Gear is one of the pillars of non-superhero games, and while everything that gear can do is possible with the existing Ability rules, the following optional system makes creating gear streamlined and simple at the cost of certain fringe case scenarios. Note that weapons need a functional range (grappling, close, or ranged), decided at creation. To create a weapon or other piece of gear simply add together all of the positive components and then subtract all the negative components. To see example gear please see the Appendices. Below are a list of costs and modifiers.
The description of an piece of gear is essential to its proper use in the game. For instance, both a bearded hand-axe and an arming sword would largely be built the same, however they actually work very differently in real life. The description for an arming sword would be something like:
"A one-handed long sword, roughly a meter in length, and often used in unison with a shield. It is usually associated with knights, but swords that are similar in design to this stretch all the way back to Viking times. Made of a high-carbon steel with a well developed cruciform hilt, these weapons are capable of use in defense as well attack. Double edged with a rather severe point, these weapons excel at both thrusting, stabbing attacks and slashing, cutting attacks."
Compare this to the description of the bearded hand-axe:
"A one-handed axe designed for war, the handle is roughly 0.75 meters in length and made of a hard wood. The head of the axe is made of a fairly low carbon steel or even base iron, however the edge is a thin wedge of high carbon steel. This gives the edge both hardness and flexibility while remaining very inexpensive to produce. Not a very defensive weapon as the head is largely softer metal and also very narrow, the axe is exceptionally well suited for disrupting and destroying protections. Its mass easily breaks through lighter armors and its long "beard" or extended cutting edge is great for hooking shields and pulling them away"
So even though each weapon would be built as 3 Damage, -2 Size, +2 Mass, however the Description fills in the non-numeric details about what it looks like, how its made, and even how it is used. These details could be relayed through some type of system of costs and discounts, like the Components, but for the most part this is both unwieldy and unnecessary. So long as the bits that relate to the underlying rules are taken into account.
Composition is a short statement of the materials used to build the item, mostly in case the Hardness needs to be determined because the item is being damaged. This does not have to be an overly complex statement, and in many ways single words are often best.
Using the examples above, the arming sword would have the following Composition: Steel, Leather.
Similarly, the example bearded axe above would have the following composition: Wood, Iron, Steel, Leather.
Not only does this allow the quick determination of the item's Hardness, but it also lays out important aspects, like both are conductors of heat and electricity and may rust. It also means that the wood and leather would help prevent the worst of these effects if ever faced with them. Note that each material should be listed in the order of greatest amount used to least.
One you have described the item and determined its Composition, the last step is assigning Components. Components are the mechanical building blocks that interface with the other rules, giving bonuses to rolls, defining how large the object is, and how heavy it is. These come in both positive and negative, as not all qualities of an item are beneficial.
These components add to the functionality of the gear, making it better in some way or another. These are added, and then the negative components are subtracted to get the overall cost. This final cost must be at least 1 CP, regardless of the actual math.
- +1 Bonus: This component gives a bonus to a defined skill (Ranged Attack, Parry, Perception, etc). This skill must be chosen when the item is created and cannot be changed later without GM approval. This component costs 1 CP per rank.
- +1 EV: This component gives a bonus on damage or other effect. This includes Protection and any other effect that uses an Effect Value to function. This component costs 3 CP per rank.
- +1 Hardness: This component gives the item an additional point of Hardness. Hardness defaults to that of the first element of the Composition. This component costs 2 CP per rank.
- +1 Reach: This component gives a bonus to a weapon’s reach in close combat, effectively giving them an advantage when used against weapons with less reach. This component costs 1 CP per rank.
- -1 Size: This component reduces the Size of gear (default Size is 0). This acts as a penalty to Perception checks to find said item if a character attempts to hide it. This component costs 1 CP per rank.
- Aerodynamic: This component doubles the item’s maximum range when thrown. This does not change the penalties associated with ranged distance. It also does not necessarily affect the shape of the object, being a generic system, but most items that get this component will be obviously designed to be thrown to the character’s that encounter it. This component costs 1 CP per rank.
- Automatic: This component allows the weapon to hit more than once per attack. The attack strikes the target one additional time per 2 degrees of success the attacker rolls on their attack roll. For each additional hit, reduce the EV by 2. If the weapon is using the Limited Uses negative component then the user must declare up front how many uses they expend before firing, which acts as the upper limit for the number of extra hits possible. This component costs 3 CP.
