DDAL Guide: Customizing Starting Gear in AL


Like many, I love the idea of customizing my starting gear and tailoring it to my desired specifications. Unfortunately, the Adventurers League rules require players to choose their starting packages from background and class which limits your ability to customize gear. The good news however, is that players are allowed to sell some (or all) of their starting gear, and use the proceeds however they see fit. This does not require special permission from the DM, and can be done prior to the start of your first session, if desired.

Rules of Customizing Starting Gear
When tailoring your starting gear, there are several things to keep in mind:
  • Your first log entry must be updated to reflect any changes made to your starting gear.
  • You can sell back any/all of your starting gear at half its retail value. Items which don't have a GP value cannot be sold in this manner.
  • If you rebuild your character:
    • You must either pay the full cost of items purchased from your original starting gear, or remove them from your character sheet. Any GP earned from the sale of your starting gear is removed. For Example: If you sold 25gp of starting gear, and only purchased 12gp of replacement items, you must remove the remaining 17gp from your character sheet.
    • If your background changes, adjust your GP total by the difference between your original backgrounds starting GP and your new backgrounds starting GP.

For this reason, I like to create a Story Origin log entry on my character sheet - which has the following information:
  • Story Origin: I write this in the DM section of my log entry.
  • Starting GP: I record my starting GP from background and DM Certificate (if any) here.
  • GP +/-: I record the net result of any purchases/sales here.
  • GP Total: As normal
  • Starting Lifestyle: I record my starting lifestyle (from background) in the Notes section
  • Purchases/Sales: I record these on separate lines in my notes section.

Now that you have an understanding of the basic rules involved in customizing your starting gear, the following two sections will cover my recommendations for each Class and Background in order to maximize the amount of GP upon sale of each item.
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Recommendations by Class________________
The following section lists my recommendations for which starting gear options you should choose for each class. These options are weighted in favor of the maximum GP earned upon sale of each item in question.

Regarding Ammunition: Most classes do not grant a quiver/crossbow case with their ammunition by RAW. These items cost an additional +1gp, otherwise you just have a bundle of loose arrows/bolts. The only exception to this rule is the Rogue, which comes with a quiver in addition to a shortbow and arrows. Whether this was an oversight or not is anyone's guess, but I have accounted for the lack of quivers/cases in the GP totals below.

  • Keep: A (greataxe) or B (greatsword); Sell: B (greatsword; +25g)
  • Keep: B (Light Xbow or Shortbow); Sell: B (Light Xbow or Shortbow; +12.5g).
    • Handaxes: If you want the 2 handaxes, you can purchase them for 10gp (net +2.5g).
  • Keep/Sell: An explorers pack (5gp) and four javelins (2.5sp ea)

  • Keep: A (rapier), B (longsword), C (Light Xbow or Shortbow); Sell: C (Light Xbow/Shortbow; +12.5g)
    • Other Simple Weapons: Excluding Shortbows and Light Xbows, all other simple weapons cost 5gp or less (net +7.5gp or more)
  • Keep: A (diplomat's pack) or B (entertainer's pack); Sell: B (entertainer's pack; +20g)
    • Explorers Pack: If you go with a simple explorer's pack, you net +10g
  • Keep/Sell: Leather (5gp), Dagger (1gp)

  • Keep/Sell: If proficient, choose B (warhammer; +7.5g). Otherwise A (mace; +2.5g
    • Mace: If you want the mace, you can purchase it for 5gp (net +2.5g).
  • Keep: A (scale) or C (chainmail); Sell: C (chainmail, if proficient; +37.5g). Otherwise A (scale; +22.5g)
    • Leather: There is no reason to choose option B. Leather can be purchased for 10g with either option (net +15 or +27.5g)
  • Keep: A (light Xbow +20 bolts) or B (Shortbow); Sell:A (light Xbow + 20 bolts; +13g)
    • Other Simple Weapons: With the exception of the shortbow, all other simple weapons cost 5gp or less (net +8gp or more).
  • Keep/Sell:​ Shield (5gp), Holy Symbol (2.5g)


  • Keep: A (wooden shield); Sell: B (Light Xbow/Shortbow; +12.5g)
  • Keep: A (scimitar); Sell: B (scimitar; +12.5g)
    • Simple Melee Weapons: There is no reason to choose option B. All simple melee weapons cost 5gp or less (net +7.5g or more).
  • Keep/Sell: Leather (5g), Explorers Pack (5gp); Sell: Druidic Focus (Yew Wand; +5gp)
    • Druidic Focus: Purchase Mistletoe or a Totem for 1gp (net +4gp after sale of wand).


