I am writing a campaign that begins with the PCs washing up on an island without any equipment besides the scraps of clothes that barely cover their body. They will quickly be able to earn money and buy equipment, but initially I want them to feel so destitute that they are excited about being rewarded with some commoner’s clothes.
I’m looking for a rule that affects the PCs not just in or out of combat, but rather one that affects them in all aspects of the game.
In real life, the act of being (essentially) naked doesn’t physically hurt us directly but being exposed to the elements has some undesirable consequences. If these consequences were translated into RPG terms, I’m thinking:
- Lower AC. Clothes act like armor in a minor sense. I wouldn’t want to climb a tree in the buff, but I’d be willing to do it if I were clothed.
- Lower constitution? The presence of clothing on my body may not change how well I can withstand poison or determine how healthy my body can be at its best, but even a thin shirt and pants does help me withstand nature’s elements—rain, wind, and sun, for example.
- Penalty in social interactions and when performing a social skill. IRL, the presence of clothes (or lack thereof) plays a big part in our social encounters. (I’m familiar enough with the rules regarding lifestyle expenses [PHB p. 157–158].)
- Refusal of service: In the United States (at least) some stores have a sign on the front door that reads “No shirt, no shoes, no service”, especially in hot climates or places near the beach. (I assume that pants are assumed to be worn as well and are only not explicitly listed so as not to destroy the alliteration.) A PC who has is not wearing any or enough clothes might similarly be refused at a restaurant, merchant’s store, and elsewhere.
Is there a rule out there (perhaps like any of those suggested above) that penalize the characters for being insufficiently clothed?