- Chain: This component means the weapon is at least partially made with a chain or heavy cord that allows it to be swung or otherwise angled so that it negates some of the benefits of cover, reducing the penalties for cover by 2. This component costs 2 CP.
- Grab: This component means the weapon is flexible enough that it can actually be used to initiate a grapple. Its use gives a +2 bonus to Strength for all rolls to maintain grapple. This component costs 2 CP.
- Hardened: This component means the item is better designed to thwart technology designed to pierce armor. It could be a radical new engineering principle, better materials, or magic, but effectively hardened reduces the severity of a damage condition by 1 level. This component costs 2 CP.
- Piercing: This component allows the item to cut through defenses more easily than most, effectively working like the Piercing aspect and increasing the severity of the damage condition by 1 level. This component costs 2 CP.
- Set: This component allows the weapon to be braced on the ground to gain double damage against charging enemies. Typically used to create spears and the like. This component costs 1 CP.
- Silent: This component means the item’s effect can only be heard with a perception roll at a -2 penalty, and cannot be heard at all from a different room or more than 10 meters away. This component increases the cost by 1 CP.
- Telescopic: This component The weapon is accurate enough to reduce the penalties from extreme range. Each rank of telescopic reduces the range penalty by 2. This component costs 3 CP per rank.
The following components restrict what the gear does, putting limitations on it or otherwise reducing its effectiveness. The "cost" of these components is a discount that reduces the overall CP cost of the gear.
- +1 Mass: This component increases the Strength required to use the item by 1 (default Strength is 0). Any character using the item with less Strength than this takes a penalty on its use equal to the difference in the two. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
- +1 Size: This component increases the Size of an item (default Size is 0). This increase in size gives a bonus on Perception rolls to find the weapon if the character is attempting to conceal it. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
- -1 EV: This component reduces the Effect Value of the weapon/gear. Using this, an item can have a negative EV, essentially reducing the original attack or skill use instead of adding to it. Often used to create cursed items. This component reduces the cost by 3 CP per rank.
- -1 Hardness: This component reduces the item’s Hardness by 1. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
- -1 Penalty: This component gives a penalty to a defined skill. This skill must be defined when creating the item and can only be changed afterward with GM permission. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
- Cannot Use In Vehicle: This component makes the item unable to be used within a vehicle. This may be due to size, bulk, power requirements, or nearly any other reason imaginable, however the overall effect is that this is impossible. This would also apply to weapons that cannot be used on horseback and the like. This component reduces the cost by 2 CP.
- Dull: This component makes the item have a reduced ability to penetrate the target’s Protection, effectively working like the Weak aspect and decreasing the severity of any damage conditions by 1 level. This component reduces the cost by 2 CP per rank.
- Limited Uses: This component Limits the number of uses before it no longer functions, such as running out of ammo, battery charge, fuel, or any other reason. The player must define how the Uses are recovered, such as loading another magazine, charging the battery, or refilling the fuel tank. The starting number of uses is 50, and each additional rank cuts this number in half. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
- Long Reload: This component makes the item take an extra long time to reload, requiring a whole turn before being usable again. It should be noted that this presupposes the item already has the Limited Uses component, otherwise it does not make sense. This component reduces the cost by 2 CP.
- Loud: This component ensures this item is heard automatically even without a perception roll, and requires a dramatic failure to go unheard unless beyond 30 meters away. This component reduces the cost by 1 CP.
- Required Hands: This component means the item requires more than one hand to properly use. There are two levels to this requirement, “2 handed” and “1.5 hands.” A 2 handed item requires both hands and cannot even be used without both, such as a bow and arrow. An item that is considered 1.5 handed or “hand-and-a-half” is best used with two hands, but can be wielded one-handed with considerable effort, increasing the minimum Strength required for its use by 1. This component reduces the cost by 2 CP if it requires both hands, or only 1 CP if 1.5 handed.
- Requires Vehicle: This component The item only functions when used in conjunction with a vehicle of some kind. This could be because of bulk, weight, or energy constraints, but whatever the reason, the vehicle is required for the use of the item. This component reduces the cost by 2 CP per rank.
- Unreliable: This component The item may jam, break, or otherwise quit working at an inopportune time. With each use make a roll to see if the item stops working. At rank 1 this roll must come up a 3, but the required result increases by 1 for each rank, making the chance of breaking more likely. The component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.