  • Keep: A (chainmail) or B (Leather, longbow, 20 arrows); Sell: A (chainmail; +37.5g) or B (Leather; +5gp, if keeping longbow)
  • Keep/Sell: B (2 hand Xbows; +37.5g ea).
    • Martial Weapon+Shield: There is no reason to choose this option. You can purchase any one-hand martial weapon for 25gp (or less) and a shield for 10gp. Selling one hand xbow (net +2.5g if rapier + shield, otherwise +12.5g); Selling both handxbows (net +40gp or +50gp).
  • Keep/Sell: A (Light Xbow and 20 bolts; +13gp)
    • Handaxes: There is no reason to choose option B. If you want the handaxes, you can purchase both for 10gp (net +3g).
  • Keep: A (Dungeoneer's pack) or B (explorers pack). Sell: B (dungeoneers pack; +6g)


  • Keep/Sell: B (Light Xbow/Shortbow; +12.5g).
    • Shortsword: There is no reason to choose option A. A shortsword costs 10gp (net +2.5g)
  • Keep: A (dungeoneer's pack) or B (explorers pack). Sell: A (dungeoneers pack; +6g)
  • Keep/Sell: 10 darts (2.5cp ea)


  • Keep/Sell: B (2 hand Xbows; +37.5g ea).
    • Martial Weapon+Shield: There is no reason to choose this option. You can purchase any one-hand martial weapon for 25gp (or less) and a shield for 10gp. Selling one hand xbow (net +2.5g if rapier, otherwise +12.5g); Selling both handxbows (net +40gp or +50gp).
  • Keep: A (5 javelins) or B (any simple melee); Sell: B (mace; +2.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: chainmail (37.5g), holy symbol (2.5g). Only sell chainmail if planning to wear light/med armor.

  • Keep/Sell: A (scale; +22.5g)
    • Leather: There is no reason to choose option A. Leather costs 10gp (net +12.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: A (2 shortswords; +5gp ea.)
    • 2 Simple Melee Weapons: The most expensive simple melee weapons are 5gp (net +0g). However, cheaper simple melee weapons will grant a profit.
  • Keep: A (dungeoneers pack) or B (explorers pack); Sell: A (dungeoneers pack; +6g)
  • Keep/Sell: Longbow and 20 arrows (+25.5g)


  • Keep/Sell: A (rapier; +12.5g)
    • Shortsword: There is no reason to choose option B. A shortsword costs 10g (net +2.5g)
  • Keep: A (shortbow, quiver, 20 arrows); Sell: A (shortbow, quiver, 20 arrows; +13.5g)
    • Shortsword: There is no reason to choose option B. A shortsword costs 10g (net +3.5g).
  • Keep: A (burglars pack), B (dungeoneers pack) or C (explorers pack); Sell: A (burglars pack; +8g)
  • Keep/Sell: Leather (5g), two daggers (1g ea), thieve's tools (12.5g)


  • Keep/Sell: A (light crossbow, 20 bolts; +13g) or B (shortbow; +12.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: A (component pouch; +12.5g) or B (arcane focus: orb)
    • Arcane Focus: Unless you really want an orb, there is no reason to choose option B. A staff costs 5gp (net +7.5g), while a crystal/rod/wand costs 10gp (net +2.5g)
  • Keep: A (dungeoneers pack) or B (explorers pack); Sell: A (dungeoneers pack; +6g)
  • Keep/Sell: two daggers (5sp ea)


