|Heroic Action Role-Play|
Items are a subgroup of Schticks that add abilities outside your character's normal scope or concept.
Items are generally physical objects separate from you, that gives you abilities. An item has an Origin but no Methods, it does not count as a Power and you do not lose it when you would ordinarily lose your powers. Instead, you are dependent on the item to use the power, and the item can be stolen, lost, or just inconvenient to take along.
GMs are responsible for the availability of item schticks in play, but is urged to be generous. You will often pick up items during play and can use them in the scenario you found them. Other items are acquired trough diligent effort, either by making it or looking out for it. Item schticks are commonly found as loot during play, and can be made available trough contacts or created by characters (the Expert schtick comes in handy here). You only need to pay experience points to keep an item at the end of the story. Think of this as the cost for attuning the item permanently - making it a recurring theme or plot for your character. If a player really wants a particular item, the GM should make it it available somehow; making a subplot, montage, or perhaps even an adventure around it. Of course, such stories still give normal xp rewards, which you can then use to purchase the item schticks.
One particular item can have several item schticks, each of which must be paid for. Investing a lot of schticks into a single item is dangerous as you lose a lot when you drop the item. Most item schticks can be freely combined, but except as noted an item can only pick each schtick or limitation once. In general, a character should only have one occurrence of a certain item limitation - having one Sticky item is fresh and exiting, having ten of them is just saving up on points. But this is a guideline more than a rule, to be applied against misuse but ignored when it makes a better story.
Items have some plot protection, but it is not as strong as that of Signature Gear. Items you've paid for have a tendency to come back to you and are not accidentally lost or stolen, but they can be stolen or destroyed as a part of the action or plot. Items lost in this way return the xp invested in them to you.
The tech levels of Action. Rather than adopting a numerical tech level, this is a set of named categories. For convenience, the names sort alphabetically in order of sophistication.
Tech levels are broad and overlapping. They are meant as broad categorizations of entire settings rather than to indicate local variation and technological advantage in a particular setting.
Antiquity to 500 BC. Tools are made of stone, organic materials, or soft metals like silver, gold, or bronze.
1000 BC to 1400 AD in Earth history. Iron slowly transforms the world, allowing better tools and the exploitation of new land and resources. The techniques of ironmaking improve a lot during this period, making iron much more common over time, but what you can actually do with it remains about the same.
1300 AD to 1800 AD. Refinements now allow flexible steel and precision machinery. Firearms conquer the world.
1750 to 1900 AD. Powered machinery frees humanity from much muscle labor, large-scale mechanical engineering is pretty much perfected.
1890 to 1950 AD. Internal combustion and electricity makes technology smaller and easier to handle, making technological items an everyday occurrence.
1940 to 2010 AD. Miniaturization and electronics is the key to this era. Nuclear power makes its debut. Computers are discovered and advance by leaps and bounds throughout this time.
2000 to Near future. Most utensils are now smart and networked to some degree. Technology goes under the human skin. Fossil fuels are gradually phased out.
Far future. Faster than light travel, time travel, teleportation, and other power effects become replicable trough technology. Force fields and energy beams are commonplace. What is possible is based more on the needs of the story than on any understanding of technology. Almost anything possible for Powers is normal at this tech level - in most cases, simply use Powers of the Technology Origin.
The limitation on item schticks and limitation is not per character, it per item. However, a GM might protest if you repeat the same power or limitation on many items.
A item is especially effective against a certain kind of enemy. Often a "slaying" weapon or "warded" armor, but a dedicated item can potentially aid other values at the GMs discretion. Against the specified kind, the wielder adds +2 to damage or soak value. This is an increase to the items base value. It does not stack with the Enhanced item bonus, but does stack with effects that add additional damage. The targets chosen must be rather rare, such as a specific species. The dominant species of the setting (usually humans) is too broad and you must select a subcategory.
The item has been enhanced, which gives +1 to the damage of weapons or the protection value of armors. It can be applied to other gear only with the GMs permission and a similar benefit must be agreed upon. Enhanced Items cannot give a bonus to skill values. The enhancement can be based on some skill, special material, superlative manufacture, or most commonly, a power.
