Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AD&D 1e Character Outfitter

Every prospective champion needs a leg up.
We've been in the Temple now for going on 12 weeks.  We've logged many hours, which you can see on our campaign page.  One thing has become apparent - the mortality rate of the Temple of Elemental Evil is higher than any other campaign so far, with 15 dead bodies of foolish adventurers so far.

The ramifications of this are far reaching, and we've seen it spelled out in deadly detail in the game.  When new players join the party, they are at a disadvantage if spit out into the game at a higher level.  They are expected to have a certain amount of magical defenses and capabilities at certain levels - that level being 3 in this classic Greyhawk game.  It's clear that I need to give starting players some magic so they don't immediately die in situations likely to be entered by adventurers in our current group.

We've been playing with it for a few weeks, and I've given all new characters a few magical items with which to start the game.  Not everyone gets a magic weapon, but there is a reasonable amount.  Throughout all that, I've just given out magic items from the book to folks to speed along play, but I've been threatening to codify the process to make it faster at the table.  Well, that day is here.


We'll be launching a new page soon, a Gaming Resources page.  A permanent link to any gaming material we'll be using will be posted on that page, and we have more than a few planned supplements.  Mostly, these focus on facilitating play rather than adding new material such as items or adventures.  You'll get to see more of them later, but there will be more than a few Character Outfitters from AD&D 1e and most likely 2e as well.  For now, the one we are currently using is available here.

I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts about what it is and what it's meant to do.

First of all, the main purpose is to quickly generate a few magic items for new player characters entering the game so they might remain competitive.  A few folks might scoff at this, but I'd say you'd have to look at the actual in play notes to get the idea - that none of this stuff is overpowered, and will hardly matter in the end.  Plenty of different magics are available, and they are only the most common and simplest magic items out there.  Sure there are some real gems...but the severity of the campaign will make sure nothing brought into the game from these tables is going to be unbalancing.

It's not meant to be a shopping catalog for player characters.  To that effect, this is Dungeon Master material only, to be referenced only by the DM during actual play.  This will prevent "window-shopping" and "playing the tables".  Not that it will matter...a 10th level character will only have a few magic items of lesser to mediocre power, and perhaps one of greater than average power.  Perhaps, yet not likely.

The inclusion of treasure is there to help offset the amount of treasure lost in the campaign vs. what will be needed simply to level up.  It's a huge issue, and this will help to mitigate it.  It won't solve it, but some adventurers may start with more money towards their next level - which is the basic problem most adventurers are having at the moment.

The moment that the main source of treasure becomes slain Player Characters, no new characters will be able to use the Outfitter at creation.  The moment that the party realizes it has a surplus of these lesser magical items, no new characters will be able to use the Outfitter at creation.

That's all for now.  The Character Outfitter will be on the table this week, and it looks like we even have our first player to try it out.  Poor Shaunny.  Murdered by shopkeepers last session.