While not very important to superhero games, gear is an integral part of most other genres of roleplaying games. Like abilities, VERS takes a very universal, DIY approach to this. Gear is made up of discrete building blocks that are assembled to create weapons, armor, and other equipment. These are built with GP (gear points), although this is only converted to a Character Points cost if the genre or setting does not use money, resources, or a gear pool to acquire gear.
A gear pool is considered the default method of dealing with gear acquisition in VERS. This pool of points can be used to purchase gear, and gear can be “released” as well, freeing up points for different gear. The gear pool starts at 30 GP, and can be increased by 3 GP for every 2 CP spent on it.
The other official method of dealing with gear acquisition is called Resources. You can think of Resources as a special type of skill, which simulates the character’s money. Gear you wish to purchase has a Value, which is used as a penalty on the Resource roll. If the roll is successful, the character purchases the item, while failure means the character did not have enough funds. Each successful use of Resources gives the character a cumulative -1 penalty on their future uses. These penalties are reduced by 2 at the beginning of every episode.
Resources can be “lent” to allies, with the lender taking a penalty on their Resources and giving their ally an equal bonus on theirs. The debtor character does not regain any Resource bonus until this loan is “paid back,” with the lender character gaining Resources back at double the rate. Characters can also get temporary bonuses to their Resources, called Treasure. These bonuses can be added to a Resource roll to increase the character’s chances of success, but are only used up when the character succeeds. A character can permanently increase their Resources by 1 rank for 3 CP.
Finally, GMs could assign prices to gear in some money unit, and give the players money to spend on them. This is not officially supported, but your game is yours, and I won’t tell you how to have fun.
Gear starts from a description, just like abilities do. This description is just the text that explains in normal language what the item is and how it works.
Next the item needs to have its Composition defined (at least if the GM is planning on using the item breakage rules, otherwise not strictly necessary). This is as simple as declaring that the item is made of steel. Most items are made of multiple materials, simply list these in order of their prevalence. A medieval arming sword would be “steel, iron, leather” because the blade is steel, the hilt and pommel are raw iron, and the handle is wrapped in leather strips.
Weapons can also have a damage type, typically blunt, piercing, or slashing, although others are possible. This is to provide some realism in the interactions between weapons and armor, but is not required. If desiring this extra detail, also give armor a defined weakness, typically one of the above, but others are possible depending on the genre and setting. A weapon is 1.5 times as effective against armor weak against its type.
Finally, assign the desired Components. Components are the building blocks of items, and define the bonuses and penalties associated with their use. The following is a list of the positive and negative Components:
- +1 Bonus: This component gives a +1 bonus of a defined skill roll (Ranged Attack, Athletics, Perception, etc). This skill must be chosen when the item is created and cannot be changed later without GM approval. This component costs 1 GP per rank.
- +1 EV/RV: This component gives a bonus on damage or other effect. This component costs 2 GP 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 GP per rank.
- +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 increases takes a penalty on the action equal to the difference in the two. This component reduces the cost by 1 GP 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 GP per rank.
- +1 Size: This component increases the Size of the item (default Size is 0). This gives a -1 penalty per rank on Stealth rolls to conceal the weapon. This component reduces the cost by 1 GP per rank.
- -1 EV/RV: This component reduces the Effect Value of the weapon/gear. Using this, an item can even have a negative EV, essentially reducing the effectiveness of the weapon to the point that it is less effective than the character’s bare hands. Often used to create cursed items. This component reduces the cost by 2 GP per rank.
- -1 Hardness: This component reduces the item’s Hardness by 1. This component reduces the cost by 1 GP 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 GP per rank.
- -1 Size: This component reduces the Size of gear (default Size is 0). This gives a +1 bonus on Stealth rolls to conceal the item if the owner character attempts to hide it. This component costs 1 GP per rank.
- Additional Type: This weapon deals more than one type of damage. This component costs 2 GP per rank.
- Additional Weakness: This armor is very specialized, having multiple weaknesses. This makes it more likely to be overcome. This component reduces the cost by 2 GP per rank.
- Aerodynamic: This component allows a thrown weapon to target opponents in the next zone as well as the one the character currently is in without requiring an Athletics roll. This component costs 3 GP.
- Ablative: This component gives its effect 1 time before being rendered useless. In the case of additions to RV, EV just subtracts from this bonus, leaving any leftover RV for another use. This component reduces the cost by 3 GP.
