D&D Next Equipment and Items

Being still new to D&D and trying to learn the game, I'v been playing the Playtest and I am trying to figure out a few things about the equipment and the items and how to use them or utilize them. The Packet is not too friendly to new players. It lacks information/ description for a lot of the items.

Here is what I got on my character:

Adventurer's Kit: (Assuming you use the contents with in)
 Back pack: How does this work, does it increase to my carry weight?
 Mess Kit: Correct me if I'm wrong. This one seems to be simply for Role playing purposes.
 Rope (hempen): Also Role playing along with Roll, "burst" meaning can rip if the DC check fails?
 Tinderbox: Role Playing, does it have any Roll characteristics to it?
 Torches: Role playing and assuming the part where it says "it takes an action to light" refers to in combat?
 Rations: Role Playing? but does it heal you and how do you determine if it does?
 Water Skin: Does it cost an action to douse a comrade or something from fire, acid etc.? 

Healer's Kit: What does "Spend any number of Hit Die" mean?

Thieve's Tool: It says it helps with such things as Lock Picking, Disarming Traps etc. Does this add to the Roll for doing so or does it just allow you to do such actions? and is the weight really just 1lb for all that is in it. Also do you use up any of these items. ie. is there a limit to the tools?

 Small Mirror Steel: Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is this... and there seems to be one in the Thieve's Tool set and a separate one. Is there a difference? 

Lampblack: What is this and how can I use it? and how much does it weight? 

Oil Can: Is it the same as Oil and does it have the same characteristics?

Miner's Pick: Can be used as a weapon, so a 1d4 or 1d6? Also assuming it cost and action while in combat?

Breeches with a Secret pocket: Can you wear this with whatever armor you have on and how much does it weight?

Belt Pouch: Just like back Backs does it increase carrying weight?

 
Any help would be appreciated. Forgive me for my ignorance. I am just trying to understand as much as I can.
Being still new to D&D and trying to learn the game, I'v been playing the Playtest and I am trying to figure out a few things about the equipment and the items and how to use them or utilize them. The Packet is not too friendly to new players. It lacks information/ description for a lot of the items.

Here is what I got on my character:

Adventurer's Kit: (Assuming you use the contents with in)
 Back pack: How does this work, does it increase to my carry weight?
 Mess Kit: Correct me if I'm wrong. This one seems to be simply for Role playing purposes.
 Rope (hempen): Also Role playing along with Roll, "burst" meaning can rip if the DC check fails?
 Tinderbox: Role Playing, does it have any Roll characteristics to it?
 Torches: Role playing and assuming the part where it says "it takes an action to light" refers to in combat?
 Rations: Role Playing? but does it heal you and how do you determine if it does?
 Water Skin: Does it cost an action to douse a comrade or something from fire, acid etc.? 

Healer's Kit: What does "Spend any number of Hit Die" mean?

Thieve's Tool: It says it helps with such things as Lock Picking, Disarming Traps etc. Does this add to the Roll for doing so or does it just allow you to do such actions? and is the weight really just 1lb for all that is in it. Also do you use up any of these items. ie. is there a limit to the tools?

 Small Mirror Steel: Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is this... and there seems to be one in the Thieve's Tool set and a separate one. Is there a difference? 

Lampblack: What is this and how can I use it? and how much does it weight? 

Oil Can: Is it the same as Oil and does it have the same characteristics?

Miner's Pick: Can be used as a weapon, so a 1d4 or 1d6? Also assuming it cost and action while in combat?

Breeches with a Secret pocket: Can you wear this with whatever armor you have on and how much does it weight?

Belt Pouch: Just like back Backs does it increase carrying weight?

 
Any help would be appreciated. Forgive me for my ignorance. I am just trying to understand as much as I can.


backpack = carries things in a neat little package
mess kit = gives implements helpful for eating and drinking while not in a house
tinderbox = light things on fire
torches = action refers to amount of time required (some things take longer to light)
rations = you need to eat to live O.O
thieves tools = required to attempt certain tasks, some tasks grant disadvantage without tools, some are just impossible without them
small steel mirror = a small mirror made from steel
lampblack = i have no idea where that is
oilcan = used to carry oil
miner's pick = Improvised weapon (weapon chart shows damage for improvised wweapons)
breeches = they are pants, so if the dm allows it
belt pouch = also used to carry things
A lot of this stuff is for roleplaying, but some have mechanical value.

