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pawsplay

Equipment for characters in Fantasy Hero

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I haven't messed with Fantasy Hero since 4e, getting back into the swing of things. So, reading through Fantasy Hero Complete, equipment for characters really isn't touched on. Sure, you can build almost piece of equipment you can imagine. Two things jump out at me, though. First, in-game currencies and wealth aren't touched on at all. While this varies widely between worlds, it seems like one thing a new GM would need is some idea how to price things. At least, it seems like some guidance should exist on starting equipment.  Second, there really aren't a lot of ready-to-roll items, particularly armor. Armor in Fantasy Hero Complete consists of a single table with little explanation, and is costed without any hit locations. Fantasy Hero seems a lot less "ready to play" right out of the box than Champions.

Are there sources that offer more guidance on this?

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Well, you could be excused if this advice sounds to you like a redundant expense; but Chapter Three of the full Fantasy Hero genre book, for both 5E and 6E, includes multiple tables with game stats for a wide range of weapons and armor, as well as descriptions and use notes for each item, guidelines for creating equipment, and much more; while the last five pages of the previous chapter is full of suggested price lists for all manner of goods and services.

 

If all you want is game stats and prices, the 5E book would more than suffice, and the PDF is only $10.00. Frankly, aside from system edition differences, the material covered in both books is nearly the same.

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i tend to use the original (3e) edition of Fantasy Hero for this, or D&D.

 

For actual play, my advice is to just pick an RPG you're comfortable with and that feels intuitively right, and use it. There is no "hero way" to do it... It changes every edition and is completely absent in FHC 

 

Usually i'll end up writing my own document for this sort of thing, so I can give it out to players. My rule of thumb is that a price list should fit on a single page, else it's too long. Also if it's intuitive it is easy to remember and extrapolate, so doesn't need to to be exhaustive. Real medieval prices would be flexible and subject to barter anyway.

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20 hours ago, pawsplay said:

First, in-game currencies and wealth aren't touched on at all.

 

I'm running a Fantasy Hero campaign set in the Hyborian Kingdoms, so I created a Hero Designer prefab with many different coins from several kingdoms with their relative values. It is easily adaptable to any fantasy setting, and can be downloaded here:

 

https://www.herogames.com/files/file/316-fh-hyborian-currency/

 

I based everything off the generic "silver piece" where 1SP = $1.00.  Feel free to adjust values accordingly.

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Here's a list or equipment and trade goods I knocked together for my (wholly theoretical at this point) low fantasy game.

 

I should point out that I've applied a few whacky house rules. Most notably Armour Piercing is based on a suggestion here on the forums, it is a simple negative number applied to armour values, not a %. I've also renamed OCV, DCV, PD, and ED as Attack, Defence, PA, & EA, respectively.

 

Weights are based on a bit of googling. Money values for things are based on some vague aim of "game balance" and should be considered suggestions only. :-)

 

Money&Equipment.docx

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Just toying around here, but one way to do it might be to use modern day values for everything.  I know that's not accurate, but to make it seem more "realistic" you could also assume that the average peasant is both flat broke (cap it at the US federal poverty line for a family of 4), and that they only get about 10% of that in "cash".  The rest is taken care of with barter or things they do themselves.  So Farmer John with his wife and 6 kids is still capped at $26K a year.  That's not a lot, and really he only gets about $2,600 a year that he can spend on things.  The rest isn't actually income, it's the food that he grows and the clothes that his wife makes, and the fact that he'll help you repair damage to your house if you do the same for him.

 

So peasants would be really poor as far as what they could actually buy.  Treating the family to a McDonald's meal would be a major expense.  As long as they stay on the farm and just exist, they don't have to worry about it.  They're considered to be self-sufficient (at a very poor level, anyway).  But if they have to go buy a new plow or something, and they can't trade with the local blacksmith, their buying power is extremely limited.

 

Then you just convert regular dollars into whatever fantasy money you like.   If you want to go with the 3rd ed D&D system, 100 copper = 10 silver = 1 gold.  If 1 silver piece equals 1 dollar (as suggested above), then an average sword would probably cost you 30 or 40 gold.  A very high quality one might cost you 100 gold or more.

 

I'm sure if you wanted to analyze the economics of this, it wouldn't quite work out right (it'll definitely fall apart when you look at building castles).  But if all you want is an easy price system to use for adventuring gear and everyday things, and you need to justify why all the peasants are still poor, this might work okay. 

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We don't track money very closely in games I play.  Starting characters generally have whatever basic equipment they need and little else, and most of their stuff will be lower quality equipment than they might like.  Part of joy of adventuring is getting treasure, and finding better equipment is always nice.  Since they start with junky stuff, this lets them upgrade without having to immediately resort to magic items.  I also don't follow the D&D idea that every monster carries treasure, so they don't accumulate wealth constantly, and much of what they do find goes toward traveling expenses unless it is a major treasure, which they can use to purchase high quality equipment if they like.

 

Now this works mostly because while my players may have a greedy character, the players themselves are fairly ambivalent about their characters' wealth - money doesn't make a character interesting.  Money is just an ends to a means, and not the goal itself,  so we do a lot of hand-waving.  And when they start to accumulate too much wealth, then something usually happens to deplete their funds so that they can't buy their way out of a problem.  They might have to bribe a supernatural creature, purchase a rare spell component or other McGuffin, pay for damage they caused in a fight, donate to an orphan home, lose it when their ship sinks in stormy weather, etc.  All-in-all it works well for us and it is one less thing we have to keep track of.

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