HERE IS THE DEAL! An adventurer who can’t pack is a worthless fellow. This stuff is learned over time, little tricks like protecting breakables with packing them in blankets or extra pieces of cloth, picking up protective cases and chests before you need them, and, this is a big one, never tie ANYTHING to your back. Backpacks are all good and well, but if . . . nay, WHEN you get attacked, then you’re gonna be a sitting duck, trying to lug that thing around with you. Not to mention fires, fires can happen at anytime, but they have a good knack of happening when you don’t want them to. If an item can’t be dropped instantly, then it has a high probability of getting you killed!
Note: It is assumed that adventurers know how to pack their bags, but in times of stress, such as melee combat, getting these items out can prove to be too much of a challenge. The placement and location of all of the items that you own should be written on your sheet. If the bag has too much stuff in it, the DM can require you to make a WISDOM check to retrieve an item. Digging in you bag is an action, its exact cost to initiative depends on how full the bag is, and if you are being attacked. Of course you can speed this process up by totally dropping your guard, giving up all AC bonuses due to high DEX, and shield, instead relying on a peer to cover you, and then this is much faster. A failed WIS means that you failed to find the item this round, but will find it on the next round. Success means that you have found it, and can use the item at the end of the round after everybody is finished with their own actions.
Now, we are all hunting the same thing. Magic items! But I must say, how you manage the treasure is just as important as where you pack it. An inexperienced Adventurer who lacks the common sense to manage treasure distribution wisely is just asking for trouble. But, I’ll tell you what. If you go and buy old Grizzler another mug of ale, then I’ll let you in on some trade secrets. Now that’s a fine boy!
GIVING ITEMS TO A QUARTERMASTER
Now, this is a common mistake. It sounds like a good idea! All treasure found is first the property of the team’s quartermaster and he hangs onto it all until everyone is out of danger and all of the loot can be distributed evenly and fairly. Great idea, right? the quartermaster or the biggest and meanest member of the party carries it around! Well, take it from old Grizzler, you’re wrong! I don’t care how mighty your quartermaster is, back home there is an old saying which warns, “Don’t put all of the eggs in the same basket.” If you give all of that loot to one guy, and something happens to him, then not only is he lost, but so is all of your treasure! Everybody should carry the treasure, back when I was a young bruiser, much like yourself, we learned this one the hard way. We usually keep the coins we found and just filled our pockets on the way there, but with items, you really have to spread these things out among the crew.
RIGHT TOOL TO THE RIGHT PERSON
Most items can be used for specific reasons; however one has to use their brains to pick out who should get what. I mean, take a cleric for an example. What would he need a Potion of Healing for? He won’t! Not as much as a fighter on the front line would, anyway. Same thing with arrows, why give enchanted arrows to the fighters in the front when you can give them to the thief who stays in the back! He can gain more from it then the warrior can.
If a magic item can perform the same skill as a specific crew member, then don’t give it to them! They don’t need the help, and see if there isn’t anybody else that can benefit from holding onto it. Spellcasters don’t need as much from potions as the guys getting bloody do, guys in the front should get the tools that are good in direct combat while ranged weapons can be better served in the back. Say, could you be a pal and get me one more ale for the road? That’s a good boy.
Now some things is easy to identify as magic, but others can be a bit tricky. We was lucky enough to have Mestephonus the Mage as a companion, and that bloke was good at this even way back then! Wizards, clerics, and bards are all good at identifying the hard to identify, but everybody can figure out what some stuff is.
Potions is fairly easy most of the time. They are usually kept in glass or metal tubes, just find some good light and first look at the stuff, some folks think that it’s funny to put oil in drinking flasks, and it is! Unless of course it is you that’s doing the drinking. If it is oil, then it is probably the kind that you put on items, but if it is a potion, then just stick your pinky in there and give it a little taste. Usually you can feel a little of the power buzzing through you, and if you get good at it, then you can identify it somewhat.
DM NOTE: This method requires a secret INT check done by the DM, if it is passed, then you can give them some idea of the type of power that the potion utilizes. If the check is failed then that person can’t identify the potion, unless it was a natural 20, then the player will identify the potion incorrectly.
Of course for some potions, simply opening or taking even just a little is enough to activate it, always make sure that you check with the items description before the character gets his hands on it.
Rings are gonna have to be worn for a while, but beware, cause some are just evil! We had old Mestephonus identify them first, but to be honest, we’ve also just put them on and hoped for the best. It takes awhile before the power, if it’s got any, is figured out. See this scar above my eye? I got that from putting on the wrong ring, but everything in adventuring comes with risk, now don’t it. Heh!
Well, the moon’ll be up soon, and I’d best start wandering home. Thanks for the company young man! And if you’re ever in this part of town again, then just look me up again. Old folks like me gotta live through you young ones these days. Now don’t forget what I told you! Be a shame if ya didn’t heed my advice and got yourself killed.
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