Genesys Roleplaying Shadowrun

Genesys Part 13 Equipment System

Genesys RPG

Shadowrun Part 13 Equipment System


This is a conceptual post about my journey building a Shadowrun campaign using the Genesys rule systems and how I am planning on introducing it to my players.

In the thirteenth part of these articles where I delve into the equipment rules.

Equipment 101

Whatever adventures your characters go on, we expect they need some items to aid them. These could be spacesuits and laser guns, swords and plate mail, or a laptop computer and protein bars. These things may seem different, but we categorize them all as equipment.

This section discusses the rules for equipment, specifically weapons, armour, and items that can’t be categorized as either. We explain how to buy and sell these items and some of the details about them (such as item qualities and encumbrance).

Item Rarity

Some items are naturally more difficult to purchase than others, depending on where your characters find themselves at any given time. Of course, some items are rare no matter where one goes, and likewise, some items are always common and inexpensive.

Rarity in Genesys measures how difficult an item can be to find on a scale of 0–10, with 0 being the easiest to track down and 10 being the hardest. However, whether or not an item is available for purchase should never be solely a matter of rolling dice. Instead, your Game Master always has at least partial say as to whether an item is available in a certain location. Nevertheless, for simple items, rarity provides a simple way for your GM to determine whether something is available and to let you easily track items down. We suggest that you make a successful Negotiation, Streetwise, or Knowledge skill check to determine where your character can find an item.

Table: Rarity

  • Rarity 0 – Simple (no dice) – Pencil and paper.
  • Rarity 1 – Simple (no dice) – Food supplies
  • Rarity 2 – Easy (one purple) – Pocketknife
  • Rarity 3 – Easy (one purple) – Smartphone
  • Rarity 4 – Average (two purple) – Automobile
  • Rarity 5 – Average (two purple) – Semi-automatic pistol
  • Rarity 6 – Hard (three purple) – High end computer
  • Rarity 7 – Hard (three purple) – Construction explosives
  • Rarity 8 – Daunting (four purple) – Military machine guns
  • Rarity 9 – Daunting (four purple) – Civilian satellite
  • Rarity 10 – Formidable (five purple) – Military strategic bomber

Table: Rarity lists rarities, the corresponding check difficulty to find items with those rarities, and examples of items with those rarities. The examples are all modern day examples. Table: Rarity Modifiers, lists some general modifiers that can be applied to an item’s rarity, based on the technological status and general location where your character is looking for the item. We’ve kept the location descriptions very vague; they could apply to different cities or villages on Earth, or to different planets across a galactic civilization. Modifiers can raise an item’s rarity above 10. For rarities higher than 10, the difficulty remains at Formidable five purple), but your GM may upgrade the difficulty once for every rarity beyond 10.

Table: Rarity Modifiers

  • Rarity -1 – Consumer driven economy
  • Rarity -1 – Major metropolitan area
  • Rarity -1 – Trading hub
  • Rarity +0 – Mid-sized metropolitan area
  • Rarity +0 – Civilised location
  • Rarity +1 – Rural or agrarian location
  • Rarity +1 – State-regulated economy (modifier man not apply to basic living staples)
  • Rarity +2 – Frontier location
  • Rarity +2 – Laws prohibiting ownership (modifier only applies to certain items, such as military weaponry or aircraft)
  • Rarity +3 – Active war zone
  • Rarity +4 – Post disaster wasteland
Selling and Trading

Although we don’t expect your games to constantly involve adventures in commerce, nearly every roleplaying game involves selling items at one point or another (even if your character is just selling items looted from the corpses of their foes).

When selling an item, your character needs to make a successful Negotiation check. Use the difficulty set by the item’s rarity (as determined by Table: Rarity). Your characters can generally sell an item for one-quarter of its cost if the check is successful, increasing that to one-half with two net successes and to three-quarters with three net successes or more.

In some cases, the PCs might wish to engage in trade, buying multiple items at one location and then selling them at another location where they are rarer. We generally advise that you handle this narratively. However, if your GM wishes to use some mechanical guidelines for this process, we’ve provided some basic rules that cover trading.

Trade works the same whether with black-market items or with legal items. Selling either type of item follows the rules listed previously with the caveat that trading in legal items requires a Negotiation check, while trading in illegal items requires a Streetwise check. However, when determining the sell price based on the success of the Negotiation or Streetwise check, first multiply the cost of the item by the difference between the item’s rarity where it was bought and its rarity where it is to be sold, referring to Table: Rarity Modifiers and Table: Increased Costs When Trading. Then take the new, increased cost and determine the sell price by the results of the Negotiation or Streetwise check.

