Most items in our system apply a direct bonus, but otherwise don't impact the nature of the ruling (they simply increase or decrease mights before the normal ruling process takes place). However, weapons and armor both apply a new facet to the system that's good to be aware of, given how commonly combat features in our rulings.
--- Weapons ---
Weapons come in four types: Unarmed, Light, Medium and Heavy. Unarmed grants no bonus to damage, but each of the others grants a fixed bonus for its type:
- Light: 15% bonus damage
- Medium: 45% bonus damage
- Heavy: 75% bonus damage
The bonus damage is treated as a percentage addition to the PP generated by the attack, so someone wielding a light weapon effectively deals 115% damage compared to what they would deal if they were unarmed.
Example: If a swordfighter would normally deal 12 damage on a hit, but is using a Medium weapon, they gain an additional 45% damage. 45% of 12 is about 5 damage, so the swordfighter actually deals 17 damage on their hit.
Since weapons only enhance PP, weapons grant no help on the hit itself, just on how much damage is dealt if the wielder does connect the blow.
This bonus is applied to each hit, so a Light weapon wielder who attacks twice gains the 15% damage bonus to each attack individually.
Multi-Action Penalty Modifications
Those performing any number of Combat actions (melee or Ranged attacks, blocking, parrying or dodging) may be helped or hindered by the type of weapon they wield.
The multi-action penalty for Light weapon wielders is 10 points less than it is for Medium weapon users. It is 10 points more for Heavy weapon wielders. That 10-point shift is flat - additional actions are still spaced out 20 points from there. To clarify, see the table below:
Remember, weapon weights and their associated multiple action penalties (MAP) only affect actions taken with those weapons. A mage holding a dagger, casting a spell, using the standard MAP (-20) for casting two spells. Holding a dagger doesn't make spellcasting easier just because it's a light weapon. If the same mage casts a spell to enchant their dagger and then tries to stab someone with it in the same round, the spell takes a -20, the stabbing only takes a -10.
--- Firearm Bonus Damage ---
Firearms fall into the standard Light/Medium/Heavy groups, but to represent their lethality, also do bonus damage if (and only if) they hit. Light firearms do +5 PP of damage on a hit, Medium do +10 and Heavy do +15. This bonus damage is per hit, not per round, so a character who hits more than once gets the weapon's bonus damage on each successful hit.
--- Explosives ---
Crafted explosives and bottled area damage spells (like a wand of fireball) function just like Environmental Damage effects, affecting all in range with no multiple-action penalty for multiple targets. The base damage of the effect is determined by the item when it's crafted. With very rare exceptions, these items are spent on use and are charge-based.
No skill is required to throw a grenade, set a timer on a bomb or use a magic item with a stored spell. Skills in gunnery or launch weapons can be used to counter the efforts of targets trying to dodge, ruled as a Tech roll with the attacker's DEX and INT competing with the defender's DEX and END. If the attacker successfully hits, the target's END roll is used to resist the damage as normal for the explosive. If the defender produces any net PP to dodge, they are added directly to their damage resistance roll, further reducing the damage taken from the explosive.
A target hit by multiple explosives in the same round rolls to endure the damage only once, adding the total Environmental Damage of all explosives together as their base damage to resist. The defender can attempt to dodge as many of the explosives as they like, but each explosive would require a separate dodge action, and standard Multiple Action rules apply. The multiple action penalty does NOT apply to the END roll to resist the damage, regardless of the number of actions taken. A target who chooses to try and dodge multiple explosives uses the END roll of the first dodge attempt as their damage resistance roll.
Crafted explosives or bottled spells that do something other than deal damage follow the normal rules for enchantment, and should have a difficulty for the target to resist as well as a stored PP value for the targets to try and counter the effect.
--- Armor ---
Armor, by contrast, does not work as a percentage, but a direct reduction in damage, and does not affect the multi-action penalty in any way.
Armor has two values: Absorption and Offense Penalty.
Absorption directly reduces the damage a wearer takes by its value in a given round from each attacker. It does not subtract from each attack, just the total damage dealt that round. If you are struck by three people, the armor's Absorption value is subtracted 3 times - once from each of them for this round.
Example: Samuel is wearing armor with an Absorption value of 3 is attacked by two bandits. The first bandit attacks twice for 12 damage and 9 damage, respectively. The second bandit hits for 2. Samuel takes 18 damage from the first bandit (12 + 9 - 3) and zero damage from the second (2 - 3).
Offense Penalty is a reduction to the damage the wielder deals per round, and is typically one half the absorption value, rounded down.
Like incoming damage absorption, offense penalty is applied to each target, so someone in heavy armor who attacks two people has their outgoing damage penalized twice - once for each. If they attack the same person multiple times, the reduction is only applied once.
Example: Samuel attacks the two bandits who just attacked him. He strikes the first for 11 damage, and hits the second bandit twice, once for 5 damage and once for 3. His armor's Offense Penalty is 1, so he only deals 10 damage to the first bandit (11 - 1) and 7 to the second (5 + 3 - 1).
Armor and Environmental Damage
The damage reduction from armor and shields does NOT protect or absorb environmental damage from sources like natural fire, extreme cold, noxious gas, etc.
--- Physical Shields ---
Physical shields, typically worn an the arm (kite shields, tower shields, etc.) also carry an Absorption and an Offense Penalty value like regular armor. These features only come into play when the character is actively choosing to Block in a given round.
If the wielder of a shield chooses not to block, the shield's Stats are irrelevant that round. If they choose to block and also take other actions (like attacking), the shields stats apply to all actions as appropriate.
--- Magical Shielding (Vaxia) ---
Magical shielding works very similarly to armor. When a mage casts a spell to create a magical shield on someone, it grants a PP/7 bonus to that character's Absorption, with no associated Offense Penalty. This shield typically lasts a scene (one combat, one area, etc.), but the duration is up to the A/SH. Shields are buffs, so unless directly drained or dispelled, they should almost always last at least 3 rounds.
--- Physical vs. Energy Armor (Sirian) ---
Armor and shields in Sirian come in two types: Physical or Energy. Attacks come in similar varieties. Any weapon that doesn't specific what type of damage it deals deals Physical damage by default. Energy weapons are generally rarer, more expensive and less damaging, and Energy armor is similarly rarer and more expensive.
There is no numeric change to how armor works whether it's Physical or Energy, only whether it applies to a given attack or not.
--- Stacking Rules ---
Armor of the same type does not stack - the largest value of the type wins, and all lesser values are ignored. The types are:
- Physical armor
- Energy armor (Sirian only)
- Physical shields (only when blocking)
- Magical shielding
So any character with multiple forms of any of the above types uses only the largest value and ignores all others of the same type.
Example: Emily is wearing chainmail with an Absorption value of 5, using a shield with an Absorption value of 3. When Kanna casts a magical shield of ice to protect Emily further, she produces 29 PP, granting Emily another 4 points of Absorption. When Emily blocks, her total Absorption value is 12 (5 + 3 + 4) - when not blocking, her Absorption value is still 9 (5 + 4) per round.
If a second mage then casts a second magical shield on Emily and generates 15 PP, nothing changes, since the new shield only grants 2 points of magical shielding, and Emily already has 4 points of magical shielding from Kanna.