Item Quality

thinking: elfgames have items that do X or Y. in the system im writing, weapons just deal damage based on their size. but they also have a quality: this applies as a bonus to attack and damage in the way you expect. it is EXPLICITLY not a magical bonus, even though it sounds similar. a +1 sword is just a really, really nice sword.

since im writing a bronze age game, the big thing is that: bronze kinda sucks. it’s really soft, and breaks easily. this is a giant pain in the ass, but also kind of important? so item quality can also degrade. i’m thinking of two parts to this:

if you are attacking somebody with a weapon and you roll a 1, your item quality degrades by 1.

if you are fighting somebody, you can intentionally try to wreck their shit. we called this ‘sundering’ in the 3e dnd days. bronze is harder than meat, so it always has, let’s say, 3 damage reduction. if you are trying to break

since most weapons deal 1d6 or 1d8 damage (before bonuses, if any), this means you can do 1-4 points of damage to an item’s quality. bigger weapons do more damage, so they’re better at breaking things.


Since you’re in the bronze age, it’s not inconceivable that you’re attacking somebody wearing bone armor, or leather armor, or bronze armor, or possibly all three in the same fight. you should get Advantage if you are breaking something softer. Bronze is harder than bone, which is harder than meat. (There are too many kinds of stone for anybody to guess how hard it is to, for example, hammer through some stone wall or whatever. You guess.)

I like Advantage as ‘get a free reroll, if you want it.’

If I had to write this as actual rules instead of stream of consciousness word vomit:

Apply an item's Quality to any rolls you make while using it. For weapons, this is both attack and damage. For armor, this is your Armor Class. 
If you strike an enemy with a weapon and roll a 1, reduce your weapon's Quality by 1.

You can choose to 'sunder' an enemy's gear and attempt to ruin it. Make an attack as normal. If you hit, you deal 1/2 your damage as a reduction in the target item's Quality. If your weapon is stronger than what you're striking, the damage roll gains Advantage.

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