Friday, December 30, 2011

Dressed for the occasion

Today I took a trip to the royal castle in Stockholm with my family. The kids loved the suits of plate armour on display, and loved trying helmets on and stuff like that. Looking at these royal and upper class outfits I realized one thing missing in most games I've played.

Usually an adventurer have one outfit, and after a sweaty delve they maybe (just maybe) take a bath at a tavern before they put it on for the next trip downstairs. Just imagine if you wanted to do a trip out in the wilderness, or god forbid, actually tried to set an adventure in the city! Suddenly you'd have a new great money sink for your players!

Imagine a historical game. In the historical eras I browsed through at the museum today, each and every social function used a separate dress! Not so long ago, you even had special clothing on when taking a sporty ride in your car! Sure, it might have been purely the upper classes, but at least in some games that's the guys we are portraying!

Now, even in the fantasy city people are bound to treat you differently depending on how you are dressed. Should you start a bar fight and have the city guard show up, I'm betting they would treat someone in fancy clothing quite differently than a tattered adventurer who looks, literally, like he crawled up from a hole in the ground. Also, like I said it could be used as a money sink.

Just some thoughts.

I also passed by a store selling Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown from LotFP. Quite good looking books, I tell you!


  1. The "Shadowrun" game has a lifestyle mechanic which addresses this excellent point. One's lifestyle can range from a squatter to one living out their champagne wishes in the pursuit of more nunyen, money.

  2. I've been on the low end of clothes-washing before, and it is foul. I wore quick-dry pants into a pond (~fresh/stagnant pond) in Belize, and then wore the pants for two days without washing ... no smell, no obvious problem, and then day 3 out in the heat every hair follicle on my legs turned into a pustule ... boils, I guess. Painful, disgusting, slow to cure. Not what I want to adventure with. Dungeon Funk! It pays to wash your pants!!!

  3. Spawn,

    Yuck! Sounds like you could create quite an "experience" for wilderness adventuring with that kind of things happening!

  4. Paul,

    Interesting. I have seen some games with upkeep mechanics, but none that made much of a difference in play. Might be worth checking out Shadowrun again.

  5. It would seem to me that until people became rich, 90% of humanity, up until about 200 years ago, had one set of clothes.

  6. Tom,

    That is probably correct. What I saw at the museum was not exactly what the poor people wore. But, in fantasy we have the possibility of taking some liberties. Also, I would say that adventurers coming up from the depth of the earth laden with riches are probably part of the upper 10% if not in class, at least in riches.


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