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MetaCyber

Gear

Gear is an important feature of the MetaCyber campaign setting, covering the expected and ubiquitous firearms and body armor, but also vehicles, computers, and anything physical that can be bought and sold and used by practically anyone who picks up or acquires such an item.

Fractal Gear

In MetaCyber, each item of Gear is built as a sort of mini character, using the Bronze Rule, otherwise known as the Fate Fractal.

Each item of Gear has a High Concept and a Difficulty for free. For some types of basic, work-a-day gear, the High Concept is sufficient to cover whatever situational advantage the Gear provides and nothing more needs to be done. Any character can have as much of this kind of simple no-cost Gear as they can justify in the narrative.

At the most basic level, carrying such a piece of Gear grants a character a portable justification for creating an advantage or a situational Aspect. An item also provides a character using it the option to spend a Fate Point to invoke the item's High Concept, while the item's Difficulty offers opportunities for compels.

Advances

However, often an item of Gear is too complex for just a High Concept and Difficulty to properly represent it. This is where Advances come in. Any item of Gear can be advanced to grant it Aspects, Personalizations, Skill shifts, Armor values, Stunts, Stress Boxes, and Consequences.

Gear Advances
Cost
Description

1 each

Aspects: Gear Aspects are exactly the same as any other kind of Aspect. They state a truth about the item of Gear, can be used to create advantages, can be invoked, and can be compelled.

1 each

Personalization: a Personalization is similar to an Aspect, but it is something that is only true of the specific item the character owns; another instance of the same kind of Gear would not have the Personalization. This is almost identical to an Aspect, save that it is more likely to describe attributes that are innate to the item and do not normally need to be invoked to have an effect.

1 per +1

Skill: an item may have one or more Skills. However, when an item of Gear grants a Skill it is not a bonus to the user's Skill, rather the item's Skill value is used instead of the user's Skill (if any). Thus if a vehicle grants Good (+3) Drive, a character driving it may either use the vehicles Drive Skill or their own, but they do not add the two together.

2 each

Stunt: an item may have one or more Stunts. NOTE: A flat +1 shift with a Skill the user of the item of Gear already has may be taken as a Stunt. If the bonus only applies when using the item itself, the bonus may be +2. An optic enhancement that makes all uses of the Shoot skill more accurate would be an example of the former, while a gun that is extra-accurate would be an example of the later.

Variable

Armor: an item may grant Armor to a character. The advances cost of Armor is a cumulative progression. Armor: 1 costs 1 advance, Armor: 2 costs +2 advances (for a total of 3 advances), Armor: 3 requires GM approval and costs +3 advances (for a total of 6 advances), Armor: 4 requires GM approval and costs +4 advances (for a total of 10 advances). Generally speaking, a GM should exercise discretion before allowing Gear that grants Armor higher than 2. Also, high Armor values are often paired with more severe Difficulties such as hampering bulkiness, weight, and/or noise. An item always benefits from it's own Armor value, unless a Difficulty indicates otherwise.

Variable

Weapon: an item may have a Weapon rating, which is added directly to any damage the item is used to inflict. The Weapon trait is reserved for the most damaging of items; most guns, knives, and such are just narrative in nature or use Aspects or Stunts to generate bonuses when appropriate rather than grant a flat increment of damage that always gets tacked on. The advances cost of Weapon is a cumulative progression. Weapon: 1 requires GM approval and costs 2 advances, Weapon: 2 costs +4 advances (for a total of 6 advances), Weapon: 3 costs +6 advances (for a total of 12 advances), Weapon: 4 costs +8 advances (for a total of 20 advances). Generally speaking, a GM should exercise discretion before allowing Gear that grants Weapon higher than 2. Also, high Weapon values are often paired with more severe Difficulties such as hampering bulkiness, extra time to activate or use, weight, and/or noise.

1 each
max 5

Physical Stress Box: normally items don't have Stress boxes or Consequences and can usually be neutralized or ruined by an opponent with effort (i.e. a resisted action of some form or with the expenditure of a Fate point); however some items are durable and must be taken out. Each Physical Stress box costs 1 advance, however an item cannot have more than 5 Physical Stres Boxes without GM approval.

1 each
max 3

Consequences: normally items don't have Stress boxes or Consequences and can usually be neutralized or ruined by an opponent with effort (i.e. a resisted action of some form or with the expenditure of a Fate point); however some items are durable and must be taken out. An item can have a Mild Physical Consequence for 1 advance, which can be improved to add a Moderate Physical Consequence for +1 additional advance (2 total), and with GM permission this can be improved to add a Severe Physical Consequence for +1 additional advance (3 total).

-1 each

Extra Difficulty: with GM permission, one or more Extra Difficulties can be applied to Gear item; each one reduces the total advances cost of the item by 1. However, this should be used to represent a significant and distinct down side or limitation of the item that cannot be expressed in the item's default Difficulty.

Vehicles

Many Runners use a vehicle of some sort as a mobile base, and the Driver archetype specializes in them. Tricking out a custom ride is not just "chroming" for a character, combat effective vehicles can provide real and serious extra capabilities to a Runner team. They can often even serve as the backdrop or focus of a scene unto themselves, such as if a roleplaying dialogue occurs "while driving", stakeout / surveillance scenes, and even high-speed chases.

Vehicles are Gear items, but have some additional attributes.

Physical Stress And Consequences

All vehicles have a Physical Stress track with 2 boxes and a Mild Physical Consequence for free.

