Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fast Packs

I've talked about how character creation has slowed down my games more than once. Fast packs are a great first aid for this...A pre-made set of items to get the players into action with their characters more quickly.

I first saw them in TSR's B4 module "The Lost City" (pictured above). Al's "Starting Equipment Package" at his blog Beyond the Black Gate is the most imaginative use of fast packs I've seen, coming as they do with a proper back story/setting. Very cool! I'm not sure how the item costs correspond with LL/S&W, but Microlite20's site also has a PDF of fast packs.

I'll have to whip some of these up, with a proper back story at some point. They're just too handy and often used to not have readily available, and the possibility of a plot hook or twist is hard to pass up.


Koren n'Rhys said...

We meet again, bulette. Naturally, the equipment packs are part of my S&W traveling game kit, although I have the Basic Fantasy version (www.basicfantasy.org). Now I'll be looking at the Microlite20 version as well. Thanks!

rainswept said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
le bulette said...

You're absolutely correct! I actually scanned the module myself, but when I put it back I must have read the name of the module right next to it afterwards for this post. Thanks and duly corrected...

Telecanter said...

Have you seen Lord Kilgore's post on this? http://www.lordkilgore.com/starting-equipment

I like his approach because it simplifies (everyone starts with the same package of gear) but keeps the intriguing flavor of looking at equipment lists for newer players (why would I need iron spikes or belladonna?).

You set up the basic list (everyone's going to need a backpack) but let them have a little choice from a smaller list of your choosing.

Leonardo said...

A proper back story would seem difficult; the Black Gate example where "adventuring types" are common enough to make a buck off of is strange to me. (The whole idea of a bare handful of adventurers striking out into the unknown is supposed to be weird (and rare) right? Did someone already explain why it happens all the time?)

le bulette said...

@Telecanter: I'd seen Lord Kilgore's post but forgotten about it - a very common sense approach indeed. Everyone's going to have a backpack and at least a few other items, so really beginning equipment can be narrowed down quite a bit. Nice & streamlining, and I'll adopt it, but I'd still like to come up with something akin to Al's piece.

@Leonardo: You're right, it's not going to work in every situation, but I don't think that he was suggesting that. For towns outside of megadungeons, or for a large city state where "dungeoneering" types are known to frequent a particular tavern, I think it's very reasonable. Not adaptable to every situation, but a good example of how to use a little imagination to improve a technical aspect of the game and role play it at the same time.

yoyorobbo said...

Absolutely a time-saver. I loved these things too. Those modules would also note that if you were a cleric or a thief, you had to chose pack C, which made it even easier...ha!

Often times a player just keeps buying "stuff"...'cuz ya never know...and equips his/her character with too much gear.

Another issue with some of the gear setup, either using these fast packs or not, it seems that a lot of gear is duplicated, being chosen by most if not all of the party members.

This came into play last week when we played in JimLotFP's online LL game. I bet the local shop had to reorder "50' rope" as it's shelves were surely bare after we hit it. ;^]

That's ok sometimes, because you never know which guy might fall fall into a pit and be stuck without his comrades grappling hook, etc.

But yes, I always liked the fast packs, and still use them, sometimes with a little customization, just to make it fun. I like my characters to have at least one thing that nobody else has in the group.

Lord Kilgore said...

Thanks for posting the scan. For all that I've heard about Ye Fast Packs, I don't think I've ever actually seen the original.

And thanks to Telecanter for pointing out my own take.

The concept of a starting equipment list is great, but I think everyone is going to want to put their own spin on it and tweak it for their own setting.

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