The backpack functions exactly as you'd expect a backpack to function: you put stuff in it.  You might be able to carry 500 pounds, but how are you going to carry multiple items?  All it is is a justification for having an inventory.  The only way to increase your carrying capacity is to increase your strength.  Or, get a bag of holding.  But those aren't in the test.

Mess Kit: How you eat cooked food while out in the wilderness or on the road.

Rope: used to assist with climb checks.  Some surfaces can be climbed only with the assistnce of a rope.  Burst most likely refers to escaping from being tied up with the rope.

Tinderbox: You need to start a fire.  You might not be able to use the rock and stick method.  It's always good to carry your own fire.

Torches: Mechanically useful, as most PCs can't see in the dark.  An "action" means in combat, yes.  It takes the same amount of time outside of combat, but there's no point in tracking rounds at that time.

Rations: Sometimes you can't find anything via foraging or hunting.  You have to use rations.  At some point, the game will include rules (whether in a module or in the core) for dealing with starvation and dehydration and how they might interact with certain environmental conditions.  All that is unnecessary for the test right now.  But, at some point, your character will need food.

Water skin: You have to carry your water somehow.  Unless you're a Fremen.

Healer's Kit: "Any number" means from 1 to your maximum hit dice pool.  Basically, one use works for as many hit dice as you spend in that rest.

Thieve's Tools: These are required for picking locks and disarming traps.

Small Steel Mirror: Handy to peer around corners without poking your head out to pose as a target for crossbow bolts, signaling with light flashes, and so on.  The larger mirror would be used when trying to shave in the morning or to help apply makeup. ;)

Lampblack: see the post below mine for a more correct answer than I had.  In addition, since I looked it up, lampblack is probably never bought, which is why it's not on the equipment list.  The rogue probably makes his own when he burns a lantern.

Oil can: How you store and carry oil.  Oil by itself is a fluid.  Also not something I see on the document.

Mining pick: 1d4 is wielded one-handed, or 1d6 when wielded two-handed.  Or, maybe a pick is a two-handed weapon anyway, and it's 1d6 no matter what.  Not sure how to read that.  I guess if I were DMing, I'd rule the pick to be a two-handed weapon, and you'd do 1d6 damage with it.  A one-handed weapon would be like a broken bottle in a bar fight.

Breeches: you always wear clothing under armor.  As for weight, it's part of your clothing.  This is just a notation that the rogue has a secret pocket to stash stuff in, so that if he's searched, people won't automatically find his lucky pick.

Beltpouch: No real mechanical value.  It's just for roleplaying.  Back in the day, I'd carry stuff like potions and the like in belt pouches.
Hi and welcome to D&D! The packet is hard for new players as a lot of parts seem lifted from earlier editions and assume prior knowledge, the equipment list is one of them.

I think it will help if you read and think about the equipment in a "real-life" and "common sense" way.

-Back pack and belt pouch: these do not increase carrying weight but without them you're assumed to carry everything in your hands. If you don't have a backpack and you find a nice set of silverware or hundreds of silver pices how are you going to bring it home?
-mess kit, rations, waterskin. there are no rules in D&DN for food etc. so you could use it for simple roleplaying purposes. As a DM you could assign consequences for not eating or drinking for days (not regaining hitdie or healing after long rest  for instance) waterskin can be used to transport fluids you find during your adventures.
-tinderbox and torch, no tinderbox and no spells that can make fire means not being able to light a torch quickly. Lighting a torch quickly can be very important if the other only torch is extinguished or if you need fire to defeat a monster.
-rope and bursting; you can use the role to tie up a prisoner (that prisoner can try to burst the rope with a str check.) or help with climbing, lower stuff or people to lower levels etc.

-healers kit, every character has as many hitdice as level (barring the extra from the survivor specialty), when using a healers kit a character can choose to roll one or more of his daily available hitdice for healing. Rolling one or few might mean that you don't regain many hitpoints but you can use the remaining hitdice to heal again at a later time (and expending another healing kit charge). Rolling more or all might result in wasting hitdice because you roll more than you need and don't have hitdice left for a possible other time you want to heal with the use of a healing kit.

