A Path to Steam
You are usually able to buy what you want, within the limits of your starting wealth and your society’s laws. But sometimes, the GM or the adventure may specify some or all of your equipment. For instance, if you’re a soldier on a military mission, you’ll be
issued your gear; you don’t have to pay for it, but you can’t choose it yourself. If
the adventure calls for it, the GM might impose more severe restrictions – your choices will be extremely limited if you are supposed to be a castaway on an uninhabited island! The GM is the final judge of what you can buy in all cases.
However you acquire your equipment, you should list it on your character sheet. If you accumulate a lot of gear, consider keeping it on a separate sheet. In all cases, you should list possessions you leave at home separately from those you carry in order to
keep track of encumbrance (see Encumbrance and Move, p. 17).
Each game world has one or more equipment lists that give cost, weight, and other statistics for important items. You can buy items that aren’t on the list, provided the GM agrees; the GM sets the price. The GM should be open-minded! In high-tech settings,
especially, hundreds of common items are unlikely to be listed . . . items you could go into any department store and pick up. If somebody really wants a vegetable dicer or a talking baby doll, let him buy one.
This chapter includes lists of weapons, armor, and general equipment for campaigns at a variety of tech levels. You are welcome to make copies of these tables for your own use.
Each item of equipment has a tech level (see p. 22). This is the earliest TL at which you can find the item as described. Many items will remain in use, with few or no changes, at later TLs. The notation “^” means the item requires “superscience” that rewrites the laws of physics; required TL is up to the GM.