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Characters and Carrying capacity
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Characters and Carrying capacity Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Whill wrote:
taylor wrote:
At times characters are trying to carry too much weight. To my knowledge there is no limit to how many guns they can have - has any one found a good way to limit a pc walking around with an arsenal?

I like the Rules Of Engagement rules. If you wanted to, the Lifting skill rules on R&E p.58 can also be used to to determine how much someone can encumber himself and for how long.

However I hardly ever use that because I have no qualms about telling players, "That's too much." This is Star Wars. Most adventures do not have any wilderness exploration. I let players know up front I despise that materialistic 'dungeon explorer' mentality that makes them want to carry everything they might possibly need on any adventure just to the local cantina to make a deal. What does Han Solo carry on his person day-to-day? A blaster, some credits, and maybe a communicator. Maybe one person in the party carries a datapad. If they have a tendency to get into bar fights for simple contact meetings, then I can see one PC carrying a medpac. Most of the time, it just doesn't make sense for PCs to carry a bunch of stuff so I do question player choices without rules. But when certain equipment or weapons are needed for the plot of the adventure, sometimes the ship just happens to have stuff needed. I just don't like there to be an overemphasis on equipment.



This.

Also, a method that might work is to require everyone to specify where on his person or pack each item is being carried. Total the weight and if necessary, impose a dex penalty similar to wearing armor (but without the benefits).



In the films, Han Solo may only have a few things on him--blaster, comm, some credits--but characters in the films seem to have, among those few items that they carry, exactly what they need.

Coins are heavy and bulky, yet has enough on him to buy what he wants--and we don't see a swinging coin sack on him--when he flips a coin at the Cantaina bartender.

When Obi-wan and Qui-gon have to follow Jar-Jar Binks under the water--wow, how lucky is it that both of them have these small, nifty breathers that they can just slip between their teeth, like a pencil, and breathe underwater!



Besides this, I've got a player who is one of those Dugeon Exploration guys. He digs having equipment. It's part of the enjoyment of the game for him. When faced with a problem, he like to dig through his stuff for the right tool. If he can't find the right tool, then he likes to find some way to use what he has in a compromise.

If I just flat-out say that he can't play the way he wants, he'll resent me for it (and be in the right to do so--who am I to tell him how to play?).
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your perspective on this.

I can think of a half dozen ways to achieve this without actually having a list of things, but, then, for some, the list actually matters (what they have, and just as importantly what they choose not to have and why) matters to some folk.

I TEND to make allowances for characters to be assumed to have the basic items appropriate to their concept. A medic, for example, still has to track how many med packs he has used, but bandages and suringes and other thins that would be like "ammo" to the character are generrally assumed to be in his possession, up to a reasonable limit (how long have they gone without access to resupply, how bad were the injuries most recently treated, etc). But the same character can't just reach into his pocket and find a plasma torch or hydro-spanner... but the shipyard tech turned PC crew chief could.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Characters and Carrying capacity Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Also, a method that might work is to require everyone to specify where on his person or pack each item is being carried. Total the weight and if necessary, impose a dex penalty similar to wearing armor (but without the benefits).
I have found that when I draw out a rough sketch of a character and located equipment it quickly becomes clear what can easily be carried vs. when the character will clank when he walks and draw odd stares in a bar and when he looks like someone solo hiking the entire Appalachian Trail without any support.

Naaman wrote:
Also, a method that might work is to require everyone to specify where on his person or pack each item is being carried. Total the weight and if necessary, impose a dex penalty similar to wearing armor (but without the benefits).
Agreed. I find if I draw a picture of my character indicating where on his/her person stuff is located it often becomes clear what can be carried easily, what is going to make the character clank when they walk and stand out in a bar, and what makes the PC look like someone solo hiking the entire Appalachian Trail without a support network.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
When Obi-wan and Qui-gon have to follow Jar-Jar Binks under the water--wow, how lucky is it that both of them have these small, nifty breathers that they can just slip between their teeth, like a pencil, and breathe underwater!
What's the point of having library in the Jedi temple complete with Jedi librarian if you can't look up the facts that Naboo has a lot of water and a native species that is amphibian and lives in underwater cities? Once you know that and Jedi youngling scout should know to bring that handy little device that the special effects department made up so that the story didn't bog down having to explain how long a Jedi can hold their breath. Laughing
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A system I've used with Star Wars and other games is this: Each piece of equipment has its own equipment card. Sometimes, I use index cards. Sometimes, I create 8.5x11 sheets of paper (Word doc). But, the point is, each item is on one piece of paper or card.

A character's equipment is either placed in a zip lock container (like one of those pockets for pencils that you can keep in a three ring binder--cards fit into them nicely) or I punch letter holes in the individual equipment sheets so that the player can place them in his binder.

Each equipment sheet will have necessary details about that item. Weight, game stats, and specific notes.* There's usually enough room on the sheets to track ammo usage, if you want to do that.

Having each item on one sheet of paper serves several purposes.



1. First, just the stack of paper or cards is something physical for the player to see to make him appreciate just how much gear he is carrying. For some reason, looking at a stack of index cards has a stronger effect than just looking at 10 items listed on one sheet of paper.



