Exemplary as in "Of Examples," not as in "Ideal." (aadf) wrote,
Exemplary as in "Of Examples," not as in "Ideal."

T2k Exemplary Campaign: Character Gear (Step 6?)

One of the problems with Twilight: 2013 was the organization. While logical on its own, it was not set up for play or character creation in many reviewers' view. For example, I can't tell whether to round up or down (eg for determining initial CUF/OODA, or for derived values) despite several searches. I know I've found that detail before, but I'm positive it's not in the chargen chapter.

Equipment, too, is in a strange place and yet, a completely logical one: The Equipment chapter. The chapter on chargen ends on page 134 and only includes the fact that you have equipment dice. You don't find out what to do with them until page 208. On the merciful side, you start play with a technically unlimited selection of Personal Equipment.

Personal Equipment

That's right, you start the game with your Emergency Load in Personal Equipment. Other than the weight it is unrestricted. There's no Availability to contend with, you can load up on up to your Emergency Load in kilograms of gear. Sure, you can make it all high-value antibiotics... and your game may take place in the Gobi desert, so some careful forethought is advised. "You can't eat mortar ammunition," as the text says. Bob has a 67kg Emergency Load, so he can have 67 kilos of Personal Equipment.

Now, Personal Equipment is special: It's stuff that's personally yours, that you've accumulated and taken a special shine or need to. When using Personal Equipment, you can reduce the total penalties applied to your roll by 1. Maybe it's placebo effect and your scalpel just makes you feel at ease despite the pressure. Maybe it's just subtly getting to know the ins and outs of your mountain-climbing gear, or perhaps you've customized this TI-80 graphing calculator with data and functions to make those civil engineering tasks just a bit easier.

There is an optional rule to sacrifice Personal Equipment when your character takes damage. The player declares they are exercising this rule, and the GM picks what piece of gear takes the final blow. This is a cute, cinematic system. I really like it, especially considering how deadly this game can be.

This leads to replacing personal gear: You can't just pick up a plow from an abandoned farm and say, "this is my Personal Plow! There are many others like it but this one is mine!" It takes 3 months of in-game time to make a piece of equipment Personal, and the gear must be frequently used in order to gain that special familiarity with its quirks. If this would put you over your weight limit of Personal Equipment, you have to sacrifice the "Personal Equipment" tag on however much gear would put you back under it--which makes sense, you've been focusing on this thing instead of that one.

I'm not going to worry too much about Bob's personal gear right now. You do have to buy clothes and other mundanities--that develops the theme since life is quite a bit less permanent than it once was. I'll worry about all that after Group Equipment. I will note however that the post-apocalyptic barter economy is based off gold, and you can make a PER+3 check to start off with 100+(25*MoS) grams of it. Bob has a PER of 10, so the TN for his check is 13. Attribute checks are 2d20L. First d20 comes up a 15, which is a failure. The second roll is a 13... So with a 0 Margin of Success, Bob just starts off with 100 grams of gold. That would be disappointing, except for Bob's ridiculous luck in his Equipment Dice roll. Maybe he has so much/such good special gear because he bartered away most of his gold for it?

Group Equipment

Most characters cannot carry a horse or motorcycle (although I did once make a machinegunner with high MUS and some Mule advantages who might have been able to carry a pony), so how do you go about getting something like that--much less the fuel for a vehicle? What about a generator? Food? That's where Equipment Dice and Group Equipment come in.

Gear you get with Equipment Dice is not Personal Equipment, and does not provide the benefits of such. It is considered Group Equipment--basically, stuff that may be "yours" but isn't going to cause a life-or-death struggle if someone else handles it. Hey, it's post-apoc, some things have taken on very special meaning to people. After all, if that bow and quiver are how Sallie keeps herself fed, wouldn't Bob asking to take it on a hunting trip be akin to him asking to take a limping geezer's cane?

Each Equipment Die gives you 1d6 to roll on one equipment table. Since most tables go well above 6, you can declare multiple dice to be used on one roll. As a third note, groups are allowed to pool some or all of their dice together for just such an occasion. There are 9 tables with a bunch of subtables, everything from animals to fixed base equipment, food and fuel to weapons, ammo and vehicles. There's also an additional rule that you can spend half your dice for gold: Roll the bones allocated for the purpose and multiply by 250 grams.

