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D&D 4E review: The backpack dilemma

Written by Expy - Published on January 16, 2008

What? No backpack?

I enjoyed the art and images in the 4E preview books. Especially the character sketches. But one thing bugged me. I counted about 70 different characters but only 4 of them were wearing a backpack. With all the gear adventurers wear these days how can they not have a backpack? I need to do something about this in my game but I don’t want to resort to RSFs

Any suggestions?

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13 Responses to “D&D 4E review: The backpack dilemma”
  1. Fishercatt says:

    I started to get frustrated with all the junk my players lugged around. I have since made a rule that they need to learn to fight with all their gear on, thereby taking up extra profiency slots or they need to spend a round taking everything off and putting it back on again, or suffer the combat minuses. It’s treated the same as Blind Fighting or Two Weapon Fighting. The characters have become rather more streamlined since then.

  2. Zanaver says:

    I don’t think its necessary to have a backpack in art imagines.

    I’m not the hottest guy at college with my backpack on and I don’t think my character would be totally badass with one on all the time, either.

  3. Patrick says:

    Allow every character to obtain the ability to access a personal extra dimensional space used for storing a finite amount of items. It takes a practically-unusable-amount-of-time-in-combat to access, and it can carry items weighing a certain amount compared to the character’s physical ability scores (as this space is mostly an extradimentional manifestation of the character)

  4. dberg_usa says:

    I’d always choose a bag of holding ( http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#bagofHolding ) over an RSF. It’s a much cleaner concept. Conversely, a troglodyte with an RSF would be akin to a booby trapped treasure chest. I wonder what DC you’d need to beat that one.

  5. Micah says:

    Are we still fighting this one?

    This was covered long ago in the DM of the Rings:
    http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=984

    Certain details just require a little handwaving. Adventurers carry everything they can pick up, and we (the GM) should encourage them. The more crap they have on hand, the more creative solutions they’ll come up with. If all they can carry is a (war)hammer, then every problem starts to look like a nail.

  6. It’s simple enough once you have a bag of holding, but picking up “vendor trash” becomes a massive adventure in bookkeeping. One player keeps a list of items that nobody took, and at the end they hand it to the DM to be itemized and totalled. Bah!

  7. Yax says:

    I know I didn’t invent anything but it seems odd that every DM needs to give out magic item or implement some house rule for inventory management.

    It’s better than actually managing inventory all the time – D&D isn’t a business simulation – but still, there’s something missing…

  8. I always tend to give my groups some form of carry around non magical thing to use for the major inventory management I.e.. Here is the cart that you have to store stuff in. It helps you get all that huge stuff from Point A to Point B.

    Then I just let it be assumed that the characters would have taken the minor or easily carryable things off the cart into the dungeon or encounter, etc. For most small stuff it is no problem, and they tell me if they are taking anything big down with them.

  9. Idle Tuesday says:

    Um…I thought there were encumbrance to take care of this problem. If you carry too much, you’re too slow. I think characters should be limited to carrying only so much. It makes those dilemmas more realistic: “I knew I should have brought that phial of ….” Think of Bilbo caching treasure to pick up on the way home.

  10. Yax says:

    The encumbrance rules are not very restrictive. Although when I had a player with a str score of 6 I thought it was great that she had to think her combat tactics and equipment better becuase she had less gear.

  11. Nic says:

    I think we may have a real-world solution to this, employed in most western armies…

    The Full Marching Order (FMO) is everything you carry when you leave your spot for an unknown amount of hours/days… generally a big backpack. When you enter combat (or when an Artiste wants to make a picture of you) you ditch it in a hidden place or simply drop it to keep only you… The Full Fighting Order (FFO) which is generally strap directly to you and carries all you need for dealing with the enemy (and looking good). The ditching itself takes about as much time as rolling the initiative dice so it would make sense to make it a free action…

  12. Yax says:

    Thank you, Nic! Now we’re talking! No more bag of holding! No more RSF!

    Aren’t you glad we have war and armies to help us out with our D&D dilemmas?

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