Table: Increased Costs When Trading

  • Rarity increase +0 to +1 – increases the cost by 1
  • Rarity increase +2 – increases the cost by 2
  • Rarity increase +3 – increase the cost by 3.
  • Rarity increase +4 or higher – increase the cost by 4.

Of course, these rules do not account for all sorts of details, such as buying in bulk, marketing and advertising, and myriad other factors that may affect prices. This is why the rules for buying, selling, and trading are all modifiable by the GM and subject to their judgement. It is also important to note that these rules only apply when engaging in commercial trade. So, if your group sells a load of guns in a town, then later your character buys one of those guns in that town, they’re going to have to pay the usual, listed price for the gun. Don’t try to use these guidelines for trading and selling in bulk to cheat the system!

The final thing to remember is that your GM always has the final say on what can be sold, where it can be sold, and how much it can be sold for. Because this isn’t likely to be a major part of the game, we deliberately made a system that is simple and doesn’t account for a lot of the variables that would normally matter when trying to sell an item. If your GM wants to stop your characters from selling cell phones to a village without any cell service, or have an arms dealer decide that turning your characters in to the government for a reward is a better deal than what you’re offering, they are well within their rights to do so.

Black market Items

Nearly every setting has its “black market,” an illicit network of merchants and traders who buy and sell whatever happens to be illegal in that setting. Sometimes this commerce happens in an actual market, but more often, such deals happen through a labyrinthine web of contacts, cut-outs, and middlemen.

If your characters want to buy something that happens to be illegal, they’re probably going to have to go into the black market to do so. Buying and selling on the black market follows all the same rules as regular buying and selling, except that instead of making a Negotiation check to find items or determine the price your character can sell them at, they need to make a Streetwise check instead.

Item Encumbrance

Genesys emphasizes sweeping stories, epic tales, and fast action. Keeping track of the weight of every piece of loose change isn’t fun, but knowing that your character has to carry a child out of a burning building is an important story element; so is having some idea of how many days’ worth of rations your character can carry while journeying in the wilderness.

In general, you and your Game Master won’t need to track your character’s encumbrance (how much they’re carrying on their person). Occasionally, however, it may play an important part in the story, and you need to know if the weight, mass, and collective bulk of the items your character is wearing inhibit their actions.

Encumbrance Values

Every item of gear listed has an encumbrance value. Most items that can commonly be carried have a value between 0 and 5 – from relatively light objects (such as wallets or light clothing) to heavier items (like hunting rifles or tool kits). We discuss the encumbrance value of armour in more detail later, but the one difference is that when your character is wearing armour, its encumbrance goes down. Just imagine wearing a chain-mail shirt. It’s pretty heavy, but now imagine carrying it in your hands. That’s going to be a lot more cumbersome since you can’t distribute the weight across your torso and shoulders, and you don’t have your hands free.

Encumbrance doesn’t strictly represent weight: it also represents mass, bulk, and how easy items are to carry. A well-fitting suit of plate mail adds very little encumbrance, while an armful of logs has a high encumbrance. The plate mail may weigh more, but it’s designed to be worn and fitted to a person, while a stack of unbound logs is both heavy and awkward to carry.

Small items, such as candles, most pistols, and knives, have an encumbrance value of 1 or 2. Medium items, such as rifles, a satchel of grenades, or a grappling hook and cord, have an encumbrance value of 3 or 4. Large or heavy items, such as cargo crates, light machine guns, or a heavy toolbox, are valued at 5 or 6.

If it becomes critical to the story to have more detail, ten loosely carried incidental items have an encumbrance value of 1. If they are stored in an effective manner – such as keys in a pocket or crystals in a pouch – then twenty incidental items have an encumbrance value of 1. If, for some reason, your character is unable to manage their gear in such a way, the GM may increase the items’ overall encumbrance value by several points to reflect the difficulty of managing and carrying items by less efficient means.

When carried, a living being generally has an encumbrance value of 5 plus Brawn. A typical human has a Brawn of 2, and therefore a total encumbrance value of 7.