Bob's Choices

Bob's going to need something to ride, and as you all know I'm a fan of Mongols. Since the animals table only goes up to 6, but not all results include a horse as an option, Bob will assign 2 dice to the attempt. Why not 3? Because animals eat a lot! Based on previous experience, 1 horse and 2 oxen with a 2.5 ton wagon would need around 7 tons of food to last a mere 3 weeks. Granted some of that would be foraged, but since movie stars don't tend to live in Kansas, Bob's not likely to be able to support 3 large animals. Of course, maybe he'll get a pair of asses. Let's find out!

The first die comes up a 3, which givesh im the option of a draft horse or a riding horse. We have a winner! A Riding horse can carry 90kg as its March load; considering how Bob weighs just under that, he'll go with a Draft horse. He also has to roll 1d20 to determine how well trained it is. This one comes up an 8, which tells us it's Docile and therefore comes with a pack saddle. Taking a quick look 75 pages later or so, it turns out that you can ride these at a little risk (mostly to the animal), and training Docile into Riding is a Mounts (RES) check taking 2 weeks per roll and requiring a total MoS of 6. Not bad, Bob can probably manage this over a month or two. However, Bob is going somewhere to get someone, so he's still going to roll for more horses. Maybe he'll get a properly trained horse, or a wagon to carry enough goods (or Gatling guns? :P) to convince the doctor to come back with him! Roll #2 comes up with a donkey or mule; after a little research and thought, Bob chooses a (sterile) mule: while donkeys are eaten in some places and can be milked, it doesn't make as much sense that he's leaving with yet another valuable piece of breeding stock. So he takes the mule, which needs less food and can travel longer than an equivalent-sized horse. So it looks like Bob isn't getting any ass, like his player. ;) For the mule's disposition Bob rolls and gets a result of Docile, so it comes with a pack saddle and thus will also require training to ride.

So a docile pack mule and a docile pack horse. This should allow Bob to travel a goodly distance, provides him with something to trade (or emergency food supply if necessary), and with some good fortune allow him to train up a riding animal--maybe even a cavalry mount! While the idea of a war-mule is enticing, Bob's (player's) brief research tells him that mules tolerate heavier loads than horses. Bob would therefore choose the horse as a riding animal.

He also spends 50 of his starting grams of gold (GGs) on a Cart, which he can have his mule or horse haul. Maybe he'll swap it back and forth each day, to allow one to travel relatively unburdened. The Cart can carry 250kg if towed by the donkey; 300kg if towed by the horse. The draft horse can carry 115kg as a March Load, 210kg as an Emergency Load. The mule, 95kg/170kg. So it looks like Bob may be able to swap which animal pulls the cart each day if he travels lightly on the donkey.

1 Riding Horse (Docile, pack saddle)
1 Pack Mule (Docile, pack saddle)
1 Cart

Well let's see how much those 2 hungry animals need to eat. A quick game of cat-and-mouse with the index finds a section about ranching that tells us a cow needs 100kg of forage per day, and provides a table for animals' nutritional needs. Cows and horses both take 2.4 hectares of pasture area, the mule (donkey) will take 0.8 hectares--which doing the math tells us 33kg of forage. Hrm. Looks like a few dice will be going towards food. While Bob is going to train the horse for proper riding, he's already going to be Pushing the animal to ride it--including during travel. Pushing requires a roll each hour. Since the mule travels at half speed (7km/h) hauling the cart, Bob should have ample time to train the horse... but he's not going to push it much past its March load. His GM is evil by definition, and just may penalize his rolls if he tries to train it to ride while carrying a bunch of weight too. (Perhaps he'll even get a bonus for riding it at nearly half its movement rate!)

The cart can carry minimum 250 kg of cargo, so we shouldn't be running out of room any time soon. Needless to say, Bob decides to allocate a few dice here. 3 of them, 1 roll at a time. Each roll is 1d6 for quantity, 1d00 for food type. 90kg of balanced wild food, 120kg of fresh food, and 6 cases of survival rations (144 rations).