2. This makes it extremely easy to pass things between PCs. It's just like passing the actual item. If a player has his character give or loan his sidearm to another character, then the player physically takes the index card from his pile or the sheet from the equipment section of his Player's Notebook and hands it to the other player.



3. If I have a pack-hound player (I've got one!) who tries to carry everything he can to the limit the rules allow, then I'll have him go through this exercise.

I'll point to his stack of equipment sheets/cards, and I'll say, "That's all of your equipment. I want you to place those on the table in the place that you are roughly carrying the item.

The player has to put any helmet or head device at the top. Then, he goes down the body--anything on the neck, shoulders, torso, arms, waist (always a big area), legs, feet.

There won't be equipment at each location, but it's a stunning visual representation of how the equipment is distributed on the body.

Once the player sees this, I often see the pack-hounds become a little more softer about all the equipment that they are carrying. It's because they can visualize it.

And, in doing this, it gives me more legitimacy if I apply an encumbrance penalty.





*The specific notes on the equipment cards are stuff that I'll attach to equipment to make the game world more "real" and visible in the player's mind's eye. Instead of a Heavy Blaster Pistol, the card may say it's a DL-44 with a handle made from ivory--some horn of some unidentified animal. On the handle, someone has scratched lines--probably marking kills. This one has three hash marks on it.

Or, maybe there is a pair of macro binoculars where the x15 setting does't work. x10 works, and x20 works, but if you set it on x15, you just get a static screen in the viewer.

I find that doing this kind of stuff not only adds character to the equipment, but also leads to some roleplaying sometime. Star Wars is a game where those with good TEC skills can improve and repair items. If someone picks up those damaged macrobinocs, he might also have a moment in the game where he fixes the issue.

This can eat up player character wealth, for parts. And, it can actually endear an item to a player.

Quote:
"This R2 Unit is pretty beat up. Want a new one?"

"Not on your life! Me and the droid have been through a lot together. You OK Artoo?"


When a new set of macrobinocs is available, you might find the player saying, "Ya know, I think I'll just keep the ones I fixed." Because the player likes the item now and has some attachment to it.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
A system I've used with Star Wars and other games is this: Each piece of equipment has its own equipment card. Sometimes, I use index cards. Sometimes, I create 8.5x11 sheets of paper (Word doc). But, the point is, each item is on one piece of paper or card....
Thanks for sharing. Very nice. Very Happy
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: Characters and Carrying capacity Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I have found that when I draw out a rough sketch of a character and located equipment it quickly becomes clear what can easily be carried vs. when the character will clank when he walks and draw odd stares in a bar and when he looks like someone solo hiking the entire Appalachian Trail without any support.


That's one nice thing about some home made PC sheets i have seen, a Cha diagram on the back with an 'equipment' locator block..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
A system I've used with Star Wars and other games is this: Each piece of equipment has its own equipment card. Sometimes, I use index cards. Sometimes, I create 8.5x11 sheets of paper (Word doc). But, the point is, each item is on one piece of paper or card.

A character's equipment is either placed in a zip lock container (like one of those pockets for pencils that you can keep in a three ring binder--cards fit into them nicely) or I punch letter holes in the individual equipment sheets so that the player can place them in his binder.

Each equipment sheet will have necessary details about that item. Weight, game stats, and specific notes.* There's usually enough room on the sheets to track ammo usage, if you want to do that.


That is a very interesting method of doing things. I might (if i ever get back to DMing SW as a home game rather than just my conventioning) nick that idea..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
1. First, just the stack of paper or cards is something physical for the player to see to make him appreciate just how much gear he is carrying. For some reason, looking at a stack of index cards has a stronger effect than just looking at 10 items listed on one sheet of paper.


Plus when they get new loot, its MUCH cooler to be handed a new index card, than just to write it in on your sheet..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
2. This makes it extremely easy to pass things between PCs. It's just like passing the actual item. If a player has his character give or loan his sidearm to another character, then the player physically takes the index card from his pile or the sheet from the equipment section of his Player's Notebook and hands it to the other player.


Or if they lose it (IE got captured, had to run after dropping it etc) its much easier to remove the card from the stack, then find where on your sheet its wrote and erase it, line through it ,then re-type the sheet up and print it out with the edit(s) later..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I find that doing this kind of stuff not only adds character to the equipment, but also leads to some roleplaying sometime. Star Wars is a game where those with good TEC skills can improve and repair items. If someone picks up those damaged macrobinocs, he might also have a moment in the game where he fixes the issue.


Additionally it can make it easier to track what gear's damaged, destroyed, etc..

Mucho cudos for this idea..
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Straxus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
A system I've used with Star Wars and other games is this: Each piece of equipment has its own equipment card. Sometimes, I use index cards. Sometimes, I create 8.5x11 sheets of paper (Word doc). But, the point is, each item is on one piece of paper or card....
Thanks for sharing. Very nice. Very Happy


+1 That sounds super awesome... and a lot of work Razz A GM tried that in another game, but I didn't really see the benefit then. Also, he didn't do the "uniqueness" bit, which I think is what really makes this a great idea.
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