Gear and Equipment Rules

The following rules handle the nitty gritty of carry capacity and usable gear.

When you make a character, you can purchase equipment from the core rulebook without having to run it by me, unless it is found in the chapter on magic items. If it is non-core equipment, I would like to know a little bit about it before it comes into play.

Rules for carrying capacity and encumbrance follow the rules as written.

For gameplay purposes, all objects such a scrolls, potions, wands, staves, weapons, and shields are considered ‘stored’. This means that you must use a move action to retrieve them. Exceptions apply. For instance, a weapon may drawn during a move action by a character with a base attack bonus of at least +1. The move action to Objects that are worn or carried do not need to be accessed in this fashion. A slotted item may allow you an ability that supersedes these rules. For instance, perhaps there is a scroll carrying case that must be worn in a certain slot and grants you the ability to retrieve and use a scroll as a single standard action. If so, the slotted item supersedes these rules. Or perhaps there is a feat that allows you to drink potions as a move action. However, in the normal cases, getting a potion, scroll, wand, or whatever is a move action and must be taken prior to the standard action of using that item.

How many hands are required for all this business? Can you do things while you are carrying stuff? A free hand is required for grabbing objects effectively.

Principle 1: Prompting Dexterity Checks
This means using the retrieve an item action with two objects in your hand requires a DC 15 or higher Dexterity check (depending on the nature of the object). Attempting to juggle around too many objects may entail a Dexterity check (minimum DC 15, but this low DC is for light, easily held objects). The penalty for failure is still losing an action but also dropping an item (not necessarily the item you were looking for either, if you fail badly).

Principle 2: Not Threatening Foes
When you take actions that affect your ability to hold weapons at ready, then you lose the ability to threaten enemies. If you take an action that requires your off hand while holding a two-handed weapon, double weapon, or two weapons, then you lose the use of that weapon until the beginning of your next turn. This implies you cannot make attacks of opportunity, you do not provide flanking bonuses, and, finally, if your foe is not ‘threatening’ you with melee attacks, then you are no longer engaged in melee (for purposes of determining ranged attack AC). This is, quite simply, the way we will abstract your decision to take these actions with your hands full.

A note on Shields—Are Shield Hands Free?
The rules as written are pretty certain about how shields are to be handled.

*Buckler or Light Shield—You may hold objects in this hand, such as a potion or focus, as well as the other rules pertaining to the buckler written in the core rules.
*Heavy or Tower Shield—You may not hold objects in your hand when wielding heavy or tower shields.

How are slotted items usually equipped?
This is not usually a major issue, but as far as equipping slotted items goes, with the exception of the ‘armor’ and ‘shield’ slots, you may remove a slotted item as a full round action and equip a slotted item as a full round action. In these cases, you must take an action to store or retrieve the item.

What about casting spells with your hands full?
This might be a major issue.

Focus Component Any time a spell calls for a focus, that focus must be present in your hand. Retrieving a focus is (how is it not?) a move action. Spells will be deemed failed spells if the DM catches a player attempting to cast without first retrieving the focus.

Divine Focus Component Just in case anyone thinks to sneak around the focus rules by claiming that their spells require a divine focus component, the same rules apply as did for focus component. Regardless of how a divine focus is worn or carried, it remains a move action to access it and you still have to have a hand to do all this.

N.B. Life doesn’t stop sucking when you stop casting spells. You also have to be able to get your divine focus out when you want to turn undead. Otherwise that fails too.

Material Component A free hand is required (by me as DM, not because I found this verbatim anywhere in the RAW) to cast spells with a material component, even though retrieving material components is a free action. When you attempt to cast a spell with a material component and do not have a free hand, you make a Dexterity check DC 15 + spell level or lose the spell.

Somatic Component A free hand is required for somatic components. In situations, however, that call for both a material component and a somatic component, the caster is allowed to use one free hand for both the material and somatic component. When you cast a spell with a somatic component but lack the free hand, then the spell fails (and your character probably will die due to that one action not being working).

Purchasing Supplies
Purchasing mundane supplies is usually not too challenging. I am going to assign each village, town, and city you come across a commerce rating, and your chances of finding an mundane supplies drastically increases with each point of the commerce rating. Nonetheless, there will be a ‘secret’ percentile check in small area to see how many arrows are available, whether a desired weapon can be found, and so forth. It’s theoretically possible that people in the town just don’t like you and you take a penalty to your commerce rating there, or that they do like you and you gain bonus commerce ratings there. We’ll see.

For magic items I will make use of a similar system, but there simply won’t be a whole bunch of magic items on the market. A significant number of potions will be dealt, but wondrous items won’t just be restocked every Thursday. The companies that deal in magic item trade will not be setting up shop in the middle of nowhere. Likewise, selling magic items will not be a forgone conclusion in remote places.

Gear and Equipment Rules

The Storm of Insurrection Jrrtolkien