Thursday, February 17, 2011

“Thank god I brought my....” A heroes guide to Equipment.

At a get together with fellow chaps who share my Nerdly leanings, amongst other topics, We happened upon the subject of Equipment and how encumbering it would be to a Adventurer. This got me thinking about Movies, TV Shows and Books and how heroes port their goods... and soon the fury was ragging!

BECAUSE THEY DON’T!!!! Sure you may see a pathetic excuse for a backpack, or a quiver with maybe 5 arrows ( Which pisses me off because in the next scene the hero fires like 100 arrows) but you’ll never see them humping some huge pack up to the wizards tower or even so much as put a box or two of shells in their pocket.

Why? They have the miracle of Plotronic intervention, “Hey its dark in here, thank god there is this old bone, a length of cloth and petrol bubbling from the ground so I can make torches”, everything goes their way, they are heroes. Authors and Directors don’t want to bog us down in the minutia of real world logistics. Nothing pisses me off more then to see a guy running around Blasting away with a tommy gun and he isnt even carrying pouches for Magazines so we can kid ourselves that he has reloaded at some point.

Food and Water, Heroes in Movies and books just leap out a window and go running off on quests and adventurers without so much as a thought to consumables. Animals just drop dead at their feet, or better yet, in some form a bizarre naturalistic ritual suicide, they pluck their feathers, impale them self on a spit and cut their heads off.... all because the hero is so damn good. Having had to carry food and water in packs... Its a Bitch.

I guess Games go the exact opposite direction, for some reason, when you play a hero in a MMORPG or RPG you now have to worry about every fricking contingency. You should not be alarmed though, because your hero not only carries A backpack, he can carry 5, full of suits of armor, dozens of weapons, countless glass viles of potions, tons of loot and a amazing array of treasure... without even making the pack straps strain nor explaining just how someone carries 5 backpacks.

One thing that decades of Fake war have taught me, I don't want to be carrying one rifle let alone 5 or 6 and the accompanying ammo. Yet in any game you can have dozens of weapons secured to your body to use at anytime, or worse, a plasma cannon shoved into your trouser pocket (after all, a siege tower takes up as much backpack space as a squirrels tooth.

I realize that in one instance, that of Movies and TV... it is for entertainment value, The script writer will just conjure something if it is important. I am sure in books some authors, afforded the luxury of space and time may describe or explain the heroes burden and I am sure in gaming, its money value, people are going to pay to play games that allow them to Uber themselves out, to switch from their leather jacket to Mk VII power armor ( held in their belt pouch) in 0.2 seconds instead of one that says “ Well thats the weapon you have on your belt... good luck friend”.

Two extremes, the north and south of it all, I wonder if real life is the happy median.

1 comment:

aravan said...

First off, that was one of the most exquisitely awesome nights of nerdly conversation I've ever had. Just a cornucopia of geekdom. Such a good time.

I'm still pondering the whole equipment and encumbrance thing. I love the idea of restricting what players in an RPG can carry, and knowing where it all is, so that random pickpocket encounter ends up making sense, and so the heroes are always striving for more, whether it's money or equipment or more mundane things than the usual ("Hey, I'm gonna pop over to Ye Olde Magick Shoppe in this town of 30 people and sell these +1 shields from the wizard's tower. I could use the 10k gold.") Tedious? Yes, probably. But the game I am thinking of running is more about realistic fantasy than the standard run. I'm still not sure how much the players would enjoy it, but I think a game that revolves around interactions and intrigue and whatnot could still be fun. I guess I'd actually have to, you know, write it and everything. There's the sticking point.