Any post from me has been a long time coming. It's been a pretty busy month.
You all know from previous posts that I like my games to have a simulationist quality. As of late I find myself thinking about adventuring gear and the wear and tear that it takes. This, of course, includes weapons and armor. I believe that I've come up with a very basic rule that will help to keep things simple while still making them "feel" like they are real and happening. My objective is to bring a simulationist immersion to this part of play, while keeping the rule simple to use. Without further ado, here is a rough sampling of the rules.
1. All adventuring gear can be in one of four conditions:
Good, Worn, Damaged and Ruined
This is called the condition track
These conditions are self explanatory.
2. All types of materials have a base saving throw:
Magic Items (case by case at Referee's discretion - not damaged under normal circumstances)
Referees may give bonuses or penalties depending upon situations or damage caused by specific hazards (i.e. wooden items catching fire) as they see fit.
3. To keep gear in good condition, PCs must perform maintenance or upkeep in between adventures/on the road etc. If it is deemed that the PCs possess the skill to upkeep their gear, they can (with proper tools) do so themselves. As a note, if a PC can use a given weapon, they know how to perform basic maintenance of that weapon. The same goes for armor. This include oiling and sharpening blades, oiling and cleaning armor, etc. If whetstone and oil are owned, this can easily be done while camping and on watch. If it is deemed that a PC knows how to upkeep other gear and has the proper implements to do so, that is fine as well, however, this must be kept track of by the Referee for time keeping purposes. It takes a great deal of time to take care of equipment.
Alternatively, players can also have items professionally repaired, replaced etc. while in town for 20% of the value of the PCs total adventuring gear, more at the Referee's discretion if any gear is in Damaged condition. Ruined items cannot be repaired.
4. Normal wear to gear: Gear will naturally deteriorate to lesser conditions if it is not upkept, per point three. Outside of this, all gear that is used during a session must make a saving throw at the end of the session. If the saving throw fails, that piece of gear moves down the condition track by one step.
Gear that specifically takes damage must make a saving throw or move down one or more conditions along the track as well. This is based upon a variety of conditions, catching fire, items specifically targeted or damaged by foes etc.
5. Weapons and armor are subject to the same rules as adventuring gear, but may also be subject to wear and tear from especially hard hits (giving or taking maximum damage etc.) at the Referee's discretion.