The Dungeoneer’s Pack

One of the most remarkable things that Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition gave me was the idea of the Dungeoneer’s Pack. While this may seem pretty prosaic to some, the shorthand provided by this innovation was very useful for speeding up character creation and getting players into a game quickly. This is especially useful for anyone running an Open Table.

Let’s check out the contents of the Dungeoneer’s Pack:

Dungeoneer’s Pack (12 gp). Includes a backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin. The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it.

D&D Basic Rules Version 1.0 (2018), page 51

This simple piece of text has saved me hours of time with newbie players at the gaming table.

We all know that giving players a big list of equipment and some gold pieces to spend is a recipe for a slow interlude before the game really begins. Instead, as the player picks equipment choices from the character class entries, they get two options: dungeoneer’s pack or explorer’s pack (well, they do if they are playing a Fighter).

The nearest I came to this prior to 5th Edition was the “Ye Fast Pack” equipment choices on offer at the back of the classic adventure module, B4 The Lost City. When I ran my first games in The Caverns of Thracia with Basic/Expert D&D (1981) back at the school club, this was my go-to quick list for that old edition.

The learning is simple: for my forthcoming Open Table game played using D&D, I need to create some quick equipment packs. The 5th Edition model is worthy of outright theft for this purpose and I fully intent to build some useful core equipment packs, sold at a bit of a discount. The payoff in speed is worth the effort up front.

Game on!

4 comments

  1. I never seem to get around to putting my own packs together, thanks for the reminder. My biggest concern would be encumbrance. For instance, a backpack that could hold them torches would not, in my opinion, have room for anything else. But the combo purchase of more gear than CoC you can carry does encourage players to hire one of those wannabe henchmen out in the parking lot…

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  2. Nice article, Che. The ‘ye fast pack’ list is nice as a device to force cooperation between adventurers as not all packs contain all required items and perhaps reflects what would be expected with a group and their logistics; but White Dwarf 67 had backpacks as the subject of it’s ‘Treasure Chest’ article. It included the ‘ultimate’, yet standard, backpack for an adventurer that included precise items; like a bag of flour – for throwing at invisible opponents, and earplugs on a string worn around the neck, for banshee wails! – This was adventuring as a professional expedition, as you would expect from an organised guild. Not a ragbag bunch of amateurs wandering into a hole without a clue what they are doing!! Thanks for continuing to provide interesting reads, here on your blog.

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