Encumbrance Threshold

All characters have an encumbrance threshold of 5 plus their Brawn rating, which limits how much they can carry under normal conditions without penalty. A total encumbrance value over the threshold means the character is “encumbered,” and suffers a Setback (Black) dice to all Agility and Brawn-based checks for every point of encumbrance over the limit. And of course, this is cumulative with any other Setback (Black) dice the character may be suffering.

Further, if a character is encumbered by an amount equal to or greater than their Brawn rating, they no longer earn a free manoeuvre each turn. The character can still perform up to two manoeuvres, but each manoeuvre costs 2 strain. With a Brawn of 2, for example, a character would not get a free manoeuvre each turn if they’re carrying nine or more points of encumbrance.

Lifting and Carry Excessive Encumbrance

Characters shouldn’t typically carry more than their encumbrance threshold. When necessity demands, however, they can do so for a short time (suffering the effects described above).

If your character needs to lift an object with an encumbrance value greater than their encumbrance threshold, such as an ally who has fallen off a gantry or ledge, they must make an Athletics check. The difficulty is Easy (one purple) if the object’s encumbrance value is one more than your character’s encumbrance threshold. You should increase the difficulty by one for every additional point over, up to a maximum additional encumbrance of 4 and difficulty of Daunting (four purple). A character with a Brawn of 2 and a threshold of 7, for example, tries to lift a rock with an encumbrance value of 10. That’s 3 over, so the difficulty is Hard (three purple).

Additional characters may help, adding their raw Brawn to the encumbrance threshold of the character trying to lift or carry the object or objects. In the example, a person with a Brawn of 2 adds +2 to the encumbrance threshold for that specific task.

Concealing Gear

We assume that your character is going to want to hide items on their person at some point. Maybe they’re concealing a weapon, or maybe they want to sneak a valuable item out of a restricted area. In any case, we do have some simple rules for hiding stuff.

Items with an encumbrance value of 1 or less can be hidden on a person easily. You don’t need to make a check for your character to hide the item. Instead, if another character tries to search your character, the searcher makes an opposed Perception check vs. your character’s Stealth. Add a Boost (Blue) dice to the searcher’s check for every encumbrance value over 1 that is due to the hidden item. If there are multiple items, use the item with the highest encumbrance value to determine how many Boost (Blue) dice to add.

In some cases, your character’s opponents may not specifically be checking your character for hidden items, but may just be keeping an eye out for anything odd in general (such opponents could include a sentry at a city gate, or a police officer walking the beat). In these cases, the searcher would make an opposed Vigilance check vs. Stealth instead of a Perception check.

The same rules can apply to similar situations – such as hiding a rifle (encumbrance value 4) in a dumpster full of trash. In this case, your Game Master should decide what encumbrance value of object can be hidden without being noticed, and add a Boost (Blue) dice for every point over that.

Item Qualities

Some equipment features special qualities that add variety and depth to the weapons, armour, and items your character may encounter. In our game, item qualities are special rules that can change how the item acts. They let us add more variety to an item than we could by only manipulating its raw characteristics. They also make the items more interesting for you, since many qualities may require you to think about your character using that item differently.

Special qualities are generally either passive or active. Passive qualities are always “on” and require no activation on the part of the user. Active qualities must be triggered by the user, often by spending one or more Advantages to activate the effect.

Item qualities usually have a number associated with them. This is their rating. Ratings affect qualities in different ways, depending on the quality in question.

Active qualities require two Advantages to activate unless otherwise stated in their description. Active item qualities on weapons can only trigger on a successful attack, unless specified otherwise.

Accurate – Passive Quality

Accurate weapons are easier to aim or wield, whether through design or technology. For each level of this quality, the attacker adds Boost (Blue) dice to their combat checks while using this weapon.

Auto-Fire – Active Quality

A weapon with Auto-fire can be set to shoot in rapid succession and potentially spray an area with bolts, flechettes, slugs, or other types of projectiles. The advantage in using Auto-fire is that it has the chance to hit multiple targets or to hit a single target multiple times.

As attacking with a weapon on Auto-fire is generally less accurate, the attacker must increase the difficulty of the combat check by one (add one purple). The user may choose not to use the Auto-fire quality on a weapon; in this case, they cannot trigger the quality but also do not suffer the aforementioned penalty.

If the attack hits, the attacker can trigger Auto-fire by spending two Advantages. Auto-fire can be triggered multiple times. Each time the attacker triggers Auto-fire, it deals an additional hit to the target. Each of these counts as an additional hit from that weapon, and each hit deals base damage plus the number of net Successes on the check.

