2012-09-26 Class and Equipment Distribution

A while ago I was wondering about randomly determining class and buying equipment for my campaign. I’m using the Labyrinth Lord rules, but when it came to the equipment list, I decided to go use the much simpler Moldvay list with the extremely cheap plate armor (60 gold).

                   cleric  195
                  fighter  182
               magic-user  177
                      elf  147
                    dwarf  136
                 halfling   96
                    thief   67
                    total 1000
                 backpack 1000
    iron rations (1 week) 1000
                    sling  753
      pouch of stones (2)  736
               long sword  468
               chain mail  362
                   shield  356
               dagger (2)  350
            leather armor  293
                   dagger  224
                     mace  195
                    spear  137
               plate mail  126
            silver dagger  123
             hand axe (2)   87
                 pole arm   73
               battle axe   71
                short bow   32
                 hand axe   27
          pouch of stones   17
         quiver of arrows   16
     quiver of arrows (2)   16
                   helmet    4
         two handed sword    3

The web application that implements these algorithms will now also generate 50 characters in plain text format (useful for pre-generated characters and non-player parties?) and it will also report some numbers for 1000 randomly generated characters. You can find the output in the sidebar.

The question I’m most interested in is this: How to tweak my equipment buying algorithm in order to generate more natural numbers?

I’ve tweaked my character selection algorithm a bit in response to these numbers and expect to tweak the equipment buying process in a similar vein. For example, since I use Death & Dismemberment tables: If you have very few hit-points and poor armor, buying a helmet might be more important than it is right now! In addition to that, I wonder why my players don’t buy enough slings. The algorithm apparently leads to long swords being very popular. No love for short swords?

I should read through a few pages of random characters to see whether I see any unusual choices made. Did you spot anything strange?

Update: thinking about helmets again—I think that perhaps this reflects how helmets are bought at our table. Practically nobody buys a helmet unless they have money to waste. The current algorithm only buys a helmet for 1 in 216: those who got 180 starting gold. 20 goes for the rations and the backpack, that leaves 160 gold, half of that is for armor (80 gold), which is enough for plate armor (60 gold), shield (10 gold) and a helmet (10). I think that’s ok. I won’t be changing this after all.

Also, lanterns. Practically everybody buys a lantern. I know my characters usually do. I think I’ll leave it as it is.



Please make sure you contribute only your own work, or work licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. See Info for text formatting rules. You can edit the comment page if you need to fix typos. You can subscribe to new comments by email without leaving a comment.

To save this page you must answer this question:

Please say HELLO.