  • Keep/Sell: A (light crossbow, 20 bolts; +13g) or B (shortbow; +12.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: A (component pouch; +12.5g) or B (arcane focus: orb)
    • Arcane Focus: Unless you really want an orb, there is no reason to choose option B. A staff costs 5gp (net +7.5g), while a crystal/rod/wand costs 10gp (net +2.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: A (scholar's pack; +20g)
    • Dungeoneer's Pack: There is no reason to choose option B. A dungeoneer's pack costs 16gp (net +4g), while an explorer's pack costs only 10gp (net +10g).
  • Keep/Sell: Leather (5g), light Xbow/shortbow (12.5g); two daggers (1g ea).
    • Other Simple Weapons: All other simple weapons cost 5gp or less (net +7.5g or more)

  • Keep/Sell: B (Dagger; +1g)
    • Quarterstaff: There is no reason to choose option A. A quarterstaff costs 2sp (net +8sp).
  • Keep/Sell: A (component pouch; +12.5g) or B (arcane focus: orb)
    • Arcane Focus: Unless you really want an orb, there is no reason to choose option B. A staff costs 5gp (net +7.5g), while a crystal/rod/wand costs 10gp (net +2.5g)
  • Keep/Sell: A (scholar's pack; +20g)
    • Explorer's Pack: There is no reason to choose option B. An explorer's pack costs only 10gp (net +10g).
  • Keep: Spellbook (25g). No idea why you would ever sell it, but the sale value is listed regardless.
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Recommended Background Choices
Unlike with class, most backgrounds come with a fixed list of equipment. Of the few backgrounds that come with one or more options, I will list the best option(s) in each case.

Regarding Custom Backgrouds:
When creating your own background, choose one of the equipment packages below. You cannot choose an equipment package from a Mulmaster or Hillsfar background unless you have the Elemental Evil or Rage of Demons story origin. Your starting lifestyle is modest.

Regarding Inheritance: This item is unique to the Inheritor background. While also listed in the equipment section of said background, the item itself is inextricably linked to the background feature. As such, if you make a custom background with the goal of gaining the inheritor's equipment package, you must also take the Inheritance background feature, or miss out on this unique item. As detailed here, this item can have a value of up to 75gp (or 37.5gp if sold). This is the single most expensive item from any background. With that being said, the item can also have a minor magical quirk, or glow if desired.

Whether you value your inheritance, or (like many people) would scalp it for a quick buck, is left entirely up to the individual. Having a minor magical property does not increase its value however, so only those characters with a mundane (yet valuable) inheritance would be interested in selling it.

Most Expensive Inheritance Options

  • Armor: Chain mail (37.5gp), scale mail or chain shirt (25gp), studded leather (22.5gp)
  • Weapons: Hand crossbow (37.5gp); greatsword, heavy crossbow, or longbow (25gp)
  • Adventuring Gear: Spellbook (25gp)
  • Tools: Alchemist's supplies, tinker's tools, or poisoner's kit* (25gp), Lute (17.5gp), Thieves' Tools (12.5gp)
  • Mounts and Vehicles: Riding Horse (37.5gp)*, Camel or Draft Horse (25gp)*, Exotic Saddle (30gp), wagon (17.5gp), rowboat (25gp)
* I am uncertain whether these items count as permanent​ mundane items or not. It makes sense that you could inherit these things, and in the case of a poisoner's kit - the container itself might be the primary inheritance (while the contents are replaceable).

Regarding Musical Instruments: While a rare item (only found in two backgrounds to date, one of which is RoD exclusive), this option gives you the choice of a Lute (+17.5g) or your choice of Bagpipes, Lyre, Viol or Dulcimer. If you wish to own a different musical instrument, I recommend selling your Lute (17.5g) and purchasing your choice of:
  • Drum (net +11.5g)
  • Flute or Shawm (net +15.5g)
  • Horn (net +14.5g)
  • Pan Flute (net +5.5g)

Regarding Artisan's Tools: Players who want the maximum GP possible should pay close attention to any background that grants artisan's tools, as this allows you to choose either alchemist's supplies or tinker's tools; both of which can be sold for 25gp, glassblower's tools (15gp) or jeweller's tools (12.5g). If you wish to own a different type of artisan's tool, I recommend selling your alchemists supplies/tinkers tools and purchasing your choice of:
  • Brewers Supplies, smith's tools (net +5g)
  • Calligrapher's Supplies, mason's tools, painter's supplies, potters supplies, (net +15g)
  • Carpenter's Tools (net +17g)
  • Cartographer's Tools (net +10g)
  • Cobbler's Tools, Leatherworker's tools (net +20g)
  • Cook's utensils, weater's tools, or woodcarver's tools (net +24g)
The backgrounds (and equipment packages) that grant artisan's tools are as follows:

