constantly treated it as weight, but the rules were clear that it was encumberance.

If tracking both volume and weight is too complicated, then a decision should be made which one to handwave. The rules look rather silly tracking equipment by weight and content capacity by volume with no way to reference between the two.

Assign set capacities to the containers and let people sigh massively over the 60 lbs of feathers just as they do over the four polearms "sheathed" across an overequipped fighter's back.


I would still vote for a weight load on bags. The weight load could be used to calculate a quick encumbrance level.


This is a fun take on a rules bug that nicely highlights an interesting problem. The point, I think, is that it's fun to laugh it off, since the alternative is a tracking chore anyway.

There was an interesting idea in another thread (link here) of a simplified burden count. It might help in games where you care about encumbrance, but I don't know how abstract burdens translate into carrying capacity of bags and backpacks (tracking individual containers might be too much detail for this level of abstraction).


Samuel Weiss wrote:
Before 3E, equipment was rated by encumberance rather than just weight. Everyone constantly treated it as weight, but the rules were clear that it was encumberance.

That was a simple system and worth looking at again. My own intent (which I admit to never getting around to) was to establish "load units" or something to all the gear and loot my players would come across. Not only would this help establish how much could be carried in a backpack, but it would speed up the process of readjusting encumbrance every time the PCs picked up a sack of silver coins.

In effect, I'd say something like a backpack could carry 30 load units (or whatever). The rope the PC was carrying would take up one block, the food and water might take up three and so on. When they find a magic lamp with a LU rating of 2, the player can just toss it in his pack, cross off two squares of his pack's limit and move on. When they find the magic carpet, though, and it's LU score of 45, they'll immediately know it won't fit in the pack.

Total encumbrance would also be tracked the same way and the PC might have a limit of 150 LUs before his movement rate is diminished. As the PC picks up more treasure and gear, the player keeps crossing off encumbrance blocks (or opening them up as he uses gear) until such point when he says "I'm moving 20ft per turn now".

It's the time involved in figuring out appropriate load unit values that's kept me from getting started on this.

Grand Lodge

Sighvat wrote:
One problem with all this, in a lot of RPG's, the weight of a lot of items is a lot higher than it should be. I don't have my copy of the beta with me, so I can't account for that in Pathfinder, but, 3.5 was very bad about that.

I think that is because weight was supposed to relate to encumbrance rather than actual weight. For example 10 pounds of lead isn't too bad to carry, but 10 pounds of feathers is a pain in the tookas.

Grand Lodge

Handy Haversack... Holy Smoke that is awesome! That just became as essential as a +1 longsword! And cheap too. Players should be able to get that relatively soon.

Honestly, after looking about suggestions I think the absolute easiest way to deal with encumbrance and weight is to change the weight column to Load Units, leave the numbers the same, have containers refer to Load Units, and have encumbrance refer to Load Units. That way no new math is involved, the numbers remain the same, the numbers can make a sort of sense, and almost no work is required for the editors AND you have a system that is logical (mostly).

This way a Load Unit becomes a measure of encumbrance, which makes more sense... it accounts for volume and weight and ease of carrying...


Krome wrote:
This way a Load Unit becomes a measure of encumbrance, which makes more sense... it accounts for volume and weight and ease of carrying...

Such as the following (modified from the SRD):

Load: If you want to determine whether your character’s gear is heavy enough to slow him or her down more than the armor already does, total the load of all the character’s items, including armor, weapons, and gear. Compare this total to the character’s Strength on Table: Carrying Capacity. Depending on how the load compares to the character’s carrying capacity, he or she may be carrying a light, medium, or heavy load. Like armor, a character’s load affects his or her maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, carries a check penalty (which works like an armor check penalty), reduces the character’s speed, and affects how fast the character can run, as shown on Table: Carrying Loads. A medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for the purpose of abilities or skills that are restricted by armor. Carrying a light load does not encumber a character.