These additional hits can be allocated to the original target, or to other targets within range of the weapon. If the attacker wishes to hit multiple targets, they must decide to do so before making the check. Furthermore, if they wish to hit multiple targets, their initial target must always be the target with the highest difficulty and highest defence (if this is two separate targets, the GM chooses which is the initial target). The initial hit must always be against the initial target. Subsequent hits generated can be allocated to any of the other designated targets.

Auto-fire weapons can also activate one Critical Injury for each hit generated on the attack, per the normal rules; the Critical Injury must be applied to the target of the specific hit.

base Damage – Special Quality

Some qualities talk about a weapon’s or attack’s base damage. What we mean by that is the damage listed in the weapon’s profile, without any modifiers added from talents or successes.

If the weapon is a weapon that has a damage that is added to one of the user’s characteristics (usually Brawn), then the base damage is the weapon’s damage plus the user’s characteristic.

Blast – Active Quality

The weapon has a large spread, an explosive blast, or a similar area of effect, like a detonated grenade or a warhead fired from a missile launcher. If the attack is successful and Blast activates, each character (friend or foe) engaged with the original target suffers a hit dealing damage equal to the Blast quality’s rating, plus damage equal to the total net Successes scored on the check.

In a relatively small and enclosed area, the Game Master might decide that everyone in the room suffers damage.

If the Blast quality doesn’t activate, the ordnance still detonates, but bad luck or poor aim on the part of the firer (or quick reactions on the part of the targets) means the explosion may not catch anyone else in its radius. However, the user may also trigger Blast if the attack misses by spending three Advantages. In this case, the original target and every target engaged with the original target suffers a hit dealing damage equal to the Blast rating of the weapon.

Breach – Passive Quality

Weapons with Breach burn through the toughest armour; they are often heavy weapons or weapons mounted on some sort of vehicle. Hits from weapons with the Breach quality ignore one point of vehicle armour for every rating of Breach (meaning they also ignore 10 soak for every rating of Breach).

Burn – Active Quality

Weapons with Burn inflict damage over time. When Burn is triggered, one target hit by the attack continues to suffer the weapon’s base damage each round for a number of rounds equal to the weapon’s Burn rating. Apply damage at the start of each of the target’s turns. If multiple targets suffer hits from a weapon with Burn, the quality may be triggered multiple times, affecting a different target each time.

A victim might be able to stop the damage by performing an action to roll around and make a Coordination check. The difficulty is Average (two purple) on hard surfaces such as the floor of a building, or an Easy (one purple) on grass or soft ground. Jumping into a body of water stops the damage immediately. Both situations assume the flame is from actual combustion rather than a chemical reaction. With the latter, there is usually little the victim can do.

Concussive – Active Quality

The weapon’s attack can leave the target shell-shocked from mighty blows or punishing shock waves, unable to perform any but the most basic actions. When Concussive is triggered, one target hit by the attack is staggered for a number of rounds equal to the weapon’s Concussive rating. A staggered target cannot perform actions. If multiple targets suffer hits from a weapon with Concussive, the quality may be triggered multiple times, affecting a different target each time.

Cumbersome – Passive Quality

A Cumbersome weapon is large, unwieldy, awkward, or heavy. To wield a Cumbersome weapon properly, the character needs a Brawn characteristic equal to or greater than the weapon’s Cumbersome rating. For each point of Brawn by which the character is deficient, they must increase the difficulty of all checks made while using the weapon by one.

Defensive – Passive Quality

An item with the Defensive quality increases the user’s melee defence by its Defensive rating.

Deflection – Passive Quality

An item with the Deflection quality increases the user’s ranged defence by its Deflection rating.

Disorient – Active Quality

A weapon with Disorient can daze an opponent. When Disorient is triggered, one target hit by the attack is disoriented for a number of rounds equal to the weapon’s Disorient rating. A disoriented target adds Setback (Black) dice to all skill checks they perform. If multiple targets suffer hits from a weapon with Disorient, the quality may be triggered multiple times, affecting a different target each time.

Ensnare – Active Quality

A weapon with Ensnare binds a foe and restricts their movements. When Ensnare is triggered, one target hit by the attack becomes immobilized for a number of rounds equal to the weapon’s Ensnare rating. An immobilized target cannot perform manoeuvres. If multiple targets suffer hits from a weapon with Ensnare, the quality may be triggered multiple times, affecting a different target each time.