  • Player's Handbook: Folk Hero, Guild Artisan
  • Mulmaster Backgrounds: Mulmaster Aristocrat, Phlan Refugee
  • Hillsfar Backgrounds: Cormanthor Refugee

Regarding unique items: Some backgrounds provide one (or more) unique items, not found on the equipment list. As these items cannot be obtained in any other way, I strongly recommend whether you desire these items before choosing your background, or equipment package (if using a custom background).

Unique Items (Complete List)

  • Appropriate Clothing: Urban Bounty Hunter; Undefined clothing which can be tailored by character.
  • Banner or Token from a Noble: Noble (Knight)
  • Battered Alms Box: Gate Urchin (RoD exclusive)
  • Brooch: Waterdhavian Noble
  • Cast off military-jacket/cap/scarf: Gate Urchin (RoD exclusive)
  • Code-Book: Faction Agent
  • Con Artist Tools: Charlatan (your choice of: ten stoppered bottles of colored liquid, weighted dice, deck of marked cards, or a signet ring of an imaginary duke).
  • Dark Common Clothes: Iron Route Bandit
  • Dark Common Clothes (with hood): Criminal
  • Dark Common Clothes (hood & cloak): Phlan Insurgent
  • Dice (Bone): Soldier. A unique variant on the common dice set.
  • Faction Emblem: Faction Agent, and upon joining a faction. Faction Agents are unique in that they can potentially have faction emblems from two separate factions.
  • Favor of an Admirer: Entertainer (your choice of a love letter, lock of hair, or trinket)
  • Gray Cloak: Trade Sherrif (RoD Exclusive)
  • Horn: City Watch
  • Incense: Acolyte or Priest's Pack
  • Inheritance: Inheritor; Can have a minor magical property and if so, does not count against your number of permanent magical items.
  • Insignia of Rank: Soldier, Mercenary Veteran
  • Insignia (Sherrif's): Trade Sherrif (RoD exclusive)
  • Jewelry from Homeland: Far Traveler
  • Jewelry distinct to tribe: Ticklebelly Nomad
  • Letter from a Dead Colleague: Scholar
  • Letter of Introduction: Guild Artisan, Hillsfar Merchant
  • Loaf of Bread (moldy): Dragon Casualty
  • Lucky Charm: Sailor (your choice of rabbit foot, small stone with a hole in the center, or a trinket)
  • Makers Mark and Chisel: Clan Crafter
  • Map of City you grew up in:​ Urchin
  • Maps (Poorly Wrought Local Maps): Far Traveler
  • Pet Mouse: Urchin
  • Prayer Wheel: Acolyte
  • Purse: Noble, Mulmaster Aristocrat, Hillsfar Merchant, Waterdhavian Noble
  • Cloistered Scholar's Robes: Cloistered Scholar, variant robes.
  • Scale of Vorgansharax (small): Dragon Casualty
  • Scroll case full of notes: Hermit
  • Scroll of Pedigree: Noble, Waterdhavian Noble
  • Seminal Faction Text: Faction Agent
  • Signet, Banner, or Seal: Knight of the Order
  • Skin of Zzar: Waterdhavian Noble
  • Small Knife: Scholar, Stojanow Prisoner, Urchin
  • Staff: Outlander. It is not clear whether this item is a quarterstaff, or a common walking stick. If it is the latter, it is unique, but can only be used as an improvised weapon.
  • Tattered Rags: Dragon Casualty
  • Tears of Virulence Emblem: Black Fist Double Agent
  • Tribal Tattoos: Uthgardt Tribe Member
  • Trinket (from previous life): Phlan Insurgent, Stojanow Prisoner
  • Trinket (gothic; special significance): ​Haunted One
  • Token of the life you once knew: Phlan Refugee (EE exclusive)
  • Token to remember parents: Urchin
  • Totem: Uthgardt Tribe Member
  • Transparent cylinder of shadow (no opening): Shade Fanatic (RoD exclusive)
  • Trophy from a slain animal: Outlander
  • Trophy from a slain foe: Soldier (dagger, broken blade, piece of banner, etc)
  • Uniform: City Watch, Mercenary Veteran
  • Vestments: Acolyte or Priests Pack
  • Writing Kit: Cloistered Scholar; some purchasable items plus several unique items bundled.
  • Writ of Free Agency (signed by Lord Regent): Black Fist Double Agent
Players Handbook

