Author's note: In any RPG, particularly a fantasy one, this section would be called "Equipment and treasure". Player Characters certainly need loot and weapons in order for them to advance their characters and cope with harder encounters. Moreover, gear allows characters to truly customize their characters.
As with the overall architecture of the Enterprise RPG system, several elements are meant to scale, so I have included generic formulas for GMs to be able to extrapolate the statistics.
Basic Gameplay rules
Understanding Item Grade
Not all items of the same kind are created equal. A masterfully crafted Pistol by an experienced gunsmith with good parts would fire better than the same model picked up in the discount guns section of Centramart. The Enterprise RPG system uses a single variable for determining the quality of an item. Every item listed in the sourcebook is listed at "Grade" 0 and the statistics represented are the lowest common denominator of its kind. The grades represent the relative power of any piece of equipment. Almost as if it were competency ranks. Each grade represents an advancement in technology or a higher quality version of the item in question.
GM Note: To keep the players in the zone, don't call items "Knife, grade 3". It can be better described as a "Brimstone War Mechanics Bayonet, Model 3" or "... mark 3" or ".. .version 3". If the players don't get the hint, too bad.
GM Note: Grades can also be assigned to services and not just products. A physiotherapy session of grade 2 would be superior to one of grade 1. This simply means the practitioner has as many ranks in the applicable competency as the grade of the service.
How does gear advance with item grade? For the basic rule set, the item grade simply is the modifier that the item is used at. This modifier can be used in lieu of the skill level. For instance, Kol has a swordsmanship competency of 3 ranks, but he retrieves a grade 4 sword. When attacking with this sword, he may opt to use either his competency (3) or the sword's grade (4) which is added to his d10 challenge roll and BQ modifier. Given logically that the sword's grade is higher, he uses +4 instead of +3 (he may not use both).
Author's note: The logic of a single modifier is done with scalability in mind. In a lot of RPG systems, high-level characters have a mess of tens of modifiers to adjust their rolls. Keeping it simple with either competency or grade makes it manageable. Additionally, in adjusting the math of this, I consulted a real-life swordsman, Mr Kaneda Cruz of western Australia- he explained that, in the context of melee weapons, a skilled user would not really benefit from a weapon's quality unless it was truly exceptional. Meanwhile, an amateur might gain more advantage because his weapon is superior to his own ability to wield it.
An item's trait generally scales with its grade too. Each grade would add a single point of the trait. Null (-) traits may not be advanced. For instance, consider an item with the default traits:
A grade 2 version of the item would allow the GM to add 2 points distributed any way to these default stats, making the item have:
In this example, because the MQ value is null, MQ may not be advanced.
Weapons have a damage bonus on a successful challenge, this is usually represented by damage dice, e.g.: 1d10. Each weapon-grade beyond zero adds one damage dice of the same kind to the bonus damage. For instance, a dagger deals +1d4 bonus damage by default. And a grade 1 version would deal +2d4, a grade 2 version +3d4 and so on.
That covers the basic advancement, though some special abilities of items scale with grade as well.
If you are using the advanced rules, weapons will use their accuracy rating rather than merely their grade to modify challenge rolls. And components of weapons individually have their own special abilities that scale with the grade value as well. However, one must take note that the overall weapon grade (comprised of a complete set of components) is the lowest grade of all its components. Meaning that a Vibro longsword with a grade 3 edge, but has grade 1 for all other components, will be treated as a grade 1 weapon, with a damage bonus of +2d10 (1d10 default plus one more dice of the same kind (d10) = 2d10)
Story hook: In the penthouse of the Cider pit club, in the unseen third floor reserved for VVIPs and celebrities lies the office of the notorious syndicate leader Hiroshi "Snake" Naga. Flipping a switch turns reveals a trophy rack of various guns, melee weapons, and works of art... accumulated from several owners and undoubtedly years of nefarious activity, some of these items are precious evidence for cracking many cases. However, they could be worth something on the black market. Or "what the hell", you think, taking a Maser off the wall, this could come in handy.
Finding gear should normally come at the end of encounters and as a reward to the party for interacting with the GM's plot and challenges. It may not necessarily need to be a reward and can be stumbled upon. However, the Enterprise RPG system controls the item grade of the gear the party discovers. This is done in order to balance the campaign according to the relative power level of the group. This leverages the party's PPS. So what grade would a player retrieve an item at? As the game progresses, players would gain higher ranks in competencies and would very soon have weapons and tools which can quickly become obsolete in the face of more powerful enemies and more insurmountable obstacles.
Item Discovery Roll
A player finds an item. An item discovery roll is initiated by the GM. This is principally to determine the grade of the item found.