-small steel mirror, basically a very smooth polished piece of metal that can be used as a mirror but doesn't have the fragility of glass mirrors. good for looking around corners, signalling by reclecting the sun and it might help against creatures with gaze attacks

-lampblack, I couldn't find this but it is a black pigment you can smear on your body to either start a minstrel band or camouflage yourself in the dark (maybe giving a small bonus on stealth checks)

-oil-can, it's wat you put oil in to transport, maybe it can hold more uses than the single use oil-flask

-miners pick, improvised weapons deal 1d4 one handed or 1d6 two handed. an attack with a weapon costs an action (it's not the equipment use that costs the action it's the attack that costs an action)

-breeches with secret pocket. I would think theirs no extra weight involved and can be worn under armour, apply common sense here

Thank you all so much. This has helped so much some more than others :P
It never even occurred to me to think of it as a real life application not to mention the common sense aspect. Feel like a tard now. I just wanted to have a few things clarified. 
Deathcrow666: Don't feel bad. Many of us have been playing so long we just know what everything is and what it's for by now. Inclusion in the playtest packet -- the designers probably just didn't consider this list from the point of view of a new player. And putting all those explanations in a playtest packet would be kind of cumbersome. Fortunately, there's a forum, and experienced players. That's what the forum is for, and you did just the right thing in bringing the question here.

For me, it's good to be reminded that there are new players for the playtest, and since I work at a game publisher myself, I know the value of those new players. We have "blind" playtests for a reason when the game is getting to the "final" stage -- it's the "will this work as it stands for a brand-new player?" step. If it doesn't, it needs fixing. No one picks up a new game as an experieced player of that game. It's new.

When you do the playtest surveys, please be sure to include what you, as a new player, were confused about, and why it confused you. The designers need to know that. The forum moderators look for things to pass up the chain to the devs, but the surveys are given very thorough scrutiny by the whole team. Best way to give feedback.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

That is my intent. That is why I started my own blog with my experience with the Playtest and trying to bring up this questions that have not been answered to the community. Once I get the surveys I intend to fill them out. Are they only going to be through email? is there a link or something? I have only played D&D twice and both times were the playtest and I really enjoyed it. I want to do what I can to give as much concrete feedback or any Ideas I may have.
Just as a tidbit of advice, a bit that I like to give to every new player I come across.

When play and D&D ignore the rules completely and decide what you want to do in real life terms THEN choose what rules will govern that. Most players get stuck in the notion that you can only do what the rules / your sheet says you can.

And welcome  
That is my intent. That is why I started my own blog with my experience with the Playtest and trying to bring up this questions that have not been answered to the community. Once I get the surveys I intend to fill them out. Are they only going to be through email? is there a link or something? I have only played D&D twice and both times were the playtest and I really enjoyed it. I want to do what I can to give as much concrete feedback or any Ideas I may have.



The surveys have all been through email so far. However, there are OTHER surveys you wont know about unless you check the D&D Next Blogs and/or this forum. These are mostly about Monsters and some other things not really in the surveys. The blog entries talk about whatever the subject is (Ogres for instance), give a description of what the design team is leaning towards, and then ask a series of survey questions based on what they presented. Personally, these have been my favorite, and they come about 2 or 3 every week, depending on the blogger.
That is my intent. That is why I started my own blog with my experience with the Playtest and trying to bring up this questions that have not been answered to the community. Once I get the surveys I intend to fill them out. Are they only going to be through email? is there a link or something? I have only played D&D twice and both times were the playtest and I really enjoyed it. I want to do what I can to give as much concrete feedback or any Ideas I may have.



The surveys have all been through email so far. However, there are OTHER surveys you wont know about unless you check the D&D Next Blogs and/or this forum. These are mostly about Monsters and some other things not really in the surveys. The blog entries talk about whatever the subject is (Ogres for instance), give a description of what the design team is leaning towards, and then ask a series of survey questions based on what they presented. Personally, these have been my favorite, and they come about 2 or 3 every week, depending on the blogger.

Those surveys often feel loaded to me.