Standard Adventurer's Kit

Copyright Andrew Ridgway (a.k.a. ictus) © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Monsters simply won't wait while you rummage around in your baggage"

Every adventurer needs a multitude of mundane bits and pieces that can help them out in a tight spot. Even if you know what you want, wouldn¹t it be better to have a standard kit your character could buy at a discount (if you're lucky) to save time when creating your character. Here is a helpful guide to the bare necessities to get your character on the road and slaying dragons (gulp) with advice on usage in those moments of need.


First let us assume that your would-be hero is at least clothed, and has basic footware.

At this point, get some sturdy boots for long hiking in rough terrain. Though thieves may opt for softer, quieter footware (at a similar price to boots) a good pair of boots is a must. Halflings can obviously make a saving at this point.

A hood is just what the wizard ordered for inclement weather; a hood covers head and shoulders and is less inclined to get caught than a full cloak, but will keep the wearer reasonably dry. Opt for a cloak if you prefer.

For the hands two pairs of gloves are needed. One soft leather pair for delicate work that will protect from contact poisons, electric shocks and some magic spells, and another pair of heavy duty ones for combat and picking up very hot, cold or sharp objects.

Also put a whistle on a piece of string/chain around your neck, that way you can summon help in a tight spot. Make sure that the string or chain is not so strong that an opponent could use it to throttle you.

The Kit


Obviously you¹ll need a backpack, not too big though, about 30-45ltrs, as it won't be holding much, at least not until you find lots of loot. It must have lots of straps and attachment points for fastening equipment that is of immediate use. Monsters simply won't wait while you rummage around in your baggage, muttering "I'm sure it is in here somewhere".

In the pack, you should have 2 weeks' worth of trail rations, a bedroll, and, if you like some spare clothes (though these haven¹t been budgeted for). It never hurts to have a set of spare clothes to change into after you've waded through a river. Also keep a spare empty water skin here that can be filled up before you head into a dry area.

On the top of the pack a tarpaulin sheet should be rolled up and tied on - this helps keep out water from the pack.

To one side a 50' length of superior rope should be tied, along a cluster of pitons (with eyes for tying off rope) and a small climbing hammer. The last has the hammer on one side, and a hooked and serrated spike on the other. The climbing hamer can be used for hammering in pitons, as a simple chisel, and as a brake if sliding down an icy slope.

To the other side of the backpack, two torches should be strapped. You could carry more, but two allows you to throw one into the darkness, and still have some light. More importantly, they are a naked flame to deter wild animals and some other nasties, and can double as usable clubs (remember rust monsters, anyone?). Keep one sharpened at the flaming end to use as a stake to give vampires double trouble. Include a bullseye lantern in your kit as it's directional, can be shuttered and lasts quite some time, although it isn¹t as good at keeping critters at bay. Always keep two flasks of spare oil handy (breakable but in leather pouches) - they can be thrown or poured to brighten up the opposition's day.


Batman had the right idea, a belt with several pouches to give you rapid access to useful materials. In your case, you want a simple wide leather belt with four pouches and room for more as well as three loops, one for attaching a water flask (rear over hip), the second for your hammer when not strapped to pack, and the third for a 4-inch lock knife (using a sword to cut string or eat food is overkill and downright unhygienic - even if you did clean your sword after slaying the dragon). Being wide, it will also act as a weight lifting belt and reduce the risk of hernias when lifting large rocks and the like.

Pouch A:

Holds powdered chalk, this is useful to reveal invisible creatures, and to help when climbing. Keep some solid pieces here too for writing on walls or marking the way.

Pouch B:

This is for your basic evil repellents, including three cloves of garlic (vampires love it), two vials of holy water (useful against demons, vampires and undead), and five Holy wafers (when you behead a vampire put this on the stump to stop it regrowing or reattaching). Add other herbs and the like depending on your world.

Pouch C: (slightly larger)

Include a ball of string (a million and one uses), a coil of wire (trip wires are a simple and very effective trap, and a garrote is a very quiet weapon), and a small silvered metal mirror. This mirror is the same price as a large mirror owing to the high silver content. It should have a hole drilled on one edge to allow it to be hung up or attached to some string. Use the mirror for looking round corners, checking someone's not a vampire, avoiding the direct gaze of Gorgons and shaving. Don't forget a tinderbox with flint and steel (where it can be found easily when you fall into that dark pit).

Pouch D:

Well, you need somewhere for your money, though you should keep large denominations in a safer place such as a boot.

Weapons Belt:

Some people prefer waist belts, others shoulder belts. Either way, a weapons belt is a must-have item, but add a jemmy (small iron/steel wrecking bar) for opening doors, using as a chisel, and pulling nails (your own or occasionally enemies who really don't want to talk to you about their dastardly plans to destroy the world).

Item Cost Weight (lbs)
Boots/soft boots 1 sp 3.5
Hood/cloak 2 cp 0.5
Padded Gloves 2 cp 0.5
Soft leather gloves 4 cp 0.25
Backpack 2 cp 2.5
Flint and steel 1 cp 0.5
Tinderbox 1 cp 0.25
2 weeks trail rations 2 sp 8
Bedroll 2 cp 5.5
Spare water skin (empty) 1 cp 0.25
Tarpaulin (5'x8') 1 cp 4
Rope 50' (Superior) 12 cp 3
Climbing hammer 2 sp 1
Pitons (5) 1 cp 1.25
2 Torches 2 cp 2
Bullseye lantern with 2 flasks of oil 15 sp 1.5
Belt 3 cp 0.5
4 pouches 1 sp 1.2
Lock Knife 4" 1 sp 0.4
Water Flask (full) 1 cp 1
Chalk 2 cp 0.25
Garlic 1 cp 0.1
Holy Water (2) 5 sp 0.2
Holy Wafer (bread) 1 sp 0.01
String 15' 1 cp 0.25
Wire 15' 1 cp 0.45
Mirror 3"x2" 4 sp 0.25
Weapons Belt 5 cp 1
Jemmy (small wrecking bar) 1 sp 1.5
Whistle with lanyard 2 sp 0.5
Total 3gp 9sp 5cp 41.71

Yours for only 3gp a saving of OVER 20%. Offer only available while stocks last.