You can store the energy of being Focused and can be used once per session. This has no effect outside action scenes, but in action you can use a Limit Break without first Focusing. A variant of this stores the focus for one particular Limit Break and can only be used with that power/stunt/schtick. This allows that Limit Break to be used outside of combat without spending extra time on it. You can take this item schtick several times, with cumulative benefits.
Choose a Power that is a Limit Break when you take this schtick. You can use this power without being focused. However, it can only be used once and it then expended. You can replace the gimmick or recover the points invested in it, but this is easily done only at the end of the story - replacing it in play takes some effort. You can take this item schtick several times, gaining additional uses.
The item has an intelligence and can activate powers on its own, but unless it is also Sentient it lacks a personality and motivation. Each round, it has 3 shots of its own that it can use to activate its own powers on the user's command. This is not a true initiative roll and does not determine when the item acts; the item can expend shots whenever the owner's shot comes up. It uses its owner's skills and attributes when using its powers. An item is often both Intelligent and Sentient.
Select one Power when you make the item; you can use this power while holding the item. This is generally a power related to the function of the item; a melee weapon focuses Melee Powers and so on. You cannot select an Inherent power, but in some cases your GM might allow you to take what is normally an Inherent power as a Stance. A power focus can be used any number of times. You can take this item schtick several times, selecting a different power each time.
There are restrictions on who can use the item, that makes it hard to use when stolen. Restrictions are generally to a narrow group; the royal family, amazons of Kilkarach, the captain of the royal guard. A variant is an item that must be bestowed or gifted on a new owner to work for that owner. This is a cost because it increases the security of the item; it becomes harder to use the item against you if it is stolen.
This item has a tendency to return to its owner. It attaches itself to certain people and returns to them, either through the working of fate or, for appropriate items, by direct flight or teleportation. If you pay the point cost for such an item, it attaches itself to you and returns to you.
The item has several sets of abilities it can switch between, or it is part of a set where you can only use one set of items at any time. This allows you to have two items with the same point cost, and to switch between them as a Basic Action. You can take this schtick several times, each time either creating an entirely new item set or adding a new alternate configuration to an existing set. All items sets have to be checked for style and balance by the GM. Daifu has a 4 item schticks invested in his flaming spear. On an adventure, he discovers that his flaming spear can change into a wind sword, another 4 schtick item. The ability to change this way costs 1 item schtick for both the flaming spear and winds sword, making both 5 schtick items.
The item is linked permanently to you. It has plot immunity; it cannot be permanently destroyed and whatever happens the item will always find its way back to you at the end of each story. The item is an integral part of your persona, and as a result you will be able to keep the item with you in situations where it would normally be highly inappropriate. You are Confident on any stunt to hide or interaction check to keep the item. When others try stunts to disable or make you lose the idem, they are Stymied. You do not gain any special advantages when using the item.
The item forms a telepathic link to its owner(s). Owners are always aware of the items location and obvious events in its vicinity. An item that is Sentient can hold conversations and use persuasion against its owner. Who counts as owner depends on the item and can be up to three people.
These limitations reduce the cost of an item, but never to less than one point. The GM must inspect all item limitations and twits them so they become actual limitations without overshadowing the rest of the action.
The item represents some kind of dogma or ethos, it has a purpose. While such items are not Sentient unless they have that limitation, they are still strongly imbued with ideals. Examples of alignment can be ethical disposition, religious faith, virtues and vices, or specific enemies. Aligned items cannot plan, form opinions on their users, or otherwise be proactive; they only react to immediate events - unlike Sentient items.
- Creatures of directly opposed alignment (opposing faiths, specific enemies) suffer a Hit each round they weild or use the item.
- Using the item for actions going against it's alignment fail.
- An action the wearer of the item takes that goes directly against the item's alignment suffer a -3 penalty, even when not using the item directly.
- Interaction stunts against the wearer of the item that try to make him act according to the alignment of the item get a +3 bonus.
The item is night indestructible, and generally of a high power level. It is sought by both heroes and villains. Besides its powers, it has a role in the plot - maybe its the one thing that can kill the high king, or it is the missing key to the great vault. Destroying an artifact is a major undertaking similar to breaking a Curse but harder than a common curse, and can be the focus of an adventure or a whole campaign.
The item carries some kind of Curse, and this affects the wearer.
