Culture & Professional Adventuring Kits; pt 1

I’m making an effort to post on this blog once a day. It doesn’t need to be big, long, or heavy on details, but I’m trying to write down and publish one musing, idea, theme, topic, or something each day as a daily warm-up for my writing and creative work.


The idea behind what I’m posting today is “pick-list” character creation. I find discrete decision points do a good job of melding streamlined character creation with lots of options. Why spend every gold piece? You can generally just “pick” a kit and move on. But why not do it twice?

The below system is kinda designed for OSR/5e/d20 gaming where classes define your profession, but it’d be pretty easy to adjust it to another system. Simply adjust what comes in each kit as needed by the game.

There are two types of kits: professional and cultural. At character creation, each character picks one of each. Professional kits are restricted by classes, where as cultural kits are based on your upbringing. I’ll more on my ideas for this system later.

I don’t generally deal with carrying load in my games (either you can carry it or you can’t), so you might have to assign those based on your needs.

Cultural Kits

Cultures represent how you were raised. While a nation or city might have a dominant culture (and often does), your home or personal background can often have a culture that differs from the dominant culture locally.

Select the culture that fits your character idea and background the best and explain where it’s drawn from.

Adaptable

Adaptable cultures focus on be prepared for any situation, flexibility, and change. This is also an excellent kit for an indecisive player, as it tends to cover a bit of everything.

Kit contents: torches (5), flint & tinder, backpack, book (pick a topic), pen & ink, blank book, traveler clothes, common/work clothes, two sets of tools (blacksmith tools, thieves tools, etc.), empty flasks (2), chalk, 25 ft. of rope, daily rations (5), soap, whetstone, cooking utensils, bedroll, small tent.

1-in-6 (1 on a d6) chance of the following items (roll for each):

  • lantern (hooded or bullseye)
  • spyglass
  • one magic potion (evens, healing; odds, strength)
  • shovel
  • signet ring
  • alchemist’s fire (1 flask)

Arcane

Arcane cultures tend to be focused on magic, learning, and knowledge.

Kit contents: backpack, spellbook, daily rations (5), torches (5), empty flask (5), pen & ink, blank book (2), chalk, wizards robes, common clothes, abacus, set of measuring tools (weights for both solids and liquids), bedroll, small tent.

1-in-6 (1 on a d6) chance of the following items (roll for each):

  • pointy wizards hat
  • astrologer’s set of tools (astrolabe, star map, etc.)
  • one magic potion of healing
  • one alchemist kit
  • signet ring of mage guild membership
  • alchemist’s fire (2 flasks)

Diplomatic

Diplomatic cultures tend to be focused on travel, interacting with other lands, and brokering agreements.

Kit contents: backpack, daily rations (5), torches (5), empty flask (2), pen & ink, blank book (2), chalk, spyglass, 3 small items to be given as gifts, map of the region, noble clothes, traveler clothes, two books on cultures & languages, bedroll, small tent.

1-in-6 (1 on a d6) chance of the following items (roll for each):

  • compass and mapmaking supplies,
  • papers detailing diplomatic mission
  • one magic potion of healing
  • one toolkit
  • signet ring of mage guild membership
  • light rod (alchemical torch)

I plan to post more of these over this week (kinda a theme week), but this was fun; trying to think about how different cultures might assume what is default or necessary for equipment and travel.

3 thoughts on “Culture & Professional Adventuring Kits; pt 1

  1. I’m loving this idea, but I feel I must point out that Adaptable seems to be posted twice here. Was there another kit that should have been posted with these, or was Adaptable merely posted twice?
    I love the concept though and am looking forward to more of this topic!

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