An Ensnared target may perform an action to attempt a Hard (three purple) Athletics check on their turn to break free from the effect.

Guided – Active Quality

A weapon with the Guided quality can track opponents. The Guided quality can only be triggered if an attack misses. If Guided is triggered, the controlling character may make a combat check at the end of the round as an out-of-turn incidental. The difficulty of this combat check is Average (two purple); instead of building the ability of the pool normally, add Attribute (Green) dice equal to the weapon’s Guided rating. If the check is successful, the weapon strikes the target, and the attack is resolved normally.

Guided requires three Advantages to activate, unless otherwise specified in the weapon’s description. The Guided quality can activate on any subsequent combat check it makes, representing the projectile continuing to track the target.

Inaccurate – Passive Quality

Inaccurate weapons are less likely to be accurate or precise. When making an attack with an Inaccurate weapon, add Setback (Black) dice to the check equal to the Inaccurate rating.

Inferior – Passive Quality

An Inferior item is a lacklustre example of its kind, representing shoddy and poor craftsmanship. An Inferior item generates automatic Threat on all checks related to its use.

Knockdown – Active Quality

When Knockdown is triggered, one target hit by the attack is knocked prone. If multiple targets suffer hits from a weapon with Knockdown, the quality may be triggered multiple times, affecting a different target each time.

Unless specified otherwise, Knockdown requires two Advantages to trigger, plus one additional Advantage per silhouette of the target beyond 1.

Limited Ammo – Passive Quality

Some weapons fire particularly large or complex projectiles that cost lots of money. Other weapons are expendable weapons like grenades that, once used, are destroyed. A weapon with the Limited Ammo quality may be used to make a number of attacks equal to its Limited Ammo rating before it must be reloaded with a manoeuvre. In addition, each shot expends one of a limited number of rounds of ammo; more ammo must be purchased or obtained before anyone fires the weapon again. This also applies to grenades and other “one-use” weapons that have the Limited Ammo 1 quality (here, your character is not “reloading” the grenade, but drawing another to use – mechanically, they are equivalent).

linked – Active Quality

Some weapons are designed to fire together at the same target (turrets housing multiple guns are a good example of this). When a character fires a linked weapon, on a successful attack, the weapon deals one hit. The wielder may spend two Advantages to gain an additional hit, and may do so a number of times equal to the weapon’s Linked rating. Additional hits from the Linked weapon may only be applied against the original target. Each hit deals the weapon’s base damage plus damage equal to the net Successes scored on the check.

Pierce – Passive Quality

Any hits from this weapon ignore a number of points point of soak equal to the weapon’s Pierce rating. If the weapon has more ranks of Pierce than the target’s total soak, it completely ignores the target’s soak. For example, Pierce 3 against a soak of 2 ignores two points of soak, but the extra point of Pierce has no further effect.

Prepare – Passive Quality

Items with this quality require time to set up before being used. The user must perform a number of preparation manoeuvres equal to the item’s Prepare rating before using the item (if the item is a weapon, “using” it would be making attacks with the weapon). At your GM’s discretion, moving with the item, being knocked prone with the item, or other disruptions may require the user to perform the preparation manoeuvres again before using the item.

Reinforced – Passive Quality

Weapons or items with the Reinforced quality are immune to the Sunder quality. Armor with the Reinforced quality make the wearer’s soak immune to the Pierce and Breach qualities.

Slow-Firing – Passive Quality

Slow-Firing weapons tend to deal incredible damage, but need time to recharge or cool down between shots. A weapon’s Slow-Firing rating dictates the number of rounds that must pass before the weapon can be fired again after attacking. For example, a heavy laser cannon with Slow-Firing 2 must wait two rounds after being fired before it can be fired again.

Stun – Active Quality

A weapon with Stun can deal strain to the target. When the Stun quality is activated, it inflicts strain equal to the weapon’s Stun rating. Since this is strain, and not strain damage, it is not reduced by the target’s soak.

Stun Damage – Passive Quality

A weapon with this quality can only deal strain damage (damage applied to the target’s strain threshold). Because this is strain damage, not strain, it is still reduced by a target’s soak.

Sunder – Active Quality

When activating Sunder, the attacker chooses one item openly wielded by the target (such as a weapon, shield, or item on a belt). That item is damaged one step: to minor if undamaged, from minor to moderate, or from moderate to major. If an item already suffering major damage is the target of a successful Sunder, it is destroyed.

