Friday, April 3, 2020

Quality of Equipment.

I've posted about equipment quality before. I've always liked somehting more than a straight non-magical to magical progression (aside from silver weapons). A while back I had a couple posts on grotty gear and have filled notebooks with a variety of options and still not too sure of where to go.

I have a host of materials, probably keeping all of them (but not worrying too hard about all their real property differences) and I laboring on degrees of quality from total junk to the penultimate but struggling to find a set of descriptive that holds up form worst to best (or even truly how many steps will scratch the itch I have).

My current way too long list of degrees of quality from worst to best:
  1. Duff
  2. Shonky/Shoddy
  3. Bodge
  4. Common
  5. Fit
  6. Brilliant
  7. Ace
  8. Magnificent
  9. Splendorous/Slendiferous/Splendid
  10. Wondrous
  11. Iconic
  12. Legendary
  13. Ultimate 
Three degrees of poor quality is probably too many; 8 degrees of excellent gear may also be a tad too much. I am constantly changing Wondrous and Iconic in status. An Item can be Wondrous without being Iconic and Iconic Items don't even have to be as hmm roll them together?

Could abreviate it to this:
  1. Duff
  2. Common
  3. Brilliant
  4. Ace
  5. Splendorous/Slendiferous/Splendid
  6. Legendary
  7. Ultimate 
Somehow that seem a bit too brief if I'm going to  have degrees of quality.

I have considered also applying degree of ornamentation. But that has issues too.
  1. Ugly
  2. Crude
  3. Simple
  4. Elegant
  5. Decorated
  6. Fancy
  7. Amazing
  8. Oppulent
Part of me would love playing in a campaign where my character could find a Fancy Ace Orachalcum Sword. Another part of me isn't sure if the descriptives work well enough to be backed up with mechanics.

Throwing this out there for any reader's consideration and my own use as a digital notebook. I'd love to see anyone's take on  this.


  1. I find lists of ranked adjectives like this difficult to use/remember. Is splendid better than Ace? Who knows! Is decorated better than fancy? Hard to say.

    Why does each step need an adjective? What's the mechanical difference? Isn't that enough?

    1. There are mechanics to go a long with it but I didn't want to get bogged down with it in this post (and it still isn't set in stone as campaign start time is ever distant due to the modern world being what it is). I agree keeping track of the adjectives may be difficult to remember when not used, it still feels like it can be more evocative than a straight +1 this or that to me.

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  4. If I were to use such a system, I think it would be quite a bit more pared down. Something like:
    1. Broken, Poor (-1)*
    2. Everyday, Serviceable
    3. Elegant, Fine
    4. Fantastic, Masterwork (+1)*
    and a corresponding ornamentation table:
    1. Unornamented, Austere (cost/2)
    2. Simple
    3. Fancy, Patterned (cost*4)
    4. Ostentatious, Jewelled (cost*10)
    Eight or more levels is too unwieldy to remember. And masterwork items have more of an effect than just being +1. They are a status symbol in a world where the nobility is a millitary class, or a world where High-Society enjoys fine art, antiquities, and wonders. A masterwork sword from an ancient kingdom might get you some invitations and respect, and probably at least some buyers and employers (if you can get something as good as that, who knows what else you can get?).
    *this is + or -1 to the average power level where you find it. If its found in a master smith's forge, then the average would probably be +1 to +2, so even a poor quality sword would be a +0 or +1

    1. Decent looking way or linking up quality and condition along with appearance.