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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:09 pm 
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So what do folks do for gear lists? In the past, I have gone crazy listing all sorts of techno gear at different tech levels. But it seems like it's easy to over do that.

One of my latest thoughts is that there would be a reasonable size personal communicator/computer that utilizes a pretty standard communications frequency, and that scout ships and the like would put some small satellites up on planets being explored.

And there should be some sort of standard survival kit, and maybe don't try and detail what's in it. Just assume reasonable things if a PC needs something specific.

What are all your thoughts?

Thanks

Frank


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Location: Sonthofen / Germany
Each of my settings has a list of the important pieces of standard
equipment which are available to and used by the average inhabi-
tant, for example computers, communicators, common tool kits,
protective clothing and thelike. In most cases I also add some ex-
amples of typical professional equipment, for example what the
setting's average field scientist or police officer is outfitted with.
All in all a normal equipment list for one of my settings is approxi-
mately one page with rarely more than 40 items, and for me this
list is more important as a way to show the character of the set-
ting than as a shopping list. If the player characters want some-
thing that is not on this list they have to look for a source to find
out whether such an item is available and how much it would cost
them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Location: Northern California
ffilz wrote:
So what do folks do for gear lists? In the past, I have gone crazy listing all sorts of techno gear at different tech levels. But it seems like it's easy to over do that.


I personally work on it with my players so I don't have to do everything myself. It's easy to get lost writing out super-detailed gear lists, but I generally find that players will tend to buy the most high-tech entry for a given gear item that they can get. This means I just write out a single list and explain it as, "this is list of the most high-tech gear that you can get on commercial markets. If you find something isn't here, let's talk about it."

ffilz wrote:
One of my latest thoughts is that there would be a reasonable size personal communicator/computer that utilizes a pretty standard communications frequency, and that scout ships and the like would put some small satellites up on planets being explored.


That's eminently reasonable, I think: I do the same thing in my campaign worlds. The ship places the satellites into orbit on the way down, then picks them up when it leaves so they can be re-used multiple times.

ffilz wrote:
And there should be some sort of standard survival kit, and maybe don't try and detail what's in it. Just assume reasonable things if a PC needs something specific.


If you play with players where that kind of thing doesn't happen (and I've seen groups like this), or perhaps the nature of your game is sufficiently top-down that you never get into this level of detail then yes, it's the way to go.

Myself, I find isn't such a good idea. The problem is that "reasonable" is relative. What is reasonable to someone is not reasonable to another. It's a problem when you as a player feel something is reasonable but I as the GM don't feel it's reasonable; suddenly you're stuck somewhere without an item you'd have felt would have been included in the kit. It's my experience at that point, the game stops entirely while the player(s) try and convince me of the utility of some item and why it's reasonable. As you might tell, we like to get into the nitty-gritty of games and describing detailed actions. We also tend to play lower-tech (closer to modern) so we're more likely to have conversations like:

"Wait, so your character is trekking through the Suspiciously-Afghan-Like-Highlands with a Barret .50 caliber sniper rifle, a M4 carbine with a grenade launcher, a USP .40, and a knife. Plus 300 rounds of ammunition for the M4 in 10 magazines and 10 grenades for the grenade launcher (7 HEDP, 2 Smoke, 1 beanbag) and 20 rounds for the .50 (10 rounds of SLAP, 10 rounds of match-grade FMJ), 3 magazines for the pistol. Now you're carrying that injured child from that village and you want to treat her with a survival kit you've been carrying all this time? How are you carrying all this?"

I'd suggest even if you don't go to the trouble of dealing with encumbrance, you should at least have a list of what's in a standard survival kit: What defines survival? Short-term survival (a few days) where you stay near your crashed ship? Or medium-term survival? You might have a number of different survival kits and list out what each contains but sell them as standardized bundles. This way, you can manage expectations of what's in a kit, what kind of tasks it can handle, and what players will need to acquire themselves if they want some capacity the survival kit doesn't have. For instance, could a survival kit treat injury? How far into the realm of injury can the survival kit treat? Radiation poisoning? Snakebites? Broken bones? Infection? Internal bleeding? What kind of shelter does it come with? A "space blanket"? A tent? An aerosol can of spray plastic that you can spray onto local sand, soil, or gravel to make your own shelter half?

For odd items people ask for in "survival kits" in my own experience: A sectional 3m fiberglass pole is mighty useful at odd times (tent poles, rods for a stretcher, fishing pole, teasing a crocodile to get it away from the 'gold medallion with the map to the lost city' that it happens to be lying near, a makeshift pike to cut IED wires from a safe distance, etc.) but most people wouldn't feel that'd be in a survival kit. But how about a digging spade? Being able to dig is pretty useful useful and has many uses in a survival kit (players being players will then ask, "Is the spade useful as a weapon? Germans during the world wars used theirs as weapons by sharpening the edges, while Soviet Spetsnaz used theirs as thrown weapons!"). Meanwhile 50m of rope is so useful as a survival item I doubt I'll ever be able to list all the uses it can be put to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:50 am 
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good points all. rust, do you have any of your equipment lists you'd care to share?

Certainly coming up with the items most expected to be used and then having players do some legwork if they want to buy something not on the list is a good idea.

One option (gleaming an idea from another discussion board) would be to use current day prices for common things, and then assume reasonable extrapolation of what you get for your money. That way folks can use the web to find a price for some odd thing they want, and then the GM works with them to define the item's capabilities.

Frank


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:00 am 
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Location: Sonthofen / Germany
ffilz wrote:
rust, do you have any of your equipment lists you'd care to share?

Of course, but it is in German. If this is no problem, I can post it here.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:38 pm 
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hmm, German isn't my strong suit (well, nothing other than English, C, Assembler, etc....) On the other hand, German technical words are pretty easy to parse out (well, technical words in most languages seem to be pretty parseable....) so sure, let's give it a look.

Thanks

Frank


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Location: Sonthofen / Germany
ffilz wrote:
hmm, German isn't my strong suit ...

In this case I better translate it ... ;)

This list is for player characters who are colonists on a somewhat
hostile desert world, similar to our system's Mars. It includes the
equipment most often used by colonists, except the usual perso-
nal items - no need to mention the toothbrush or the underwear,
they are just assumed to exist and be available.
There are also no drones/robots and vehicles on the list, they are
far too expensive for a normal colonist and are therefore owned by
the colony.

General Equipment
Atmosphere Tester
Basic Tools
Binoculars
Climbing Kit
Cold Light Lantern
Communicator
Digicam
Environment Suit
Flare Gun
Flashlight
Inertial Compass
Mapbox
Medkit
Metal Detector
Multitool
Portacomp
Power Tools
Portable Laboratory
Pressure Tent
Radiation Counter
Rebreather
Rescue Beacon
Sampling Kit
Satcom
Threedee Printer
Vehicle Tool Kit

Weapons
Survival Knife
Shock Baton
Stun Pistol
Stun Carbine


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:44 pm
Posts: 138
I was thinking that one thing that would be nice is to see some designers notes about equipment lists. They actually have great potential to help define the setting, and suggest what kinds of activities will be important in the game. But sometimes the lists leave one really wondering why something was included and something else was excluded.

For a desert setting, rebreather gets me wondering...

Threedee printer is an example of technology I really feel like I would want to figure out how to exclude. There seems to be potential for 3-d printing technology becoming more than just a way to make models, but actually make practical things. If that technology became advanced, it would render most equipment irrelevant because you would just pack your 3-d printer and a bunch of raw materials and make exactly what you need when you need it.

Frank


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Location: Sonthofen / Germany
While rebreathers are best known for their use in diving, they are
also used in many other cases where it becomes necessary to ex-
tend the duration of an oxygen supply, from mountaineering at
extreme heights to space activities. In the case of the colony a
rebreather extends the duration of an environment suit's oxygen
supply from about 8 hours to about 12 hours.

The colony's threedee printers are very limited in their versatility,
they are best used to produce small and simple everyday items
like for example a bottle, a dinner plate or thelike. They cannot
create complex items or items with moving parts, and their ma-
terial - a bioplast produced in algae tanks - is similar to cheap
plastic and rather brittle.

I included the threedee printer mainly because it makes it unne-
cessary to keep track of all those normally unimportant minor pie-
ces of equipment. If a character thinks he needs, for example, a
spoon or a small plastic tube, I do not have to think hard whether
he can plausible have one with him, because he can always use a
threedee printer to make one on the spot. This also encourages a
certain kind of clever problem solving in a "MacGyver style", using
everyday items to improvise a solution.

And if I think that any unusual item could ruin my adventure, the
threedee printer unfortunately does not have the necessary pro-
gram to make one ... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:44 pm
Posts: 138
Have you heard of CIS-LUNAR rebreathers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cis-Lunar

Frank


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