The item tries to impress an agenda on the owner. A Sentient or Intelligent item will do this through persuasion, other items do this trough subtle subconscious urging and dreams. The item is very persuasive, having a Charm of 10 + the item's total number of schticks and limitations. It can cause distractions, causing the victim to lose a Fortune point per infraction with an opposed Charm roll.
The item has an Origin and is affected by Origin Divide. It cannot be used by someone lacking an origin. Some such items can only be used by a specific Tradition. Other simply lack the skills required to use the item. Using the item is affected by Methods and Power Loss.
The item is intelligent and has a personality and self-awareness. It has its own goals and ambitions, and can refuse to let itself be used if it is in disagreement with the wielder. It can communicate with its wielder trough empathy or telepathy; some items can even speak audibly. The item can use its powers much like an Intelligent Item, but cannot to do so for the player's benefit unless it is also Intelligent.
A sentient item is often jealous of other intelligent or sentient items, and generally wants to be the most important and cherished item in your possession.
Once you pick up this item, it won't let you drop it again. A weapon refuses to leave you hand, a suit of armor cannot be taken off, and other items remain with you in a similar fashion. You cannot use an alternate item to the sticky one - a weapon won't let you wear another weapon, an amulet won't let you wear other amulets or magical jewelry and so on. A sticky item cannot be hidden or disguised, and is able to move or break items or powers to fulfill its curse.
This does not make you handicapped - you can still go to the bathroom, keep clean, eat and so on - but it makes many situations hard or awkward and can help make you recognized.
A wandering item has a destiny that makes it go from hand to hand. It cannot be held onto permanently, and often shifts hands between rival groups. If you pay points for a wandering item, you can expect it to be in your possession about half the time, but there are no guarantees.
Size is measured relative to the user, and is mainly used for concealability, to gauge how hard the item is to smuggle past security and how noticeable it is. Size is given in classes, from smallest to largest.
So small they can be concealed in a swimsuit or underwear. Can be concealed from a strip search with some difficulty. Can be built into small everyday items, such as cutlery, pens, mobile phones, packets of cigarettes, or snuff pots. About a dozen of these become a Small item.
Designed to be worn under street clothes or inside a small accessory such as a lady's handbag or a hat, these can be concealed under all but beachwear and tight evening wear. Five or more of these become a Medium item.
Also known as "Trench coat", this size of items are generally obvious, but can be concealed under bulky clothes such as dusters or hoop skirts or inside a large bag. Three of these become a Large and impossible to hide.
These items are not concealable under normal clothing. You may get away with carrying them inside your "barney the dinosaur" outfit, but such a concealment needs to be custom-made for the item. It is impractical to carry more than two large items.
Weapon and Armor Abilities
These are mainly relevant to weapons and weapons, but some can apply to other gear.
Adjacent to you. If using a grid or hex map, this is the area immediately surrounding you. In special circumstances you can reach further, but this is the territory of stunts.
A close-ranged or thrown weapon, that suffers a range penalty of -1 per 5 meters of distance.
The default range in Action, where the action is up close and personal. Suffers a penalty of -1 per 20 meters of distance.
Suffers a penalty of -1 per 100 meters. In many cases, this is ways shorter than the weapon's actual range, but to fully utilize the range of such a weapon, you need the Sniper schtick.
Combat in Action rarely takes place in surroundings spacious enough for long ranges, but when it does, long range can be a tremendous advantage. Still, targets that cannot effectively fire back can usually find cover, in most cases limiting sniping to ambushes.
Weapons in Action generally have extra maneuvers available to them, and some have inherent effects; these are all explained here. Unlike item schticks, these are not equivalent to full feats but perhaps to half a feat.
Some abilities are noted as limitations. These always apply, training or not.
You attack everyone in a globe with a diameter equal to your Reflexes in meters centered on the target point. Make a separate attack roll against each target, including friends and bystanders.
This commonly results from explosions and fully automatic weapons fire.
Also called power armor, this armor has servo-motors powering it, directed by sensors inside the armor so that it matches body movement. If the power fails, the armor turns rigid and it is time for emergency escape, there are manual explosive bolts that should remove the armor. Another danger is that the armor is computer controlled and can potentially be hacked or remotely controlled. A character with an Exo Link can ignore the Move and Hits limitations of boosted armor.
