You will always find a character within the group turns themselves into a walking hardware store. Most DM’s I’ve come across in the past do not really care just how much a player carries until it gets to the stage where they are trying to walk away from a battlefield carrying the King of Jobrovia’s personal security teams power armour in their rucksack.
What has always amazed me is that they go into so much detail in what they are carrying, what it’s stats may be and how it looks that they completely ‘forget’ how heavy the item is or for that matter just how big it is.
I’ve seen players trying to go dungeoneering whilst carrying a ladder and two ten foot long poles each and then conveniently forget about them the moment they get attacked or they start off down the tiny side tunnel that leads them to the gold.
So what normal items have you found your players trying to hide upon their person or get away with carrying lots of in your campaigns?
Over the years I’ve managed to get a Top Five list of items that I cannot go a game without a player at some point trying to get away with carrying them.
- Ten foot pole. It’s self explanatory really. I mean how many people can walk through a forest, go into a dungeon or even wander about town with a ten foot long pole in their hand or attached to their pack and not have a great deal of difficulty? There is a reason why most players do not pick pole arms as a primary weapon and it just so happens it’s the same one as why people don’t walk about with poles!
- Ladder. For the exact same reason as the pole except that its even bigger. Unless your player is a window cleaner then he’s not going to be carrying one around with him where ever he goes.
- 50′ Rope. OK so it’s far more portable than the pole or ladder ever will be but if they claim to be carrying it on their person you need to remind them just how bulky that rope is. You also might want to remind them that 50′ isn’t really that long once you get down to it. By the time you’ve found something to tie it to as well as tie a decent knot they will be left a lot less than the initial 50′ they thought they had. They might catch on to this though and pick up an extra length of rope. That’s when you remind them again just how bulky that stuff is. It’s a whole other ballgame in sci-fi campaigns.
- Ammo. It doesn’t matter what your setting is at least one player will always try to find space to take 50 arrows in to combat or 1000 rounds of ammo for their assault rifle. That’s a hell of a big quiver in anyone’s books and an normal combat loadout is usually more like 250 rounds with the rest being left back at home as those bullets are heavy!
- Sorrell Nuts. This one is actually a personal peeve from years ago whilst I still regularly played Rolemaster. One of the players favorite healing and resurrection methods involved a sorrell nut. They were expensive and hard to come by but over the years in game one of the players learned to cultivate and grow the plant needed for this item. From what I recall the weight and size were negligible and so no figures were ever given in the rule books. This meant that the player had a stash of several thousand nuts on him at any one time and sold them off to the local townsfolk. The DM read the ruling as they were that small the player could hold as many as he wanted and the only limiting factor the player ever had was on how much gold he could carry to his tavern at night after selling them that day.
So what has been your bugbear over the years with your players equipment lists?