Sunder requires an Advantage to activate, and may be activated even if the attack is unsuccessful. Sunder may be activated multiple times in the same attack, but each activation must be applied to the same item, potentially taking it from undamaged to destroyed in a single attack

Superior – Passive Quality

A Superior item is a sterling example of its kind, representing masterful craftsmanship. A Superior item generates an automatic Advantage on all checks related to its use.

Tractor – Passive Quality

Instead of firing searing beams of laser fire or crackling ion discharges, this weapon fires relatively harmless electromagnetic beams that ensnare ships and hold them fast in space. Tractor beams, like all weapons, are fired at their target using the appropriate skill check with all suitable modifiers. Once the weapon hits its target, the target may not move unless its pilot makes a successful Piloting check with a difficulty equal to the tractor beam’s rating. If the target is an individual character, the character is immobilized while the beam is active.

Unwieldy – Passive Quality

An Unwieldy weapon is a weapon that can be particularly awkward to use for those without impressive dexterity and hand-eye coordination. To wield an Unwieldy weapon properly, the character needs an Agility characteristic equal to or greater than the weapon’s Unwieldy rating. For each point of Agility by which the character is deficient, they must increase the difficulty of all checks made while using the weapon by one.

Vicious – Passive Quality

When an attack with this weapon results in a Critical Injury or Hit, the character adds ten times the Vicious rating to the Critical roll. With Vicious 3, for example, you would add +30 to the resulting Critical Injury or Hit result.

Item Maintenance

Invariably, items start to wear down. Rolling Despair may indicate a item has malfunctioned, misfired, jammed, broken down, or otherwise been rendered inoperable or impaired until it can be repaired.

All items, from low-tech weapons to more sophisticated devices, can be repaired with the Mechanics skill.

Item damage are generally classified as minor, moderate, or major. The magnitude of the required repairs indicates two things: the severity of any penalties applied to the user when trying to operate the defective item, and the difficulty rating of the necessary repairs. Repairing an item requires adequate time and tools, generally one to two hours per difficulty level. If a character attempts repairs in less time, the difficulty increases by one. Likewise, if the character lacks the proper tools, the difficulty increases by one. These factors are cumulative, so if your character tries to repair a pistol without the proper tools and in half the time it would normally take, you should increase the difficulty of the check by two.

The cost of repairs is equal to a percentage of the item’s base cost: 25% if it’s a minor repair, 50% if it’s a moderate repair, and 100% if it requires major work. Reduce the total by 10% for each Advantage received on the repair check if your character is doing the work themselves.

Table: Repairing Gear

  • Minor Damage – Easy (one purple) repair check – Add a Setback (Black) until repaired
  • Moderate Damage – Average (two purple) repair check – Increase difficulty once until repaired.
  • Major Damage – Hard (three purple) repair check – Item cannot be used.
Tracking Ammo

Combat in our game tends to be fast-paced and narrative based, with rounds lasting an unspecified amount of “game-world” time and combat encounters usually wrapping up in a few total rounds. That narrative-driven approach also means that when your character attacks with a ranged weapon, one attack could represent a single, carefully lined up shot, or a few shots snapped off with a pistol.

All this means that we really encourage you and your GM not to worry too much about ammunition. Carefully tallying how many bullets your character has in the clip goes against the Genesys game experience (and the long-standing traditions of most action movies).

A better way to approach the issue of ammo is to use any Despair generated on a combat check to make the character’s ammo run out. It’s more cinematically exciting, and certainly feels like something that would come from rolling a Despair!

The only exception is when a weapon has the Limited Ammo quality. We reserve that quality for weapons like rocket launchers, grenades, or other weapons that very obviously can only fire once before reloading!


In our game, weapons have a number of distinct characteristics, which is how we define them in the game and delineate their capabilities. All weapons share the characteristic categories that we cover here.

Some also come with unique rules, which we cover in the weapon’s individual entry. Those rules are so specialised that making them universal would just create clutter in our general rules, since they won’t come up often.


What we call the weapon.

Skill Used (Skill)

All weapons require a combat skill to operate, and this entry defines which skill the weapon requires.