If your character is wearing armor, use the worse figure (from armor or from load) for each category. Do not stack the penalties.

Note, I only changed the word "weight" to "load" a couple of times in that paragraph. The rest of the text was unchanged.


Encumbrance and carrying capacity always to me seemed like a litmus test of just how rules-focused a particular gaming group was. Some groups pay no heed at all (the battering ram in the backpack syndrome) whereas others calculate the weight of every last coin.

I guess an alternative - if it was really necessary - would be to incorporate part of the old encumbrance rules and provide, for each item, a value for weight along with an encumbrance/"load unit" value in coins. That way, containers could be given a capacity in coins to determine how much could be stuffed inside ("coins" being an elegant core unit), while items would still have a weight value for purposes of character encumbrance.

No matter how you do it, a strong helping of common sense is probably going to be the best method of handling the issue in the end.


cmaczkow wrote:
No matter how you do it, a strong helping of common sense is probably going to be the best method of handling the issue in the end.

Based on the OP, though, I was assuming that common sense wasn't a factor.

Liberty's Edge

Krome wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Although I can see the value of this sort of rule, I am a little concerned that it might lead to some strange situations. I could fit a lot more than 60 lbs worth of iron in a backpack, and a lot less than 60 lbs worth of feathers...

Is this an issue.. or is the weight concern the primary issue here.. that after about 60 lbs, things get ridiculous. In a perfect world, a backpack would have a volume and a weight limit... but that is just too complicated for our purposes.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Honestly the problem is how much you want to make of it. Our group thinks backpacks are the most silly item in the game. Already you can store an infinite amount of gear in it since there is no weight limit. You can litterally put a dozen suits of plate armor in a backpack with room to spare! There is no weight limit. There is a Cubic Foot limit, but no gear is listed with a cubic value so it becomes meaningless.

One backpack can litterally hold- one bedroll, one tent, one fishing pole, one net, one battering ram, one alchemy lab, one armor kit, one weapon kit, a climbing kit, a keg of water for every member of the party-regardless of how many party members are in the party... in ONE backpack... because there is no limiting value used by all items.

No matter what there will be ways to abuse it or cry it is not realistic unless both weight and volume is used for every item. However, if a limiting value is to be used it really should be one that has some kind of real meaning.

I, in no way, feel it necessary or realistic to include volume for every item listed. You guys just don't have the time, space or need. But IF a value is listed at all, then it should be one that is already used.

Let's compare it this way... you want to buy a car that gets 40 MPG and ask the dealer how many gallon does the tank hold... and he said the tank does not hold gallons at all but holds 1,000 linear feet of gas... that is how silly backpacks are. :)

it falls into the DM common sense how much does he allow the chars to carry in there

also characters have encumberance... so is not as if they could carrya dozen suits of armor, even if their backpack allowed it

somethings must be left for players and DM logic
but the better people to tell you how much can or can't go in a bagpackare the army folks, they are made tocarry about 60 lbs in equipment and that is a lot of equipment (learning it by watching TV, cultural programs)

Grand Lodge

cmaczkow wrote:
Encumbrance and carrying capacity always to me seemed like a litmus test of just how rules-focused a particular gaming group was. Some groups pay no heed at all (the battering ram in the backpack syndrome)

In one game we played our battering ram was the Dwarven Druid with a Full Plate Helm -lined in leather to make him feel better about the metal... he HATED that! And the beard made a fine handle to swing him with

lol I miss that game.

Grand Lodge

Fletch wrote:
cmaczkow wrote:
No matter how you do it, a strong helping of common sense is probably going to be the best method of handling the issue in the end.
Based on the OP, though, I was assuming that common sense wasn't a factor.

lol never said I proposed common sense :)


Krome wrote:

In one game we played our battering ram was the Dwarven Druid with a Full Plate Helm -lined in leather to make him feel better about the metal... he HATED that! And the beard made a fine handle to swing him with

lol I miss that game.

