The tools of the adventurer are as important as his resolve in the face of danger. Without his trusty blade, sturdy boots, and a purse full of coins, his adventuring career is likely to be brief.
There are ten items of adventuring gear in the Dragon Warriors rulebook - plenty for an adventurer's first expedition, but what about the next, and the next, when he's a little bit more experienced, a little bit wealthier, and wants to be a little bit more prepared?
Dragon Warriors only have ten encumbrance slots, so space is at a premium and also means that pages of items are unnecessary - small items that a character keeps in his pockets, like chamois cloths to polish armour, chalk for marking dungeon walls, or other such paraphernalia are just assumed to be present and do not need to be recorded. Dragon Warriors is not an exercise in logistics and planning, but still deserves a little more attention to, and expansion of, the available equipment and the rules surrounding it.
- Availability of Goods
- Quality of Goods
- Adventuring Gear
- Food & Lodging
Availability of Goods
The availability of goods in the original Dragon Warriors rules required an extra die roll for everything being purchased, which could result in a lot of unnecessary rolling with little impact on the game. Instead, the equipment tables listed here simply indicate that if the character is in a large enough settlement to stock the item in question, there is a plentiful enough supply of it for the characters to buy what they need. Dragon Warriors is a game centred around heroism and adventure, not shopping!
Settlements are categorised as per the following table and GMs should note that capital cities are listed as a separate category and always offer additional services, even if they are smaller than other cities within the same kingdom.
If a character is in too small a settlement for an item to be widely available, he may make an Area Knowledge check against whatever difficulty the GM feels appropriate to find a private seller of such an artefact, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.
Quality of Goods
Not all goods are created equal, but the difference in game mechanics for better or worse quality goods is difficult to represent. Additionally, whilst it is always possible to pay more than goods are worth and get nothing extra, the following table provides some indication of what better quality goods might actually be worth. GMs should also bear in mind that better quality might not necessarily mean better performance reflected in bonuses to skills, ability scores, etc., sometimes it just means that the object is more durable or looks nicer.
From a role-playing perspective, players should consider whether their character would be happy with below average goods or be so extravagant as to buy above average goods.
GMs should be encouraged to take into consideration the character's fineries (or lack thereof) when determining the reactions of NPCs and, indeed, the durability of their equipment in stressful situations - a character that scrimped on shoddy rope may regret that decision when he's dangling half-way down an old well!
Quality also has an effect on availability, with better quality goods in shorter supply than their lower quality equivalents, and GMs should factor this in when determining whether an item of equipment of a certain quality is available for purchase.
Conveniences like decimalisation make Dragon Warriors easier to play, but less authentic, in my opinion. This is not to say that decimalised currencies are beyond the realm of possibility in Legend, but that it has no place in 'my' Ellesland. The old British monetary system was based on multiples of 12 (12 pennies in a shilling and 240 pennies in a crown). 12, as a number, divides equally between 2, 3, 4 and 6, whereas decimal currencies (based on multiples of 10) only divide equally between 2 and 5.
'My' Ellesland is a low cash realm, where gold coins are rare and valuable and even carrying a few silver coins marks you out as a wealthy man. I also like a currency system that seeps into its culture with numbers that mean something - so for the purposes of the equipment lists and prices here, there are 24 silver florins in a single gold crown, with 16 copper pennies in each silver florin, making a gold crown the sum of 384 pennies, enough to keep a single family fed for 3 months!
The number 24 is known colloquially as a 'King's Share' and 16 as a 'Priest's Share' amongst the merchants of the land. They are also terms used by the tax collectors - with 24 pennies in every crown going to the Lord and a further 16 pennies in every crown going to the Church.
Other coins and denominations exist that the characters will encounter in their travels through Ellesland (for example, the groat, which is worth 4 pennies and colloquially referred to as 'fruppence') and even the currencies of other kingdoms, which might be structured and valued entirely differently. Characters should be careful to use the correct currency in the right towns as their silver may not be accepted everywhere although, in most large towns, the characters should reasonably expect to be able to convert their money into local currency at about an 80% exchange rate.
Armour comes in a variety of shapes, colours and designs, but all armour can be categorised into one of 5 Armour Factors. The AF of a piece of armour represents how effective it is at repelling weapons, the higher being better. To keep Dragon Warriors as simple as possible, only 5 armour types are listed in the table and they each have the same AF against all types of weapons, but GMs should feel free to embellish the list with exotic variations - for example, banded mail: a type of ringmail with strips of metal attached might have an AF of 4, equivalent to chainmail (and for all game purposes, e.g., proficiency, encumbrance, Stealth and Reflexes penalties, etc., be the equivalent of chainmail). Also, the jungle-dwellers of Mungoda may craft a flexible armour woven from lacquered vines that is great at repelling bladed weapons (AF: 4), but offers much less protection against bludgeoning weapons (AF: 2).
