Saturday, April 20, 2013

Encumbrance on the Group Loot Sheet

If I'm stealing someone's idea with this post, please let me know.  Recalling the alcohol-ridden haze of my last BS session with my co-DM, I no longer know whether I said "I've got this great idea" or "Let's swipe some OSR-blogger person's idea".

We're going to use Lamentations-style encumbrance straight on the sheet where loot gets recorded.
 (click to embiggen.)

There's supposed to be this great mini-game in OSR rules, the trade off of choices between how much equipment you bring in, how much loot you take out, and how fast you go on those activities risking wandering monsters and pursuit.  But most of us (feel free to beat your chest about how you count each copper piece and scrap of orc leather) haven't played that game.  Enter the Lamentations of the Flame Princess encumbrance system, stone equivalent encumbrance, and other simplifying encumbrance schemes.

Lamentations style encumbrance is great as it simplifies the math.  Here's a link to our slight "quantitative easing" of those rules as we've modified them to fit the flavor of Castles and Crusades that we use.  But it still doesn't provide the choices between equipment, loot, and movement in a dynamic fashion, because most groups don't hand out the treasure as they go.  They have one person keep track of it on a loot sheet.

So on that loot sheet is where we'll calculate encumbrance.  At the beginning of the session, the Quartermaster/Loot Recorder/real life hireling will pass around the loot sheet.  The players will enter their character's name, movement, and how many item slots they have free before their next encumbrance break point.  As loot gets acquired, the Quartermaster records it amongst the characters with slots available.  As per the Lamentations style encumbrance, a quick glance (even a notice as treasure is picked up), you'll know if you're going slower.

Here's what it looks like when it's getting filled in:


Also, bonus:  if they let an NPC die, we'll know what treasure they lost. Cue evil laughter.

After some compromises, I managed to squeeze 6 characters onto a page.  So even our biggest adventure party yet will have room on two pages for each PC and the assorted NPCs and hirelings. 

With these rules, they may have a reason to hire a Nodwick - and keep him alive.