In regards to the Sword & Planet genre, equipment tends to be much less of a concern to the characters of the stories than most RPG characters hold it. In keeping with that tendency, we've already introduced the concept of Defense Bonuses to replace the need for armor. However, we can further emphasize the lack of importance for detailed equipment lists by simplifying the manner in which characters gain equipment. Toward that end, I propose the following rules suggestions. Bear in mind that these are only thoughts, not finalized rules, but should demonstrate the kind of approach one might use for characters in a Planetary Romance campaign.
All characters begin adventuring with the same basic list of starting equipment, plus a number of equipment "picks" equal to two plus their character level. A "pick" is simply a choice of equipment from one of the lists below. Some items are worth more than one pick, typically based on its relative importance, comparative rarity and general game impact compared to more common items on the list. The basic equipment common to all characters is:
- Harness: Every character needs something to hang their other equipment on, and harnesses are the most common item for that purpose as described in Planetary Romance novels. With GM permission, this may be replaced with a belt.
- Cape: Every character needs some manner to keep warm at night while adventuring. While sleeping furs are more common for settled characters, adventurers rarely stay one place long enough to make a collection of furs worthwhile, so a cape will have to do.
- Dagger or Quarterstaff: The world that serves as the setting for a Planetary Romance story is often a dangerous place. Everyone needs some kind of protection, even if it is just a simple dagger or quarterstaff. More powerful weapons require the expenditure of one or more equipment "picks", as shown below.
- Waterskin: It's important to stay hydrated when fighting the swordsmen and monsters common to a Planetary Romance adventure. Also, there always seems to be a need to give a dying man a sip of water so he can communicate that last piece of information he has before he dies in the arms of the hero.
Table: Mundane Equipment
Item "Picks" Climbing equipment (rope, grappling hook, etc.) 1 Craft tools (specific to a given craft) 1 Glowstone or lantern (by setting) 1 Healer's kit (acupuncture needles, mortar and pestle, poultice jars, etc.) 1 Manacles 1 Mystic focus 1 Rations, one week's worth 1 Reference tomes, per topic 1
Item "Picks" Mount, riding or draught 1 Mount, war-trained 2 Cart or wagon 1 Flying mount 2 Flying vehicle, 2-man 3 Flying vehicle, 6-man 4 Water vehicle, 2-man 2 Water vehicle, 6-man 3
Weapon Damage "Picks" Size Notes Axe, throwing 1d4 1 T Rng 3/6/12 Axe, hand 1d6 1 S Axe, battle 1d8 1 M Axe, great 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Axe, huge 2d6 2 H Reach Bow, short 1d6 1 S Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands Bow, long 1d8 1 M Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands Bow, great 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands Bow, huge 2d8 2 H Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands Club 1d6 1 S Club, war 1d8 1 M Club, great 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Club, huge 2d8 2 H Reach Crossbow, light 1d6 1 S Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Reload 1 Crossbow, heavy 1d8 1 M Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Reload 1 Crossbow, great 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Reload 1 Crossbow, huge 2d8 2 H Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Reload 1 Dagger 1d4 1 S Rng 3/6/12 Javelin or spear, half 1d6 1 S Rng 3/6/12 Net * 1 M Entangles target; requires a Difficult (DC 20) Dexterity-based saving throw to avoid or escape; Reload 2 Polearm 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Reach Polearm, huge 2d8 2 H Reach Quarterstaff 1d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Radium or crystal pistol 1d8 2 S Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Shots 10; Reload 1 Radium or crystal pistol, heavy 2d6 2 M Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Shots 10; Reload 1 Radium or crystal rifle 2d8 3 (2 for Warriors) L Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Shots 10; Reload 1 Radium or crystal rifle, heavy 3d6 3 H Rng 12/24/48; Requires two hands; Shots 10; Reload 1 Spear, short 1d8 1 M Spear, long 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Reach Spear, huge 2d8 2 H Reach Sword, short 1d6 1 S Sword, long 1d8 1 M Sword, great 2d6 2 (1 for Warriors) L Sword, huge 2d8 2 H Reach
Armor DEF "Picks" Notes Light +2 1 Medium +5 2 3/4 movement; -4 to Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks Heavy +8 3 3/4 movement; -6 to Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks Shield +2 1 -2 to Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks
As you can see, armor is not generally a viable option in a Planetary Romance campaign, but I've offered it as an option here, just in case some might want to use it in their games. The Class Defense Bonus concept protects our heroes, while keeping more to the flavor of the settings described in this genre.
Hope This Helps,