Weapon Durability and Maintenance

By Scott Martin Smith


Editor's Note: This article is a variant only and is not official.

All weapons, at least when purchased, are assumed to be new or at least very well cared for. But during the course of daily events, dirt and grime work their nefarious way on equipment, and consequently lower the performance and resale value. This could prove to be an advantage to the frugal duellist, who doesn't mind a slight drop in performance if there is money to be saved.

To keep track of this, all weapons are assigned a "durability rating" (DR) of 10. This rating will go down with wear and damage. At the end of each month of campaigning, a roll is made to determine whether or not a weapon has lost any durability. The number of dice rolled is determined by the following table:

Weapon Usage# of Dice Rolled
Daily3
Frequent2
Moderate1
Occasional1*

Each time a die comes up "6," the DR for that weapon is lowered by 1. (In the case of "Occasional" use, if a 6 is rolled, roll again, and drop the DR only if the second roll is 4, 5, or 6.)

This table assumes regular maintenance, which costs 1% of the unloaded cost of the weapon per month. Weapon maintenance is considered an Easy job for a mechanic. If a weapon is damaged in combat and repaired, it does not have to be maintained in that month - the repair takes care of it. It weapon maintenance is not performed, add one die to the number rolled per month, based on the table above.

As a weapon's DR drops, so will its performances. Specifically:

DR 8 - Roll 2 dice before each battle. On a 2, the weapon jams and will not operate until fixed (unjamming a weapon is an Easy job for a mechanic). All weapons can "jam," even weapons like lasers.

DR 7 - Weapon loses 1 DP, but must have at least 1 DP left.

DR 6 - As DR 8, but roll is 2 or 3 on two dice.

DR 5 - Weapon accuracy drops by 1.

DR 4 - Weapon loses another DP, but must have at least 1 DP left.

DR 3 - As DR 8, but roll is 2, 3, or 4 on two dice

DR 2 - Weapon accuracy drops by 1.

DR 1 - Weapon loses another DP, but must have 1 DP left

DR 0 - Weapon no longer functions

DR points, once lost, cannot be recovered. Only replacing the weapon with a new one will do the trick. Each lost DR point is generally worth a 10% discount off the regular purchase price. Determining the exact DR of a weapon requires close inspection (at least 10 minutes), and is a Medium job for a mechanic. In 2037, there will certainly be cases of merchants misrepresenting the actual condition of used weapons (players may want to try this themselves!). The referee should feel free to make as much or as little use of these rules as he wants.


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