You can intercept opponents attacking you in Melee, striking would-be attackers that you manage to keep at bay. Whenever an opponent misses you with a Basic Action attack in Melee, you can use this weapon to make a Normal Melee Attack on them. This also keeps them at bay - if you are successful and using a Reach weapon, you prevent them from moving adjacent to you. On the other hand, if an opponent starts adjacent to you and there is no behind you, the GM may not allow you to use Counter.
The does two or more types of damage. Against a target that has different soak values against the two types of damage, use the lesser soak value but decrease the damage by 2. Additional kinds of damage uses the lowest soak value among the types. See also Touch.
This gear makes a lot of noise and can be heard a good distance away, depending on its size. A loud weapon alerts neighbors but it is often difficult for witnesses to pinpoint where a ranged weapon is fired, as the trajectory makes as much noise as the weapon itself. Larger items generally make much more noise; a Small or smaller weapon is only audible nearby and dampened by a simple wall, a Medium weapon can be heard a cross a hall or through an interior wall, while a Large weapon is audible over a wide area, possibly kilometers away if conditions are right. Armor with this limitation continually makes noise. Any action that requires quiet or stealth is Stymied when using such gear.
A minor miracle, the power use version of Mundane. An item of power that is so common it is not an Item Schtick and instead considered everyday gear in a setting where this type of power is common. In settings where this kind of power is rare or secret, items that are Mirabilia don't exist.
This item requires an item schtick at the tech level it is introduced. One tech level later, the item is no longer an item schtick and is now normal equipment available to anyone.
The weapon can be used to parry other melee attacks. Use it after an enemy hits you, giving a +3 Dodge bonus until you take your next action, but only against melee attacks.
A development of Boosted armor, power armor has all the advantages of Boosted armor, but also makes the wearer stronger and tougher, giving a +2 bonus to Action, which further increases Toughness beyond the protection provided by the armor. A character with Superstrength cannot benefit form this ability.
The weapon prevents you from taking a Trigger Action until your next shot comes up. Example moves include the fleche, impale, or roundhouse blow. For a ranged weapon, this is an extended burst and the subsequent reload. When you make an attack you can chose to ignore this limitation, but doing so lowers damage by 2.
Basic Action - Limitation
The weapon is slow to reload (or otherwise prepare for a second use) and requires a Basic Action to reload before each attack.
After you throw a weapon, you can use this to instantly retrieve it. It might be attacked to a string, bounce back to you, or naturally return to you like a boomerang does in movies.
The weapon saturates an area, making it immune to all effects of cover. A typical example is the flamethrower.
The weapon fires in a tight cone that widens lightly at range, like a shotgun or particle weapon. It does not lose accuracy over range, instead losing damage at the same rate. Apply any range penalties to damage instead of to the attack roll. A typical example is the shotgun, but most Saturation weapons have this ability too.
The item does not look dangerous. It can be hidden in plain sight and can pass observation by all but the most astute observers. When required an opposed Charm against Charm or Create can avoid even close inspection.
Inherent - Limitation
The weapon is slow to reload (or otherwise prepare for repeated use). It cannot be used with schticks or powers combine several attacks into one action such as Combination Action, attacks that are Trigger Actions, or extra actions granted by abilities like Hands-on Leadership. The GM determines when this applies, but you should remind the GM in situations that might qualify.
Inherent - Limitation
The weapon requires preparations to use or is very unwieldy, making it impossible to move in the same action you use it to attack.
A stowed weapon is large and unwieldy and likely worn on your back to be out of the way. It is a Basic Action to draw such a weapon,
This attack does not cause any direct injury on a Damage Setback, instead favoring stun, knockback, and other non-lethal effects.
This weapon can be thrown as a ranged attack using either the Shoot or Melee skill. If it is a melee weapon it can also be used in close combat, but only the Melee skill applies there. If the weapon has no range category given for it, it has Close range.
The weapon is mechanically unreliable and sometimes fails spectacularly. Treat any snake eyes roll using this weapon as a fumble, quite often breaking the weapon or harming the user. One tech level after they are introduced this limit disappears. Experimental and improvised weapons, as well as weapons you are unfamiliar with gain this limitation.