LOL! Sounds like a fun game.

Fletch wrote:


It's the time involved in figuring out appropriate load unit values that's kept me from getting started on this.

Someone suggested dividing all the weights by 10 to make counting easier. Items less than 1 load unit (LU) could just get a "-" value, and you could say it takes ten of them to equal 1 LU.

Grand Lodge

I figure those who ignore weight and logic now will do so almost no matter what. Almost.

I would use it if it made any kind of sense what-so-ever. Load Units make sense to me.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Krome wrote:

I have long been driven nuts by Backpacks and bags and sacks and other equipment used to carry stuff.

In 3.x a backpack could carry X cubic feet of equipment. Interestingly NO equipment was described with a cubic foot value. So, in essence we just loaded up the backpack and bags with an infinite number of items until we were concerned with encumberence rules.

So, in my backpack you could find my bedroll, my tent, a battering ram, a few lanterns, a couple lengths of rope, my fishing pole and net, the wizards alchemy lab was in the backpack as well, along with one of every type of weapon I ever found (yes I had an armory in my backpack).

Absolutely rediculous I know. But since the primary concern was weight and encumberance we were not concerned with what could fit in these bags and backpack.

I REALLY would like a simple note that a backpack can carry X amount of weight of goods rather than a useless cubic foot value.

There's a simple table at Crystalkeep.com that has everything you're looking for, from backpacks to wagons and everything in between. It's an invaluable tool at my table.

--Vrock and tackle...

Grand Lodge

Holy Canoli! following a link I find backpack holds 1 cu foot/60 pounds.

interesting.

Still like Load Units. :)

Dark Archive

primemover003 wrote:
Krome wrote:

I have long been driven nuts by Backpacks and bags and sacks and other equipment used to carry stuff.

In 3.x a backpack could carry X cubic feet of equipment. Interestingly NO equipment was described with a cubic foot value. So, in essence we just loaded up the backpack and bags with an infinite number of items until we were concerned with encumberence rules.

So, in my backpack you could find my bedroll, my tent, a battering ram, a few lanterns, a couple lengths of rope, my fishing pole and net, the wizards alchemy lab was in the backpack as well, along with one of every type of weapon I ever found (yes I had an armory in my backpack).

Absolutely rediculous I know. But since the primary concern was weight and encumberance we were not concerned with what could fit in these bags and backpack.

I REALLY would like a simple note that a backpack can carry X amount of weight of goods rather than a useless cubic foot value.

There's a simple table at Crystalkeep.com that has everything you're looking for, from backpacks to wagons and everything in between. It's an invaluable tool at my table.

--Vrock and tackle...

Now here is something that makes my GMs Heart leap in joy.

Thanks a lot. This will stop a lot of discussions. To tell the truth, 82% of those discussions are my fault. I am the kind of GM who insists that any object carried around must be noted on the sheet. Its annoying to most of players, even to me, but I just hate it when the group has to enter a maze and everybody pulls out 50 torches, 6 Lanterns 100 pounds of chalk and 1000 yards of (multi-colored)string, along with the (previously mentioned in other posts) battering ram, food and drink for 2 weeks per character (and I am talking not only about beef jerky or similar dry rations, but of fresh meet, vegetables and fruit) along with 1 week worth of fire wood), without finding it on any sheet, or without regards if all that (plus weapons, spare Armor, oil, fishing pole etc.) fits in any three to five backpacks. Addressing peoples common sense usually is only answered with groans on the players part and them calling me a spoil sport who takes that kind of rule in the game to realistic. But what fun is a maze or a long journey through any type of country if you cant exploit a groups bad planing?

This list will help a lot, although my people will now definitely not only call me a spoil sport but a rules lawyer on top. Hellfire, live as a GM is hard....but I would not want it any other way..except every once in a while (on a regular basis). :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Dusk I know exactly what you mean. In fact the last PC I ran got a Bag of Holding III and during an expedition to a lost dwarven complex I meticulously inventoried the full 750lbs of gear packed in chests and crates that we had brought along for setting up our base camp. A level of detail many players gloss over, but one I like to keep track of... same as my monthly upkeep costs or spell componant pouch.