  • Acolyte: Holy symbol (2.5g), prayer book (12.5g) or prayer wheel (unique), 5 sticks of incense (unique), vestments (unique), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 15gp
  • Charlatan: Fine Clothes (7.5g), disguise kit (12.5g), tools of the con of your choice (unique), belt pouch; 15gp
  • Criminal: Crowbar (1gp), Dark Common Clothes with hood (unique variant; 2.5sp), belt pouch; 15gp
  • Entertainer: Musical Instrument (17.5), favor of an admirer (unique), costume (2.5g), belt pouch, 15gp
    • Gladiator: Replace your Musical Instrument with an inexpensive but unusual weapon. Unless you really want to play a gladiator, I recommend the normal entertainer package. You can always sell your for XGP, and then purchase your unusual weapon if desired (net +)
  • Folk Hero: Artisans Tools (alchemists supplies/tinker's tools; +25g), shovel (1g), iron pot (1g), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 10gp (35gp after selling artisan's tools)
  • Guild Artisan: Artisans Tools (alchemists supplies/tinker's tools; +25g), letter of introduction from your guild (unique), travelers clothes (1g), belt pouch; 15gp (40gp after selling artisan's tools)
    • Guild Merchant: Replace Artisan's Tools (25g) with Mule (4g) and Cart (7.5g). I do not recommend this option, as you can easily purchase a mule and cart for 23gp (net +2g).
  • Hermit: Scroll Case (5sp) stuffed with notes from your studies/prayers (unique), winter blanket (2.5sp), common clothes (2.5sp), herbalism kit (12.5g); 5gp
  • Noble: Fine clothes (7.5g), signet ring (2.5g), scroll of pedigree (unique), purse (unique); 25gp
    • Knight: As above, plus a banner or token from a noble lord/lady (unique)
  • Outlander: Staff (unique?), hunting trap (2.5g), trophy from an animal you killed (unique), travelers clothes (1g), belt pouch; 10g
  • Scholar: Bottle of black ink (5g), a quill (1cp), small knife (unique), letter from a dead colleague (unique), belt pouch; 10gp
  • Sailor: Belaying Pin (club; 5cp), 50 feet of silk rope (5g), lucky charm (unique), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 10gp
    • Pirate: As above (no equipment changes)
  • Soldier: Insignia of rank (unique), trophy taken from a fallen enemy (unique), bone dice (unique variant; 5cp) or deck of cards (2.5sp), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 10gp
  • Urchin: Small Knife (unique), map of the city you grew up in (unique), pet mouse (unique), a token to remember your parents (unique), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 10gp
Sword Coast Adventurers Guide