This is a hell of a lot of food for him, and not much for the animals. After correllating a few charts, using a calculator and his food requirements, Bob finds he has the following amounts of food: 120kg Fresh Food: 23 days and 1 meal of food. 90kg Wild Food: 4 days and 2 meals. 6 cases Survival Rations (14.4kg, 144 rations/meals): 54 days and 2 meals of food with less flavour than packing peanuts.

Since the food table doesn't have anything for animals (nor does the fuel table), Bob's player puts on the kneepads and pleads with the GM. Considering that he's from a ranching community which based on backstory and rolls seems to be raising cattle with no trouble, it stands to reason that the community has perhaps an excess of either animals or food. The GM agrees on a little stop and further develops the ranch community's history: They have an excess of grains... the kind grown just for feeding animals. On a days-equivalent basis, Bob's 120kg of Fresh Human Food for his 2 animals and their 133kg of forage requirement per day is 3,059kg of grain. Luckily, the GM doesn't feel like bothering with horse-specific grain. Besides, they aren't in the desert. The GM agrees to swap the Fresh Food for Feed--and after some research, 1kg of Feed is roughly equivalent (keep in mind this is a ballpark figure, SWAGged for an RPG) to 2.5kg of forage. So 120kg of Feed, equivalent to 250kg of forage. TLDR, about 2 days of Feed. This way if Bob needs to travel nonstop to flee pursuers, he can; he may also trade this high quality feed to struggling communities or travellers.

120kg Feed (works as 2.5kg forage, 2 days)
90kg Wild Food (4d+2m)
14.4kg Survival Rations (6 cases/144 rations/54d+2m)

That's a lot of food. Then again, he's got something to trade that absolutely everybody needs! Then again, it's that's almost all (224.4kg) of his 250kg cart load. That means Bob is going to need (or just want)...

Vehicles and Fuel
Yep, something to drive around in. Bob's not crazy about the idea, but considering everything including backstory he's not going to roll for another animal. Since his last phase wasn't Twilight Warfare, Bob can't have a military vehicle roll. Poor Bob. The max one can allocate on the Civilian Vehicles table is 2d6 in one roll; Bob wants something in about the middle of the table so he goes for 2d6... and gets a 7. Bob picks a Light Hybrid SUV from the list of choices for a 7, figuring that a bunch of Hollywood types would have at least one they could spare after a year. He rolls 1d3, and gets a Wear value of 2.

On the downside, he'll absolutely need gasoline, and is down to 6 dice. At least it comes with a full tank of gas.

Risking it at first, Bob decides to give the Fuel table a single roll and gets 6 jerry cans of Diesel. So close, but so far! The next die comes up with 1 jerry can of precious Gasoline, the next 1 jerry can of methanol. With 3 dice left, Bob calls it quits. He's not in a typical campaign operating out of a fixed base. The Diesel is enough useless/trade weight for now.

1 Hybrid SUV (Wear 2)
6 Jerry Cans Diesel (20L/16.8kg fuel + 2kg can ea; 120L/112.8kg
1 Jerry Can Methanol (20L/same as Ethanol; 20L/17.8kg)
1 Jerry Can Gasoline (20L/14.4kg+2kg; 20L/16.6kg)

As a note, some Googling told me these weights for fuels:
Deisel, 0.84kg/l
Gas, 0.72kg/l
Methanol and Ethanol, 0.79kg/l

Tools/Fixed Base Equipment
Willing to risk some of his ~100kg of cargo space left, Bob takes 2 dice to roll here... but takes them separately, since the lighter stuff is on the lower end. Both come up as 1's, so he chooses a 3-man civilian tent and a barbecue grill with 4 medium bottled gas canisters.

3-man Civilian Tent (6.9kg)
BBQ Grill (3.5kg, each meal takes 0.7kg Propane Gas)
4 Med (17.6L/9kg, 8kg of fuel ea, 25 meals ea; 100 meals total; 36kg) Bottled Gas Canisters


With one die left, Bob rolls on the ammo table and comes up with 100 rounds of 20-gauge ammo.

100 rds 20-gauge Ammo (4kg)

This tells me Bob's Personal Equipment will include a 20-gauge shotgun, probably a Saiga-20 since it's me... And my clock tells me I've been pedantic up till 2AM, so time to post and sleep!
Tags: bob, chargen, exemplary campaign, rpg, t2k, t2k13

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