Skills also can determine whether a weapon requires one or two hands to wield. The “Heavy” version of the skill means the weapon takes two hands to use, and the “Light” version of the skill means it can be used with one hand. If the setting uses the unspecified version of each skill, the weapon can be used one-handed unless it says otherwise in its entry. Gunnery weapons always require two hands to use.

Base Damage (Dam)

The base damage the weapon inflicts. This is the minimum damage inflicted if the attack with this weapon hits. Each net Success the combat check generates adds one point of damage to this base damage rating.

Some weapons (including most Melee and Brawl weapons) have a “+” in front of their base damage. This means you add your character’s Brawn rating to this value.

Critical Rating (Crit)

Indicates the number of Advantages required to trigger Critical Injuries using this weapon. If the weapon’s Critical rating triggers, the character rolls percentile dice on Table: Critical Injury Result, on GM Screen to determine the effect on the target. A Critical Injury can only be triggered on a successful hit that inflicts wounds on the target.

Some weapons and talents modify this Critical roll, potentially making a Critical Injury more or less effective. In addition, a character can only generate one Critical injury per hit on a target. However, if the check generates enough Advantages to trigger the Critical rating of the weapon multiple times, the character can choose to add +10 to the Critical roll for each trigger after the first.


The range of the weapon. Range is measured in several broad range bands. Melee weapons usually require the attacker to be engaged with the target. Ranged weapons have ranges listed as short, medium, long, or extreme.

House Rules – When squares are used for range, apply the characters most favourable Attribute or Skill to represent their ability at range.

Encumbrance (Encum)

Encumbrance is an abstract measurement of how heavy and awkward something is to carry and transport. The higher the encumbrance, the more difficult the item is to carry.


The price of the weapon on the open market.


The rarity of the item, before modifiers.


These are the qualities or other special rules each weapon possesses. Rules specific to a certain type of weapon are detailed in the weapon’s individual description


Now that we’ve talked about weapons, let’s cover armour briefly. What form armour takes in your game is going to depend a lot on the setting. However, mechanically, all forms of armour work the same, whether medieval plate mail or modern ballistic armour.

For our purposes, armour is pretty much anything that your character wears to increase their protection. If your game involves combat, we expect that your character wears some sort of armour. We should emphasize that the game is designed with that conceit in mind, so if your character is getting into fights without any armour, they are taking on more of a risk.

For that reason, we keep our definition of “armour” really broad. Not everyone is going to want their character to be wearing the bulkiest body armour available all the time (after all, most action movie heroes don’t!) So, in our game, even a heavy leather jacket or sturdy clothing provides some protection. Often, that’s all your character is really going to need, and narratively, it still looks like something they might wear every day.

Your character can only benefit from wearing one piece of armour. Even if they wear two or more pieces of armour, you have to choose which one improves soak and defence and provides any unique benefits.


The armour’s defence adds Setback (Black) dice equal to the defence rating directly to the attacker’s dice pool. This reflects the armour’s ability to deflect damage away from the wearer’s body.

The defence rating of armour sets the user’s defence at a certain value, while other abilities and talents may then increase the user’s defence rating.


A suit of armour’s soak is added to the wearer’s soak value and you subtract the total soak from any damage suffered. If an attack causes 10 damage, for example, a soak of 2 plus a Brawn of 2 reduces the damage incurred by four, leaving a total of six points of damage. Most armour adds +1 or +2 soak, rarely more.


Each full suit or discrete piece of armour has a listed encumbrance value. However, armour’s full encumbrance rating only comes into play when a suit or piece of armour is carried instead of worn. When armour is worn, its encumbrance rating is reduced by three, to a minimum of zero.

Generational Gear

In the Shadowrun implementation of the Genesys rules, I will be implementing an generation change in equipment with each generation having changes that can be felt when your using Next Gen or Last Gen items in the current generation.

Note – This is the basic guidelines here I am using to determine what is in a generation and what is out of it. I have public plans only for the first four generations as these have been detailed in Shadowrun as I wish to keep a few secrets about what is to come in the games to come.

In game terms using items from the same generation is basically the stock item, but if you use it from a different generation then there will be modifiers.

Table: Generational Modifiers

  • Last Gen – Rolls using last gen have upgraded checks as appropriate to the disadvantage of the user. They have an encumbrance increase of 1.
  • Next Gen – Rolls using next gen have upgraded checks as appropriate to the advantage of the user. They have an encumbrance decrease of 1.
  • Maintenance difficulty – all increases by one dice per previous gen and two dice per next gen. Cost to repair is also multiplied.
  • Note – Previous generation items can be upgraded, or maintained to keep up with current gen, and a item upgrade customisation does exactly that.
Generation 1 Items

These items are common to what we have now, based around 2020 tech.