  • City Watch: A uniform in the style of your unit and indicative of your rank (unique), horn to summon help (unique), manacles (1gp), pouch; 10gp
  • Clan Crafter: Artisans tools (requires proficiency; less useful than most similar features as a result), makers mark and chisel (unique), travelers clothes (1gp), pouch; 5gp and gem (10gp)
  • Cloistered Scholar: Scholar's robes of your cloister (unique), writing kit (unique), borrowed book on a research subject (unique), pouch; 10gp
  • Courtier: Fine clothes (7.5gp), pouch; 5gp
  • Faction Agent: Badge/emblem of your faction (unique, however obtained by all characters upon entering faction), seminal faction text or code-book (unique), common clothes (2.5sp), pouch; 15gp
  • Far Traveler: Travelers clothes (1gp), musical instrument (lute; +17.5g, requires proficiency) or gaming set (requires proficiency), poorly wrought maps (unique), pouch; 5gp and jewelry (unique, 10gp)
  • Inheritor: Your inheritance (unique; minor magical item, +37.5gp), travelers clothes (1gp), any musical instrument (lute; +17.5g) or gaming set (dragonchess or three-dragon ante; 5sp) you are proficient with*, pouch; 15gp
  • Knight of the Order: Travelers clothes (1gp), signet, banner, or seal (unique), pouch; 10gp
  • Mercenary Veteran: Uniform of your company (unique), insignia of rank (unique), gaming set (three dragon ante or dragonchess; 5sp), pouch; 10gp
  • Urban Bounty Hunter: Clothing appropriate to your duties (unique, undefined), pouch; 20gp
  • Uthgardt Tribe Member: Hunting Trap (2.5gp), totemic totem or tattoos (unique), travelers clothes (1gp), pouch; 10gp
  • Waterdhavian Noble: Fine clothes (7.5gp), signet ring (2.5gp) or brooch (unique), scroll of pedigree (unique), skin of fine zzar (unique) or fine wine (5gp), purse (unique); 20gp
* As stated in the Sword Coast Update Article
Mulmaster Backgrounds (Elemental Evil only)

  • Caravan Specialist: Whip (1g), tent (1g), regional map (unique), traveling clothes (1g), belt pouch; 10gp
  • Earthspur Miner: Shovel (1g) or miners pick (1g), block and tackle (5sp), climbers kit (12.5g), common clothes (2.5g), belt pouch; 5gp
  • Harborfolk: Fishing tackle (5sp), dice set (5cp) or playing card set (2.5g) or three dragon ante (5sp), common clothes (2.5g), rowboat (25g), belt pouch; 5gp (30g after selling rowboat)
  • Mulmaster Aristocrat: Artisans Tools (alchemists supplies/tinker's tools; +25g) or musical instrument (lute; +17.5g), fine clothes (7.5g), purse; 10gp (35gp after selling artisans tools)
  • Phlan Refugee: Artisans Tools (alchemists supplies/tinker's tools; +25g), token of the life you once knew (unique), travelers clothes (1g), belt pouch; 15gp (40gp after selling artisans tools)
Hillsfar Backgrounds (Rage of Demons only)

  • Cormanthor Refugee: two-person tent (1g), artisan's tools (alchemists supplies/tinker's tools ;+25g), holy symbol (2.5g), travelers clothes (1g), belt pouch; 5gp (30gp after selling artisans tools)
  • Gate Urchin: Battered Alms Box (unique), musical instrument (lute; 17.5g), cast-off military jacket/cap/scarf (unique), common clothes (2.5sp), belt pouch; 10gp
  • Hillsfar Merchant: Fine Clothes (7.5g), signet ring (2.5g), letter of introduction from your family's trading house (unique), purse; 25gp
  • Hillsfar Smuggler: Forgery kit (7.5g), common clothes (2.5g), belt pouch; 5gp
  • Secret Identity: Disguise Kit (17.5g), forgery kit (7.5g), common clothes (2.5g), belt pouch; 5gp
  • Shade Fanatic: Forgery kit (7.5g), transparent cylinder of shadow (unique), signet ring (2.5g), fine clothes (7.5g), 15gp
  • Trade Sherrif: Thieves kit (12.5g), gray cloak (unique), sherrif's insignia (unique), fine clothes (7.5g), 17gp
Curse of Strahd Backgrounds (Curse of Strahd only)

  • Blackfist Double Agent*: Disguise kit (12.5g), common clothes (2.5g), a tears of virulence emblem (unique), a writ of free agency signed by the Lord Regent (unique), artisan's tools (alchemists supplies/tinkers tools; +25gp) you are proficient with or gaming set (three dragon ante or dragonchess; 5sp) you are proficient with, pouch; 15gp
  • Dragon Casualty*: Dagger (1g), tattered rags (unique), loaf of moldy bread (unique), small cast-off scale belonging to Vorgansharax (unique), pouch; 5gp
  • Iron Route Bandit: Dark common clothes (unique variant; 2.5g), pack saddle (2.5g), burglar's pack (8g), pouch; 5gp
  • Phlan Insurgent: Bag of 20 caltrops (5sp), small trinket that connects you to the life you had before the occupation of Phlan (unique, trinket), healer's kit (2.5g), dark common clothes that include a cloak & hood (unique variant; 2.5g), pouch; 5gp
  • Stojanow Prisoner: Small knife (unique), common clothes (2.5g), trinket from the life you stayed behind to defend (unique, trinket), pouch; 10gp
  • Ticklebelly Nomad: Herbalism kit (2.5g), small article of jewelry that is distinct to your tribe (unique), hunting trap (2.5g), common clothes (2.5g), pouch; 5gp
* Small plug - these backgrounds were created by myself. The rest from season 2, 3, and 4 were created by my fellow regional coordinators.
Curse of Strahd (Hardcover; Curse of Strahd only)