Step 1: Roll two d10 dice (GM can opt to roll one dice and the player another). The first dice rolled is called the 'luck' dice, the second dice is called 'misfortune'
Step 2: Take the value of the luck roll and deduct the misfortune roll. This might result in a negative number too, don't worry.
Step 3: Take the result and multiply it by 10, and then use this as a percentage score. For example, if the result is -3, it becomes -30%. If the result if 5, it becomes 50%.
Step 4: Take the party's PPS and multiply it by this percentage. If the party has a PPS of 6, and the result of the luck and misfortune roll is 50%, take 6 x 50% = 3.
Step 5: The grade of the item the party discovers is the grade value of step 4. E.g.: the party with PPS 6 and a 50% luck and misfortune roll will find a grade 3 item. If the result of luck and misfortune is 0%, that means they find a grade 0 version of the item.
GM Note: 0 rolls for luck and misfortune are simply treated as 0, do not reroll them, this is not a challenge roll.
Author's note: The item discovery roll can be skipped if the GM wishes to simplify and reduce randomness by assigning static grades. This can simply be done by giving players items at their PPS value, but in testing, we discovered this to be very boring for the party. You may notice that I did not include elaborate tables to roll randomly for things discovered. This is because item discovery is contextual and this is up to the GM. Players are not going to find priceless paintings in the middle of the ocean, but they might find a sunken hard drive. Similarly, players are not going to find containers of cutting-edge protoplasm in a desert. While very unlikely scenarios might happen due to this randomness, placing gear in the paths of players is the GMs job and should be catered to what the party wants or what the story needs to be more entertaining. If a GM insists on random gear tables or this system is used for a solo play, we will release an online supplement and or generator for this.
Everything has a price in Aohu. Prices for items vary greatly, from a single credit for a dumb bullet to thousands for state of the art technology. Normally every piece of equipment has a benchmark cost indicated in its entry. This cost is the base cost of an item at grade 0. However, higher grade versions of an item are much harder to find and as a result, can have eye-watering prices dues to supply and demand. Use the following formula to calculate the price of any item: Base cost x Grade ^ 2. This means that the base cost of an item (the cost of the item at grade 0) should be multiplied by the squared grade of the item.
For example Example: Eylish finds a grade 5 steel blade edge with classic serration for a sword. The default cost of a classic serrated steel edge is 20 credits. She decides to sell this on the open market. The price on the open market would be 20 x 5^2 = 20 x 25 = 500 credits.
Varying Market Prices
If using the advanced rules, it is advised to use this market pricing mechanic. This further modifies the price of items based on the ebb and flow of the market, as per the theme of the Megacorp universe setting. The item price formula in the previous section is further modified by a luck and misfortune roll.
Two d10s are rolled, one representing luck and misfortune, very much like the item discovery roll. The luck dice result deducts the misfortune dice result. The result is then multiplied by 10 and subsequently treated as a percentage. The new formula becomes: Base cost x Grade ^2 + [(Luck – Misfortune) * 10] % Using the example of Eylish's grade 5 steel edge in the basic pricing rules, the cost of her blade edge in today's market is: 500 credits + [(Luck (4) – misfortune(7)] x 10]% = 500 + -30% =500 * 0.7 = 350 credits
If 0% is rolled for luck minus misfortune, the item is not free, it simply cannot be bought or sold at that time.
GM Note: The market pricing mechanism was partially created to allow players to conduct a limited form of trading. It also mitigates power gaming by introducing an element of variance to item prices, which is much easier than having to deal with metagaming by players knowing prices by hard.
Author's note: Incidentally, this is why there is no need to create an "item availability" table. With the internet, the denizens of Aohu can find anything for a price. And the built-in 'lockout' of being able to with a market price modifier of 0 means that it is statistically possible to have access to buying and selling cut off.
Advanced Rules for items
Breaking and destroying items
Items have traits just like people. An item that has its IQ reduced to 0 will have its internal software compromised and won't function, similarly, an item which has its BQ reduced to 0 is physically destroyed beyond repair. Items with EQ and MQ values are similarly destroyed when those traits reach 0. Items with null traits (i.e.: a value of "-"), may not be affected by damage or interactions with that trait. With the advanced rules, take into consideration the FR (Force Reduction) and FD (Force Dampening) values of the principal material the item is made of. Items can be subject to the fuzzy physics in the context of being bent, crushed, sliced and so forth. This means that an item may not need to be reduced to zero in one of its traits to become unusable, such as a gun sliced in half by a vibroblade.
Of course, items can be customized by components to make them more specialized and powerful. In each section, particularly for weapons like guns and swords, lists of components are available for players to truly make their items their own. For instance, a Vibro sword can change out its blade edge, Spine, battery and serration. As defined in the earlier section, 'Advancing items by grade', items become more powerful as their grade increases, and each individual component of an item would have their own grade value.