Equipment grants bonuses to the dice pool of a character or penalize the dice pools of their enemies.
Weapons are the most basic equipment for most adventurers. Weapons grant dice pool bonuses which make their attacks more dangerous. Some weapons also grant special effects. It’s recommended that special features of a weapon are built into the powers and features characters can purchase rather than directly into the weapon itself. For example, a flail type weapon is made more effective in combat by the fact that it can bypass shields (by swinging around them). However, the flail does not grant this ability, the skilled user can exploit this feature of the flail. That’s not to say that some weapons don’t have truly inherent features. Blades do lethal damage and lightsabers can be used to cut through heavy metal doors. When in doubt, it’s best to put special weapon abilities into the realm of character powers and features. Melee type weapons should add between 1 and 10 dice to the pool of their wielder.
Firearms however, should add at least 5 dice and perhaps as many as 15 or 20. This is because no ability score will be added to the dice pool. Firearms provide all of the power and danger in themselves. This is why they are the great equalizers.
Armor is used to reduce the danger of enemy attacks. When an attack is made which the armor can reasonably guard against, the armor value is subtracted from the pool of dice which the enemy rolls.
Tools and Kits
Most non-combat skills involve tools to make a character more efficient. Bonuses should be given based on the “completeness” of the tool kit the character has available. Bear in mind that in some cases the tool kit is providing all of the power necessary for a task. For example, lockpicking has everything to do with tools and skill. No ability score should be applied to this check. For tools that take advantage of an ability score, bonuses should range from 1 to 10. For tools that provide all of the necessary leverage or capability, bonuses should range from 5 to 20. The best rule of thumb for deciding which category a given task should be in is asking the question: can this task be accomplished without tools? Locks cannot be picked without tools. Sheer cliffs can be scaled without tools (although it’s quite difficult).