Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Encumbrance in SW Dark Sun

So a while ago I posted about me stepping into Dark Sun using Savage Worlds and fortunately there is a ton of stuff out there to help with the conversion. One particular thing that has been sticking with me is some type of encumbrance system. SW handles it though a strict weight limit, and I just didn't want to bother with keeping track of how heavy everything would be. However, I did want something. Dark Sun seems to be that kind of setting where you need to worry about how much water and supplies you can carry. It seems to thrive on having that kind of detail.

Enter Matt Rundle's Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker which is just genius. Basically characters have a finite number of slots to carry things in. All equipment and items are an abstraction of weight and space. The heavier the armor, the less slot space you have. While a spear may not be heavy, it is bulky, and likewise takes up more space than just considering the weight alone. I fell in love with it and had to use something similar in my game.

There were a few nagging details. One was I liked how Dark Sun had different types of coinage, something I wanted to reflect on the item sheet. Further, I needed to convert equipment and weapons into slots. In the end I created my own version of the anti-hammerspace tracker. Something that would also allow me to keep track of both metal and ceramic coins.

Lastly, I created my own weapons table including armor. I kept most of the stuff similar to the SW weapons in the rules but did make a few changes. All the prices are in silver (or pieces) and the weight is now listed as slots taken up.

The gang has really taken to this. Best of all, they know they can haul around only so many slots worth of water and supplies. Making it a trade off between having a lot of armor and gear, compared to being able to carry around enough food and water to last in the desert. Lastly, coinage is an issue and I've been able to bleed off some cash with poor exchange rates of silver to gold, or converting ceramic coins to metal. It’s a small thing, but helps add some realism to the setting, without being cluttered too much in simulation rules.