  • Haunted One: Monster Hunter's Pack (16.5g), common clothes (2.5g), trinket of special significance (unique variant; gothic trinket); 0gp


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Like many, I love the idea of customizing my starting gear and tailoring it to my desired specifications.
Which makes it really ironic that guides like this have precisely the opposite effect -- to make characters with similar classes/backgrounds much more uniform and much less 'custom'.

This is going to end up a useful resource to people who are already looking to min-max their starting gear and want to do so with the AL seal of approval.


I disagree. While their "starting gear" may be very similar (before unwanted items are sold off), once those unwanted items have been converted into GP you will see a much larger variation in starting gear than we currently have. Keep in mind, DMs cannot prohibit players from selling/purchasing gear before the start of an adventure.

Fighters and Paladins in particular will have considerable variation, as they could easily end up with 100GP+ to spend after selling off a handful of unwanted items (2x Hand Crossbow nets 75gp, a greatsword nets another 25gp; and that is before you even look at the cheaper items).

I have personally had characters wearing chainmail armor and still having ~150gp to spend (more than they would have gotten even using max GP).

For Example: Fighter (Guild Artisan)
  • Sell: 2 hand crossbows (75), light crossbow & bolts (13), alchemists supplies (25) - +113gp
  • Keep: Chainmail (75), dungeoneer's pack, letter of introduction from your guild, traveler's clothes, belt pouch (15gp)
  • Total Value: 221gp (128gp +75g chainmail +16g dungeoneer's pack, +2g traveler's clothes)

This compared with max gold of 200gp.

To date - the only time this is a non-issue:
Is when playing Out of the Abyss, as players begin in their skivvies, and may not recover any of their starting gear before escaping (assuming the DM placed it somewhere nearby).
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Thanks for this. One of the more frustrating elements for new players has been getting the basic equipment they want versus what the equipment packages provide.


I will be completing the Background section later, but I have to head off to a game session now so lack the time to complete it before I leave.


Eternal Optimist
To date - the only time this is a non-issue: Is when playing Out of the Abyss, as players begin in their skivvies, and may not recover any of their starting gear before escaping (assuming the DM placed it somewhere nearby).
[sblock]Out of the Abyss gives a specific place the PCs equipment can be found. It also gives the option of the DM placing it elsewhere if they miss it.[/sblock]

This is a great guide. You should see about getting it added to guide collection post in the CharOp forum, as this is a handy guide to stretch your starting gold.


Update: Added Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide to the Background equipment list(s)
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Time to add the Haunted One background and the Monster Hunter's pack?

Am I missing it, or is the Monster Hunter's pack from CoS the only place to get a premade wooden stake?

I'm sure most DMs would allow a PC with most bladed weapons and access to a fallen tree branch to make a wooden stake, but it would have been nice if there were cost and weight stats for a nice hardwood stake. Maybe it's the same as an iron spike or a piton?
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Yes I plan on adding these to my list, although I have been playing catchup for the last few weeks on account of also organizing a convention. Once my convention is finished (April 2nd) I should have more time to devote to other projects (such as this thread, and numerous other projects I have - including a couple modules for the DMsGuild)


In your own time. I sat down and ran some numbers myself and concluded that there wasn't much to sell, most of the value is in the holy water and that just didn't make sense to sell.


Update: Added Curse of Strahd and Haunted One backgrounds.

Minor Plug: I received my first "official" designer credit for my work on the Black Fist Double Agent and Dragon Casualty backgrounds. This isn't my first AL work however, just the first work I have been credited for as a designer :D