In Fate, even equipment items have Aspects.
In most RPGs, weapons and armor have individual stats, armor values, features, damage types etc…
Fate, on the other hand, elegantly handles in two ways: with a number from 1 to 4 and with Aspects.
The Rating System
The simple rule to show how effecting weapons and armor are is to give them a rating from 1 to 4.
- 1 is stuff like dagger, brass knuckles, improvised weapons and light armor
- 2 is short blades, clubs, bows or pistols and medium armor
- 3 covers most swords, maces or other 1-handed weapons, crossbows, rifles and heavy armor
- 4 is reserved for large, 2-handed weapons, power weapons or heavy weaponry. Only the rarest full plate or Power Armor is in this category.
For weapons, the numbers outlined above give you a bonus to your attack on a success or a tie. Thus a weapon with a higher rating will always give you an advantage, even on a tie with someone else. To give you an idea: even on a tie, a weapon:4 hit will take out 4 average goons in one attack phase.
For armour, the number deducts from the number of the weapon. So a weapon:2 hit against armor of 2 will be reduced to nothing.
Keep in mind that there’s a significant difference between different items at the same number “level”. A sub-machine gun and a crossbow are both at level 3, but there’s a big difference between how they work and how effective they are. Also, an expertly crafted sabre built by a master will have the same level as a dirty wooden club.
These differences in quality and effectiveness are handled with Aspects.
The most important Aspect is Primitive vs. Not-primitive.
As mentioned above, a crossbow and a tommy-gun are both level 3 weapons, but the former is Primitive and the latter is not. In a gun fight, the tommy-gun wielder will be at a huge advantage.
On top of that, there are many other aspects that come into play.
For equipment and tools, they would have aspects like:
- Grappling Hook: Reach High Places
- Multi-Key: Open Any Lock
- Stealth Cloak: Hide in Plain Sight
Weapons and Armor work in similar ways:
- Medieval Long Sword: Primitive, Long reach
- Lasgun: Sturdy, Reliable
- Bolter: Loud and Explodey, Expensive Ammo
- Chainsword: Scary, Cuts through anything, Power source
- Leather Armor: Light, Easy to Repair
- Plate Armor: Super Tough, Clumsy
- Space Marine Power Armor: MEGA tough, Power source
This will make more sense when I outline how combat works. It is VERY simple and elegant, trust me!