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Equipment Maintenance and limits

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Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Thrawn » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 11:40am

One of the things that always bothered me with HQ is that heroes just build up massive ammounts of equipment.

I find that over time, discounting artifacts, players tend to carry a battleaxe, a longsword, and a crossbow for weapons, so that they get maximum dice for normal, diagonal, and ranged attacks. Then heroes have a pile of extra weapons, weather they were found in dungeons, or were obsolete weapons that had been replaced by an upgraded weapon. There is no downside to carrying all of this, and there is actually an advantage to stacking up weapons, just in case you run into something like a rust spell or a special statue that breaks weapons. (I actually introduced D&D rust monsters at one point, with the intention of getting rid of lots of equipment, but that tends to get rid of "good" weapons they just buy back, and encourages a bigger pile of weapons just in case they meet another one.)

Armor is a similar situation, where there wasn't a reason to get rid of spairs.

A couple of ways I've thought about limits (but not necessarily using both at the same time.)
1) Maintenance - Characters must pay 10% of the cost of all equipment each quest for repairs and such. Heroes could still carry a lot of stuff, but the more they carry, the higher the costs.
1A) Artifacts could either be assigned values as well, or could be made immune to maintenance.
1B) Failure to maintain could have a couple different effects. The easiest is that the item would be crossed off. A more complex method would be that the item loses 1 die of quality, with each additional missed maintenace dropping a further die. A 0 die item would be destroyed, and an item could be restored for 50% of the original cost of the item.

2) Limits - Max limits on equipment could be set, where a hero simply couldn't carry more.
2A) Weapons - 2 weapons max + 1 dagger (a weapon can be replaced by 5 daggers, so you could carry 11 daggers, or 6 daggers + 1 weapon)
2B) Armor - You can carry 1 helmet, 1 shield, and 1 armor.

The second system is far more inflexible, but really simple to handle. The earlier system adds a lot of potential bookkeeping (which I'm kind of against) but also clears out excess gold (which is good.)

What methods have others used to limit equipment over time?


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Draven » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 12:01pm

We play using your second system. Max limit of two weapons. We allow you to carry two of each type of armour, eg 2 shields, 2 helmets etc. We try to keep rules as straightforward and simple as possible. Loads of ways in a quest where you can make them "lose" equipment if you feel they are becoming too powerful.


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Goblin-King » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 1:28pm

We haven't really formalized it, but the general rule is that:
"what you wear at the beginning of the quest is what you use during that quest."


That means that if you have equipped the broad axe at the start of the quest you can't change it to the crossbow.
So the players can indeed have lots of equipment but they can not be a walking armory.
The exception to the rule is if they find new equipment. That always release the right to change equipment for free.
Also daggers can be thrown even if they are not "held".
Taking the occasional rust spell into account, equipment hoarding is really not a problem in our games.


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby cynthialee » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 2:08pm

Rust spell is your friend.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Thrawn » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 3:50pm

cynthialee wrote:Rust spell is your friend.


The issue I actually have with Rust spells is that it takes out their "best" equipment, still leaving them with a pile of spare equipment, and if there are no limitations, they become even bigger packrats so they can be ready for rust spells.

And if you go through the 5 American packs, there is only so much rust to go around, but there is about 7500 gold to buy equipment, lots of found equipment, artifacts...and that doesn't even count anything actually drawn off a treasure card.

I also feel that since equipment is really the measurement of advancement in HQ, liberal use of rust is likely to be frustrating to players. Doing damage to people doesn't bother them. Rusting their battleaxe or platemail likely results in an "I hate you!"


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Goblin-King » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 4:25pm

You can make it so that they can't carry anything besides the "equipped" items and daggers when they enter a quest.
Everything they find during the quest itself can be freely changed.


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby cynthialee » Tuesday March 27th, 2012 4:50pm

I am very liberal with the use of Rust. Also I rule that all rustable equipment on a character is effected from a single spell. Anything that has metal is ruined. This includes crossbows as I consider them to have metal parts in the trigger mechanism.

Pays for everyone to have a spare weapon to hand off to a friend in the event your friend gets hit with Rust.

Advancement of characters is nice but no one should ever rely on any piece of equipment to adventure. (unless of course it is a needed relic to complete a mission)
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby lorddax » Wednesday March 28th, 2012 7:45pm

As I'm building my upgraded system (the base set doesn't have the same thrill as it did in yesteryear and everyone moved to D&D3.5e), I'm thinking about taking a page from the Diablo franchise. Players have a inventory of an ? x ? grid. Items they find each have particular sizes, if it doesn't fit, you can't take it without reducing your load.

Currently looking at using a card based system for EQ with full sized items being 1 card, half sizes only taking up half a card space, and huge items occupying 2 or more spaces.
Currently looking for victims errr ummm playgroup in NoVA area or commutable distance.

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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby Thrawn » Wednesday March 28th, 2012 11:22pm

Inventory grids work alright for video games, but that seems like a pain for a tabletop game.

I am going to go simple with 2 weapons, 1 helmet, 1 shield, 1 armor.


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Re: Equipment Maintenance and limits

Postby lorddax » Thursday March 29th, 2012 12:22am

Was actually thinking about that and how it could get unwieldy. Thinking perhaps a single line layout but only across X spaces, perhaps 7. 7 would allows regular size items of what you stated above and leaving 2 open spots for pick ups.

As the GM I would easily be able to see whats being used by glancing at the inventory row. I think there's also a hook in there for an NPC or henchman that is very fragile but can carry items out of a quest for you and back to your holdings. May also stop a rogue type character from attempting to put an entire dungeon of treasure in his pockets!
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