The 200 gold post, and some of the comments there and on Google+, have me thinking more about starting equipment options. For quick character creation, some kind of simplified equipment bundle system is great, because you can just jump right in... but you don't want to make characters too bland. Also, part of the idea behind OD&D is that you are making choices, planning ahead, weighing costs versus benefits. You don't want to skip that.
I have an additional issue that perhaps only applies to my house rules. When I need to determine what additional skills a player character has, I base the decision on what equipment they purchase before the character entered the game. Character isn't a thief, but bought a set of lockpicks? Character has basic lockpicking skills. Character isn't a fighter, but bought a weapon? I tend to base which weapons a non-fighter character is trained in on weapons purchased, rather than class. Character bought a dog? That dog is trained already.
I don't think standard packs should include anything but very standard equipment. I've seen some "adventurer packs" that include chalk or mirrors, for example. Those should be things the player consciously chooses, not something their character gets by default. Based on that, and the above thoughts, I think a good, simple approach is this set of standard packs:
- Standard Warrior: shield, helmet, and two melee weapons. You can trade one weapon for leather armor, if desired.
- Archer: bow or crossbow, quiver, arrows or bolts
- Armored Footman: plate armor
- Basic: backpack, week of standard and iron rations, lantern, rope
- Travel: mule or draft horse, packs
- Purse of 50 GP
You get a better deal if you take four Purse packs and buy your equipment piecemeal. You have to take one Purse and spend it on special equipment like wolfsbane, chalk, beeswax, and so on, or more Purses to get a properly-equipped riding horse or other travel arrangements. I thought about adding a "Retinue" option, but then we start getting into different levels of hired help.