The soldier swings down their heavy sword at you. You have 2 Wounds, and this hit could be fatal. *Roll* You’re going to be taking 2 Wounds to take you out of combat.
“I raise my shield, catching the brunt of the attack with it and directing the Wounds into Breaks.”
Your shield shatters and you are flung off to the side–breathless, but alive.
Gear Break is about giving the players engaging options and choice in a very swords and (optionally) sorcery world. If you’ve ever made a character, you likely chose a weapon early on and stuck with it all the way until you get an upgraded/magical version of it, never really seeing it outside of battle. Never really caring or making any choice about it aside from when you’re going to swing it.
Let’s change that.
I wanted to make choosing weapons and gear more impactful than making one decision at the beginning of the game and not thinking about it. Since Savage Worlds doesn’t get limited by weapon proficiency, having more/a variety of weapons and armor is not a bad idea.
The idea behind the system is to allow the players to get into dangerous fights while having the fallback of your gear and armor to reduce your wounds as well as Soak. It allows an engaging choice-imperative battle where you can choose your gear to take the damage at the expense of placing yourself at higher risk. It allows you to make the split decision of letting your shield take the blow and shattering, or chance having your weapon given by your childhood friend waiting for you back home take the blow and shatter into a million pieces the next round.
Well either way, here you go.
Gear Break System
You may decide that instead of taking Wounds during a round, you may choose to instead take a like number of ‘Breaks’ to your armor, weapon or shield instead. You may only choose one item per attack to take this hit. If you are Shaken prior to the attack you may not choose this option.
You can also target the armor, weapon or shield of an enemy directly, dealing damage to it instead of the target, via a called shot. When targeting armor, roll an attack versus the enemy’s Parry like normal, and deal damage versus their Toughness. This deals a Break for each success and raise. Targeting a weapon or shield in this manner has a TN of 4 (with penalties due to smallness, distance or illumination) and a Toughness of 4+Bulk.
Every Break a piece of armor takes reduces its armor value by 1. When the armor value becomes zero the armor becomes broken and unusable. For weapons and shields, they can take 1 Break plus 1 more for each Bulk they have. ie, a Claymore can take 3 Breaks before becoming unusable.
Broken gear can be repaired with an appropriate Crafts roll and 1 hour of time per Break, or for half the item’s value at a smithery. For every success and a raise, reduce the number of Breaks by one. A raise above that reduces the total time spent by half. A critical failure results in the armor being broken beyond repair.
Bulk is a personal system I use by the by. For every 5-15 pounds, an item has 1 Bulk. You can carry an amount of Bulk equal to half your Strength die. D12 = 6 Bulk. The Brawny edge increases this by 1.5x rounded up. It’s an implementation//recoloring of Zadmar’s Simplified Encumbrance. Bulk just sounds nicer to me//has the trappings of something that can apply to equipment stats.
As a quick clarification you can choose to direct the damage from AOE powers/spells as Breaks as well. Furthermore, I figured it would be harder to hit armor as it’s what they’re wearing. They’d defend themselves/their armor more effectively. And finally, in the setting I use this for, I consolidated armor to just Armor/Shields, rather than the piecemeal armor in the core book.
As for extra stuff, a lot of this is supposed to be for my personal setting(Bulk, Claymore, Crafts, Enhancements), so I hope to share what’s usable.
New Quality: Breaking
> This weapon is designed to shatter things. Breaking weapons deal +2 to damage rolls when targeting gear as part of a breaking attempt.
New Enhancement: Hardy
> Your item is hardier, capable of taking an additional Break. If it is a weapon with the Fragile quality, remove it. 50sil.
(Change) Trademark Weapon
> Can handle +1 additional Break.
(New Edge) Breaking Blow, req: Seasoned, d8 Fight or d8 Throw
> You know how to push your weapon to its limits. When you hit an opponent with a melee or throwing weapon, by taking 1 Break on your weapon it deals +2 damage for this attack.
(New Edge) Crashing Shield, req: Seasoned
> You know how to maneuver your shield, causing it to give back what it just took. When taking any number of Break to your shield due to an attack, you may spend a Benny to impose 1 Break on the opposing weapon.
I just hope no one notices it’s a durability system.