--Vrock, Stock, and Barrel...


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like the load units idea but am fine with just doing it by weight too (which pretty much works out the same). I had no problems with this in 2e but agree that the lack of capacities in 3e has annoyed me (in fact I have usually just referred to my 2e books for that info when needed).


Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:
...food and drink for 2 weeks per character (and I am talking not only about beef jerky or similar dry rations, but of fresh meet, vegetables and fruit) along with 1 week worth of fire wood)

Food usage is next on my list. Like encumbrance, it's too complicated to be worth the effort to accurately account, but I rail at the idea that PCs are just assumed to be well-fed all the time.

Maybe I could declare that a PC needs 1 Load Unit of food every day...


Why not give items a 'size' as well as a weight? For example, a suit of plate mail may not weigh enough to exceed your bag, but if your bag can only hold up to size S items and the armor is size M you have a problem. Of course this wouldn't be a complete fix, but I don't think most of us are that interested in a complete fix.


Velderan wrote:
Why not give items a 'size' as well as a weight? For example, a suit of plate mail may not weigh enough to exceed your bag, but if your bag can only hold up to size S items and the armor is size M you have a problem. Of course this wouldn't be a complete fix, but I don't think most of us are that interested in a complete fix.

I was thinking the same thing. Size could just limit what is possible to put in the bag, but only LUs would actually be tracked.

Asgetrion had the idea of dividing weights by 10 to get load units (link here) and suggested medium load at LUs = Str and heavy load at LUs = 2 x Str. However, the Carrying Capacity table in 3.5 PHB (can't access my Pathfinder PDF at the moment) is non-linear. The load increments per point of Strength slowly increase. You could divide all the weights in the table by 10 too, but it would be nice to replace the table with a simple formula. To achieve the same non-linear carrying progression, you could increase max LUs by (Str mod x 20%). For example, a character with 15 Strength would get 15 LUs plus 40%, or 21 LUs. That's close to the maximum load for 15 Strength in the carrying capacity table. A medium load would start at 1/3 of that, or 7 LUs, and a heavy load would start at 2/3 of max, or 14 LUs. A backpack would be limited to 6 LUs and size Small objects. All that's needed is a formula to turn Str into max LUs; something a little simpler that approximates 20% per Str mod non-linear scaling would be great. Then medium load = 1/3 max and heavy load = 2/3 max.

Dark Archive

primemover003 wrote:

Dusk I know exactly what you mean. In fact the last PC I ran got a Bag of Holding III and during an expedition to a lost dwarven complex I meticulously inventoried the full 750lbs of gear packed in chests and crates that we had brought along for setting up our base camp. A level of detail many players gloss over, but one I like to keep track of... same as my monthly upkeep costs or spell componant pouch.

--Vrock, Stock, and Barrel...

Vrock, by mentioning the upkeep costs for spell components, you made my day. So far I thought that I might be the only one who bothers with that stuff.

Every time I mention spell component costs and especially the need to resupply these, my players give me looks that could not only kill but also level mountains and destroy whole kingdoms (and their neighbors). I think its only fair to have spellcasters keep track of their components, 'cause an Archer also has to resupply arrows, and others have to exchange broken weapons and armor. But for some strange reason its only the spell component thing that seems to annoy them, even the non-spell-casters.

A few years ago I played a wizard. During on crucial moment I noticed that he had just used his last component (with still a few spells memorized). I decided then to announce that I am no longer able to use my best spells and kept running around in circles, trying to loose that stupid bullywug that tried to bash in my head.

That kind of resulted in some great comedy (me using the fighter in plate as cover for a few rounds, and in the act hindering him during his fighting of the stupid frogs) as well as a different kind of problem solving (and of course role playing).

