Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Day: Gear

Finally, we come to gear. All gear, no matter what it is, adds dice to your roll if you can explain how it's helpful. Weapons add dice to combat encounter, obviously, but you could add their dice to hunting rolls for a lot of them too. Armor also adds dice to your combat encounters. A fishing rod would add to hunting rolls if you're near fishable waters. Geiger counters add to circumventing radiation hazards. And so on.

Here's the gist of gear: you can make it as specific or as general as you like. If you want a hundred thousand different kinds of firearms, you can have them. Assign them different die ratings as you feel is appropriate. If you want to abstract it to pistol, rifle, shotgun, that works too. Since the mechanics are stripped down to a single stat due to the way encounters are handled, adjudicating gear on the fly should be a snap.

There are two important things to know about gear.

First, gear use is always optional. This includes passive stuff like armor. You don't want to use it in this encounter, then it didn't absorb any punishment. Basically this makes armor piecemeal, but you decide whether the blow lands on the armor. If you want the added protection it affords, add its dice to your pool, and you're more likely to knock out an encounter faster, and thus take less damage. Likewise, you can go fishing and choose not to use the fishing rod, but this means you're wading and trying to barehand the fish instead.

Second, every time you use gear, it degrades. Every single piece of gear you have has its own health meter, and it's damaged with every use. Not a lot necessarily, but it happens. Use gear over and over and it'll become less effective, offering less dice, until it becomes useless. So the decision to use what gear when is an important one.

Finally, a word about ammo. Tracking ammo is important for a game about resource management. But since encounters aren't resolved in a blow by blow fashion, tracking each individual shot isn't important. Instead, ammo counts represent how many encounters worth of ammo you have. Each time you use a gun, deduct one ammo from its score. This is the same for a revolver as it is a fully automatic weapon. And again, just like creating the guns themselves, you can be as specific or general as you like when it comes to ammunition. You want all pistol ammo to fit all pistols? Do it. If you're a gun nut who wants hyper-precision in the game, these mechanics allow for that just as easily.

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