Sunday, March 1, 2015

Convention Equipment Rule

I've run three games of Heroic Age in its current form, a zero-level funnel using the generic HA rules (no Tekumel) which worked out some bugs in the original system, a mismanaged Broken Tower of Gilraya Forest adventure at U-Con (I'll tell you in a moment), and a much-better run (in my mind anyway) Broken Tower adventure at Con of the North last month.

U-Con was disastrous, because I didn't get the player packets printed before the Con, and the hotel printers in the business center were all out of commission. I didn't schedule any time to make a trip to a FedEx Office. So I had one set of the rules, plus the generic rules for myself, which was enough. The problem was that I had designed the adventure them roll new characters. I budgeted an hour for this task, and it took almost two hours. In a four hour slot. Luckily, there was a two hour break after my game, so a majority of the players stayed and we played through to the next slot.

For Con of the North, I started printing what I needed two weeks earlier than I did for U-Con. Everyone had a packet, and character generation took a little under an hour. I was very pleased, but I noticed that choosing equipment took up almost ten minutes.

This is my solution to that problem, at least for convention games. I'll experiment with this system when I do a face-to-face campaign. These rules apply to Tekumel, but could be in any setting regardless of rule system with a little tweaking.

---

Convention Equipment Rule

Nearly all characters are a part of a clan, legion, temple, tribe, or other social group. These groups, especially clan and tribe, support their members with the basics needed to survive. All characters receive the following equipment at Level 1:
  • Weapons the character has skill for,
  • A full quiver of arrows (20) or crossbow bolts (30) for any missile weapon skills the character has,
  • Armor up to Medium and a shield, if desired,
  • Clothing and footwear of a style appropriate to status,
  • Backpack, pouch, rations, waterskin, bedmat, blanket, and flint, steel, and tinder,
  • A uniform, if a soldier,
  • A sorcerer's bag for Magic Users, and
  • The tools required of any skills you have, for instance a hammer and chisel for Mason skill, and specifically for these skills:
    • A medical bag for Physician and Vet skills,
    • A first aid kit for First Aid skill,
    • An astrolabe for Navigator skill.
For anything else needed on the adventure, each character gets three checkboxes on their character sheet for generic equipment. If the party needs a particular piece of equipment, one character marks off a checkbox and writes in the type of equipment on their sheet, For example, the party comes to a gorge that requires rope to climb down. One of the players checks off a box and writes in "rope - 50 feet", and then announces that they have rope. 

If a fighter wants Heavy armor, rather than the Medium armor the clan provides, they must use a checkbox to upgrade.

---

My goal is to get character generation for system novices in a convention situation down to 30 minutes. I figure those experienced with the system will take 10 minutes. 

Comments, suggestions, criticisms?