- Autofire: This component allows a weapon to hit multiple times with one attack. The weapon can be used either to make a normal, single attack, a short burst/combo, or a long burst/area of attack. A successful short burst or combo, gains a bonus equal to half again the base EV (1.5 x base EV), but takes a -2 penalty on the attack roll. A long burst or area attack gains the same EV bonus and attack penalty, and it can also target up to 3 targets (GM discretion), using the best reaction of the group as the penalty (if applicable). This component costs 3 GP.
- 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. This would also apply to weapons that cannot be used on horseback, etc. This component reduces the cost by 2 GP.
- Chain: This component means the weapon can be swung or otherwise used so that it negates some of the benefits of cover. Attacks with this weapon reduce the penalty when attacking a character in cover by 2. This component costs 2 GP.
- Dull: This component makes the item have a reduced ability to penetrate the target’s protection, effectively decreasing the severity of any damage conditions by 1 level if the target has any type of armor. This component reduces the cost by 2 GP per rank.
- Explosive: This component allows the EV to effect up to 3 targets in a single zone as well as those that are engaged with them. This component costs 3 GP.
- Grab: This component means the weapon is flexible enough that it can actually be used to initiate a grapple. Its use reduces the penalty for all Strength rolls to maintain grapple by 2. This component costs 2 GP.
- Hardened: This component means the equipment is better designed to thwart technology designed to pierce armor. It could be a radical new engineering principle, better materials, or magic, but the hardened component effectively reduces the severity of an appropriate damage condition by 1 level. This component costs 3 GP.
- Limited Uses: This component limits the number of uses before the item no longer functions, such as running out of ammo. The player must define how the Uses are recovered, such as loading another magazine. The capacity of a weapon is the number of turns it can be used before needing to be reloaded, regardless of the actual shots fired. Once the capacity is 0 then the player either has to reload or find more ammo (depending on the way the weapon was defined to begin with). Capacity starts at 6, although it can be reduced further by purchasing additional ranks. Use of short burst autofire reduces the capacity by 2 for that turn instead, and long burst autofire automatically reduces it by 3. This component reduces the cost by 1 GP per rank. Reloading takes 1 action, unless coupled with the Slow component.
- Loud: This component ensures this item’s use is perceived automatically within 3 zones, and the penalty is reduced by 4 for any perception rolls from further away. This component reduces the cost by 1 GP.
- Massive Damage: This weapon is exceptionally deadly, increasing the severity of the damage condition inflicted by the weapon by 1 level. This component costs 3 GP.
- Provides Cover: This component allows the item to give the character cover, ⅓ per rank. This component costs 2 GP per rank.
- Required Hands: This component means the item requires more than one hand to properly use. There are two levels to this requirement, “Two-handed” and “Hand-and-a-half.” A Two-handed item requires both hands to use at all, and cannot even be attempted otherwise, such as a longbow. An item that is considered 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 GP if it requires both hands, or only 1 GP if 1.5 handed.
- Required Skill/Advantage: This component makes the item only usable if the character also has ranks in a certain skill, or has a specific Advantage. If this completely forbids its use, it reduces the cost by 2 GP per rank, while it only reduces it by 1 GP per rank if it merely gives a penalty.
- Requires Vehicle: This component makes the item only function at all 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 GP per rank.
- Set: This component allows the weapon to be braced on the ground charging enemies. Gets a bonus on the attack equal to the bonus from their charge. Typically used to create spears and the like. This component costs 1 GP.
- Silent: This component ensures the item's use is only perceptible within the same zone with an active Perception roll, which has the penalty increased by 4 for each zone away the listener is. Normally items can be heard in the same zone without a perception roll. This component increases the cost by 2 GP.
- Slow: This component makes the item take an extra long time between uses, requiring a whole Turn before being usable again. This component reduces the cost by 2 GP per rank.
- Telescopic: This component allows the weapon to offset the effects of use over extreme ranges. Attacks made with this weapon must be declared if using telescopic or not. If they use the telescopic component, reduce the range penalty on the attack by 2 for each rank (this can reduce the penalty to a maximum of 0). This component costs 3 GP per rank.
- Unreliable: This component makes the item susceptible to jams, breaking, or otherwise ceasing to work at an inopportune time. With each use make a roll to see if the item stops working. At rank 1 the TN for this is 12, but the TN decreases 1 per rank, making the chance of breaking ever more likely. The component reduces the cost by 1 CP per rank.
|VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference|
|Making a Character||Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)|
|Gameplay||Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts|
|Optional Rules||Not Yet Complete|
|Gamemastering||Not Yet Complete|
|Storytelling and Drama||Not Yet Complete|
|Advanced Techniques||Not Yet Complete|
|Appendices||Example Abilities||Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes|
|Example Gear||Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi|
|Example NPCs||Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi|