Considering an update to Equipment

So the current (v1.9) Equipment list has been carried forward since the early, RPG focused Dinosaur Cowboys days. And I feel that these items might need to be revisited. There are 38 available Equipment choices, but of them only 8 have any listed, in-game effect (in this case all the medical equipment).

I had made a note a while back to consider changing these items so that they all do something. Here is that chunk of good ol’ brainstormin’:

  • Split the Equipment lists into “Common” and “Combat”, maybe call it Gear instead? Or something more flavorful
  • Helps for campaigns so that players have more disposable things to buy
  • Need a new framework for consistent timings. Like “Use Once”, “Once per Encounter”, “Constant”, etc.
  • Basically like buying Active Traits, since some of the effects would be similar
  • Items like Bugle (re-roll 1 dice), Banner (+2 to Initiative once per game), etc.
  • Tobacco, can choose to be chewing for the whole game at the start of each game. +1 BRV -1 HP
  • Alcohol to reduce damage from first shot

So let’s look at this in terms of pros and cons:

Pros of Reworking Equipment
– Provides more options per turn, per character
– Could potentially restrict the number of items to ease rules confusion
– Fun and flavorful and a bit less abstract than Traits
– Can be a useful way to advance a posse with Neodollars beyond just better weapons
– Good money sink, especially for veteran posses and those in campaigns

Cons of Reworking Equipment
– Easier in campaigns than one-off games since players will know their posse better, so they won’t get overwhelmed with choices each turn
– May water down the effect of Traits by duplicating or replacing some of the functionality (for example Rope providing the same bonus as “Climber”)
– May add unnecessary extra special rules, again using Rope as an example it might be “Roll a D12, on 8+ move up a hill without penalty”
– More rules to potentially forget, as sometimes happens already with Traits in the heat of battle
– Hard to track on the roster
– Additional complexity around duration of items, etc.


My biggest concern of all that is: Traits getting watered down and less unique, and more rules that might be forgotten during a battle.

The other (nearly unspoken) alternative to this is just remove all the items, or trim them down to 5 or 6 choices. Right now it feels like I’m sort of on the fence since a few items have effects but most don’t. And although some of the items provide good choices for roleplaying in a campaign, in general I don’t think they’d come up that often. So it might be time to trim the fat instead of revising the list.

But if I WAS going to revise the equipment, here’s a general idea of what I would do. I’m not going to bother with prices at the moment, more just getting a feel for the number of items and their effects…

…Haha, so when I started typing (beginning with the effects) I realized I was basically listing Traits. So that doesn’t make sense to me. In the interest of completeness here were some of the ideas before I stopped:

Ignore Difficult Terrain from slopes (hills, cliffs, etc.), +1 to Initiative, Ignore Difficult Terrain once per encounter, Ignore Difficult Terrain on 9+ on D12, Reduce Falling Damage in half, +1 to Hustle distance once per encounter, Re-roll a Charge dice, Mount or Dismount a dinosaur for free (some kind of Pony Express saddle)

What I’ll Try
So here’s what I’m going to try instead! I’m going to remove Equipment, add a Medical chart (to the right of Armor items in the rulebook), and add a bunch of new Traits. New Traits are always fun, and I’ve considered updating that list for a while. I’m also going to revisit the Trait formatting since right now the big page long list of items is overwhelming. I might break them down by categories or something. I also want to change how they are used to be a bit more clear, so some will be “Before Attack”, others will be “Start of Turn” and so on…maybe.

I’m also going to rename the Medical equipment. I don’t know if I like “IRP” anymore. We’ll see though.

Anyways look for more on this topic later!

2 Responses to “Considering an update to Equipment”

  1. Teskal Says:

    The equipment should be optional, so it is possible to increase the gaming possibilities after few games without it.

    • Dinosaur Cowboy Says:

      I ended up just streamlining the list to “Medical Devices” only. I still might look at adding an optional equipment list in the future. I see that list as each piece having an effect, and some dinosaur specific gear too.

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