  • Corporate Tech – Consumer services for everything you can imagine and then some.
  • Government Tech – Social and most population management services and tools are driven by the government.
  • Military Tech – Mostly using technology created by the corporations with some internally created custom items and modifications.
Generation 2 Items

These have three main branches from what we have today, first is the corporate line of equipment, and the second is the government and military line of equipment and the third is mysterious.

  • Corporate Tech – Used by everyone (including governmental military), this is the consumer product line that keeps the major corporations running.
  • Government Tech – Services are being interconnected making the internet the one stop shop for all your governance needs.
  • Military Tech – Used by Governmental Military units only, these items are not available for sale by the Corporations and while highly sought after is not easy to keep and usually can’t be disassembled.
  • Proto Tech – A strange new technology whispered about that is said to run off magic.
Generation 3 Items

Laser items are being investigated and the availability to Matrix tech is new to the market.

  • Corporate Tech – Starting to see basic and unwieldy laser technology coming onto the market. Smartphones are being phased out due to legacy dependency on Last Gen infrastructure.
  • Government Tech – An automated smart road is integrated in government run cities, with comlinks starting to replace smartphones separating out the communication function from the rest of technolongy.
  • Matric Tech – Allows users to visualise and interact with the digital world in a more intuitive form and touted as the Matrix and later referred to as the Matrix 1.0. This replaces the internet and redefines how the world interacts. Most connections are made using wired cables, with a few high end systems using the new comlinks for remote connection as the last gen smartphones don’t appear to be compatible.
Generation 4 Items

A new type of tech emerges called Machine Tech.

  • Machine Tech – A technology that appears to be AI driven and does not follow the rules of modern technology.
  • Matrix Tech – With wireless connectivity being the norm instead of the exception and the rise of Matrix 2.0. No one uses smartphones anymore and all the legacy infrastructure died with the Matric 1.0.

Content Updates

  • 2022-06-07 – Created this page.
Genesys RPG

Building my own Shadowrun in Genesys:

Part 1 – Why choose Genesys
Part 2 – Setting, Races and Careers
Part 3 – Changes to History
Part 4 – Character Creation
Part 5 – Magic System
Part 6 – Hacker System
Part 7 – Player Races
Part 8 – Player Careers
Part 9 – Specialisations
Part 10 – Combat System
Part 11 – Social System
Part 12 – Vehicle System
Part 13 – Equipment System

References: Equipment, Vehicles

ExamplesBolt, Cuscus, Desrin Deadshot, Floggar, George, Rakash, Shadowstar, So-Cal Burns, Womp, Human Mage Arcanist

Shadowrun RPG

Game Management: Choosing a new Campaign, Creating a SR Campaign Skype, Tracking Experience

Locations: Seattle 2069, ShadowSea

Storyline: Seattle Elections 2069

Corporations: Ares, Aztechnology, Evo, Horizon, MCT, NeoNet, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Wuxing

References: Corporations, Personalities, Rewards, Timeline, Vehicles

Security: Automated DefencesBarriersCountering Matric ThreatsCountering Physical ThreatsDoorsHTRLandscapingSensors

Campaign 2

Gen 3 – 2050

Campaign 1

Gen 1 Street: The Setup, Year One – Origin Story, Year Two – Emergence

Gen 1 Runner: Year Three – Ghost Cartels, Year Four – Artefacts, Year Five – Horizon

Gen 2 Street: The Setup, Year Five – Horizon, Year Six – Dragons, Year Seven – Jet Set

Gen 2 Runner: Year Eight – Sprawl Wilds, Year Nine – Stolen Souls

Gen 3 Runner: The Setup, Year Nine – Stolen Souls, Year Ten – Lockdown

Gen3 Terrinoth:

Gen3 Prime: Year Ten – Lockdown, Year Elven – The End.

Library of Books

B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW

Main Logo

This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.

Basic Links: Who Am I?, Home, Game Tools, Game Session Videos, My Campaigns, My Library, Site Map, Subscription Information

Game Systems: Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder 1 & 2, Shadowrun, Star Wars. Other Game Systems

Site sponsored by the author AS Hamilton (my wife) with her books available on amazon kindle.

By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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