Ahhh the good old tomes, how I miss them...

Grand Lodge

In one game we played in I was the accountant and grabbed a free accounting program for my laptop. I tracked every thing we spent (way too much on loose women).

It was actually rather cool cause we could account for every thing we ever spent money on. Like when the GM told us emphatically we never bought rope for the delve. I showed him where we bought it and how much we paid (above book cost too) and then he remembered it.

We did wind up buying a pack mule and a porter to help us out, eventually. Course the Gnolls ate them and really pissed us off.

Dark Archive

Fletch wrote:
Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:
...food and drink for 2 weeks per character (and I am talking not only about beef jerky or similar dry rations, but of fresh meet, vegetables and fruit) along with 1 week worth of fire wood)

Food usage is next on my list. Like encumbrance, it's too complicated to be worth the effort to accurately account, but I rail at the idea that PCs are just assumed to be well-fed all the time.

Maybe I could declare that a PC needs 1 Load Unit of food every day...

Hi Fletch,

I don't think that would be necessary. As long as a group is staying in some kind of village the is really no need to spend keeping track of food. I usually assume that they have eaten in some Inn.

If the hike cross country, than it would be enough to have them use their daily rations. keeping track of this is simple since (at least my people) do note those on their sheets. If they run out, the just send the ranger hunting. The problem here is, that if they are traveling in steppe or some other country without wood, they usually are unable to cook the meat. And when asked if they carry firewood..... I get those nasty looks again.

I don't know, maybe I put to much realism into those scenes, but to me, the fun part about traveling the wilderness comes with the problems that might bring. The game is not only for slaying monsters....

I would appreciate for any comments, especially on how others handle this, or how you persuaded your players to take that kind of "how do I survive in the wild interlude" serious.

Grand Lodge

Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:


I would appreciate for any comments, especially on how others handle this, or how you persuaded your players to take that kind of "how do I survive in the wild interlude" serious.

I do not require provisions in town, it is handled when they buy dinner and stuff. I charge either a by day, by week or by month lifestyle for them (depending upon if they EXPECT to be in town that long).

In the wild, I expect them to bring enough rations for half the trip in days and one days worth of water.

During the trip I have them make track checks, wilderness lore and stuff like that to find water to resupply (usually they make camp there) and to find game. The game can keep a day so generally they don't worry about food too much.

Once they get to the dungeon or where ever that food will be scarce then I have them crack out the rations and water. Though I usually make sure there is a source of water in or near the dungeon (only the oddest critter would make a lair or building with no source of water). Also with Create Water we don't worry too much about water.


Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:
Vrock, by mentioning the upkeep costs for spell components, you made my day. So far I thought that I might be the only one who bothers with that stuff.

As a DM, I instituted a rule that if an item is not written down, the character misplaced it and it is lost. As a result, my current group even has an "accountant" who keeps track of any treasure not immediately claimed by a PC. unclaimed treasure is allocated to either a bag of holding or a portable hole and split after an adventure.

This tactic has had the side effect of causing the players to be more aware of their resources and to actually make use of them.

Dark Archive

Thraxus wrote:
Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:
Vrock, by mentioning the upkeep costs for spell components, you made my day. So far I thought that I might be the only one who bothers with that stuff.

As a DM, I instituted a rule that if an item is not written down, the character misplaced it and it is lost. As a result, my current group even has an "accountant" who keeps track of any treasure not immediately claimed by a PC. unclaimed treasure is allocated to either a bag of holding or a portable hole and split after an adventure.

This tactic has had the side effect of causing the players to be more aware of their resources and to actually make use of them.

True, but they consider this as me being a spoil sport. They just don't any wilderness difficulties (and how to cope them) as "adventure", not even as roleplaying. Maybe I should just take the players (not the characters) camping and have them only take along what they have on their Game-Character-Sheet. Might be that the appreciate the in-game-experience for their characters after they return.....if they survive..:)

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