There are a number of reasons that GMs should consider introducing many other types of armours into the game with the same game statistics - firstly, all players who want their character to have an AF of 4 might not want their characters clad in identikit suits of chainmail. Secondly, GMs may not want to advertise the AFs of their NPCs by kitting them out with suits of 'standard' armour and, lastly, the GM should be encouraged to introduce cultural and geographic variations in the armours worn by their NPCs to create a distinct and exotic ambiance as the characters explore Legend.
In addition to providing their characters with some much-needed protection, some armour types hinder a character by imparting Stealth and Reflexes penalties. The armour table details all the game statistics of the most common items of armour available in Ellesland.
|Padded Leather||V||15||2||2||-3 Called Shot Penalty (CSP)|
|Hardened Leather||V||75||3||3||-1 Reflexes, -3 CSP|
|Ring Mail||T||300||3||4||-3 Stealth, -2 Reflexes, -5 CSP|
|Chainmail||T||450||4||4||-4 Stealth, -2 Reflexes, -5 CSP|
|Plate||C||1,800||5||6||-6 Stealth, -3 Reflexes, -7 CSP|
|Shield||T||30||N/A||1||Deflects blow on a roll of 1 on a d6.|
|Tower Shield||C||100||N/A||3||Deflects blow on a roll of 1-2 on a d8. -1 to Attack score.|
|Gauntlets**||T||30||5***||1||(d3, 2) punch attacks|
|Studded Gauntlets||C||75||5***||1||(d3, 3) punch attacks|
|* Enc only applies if the armour is carried, not worn.|
** Gauntlets are included in a set of Plate armour.
*** Hands only.
As with armour, weapons should be customised to the location in which the characters are travelling. The main rulebook provides lists of weapons common in Ellesland, but curved blades, polearms and darts may be the norm elsewhere. Not every (d8, 3) weapon is a shortsword, nor is every bow a (d6, 4) weapon - GMs should be encouraged to diversify the selection of weapons and their effectiveness, just as they should for armour.
I have amended a few of the weapons' damage/armour bypass to balance a few of the weapons and to suit my style of play. GMs that prefer faster and more brutal combats, should increase these values.
|Morning Star||(d8, 5)|
|Thrown Dagger||(d4, 3)|
Note that swords are, for game purposes, just as effective as morning stars and handaxes but are significantly more expensive. However, Knights generally tend to prefer the sword because of its additional expense - it is yet another reminder of their superior status (in fact, in some cultures, swords may only be wielded by Knights).
The following weapons are considered 'simple' for the purposes of weapon proficiency:
Club, Dagger, Shortsword, Staff, Crossbow, Rock
Characters with an axe can hack a locked or stuck door to splinters. No roll is needed, but this can usually take several minutes to accomplish. Battleaxes used in this manner have a 10% chance of blunting, losing 1 from their damage value. Handaxes used in this manner have a 15% chance of blunting, again losing 1 from their damage value if blunted. Axes blunted a second time, drop one die from their armour bypass roll (i.e., a d8 becomes d6, etc.). Further blunting has no effect. A blacksmith can repair blunting at a cost of 2 florins.
At the GM's discretion, other 'heavy' weapons, like two-handed swords and halberds could be used to the same effect, with the same chances of blunting.
Blunt Weapons vs. Plate Armour
When a critical hit is struck by a mace or morning star (or other blunt weapon, at the GM's discretion) against an opponent wearing plate armour, not only does the weapon automatically succeed its armour bypass, but it has successfully damaged the armour. Deformed plate then becomes a hindrance to the occupant, incurring an additional -1 Reflexes penalty.
Subsequent critical hits with these weapons further deform the plate armour, until it achieves its maximum Reflexes penalty of -6. A blacksmith can hammer out plate deformities for a cost of 15 florins per deformity.
Bows, Crossbows and Strength
A character with any Strength score can attempt to use a bow. However, having a below average Strength score will affect the armour bypass rolls and damage of an arrow, just as it would for a melee weapon - being unable to pull the string of the bow back fully affects the effectiveness of the arrow.
Unfortunately, having an exceptionally high Strength score does not confer any bonuses because, once the string is pulled back as far as it can go, being any stronger confers no greater velocity or accuracy to the arrow. Very strong archers can, however, commission bows that require a greater than average Strength score to draw. These tailored bows are much more expensive than normal bows (10 times or more), but enable the archer to take full advantage of his high Strength score.
Crossbows cannot be made to take advantage of higher Strength scores and cannot be drawn at all by any character with less than 8 Strength.
There is some equipment that adventurers are always assumed to carry - for example, a Knight will always carry a small chamois leather cloth (or equivalent) for buffing his armour and weapons; almost all characters will carry a whetstone for sharpening nicks out of their weapons; maybe small amounts of chalk or charcoal for sketching battle plans on the stone walls and floors of the underworld; a bow will come with spare bowstrings; etc. While these items have a trivial game effect, a character may want to use one of these items for a non-standard purpose (using chalk to counteract acid, for example). Dragon Warriors is not an exercise in logistics and if the players can reasonably claim that their character has a small, insignificant piece of paraphernalia due to their profession, equipment or background, this should be allowed. However, players should not use this as a substitute for proper planning nor should GMs allow players to abuse this flexibility.
