I am beginning work on my equipment list and using a Rolemaster supplement to create hundreds of entries.

I am beginning work on my equipment list and using a Rolemaster supplement to create hundreds of entries.

I am beginning work on my equipment list and using a Rolemaster supplement to create hundreds of entries. Due to how much I will be converting, I need help understanding Weight in DW. I have two questions:

1. Looking at the DW list I see the heaviest item is 4 weight. Obviously weight is abstracted but I was hoping someone could layout a concrete way for me to convert items to DW weight. I figure physical weight and item dimensions affect this, but are there any other factors to consider?

2. Since I am introducing a classic CP/SP/GP money system as well, perhaps I should consider changing the Encumbrance move to reflect the nature of Old School treasure/item hoarding? If that is the case I guess DW weight abstraction isn’t an issue. What do you guys think? How would you handle this?

13 thoughts on “I am beginning work on my equipment list and using a Rolemaster supplement to create hundreds of entries.”

1. There is no absolute translation between weight IRL (or in a fantasy world) and the Weight value in DW. What I would do is look at the ranges of items that are common to another game (Rolemaster, for example) and calculate a range for each DW Weight. For example, Weight 1 might equate to a range of 1lb to 5lb in RM. In DW, though, keep in mind that Weight is also a measure of mass and “general bulkiness”. That may not be easily translated to another game (or vice versa).

2. It might help to play a character with low strength or an important but heavy item to get the feel of when weight is important.

I’d expect that there’s not going to be an easy way to convert pounds to weight, and it might be better to start from the other end: how many of these things do you see the player carrying at once, and how much trouble is it going to be?

3. Rory MacLeod I like this approach as it would be quite easy to convert with. The real trouble comes in when you consider something like a 10 foot pole. Maybe it weighs two or three pounds but it is a real issue to try and store or attach to a backpack. It is this sort of situation where things get very foggy for me.

Isaac Karth  this is unfamiliar territory for me. In my games I generally make equipment easy to obtain if you have the money and are willing to travel to different settlements for uncommon or rare items. My players could very well have a pack of 10 items or 50. I encourage them to get creative with item usage when solving problems. I present a lot of my dungeons like a thinking mans game.

Carrying around insane amounts of coins, gems, and trinkets is also common. So I never use encumbrance in my games. But I figure I will release this list when I am done so others can enjoy it as well. This is the only reason I’m concerned about weight and possibly rewriting encumbrance for this style of play.

4. If it helps, the base rules abstract the classic 10-foot pole as being part of Adventuring Gear. So you get 5 arbitrary uses at 1 weight. Small items like bandages can easily be several uses for one weight, too.

5. Yeah, Isaac Karth I agree. DW is a little difficult to “get” when it comes to Weight. Honestly, it might be easiest to compare existing items in DW and see what their Weights are. And yes, a lot of items are assumed “into” Adventuring Gear (and Dungeon Rations for that matter).

I think if I were undertaking this project, I would focus my attention on “oddball” stuff that’s not going to be subsumed into Adventuring Gear or Dungeon Rations.

6. my group doesn’t even track weight. It seems out of place in a game that is otherwise largely abstract and book-keeping lite.

7. Admittedly, as a player, I’ve cared more about weight in PbP games, where  there’s more than enough time to track the bookkeeping.

8. Play by Post, in this case a forum game.

9. Rory MacLeod the book I’m looking at converting is …And A 10-Foot Pole. It has equipment from 12 different technological ages of the Earth, from Stone Age to Information Age. The vast majority of the book is quite literally lists of equipment and how much it would have cost during that age.

Approximately 87 pages are pure tables, roughly 50 to 70 items per page. That would mean there are 4,350 to 6,090 items. This covers Stone Age through Age of Steam. Obviously there will be some overlap items and many items that probably have no place in fantasy. Overall I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with a list of 2,000 to 3,500 items.

Many would argue the necessity of converting most of this, but my conversion is not aimed at those folks. My list will cover anything and everything that you could conceivably purchase in a fantasy setting.

10. I feel weird not including the weight at all but maybe it would be better to leave that detail up to other DMs? They could assign Weight based on how they interpret it?

11. Torchbearer has a system for tracking “weight” that is cool and quick. You get a backpack with a certain number of slots. When you carry a big item, just write the word big so that it covers the right number of slots on your sheet. So short sword might only take up 1 slot, while the initiate’s kama might take up 2 slots. Etc.

This means you’re not sitting doing math regarding your weight. You have a visual grid that shows you how much more you can carry.

Worked out great in the 1 game of TB I played. This is what I’d do in DW if weight needed to be a concern.

Frankly, in all my RPGing across the years, the only time I’ve worried about weight is when players spammed weapons unreasonably. Ex: carrying 1000 arrows, wearing a bandoleer of +1 swords, etc. If players carry gear that seems to fit their character, I’ve found they are rarely-if ever-over their weight limit.

12. Instead of Weight you could just give all equipment a “Load” rating. This is how much weight/space/bulk it takes. Then as you convert items think of them in terms of how difficult they are to carry/stow instead of how much they weigh. Might make situations like the 10′ pole easier to deal with.

You could also add two new tags:

Stow-able: fits in a pack/pouch/pocket doesn’t cost any Load.

Carry: Can’t store it on your person, must be carried in hand. For things like chests, big ass idols, maybe even the 10′ pole.

13. Huzzah Andrew Day and John Lewis. What elegant approaches to this problem. Thank you very much! Load it is =D