This can be increased with Advances as for any item of Gear, but can also be improved by taking the Physique skill for the vehicle directly (at normal cost). Average Physique grants +1 stress box, Good Physique grants +1 stress box, and Superb Physique grants 1 extra Mild Physical Consequence. The Physique skill is also used on the vehicle's behalf for collisions, off-road driving, ramming, and similar activities where the ruggedness of the vehicle is a factor.

Transportation And Speed

Vehicles provide locomotive capabilities, and can carry some amount of cargo and/or passengers.

However, the relative speed and carrying capacity of vehicles is not defined directly; instead this is left as a function of the vehicle's High Concept, which should be descriptive of the vehicle's general capabilities. If a vehicle has unusual attributes that would not normally be associated with a vehicle of that type, this is indicated through a combination of Aspects and/or Stunts as suits the capability.

Other Gear Attached

Vehicles are large and often serve as a platform or host for other items of Gear. A vehicle may have up to 1 additional item of Gear attached to it per 5 advances invested in the Vehicle. The attached Gear is paid for in advances as normal, but benefit from any Armor the vehicle has, and can be used as part of the normal operation of the vehicle (unless a Difficulty indicates otherwise).

Thus a vehicle might have a weapons pod, or a communications suite, an integrated medical bay, or other such features.

Facilities

Some characters have facilities available to them such as safehouses, bases of operation, workshops, labs, chop shops, warehouses, perhaps even compounds.

Though it stretches the terminology a bit, facilities can be represented as Gear, and upgraded out of the same pool of advances as other Gear. Similar to Vehicles, Facilities have some additional considerations beyond more typical Gear.

Physical Stress And Consequences

All facilities have a Physical Stress track with 3 boxes, both a Mild and Moderate Physical Consequence, and Armor: 3; for free.

This can be increased with Advances as for any item of Gear.

Size

Facilities occupy space and in the real world the value of a facility is often tied to how big it is but by default its assumed that the size of a facility can be whatever fits the narrative as long as it is not disruptive. However, a GM might assess an additional cost (perhaps as one or more Personalizations) to make an extra-big facility if they feel it is necessary to prevent abuse.

Immobile

Facilities are stationary. If a "facility" is not stationary, then it is really a (perhaps very large) vehicle and should be represented as such.

Other "Gear" Attached

Facilities are large and often encompass smaller areas and capabilities within themselves, which can also be represented as Gear. A facility may have up to 1 additional item of Gear attached to it per 3 advances invested in the facility. The attached Gear is paid for in advances as normal, but benefit from any defenses the facility has.

This can be used to model separate rooms or capabilities within the facility, such as a medical lab, a vehicle repair workshop, a secure containment cell, a vault, a high tech communications center, and other such interesting features. It can also be use to represent any defenses the facility might have, such as gun turrets.

The Gear Stunt

MetaCyber characters may provision themselves with a Gear pool by taking a Stunt called, simply, Gear.

The Gear Stunt may be taken multiple times, and each time it is taken it grants a progressively larger pool of advances the character can allocate towards the Gear they have, carry, and use.

The first time the Gear Stunt is taken it grants the character 4 advances for Gear. Each subsequent time the Gear Stunt is taken the current number of advances is added to the previous increment gained, to yield a progressively larger pool. The following table is provided to demonstrate the progression.

Gear Stunt Progression
Total # of Advances
Description

0

None: the character does not have the Gear Stunt

4

Stunt: Gear (1)

8

Stunt: Gear (2)

12

Stunt: Gear (3)

20

Stunt: Gear (4)

32

Stunt: Gear (5)

52

Stunt: Gear (6)

84

Stunt: Gear (7)

Etc... the progression contines.

Gear And Aspects

If a character has an Aspect that directly corresponds to a piece or group of Gear, they gain +4 bonus advances to apply to that Gear. The character gains these bonus advances whether or not they have a Gear stunt.

However, the Aspect must be specific, nor correlated merely via inference or an implication.

EXAMPLE: Sphreaker has several Aspects and a High Concept that imply that she has some kind of vehicle, but they don't directly tie her to any specific vehicle. Thus there is no direct relevance and she does not receive any bonus advances to apply to her (several) vehicles.

On the other hand, if she had an Aspect like Don't Dent My Urban Assault Vehicle!, thats a pretty direct reference to her Urban Assault Vehicle and she would get bonus advances to help pay for it.

Being an Aspect, this would have constant and compelling impacts on the character's narrative, and also lock Sphreaker into that specific vehicle. She would be very unlikely to trade up or swap out her Urban Assault Vehicle for some other vehicle more suitable to emerging needs due to the importance of the Urban Assault Vehicle to her character concept as indicated by her Aspect.

Changing Up A Gear Pool

Characters that take the Gear Stunt are not "buying gear", they are provisioning a pool of advances available to them which they allocate towards their Gear. Thus, generally speaking, a character can opt to swap out some items of Gear and swap in new ones from time to time as the narrative permits.

This of course assumes that a character has acquired or has the means to acquire the items that they want to swap into their Gear pool.

However there are some exceptions to this general statement.

Character Has An Aspect Related To An Item

If a character has one or more Aspects that are tied to a specific item of Gear, it is unlikely that the character would ever willingly swap out that particular item of Gear, even briefly, unless truly unusual events were occurring in the narrative.

GM Veto

A GM may decide that the narrative does not support whatever swap a player happens to be suggesting at the moment, and thus prevent it from occuring (at least for now). Some GM's might go even further and only permit Gear swaps as part of milestones.