My preference is for something along the lines of this from the always excellent Built by Gods Long Forgotten. Basically, you roll 3d6 for your stuff, but rather than adding up the total to determine your net worth in coinage, you use the value of each die to determine how many items from each of 3 or 4 categories of value ranging from the prosaic--torches and sacks--to the nifty--gilded chainmail interlaced with gemstones and an integral heart rate monitor with digital readout.
What I like least about BGLB's approach is that it's too easy to use; so easy that someone might actually be tempted to use it in their game. So I'm taking the same premise but developing a more convoluted approach that will make it less user-friendly.
So here's how it works:
- roll 4d6
- assign each die to a column in the table below.
- more than one die may be assigned to any one column.
- just in case it has to be said, only MUs can assign dice to the Spell column.
|Table 1: Starting Equipment|
Once an MU has assigned dice to the Spell column, he or she then rolls a d6 on the Spell List table below and consults the appropriate column to determine which spell he gets. For example:
Thrombo the Thaumaturge rolls a 5, two 3s, and a 1 for his starting equipment. After burning the 1 on the obligatory staff, he decides to fore go any other gear and assigns his remaining dice to the spell column, which will net him 3 total spells. The 5 earns him a roll on the B list, the 3s earn him two rolls on the D list. He rolls a 1 and a 6 on the D list: Comp. Languages and a free choice: he selects Detect Magic. For the B list he rolls a 4: Light--really? Light made the B list? Who's responsible for this crummy list?
|Table 2: Starting Spells|
Optional rules for enhanced convolution:
- One might want to apply INT score to dice assigned to the spell column. Eg. Thrombo in the above example has an INT of 13, so he has a +1 bonus. He may add 1 to any dice he assigns to the spells column, resulting in a promotion to one A list spell and two C list spells. Dumb MUs are stuck with crappy spells at first level.
- Maybe you allow folks to add dice, so Thrombo could have added up his two 3s to get a 6, affording him a roll on the A list instead of 2 rolls on the D.
- If you roll starting gold with 3d6 like I do, treat it like any other ability score. Apply modifiers to the dice rolled: an 18 Gold score means you add 3 to all dice rolled for starting gear. 1s become 4s, assuring you that your wealthy character will always have the best and most fashionable accoutrements while an impoverished warrior must consider himself lucky if he manages a pole arm and leather armor.
- Alternatively, the Gold bonus might manifest itself in additional d6 to be rolled for items. That guy with +3 bonus gets to roll 7 dice for starting crap. A pauper would get a single die roll with which to supply himself.