Hey Game Fans, we’re back with another article on Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars game, Edge of the Empire. Featuring the dramatic struggle to survive outside the lines of Imperial society, EotE focuses on the stories of characters living on the fringe of polite society and their struggle to make a living along the edges of the civilized world. Today we’re going to continue taking a look at the Equipment that a character may need to survive in this environment. We covered weapons last week, so today we’re going to cover Armor. Sometimes the best defense is actual defense.
Armor takes a variety of forms and in some cases serves multiple purposes. Some armors are intended to make a target harder to hit. Others are intended to reduce the damage taken. Some include sophisticated systems and tools like rocket packs. Different types of armor can simply be heavier or lighter than normal clothing to protect the wearer from the local environment. Some armors (like Stormtrooper armor) are as much a badge of identification as they are protection. Let’s take a closer look at Armor and its characteristics
There are three key characteristics to armor that are important to understand for a player. These are unique to armor, and include Defense, Soak, and Encumbrance (which works differently for armor than most things) For an Explanation of how Price, Hard Points, and Rarity apply, check out last week’s article on weapons Here . Let’s check out the newcomers.
Defense is the additional bonus an armor adds to your defensive abilities. These armors make you harder to hit in a variety of ways including stealth boosting technology, altering your profile to make you harder to target, or some sort of ability that deflects or misdirects incoming fire. This armor is usually better than average at keeping you from getting hit, but does nothing to help you if a shot gets through. Some armors have both, but most armors will have either a high Defense, or a high Soak. Every point of defense adds a Setback die to the attacker’s roll to hit the character wearing the armor.
The other primary form of protection, Soak adds it’s value to a character’s Brawn value and subtracts from damage that way. This is the heavier armor that most people think of in games. It’s protection is derived from its ability to take punishment instead of the character and it’s primary protective capabilities are intended to reduce injury and suffering by the character wearing it.
Encumbrance is the basic bulk/weight of a given object. Armor treats its bulk as 3 points lower when a character is wearing it because the weight is distributed and the burden isn’t as noticeable. If a character picks up a suit of armor, it treats it as being the normal Encumbrance value.
A Workman’s vest or heavy coat, this isn’t the best armor in the universe, but it’s also not likely to draw any attention to itself. It’s also extremely common everywhere.
Adverse Environment Gear
This is a broad category of armor since it accounts for the clothing that people wear for environments outside their physiological norms. Hot weather and cold weather gear, and more exotic environmental types are available. The best advantage of this armor is that it reduces the number of setback dice for the specific environment it’s intended for.
Padded armor is often found in the employ of local forces or rebel troops. The armor is composed of energy resistant fibers that are better at absorbing the energy discharge from weapons than other types of clothing. It does a happy medium of being comfortably wearable and protective. It’s also not uncommon in most areas, and most folks won’t look too closely at characters wearing it.
This is the next level up in armor, as it features ceramic or plastoid plates to cover up vital areas. This armor is reasonable at deflecting shots and absorbing any damage that comes in. Since it is a little more obvious, it’s a little more noticeable than lighter armor types.
Laminate Armor (Stormtrooper Armor)
This is an armor type designed to deflect or reduce the trauma caused by blaster bolts. It also does a solid job of shrugging off shrapnel and indirect concussion damage. Typical the helmet also includes vision magnification and integrated commlinks. It’s also an excellent canvas to make additional modifications to. It also features a body glove that insulates the body from adverse environments.
Heavy Battle Armor
Taking the notion that more armor is better, Heavy Battle Armor provides more intensive protection for specific roles. It can either take the form of a heavier laminate armor (including the features detailed in that armor) or it can take the form of a vest and helmet combination. The best protection still remains not getting hit by a blaster in the first place, however.
Personal Deflector Shield
In many ways the last word in protection, a personal deflector shield works exactly like the shields on a starship or larger vehicle. Capable of stopping Blaster bolts and other light projectiles, a personal deflector shield is often expensive, dangerous, and in many ways impractical for daily use. This doesn’t stop people from paying vast sums to have the ability to ignore blaster fire however.
Personal protection is a must for most folks in the galaxy’s fringes, and a character can spend money in a lot worse ways than grabbing a suit of armor. These suits can also be customized and modified, and if you’re looking for those rules, check out page 187. Armor is a piece of equipment you can have a lot of fun tinkering with and modifying. The Star Wars universe is full of interesting examples of customized armor (and you can find Mandalorian Armor in the Bounty Hunter supplement No Disintegrations!). Find what you want to do with your armor and go from there.
We’ll take a look at some more equipment next week, Game On, Game Fans.