A suggested expansion to the available adventuring gear is provided below
|Acid||30||C||Causes 1 AF damage to armour or 6HP damage|
|Backpack||5||H||Holds 6 ENC. No ENC if worn|
|Cart||45||H||Can carry 60 ENC. Requires a draft animal or 2 men to pull|
|Chain||90||V||Per 10' length, each 10' length counts as 1 item|
|Climbing Pitons (6)||3||V||+2 to Climb skill if driven into the surface to be climbed|
|Clothing||10||V||Single set of basic, sturdy travelling garb. No ENC if worn|
|Cooking Utensils||2||H||A cooking pot & wooden bowls/cutlery to cater for 4 people|
|Crowbar||4||V||+2 to Strength skills where leverage helps|
|Face paint||1||V||+1 to Disguise or Intimidate skills when applied|
|Fish-hook and line||1||H|
|Flask||12cp||H||Stoppered clay flask holding up to 1 pint of liquid|
|Holy Symbol||6||T||No ENC|
|Manacles||30||T||Heavy restraints - difficulty 18 Strength check to escape|
|Music Box||105||C||Plays a short repetitive tune when wound|
|Musical Instrument||15+||C||Basic hand-held wooden instrument. Stringed instruments, metal instruments or free-standing instruments will cost significantly more|
|Paper, Quill & Ink||15||T|
|Rations (1 week)||7||H|
|Rope||3||H||Per 30' length. Each 30' length counts as 1 item.|
|Holds up to 60 ENC (including people)|
|Saddlebags||12||T||Holds 12 ENC|
|Scroll/Map Case||3||T||A basic semi-waterproof capped leather tube|
|Sled||60||T||As cart, but on runners for moving over snow and ice|
|Soap||1||T||Scented soaps cost 10 or more times as much|
|Telescope||450||C||+2 Perception over distance|
|Tent||20||V||Sleeps 2 people comfortably (3 uncomfortably)|
|Trade Tools||50||T||Carpenter's saw, mason's chisel and hammer, etc.|
|Waterskin||1||H||Stoppered leather bladder, holds up to 3 pints|
|Lantern||10||V||40' light, 4 hours' burn time|
|Oil||1||V||4 hours' burn time, 3 flasks count as 1 ENC|
|Torch||2cp||H||15' light, 1 hour's burn time, 3 torches count as 1 ENC|
|Candle||1cp||H||5' light, 3 hours' burn time, 12 candles count as 1 ENC|
|Flint & Tinder||6cp||H||Piece of flint, shard of steel and a few oily rags - no ENC|
Food & Lodgings
Most adventurers will travel places under their own volition and some GMs may choose to just assume the character are where they need to be by the time they need to be there. However, there may be occasions when the amount of time (and cost) it takes to travel between places is important.
In addition to the indicated availability, a suitable road/river/coast also needs to be present. Also consider that coaches do not travel to all locations every day and GMs should consider on what schedule coaches and ships travel between towns. As a rule of thumb, roll 1d10 - on a roll of 10, there is transport available today. Otherwise, the characters must wait a number of days indicated on the die for the next one, or requisition a ship/coach by other means... Open wagons and riverboats tend to be more common, so are likely to be available most days.
Improved quality of transport improves the comfort of the passenger - padded seats, more leg room and, on superlative wagons, even spring suspension to provide some relief from potholes! Note that wagons can only travel along roads or otherwise relatively flat surfaces; roads in poor condition or other rough terrain may significantly reduce progress and even damage the wagon. Improved quality could also indicate more storage space for equipment, although this may come at a cost of requiring more horses to pull it along (some of the larger coaches can be pulled by up to 6 horses). Lower-quality transport tends to be slower, pulled by mules or oxen and with less space for luggage.
|Open Wagon||2||V||30||Up to 80 ENC (passengers and equipment combined), pulled by 2 horses.|
|Closed Wagon||3||T||30||Up to 80 ENC (of passengers and equipment combined), pulled by 2 horses.|
|Coach||4||T||30||Up to 6 passengers (60 ENC) in the coach, a further 60 ENC of equipment/goods carried in chests/crates on the roof. Pulled by 3 horses.|
|Riverboat||8||V||40||May travel at half speed at night, which increases distance covered to 60 miles per day, but is not without its risks and riverboat captains may expect additional remuneration for this service.|
|Seafaring Ship||45**||T||50||Assumes full-speed travel at night, which might not be possible if the ship is hugging the coastline as reefs and other hazards will be hard to detect.|
|*Per day. The costs per day do not include tolls.|
**Travel in a longship instead of a cog might cost as little as 9F, but the characters would be expected to work their passage, too.