Adventurers who fight in parties are often divided into frontline and non-melee roles based on their jobs.
Naturally, adventurers with different roles in battle will have a wide variety of useful items in their packs. I decided to take a survey to further explore this variety.
Of course, there are jobs that fall somewhere in the middle, but for this article, a job involving physical damage to enemies is classified as a frontline job while one involving magic is a non-melee job.
Also note that these results are limited to the pool of subjects interviewed.
Let's start with the foods that adventurers carry.
Quite a few fighters reported that they regularly carry more than one type of food. This allows them to adapt their diet to the role they are playing in the party and the party's immediate needs.
On the other hand, non-melee fighters tend to stick to just one food. The exceptions were those with advanced cooking skills, who tend to carry the ingredients necessary for their favorite juice.
When they or their party need to quench the inevitable thirst that spellcasting brings, non-melee fighters with juice-making skills synthesize only what they need.
"I fix up juice whenever there's a lull in the battle," said one white mage. "Spell-casting frontliners like paladins appreciate it when I share. Of course, I'm also improving my cooking skills at the same time. It's a lot of fun."
Beastmasters, who call upon all sorts of creatures to fight for them, pack large amounts of the bait and broth that attract their allies.
Food is but one type of item that helps in the heat of battle.
The survey indicated that a surprising number of frontline fighters use ranged weapons to draw enemies to their parties. Because of this, many frontline fighters carry bullets, arrows, or thrown weapons in addition to their main weapon.
While frontline fighters occasionally neglect to pack their ranged weapons or ammunition, the worst thing to forget is medicine.
The silent oil and prism powder used to avoid being detected by enemies are the most common medicines found in the packs of high-level frontline fighters. Non-melee fighters tend to keep echo drops to cure silence, and remedies to cure just about everything
As adventurers fight and acquire skills, they gain access to improved weapons and spells. Many adventurers carry items that they expect to start using soon.
Frontline adventurers reported that they often carry weapons that they cannot currently use, but will be able to in the near future. They carry a new weapon for each type they have been training in.
Non-melee fighters, on the other hand, do not limit themselves to new weapons. Rather, they give priority to scrolls containing the spells they will soon be able to cast.
Regardless, the items and spells aimed at the most powerful adventurers have a use beyond combat. They serve as motivation to fight harder and gain more experience.
But there was one response that was even more interesting. Many adventurers reported that their emergency backup plan is carrying a "scroll of Instant Warp."
According to a thief I interviewed, "Instant Warp is absolutely essential for thieves. In the course of a day's work, I come across a lot of treasure chests. Opening chests in dangerous places or failing to pick a lock can result in a real sticky situation. It's nice to know that, no matter what happens, I have my scroll of Instant Warp to take me back someplace safe in a hurry."
"I have to make sure to buy a replacement right after I use one, too," he hastened to add.
Scrolls of Instant Warp hold an appeal for all frontline jobs. Magic users, of course, have their own spells to escape from danger, so they don't rely on Instant Warp nearly as often.
There was one last surprising result from my survey.
Adventurers need to carry a great number of things: food, weapons, scrolls, and medicine. I would never have guessed that you could fit so much in a pack, but adventurers manage to keep things organized.
In fact, adventurers are constantly rearranging their packs to create extra space. They need to have room to carry home spoils of war that quickly become the seeds of tomorrow's battles.
It seems that another necessity in an adventurer's pack is space. Adventurers each have their own idea about the proper balance between necessary equipment and space for new finds.
The more I learn, the more I want to know about what people carry into battle. I hope to look at adventurers' packs from another angle sometime soon.