Thursday, June 25, 2015

Apple pulling Civil War Apps?

Seemingly apple is (or has) removed all Civil War games from app stores for displaying the confederate flag. Say what?

It's a boggling move, the losing flag of the CSA has a proper place in a game set in the Civil War, it isn't out of place by it sheer existence, it isn't promoting hate and racism, it is the symbol originally selected by the losing side of that war.

It's a sad, cowardly, move from Apple to not offend and show support and it is ridiculous. I don't do issues here on a gaming blog much but the issue has stepped into gaming. I've been all over the internet for days telling chowder-heads that "yes the civil war was about slavery", "yes it is a symbol of division and racism" and "it has no place on a public building having been the flag of the losing side of a war in which traitors marched against the federal government under". But the issue at hand is the place of the flag on public buildings and in public parks not private ownership or in art or literature that involves the actual history instead of sometimes bogus affectations of history and heritage.  Companies such as Apple and Amazon are taking this a step too far, private ownership of the symbol is not the issue on hand and denying the existence of symbols entirely will not remove the underlying issues they are tied to.

Confederate flags have a place in games about the Civil War just as the Nazi Flag has a place in games about World War 2. Banning the use of those symbols from the games or books doesn't wash stains of racism and hate away.  I hope Apple gets it's head back on straight and retailers come to grips with their place in history  which is not in reshaping it but in education through the products they sell.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dungeon Encounter

Just having some fun with the silhouettes from Telecatner's receding rules.   A gnomish dungeon expedition has bumped into a demonic dandy with two half-breed ocean spawned minions.

Time for a reaction check.

The silhouettes are public domain and I've used them a couple times in the past. There's a fair amount to pick from and a little editing and there's a whole bunch more to illustrate house rule docs and blog postings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How Far Can a Giant Punt a Dwarf

How far can a giant punt (kick) a dwarf?   It's got to come up sometime. Based on a host of calculations, distances a football and soccer ball can be kicked, brutal physics, and a whole lot of assumptions re mass along with an old Dragon magazine article on giant sizes I've calculated the following table:

How Far Can A Giant Punt …

1d10’ (5)
1d8’ (4)
1d6’ (3)
1d4’ (2)
1d3’ (2)
Hill Giant
3d12’ (18)
3d10’ (15)
3d8’ (12)
3d6’ (9)
2d6’ (6)
Stone Giant
9d12’ (54)
9d10’ (45)
9d8’ (36)
9d6’ (27)
6d6’  (18)
Fire Giant
11d12’ (66)
11d10’ (55)
11d8’ (44)
11d6’ (33)
7d6’ (21)
Frost Giant
18d12’  (108)
18d10’ (90)
18d8’ (72)
18d6’ (54)
12d6’ (36)
Cloud Giant
30d12’ (180)
30d10’ (150)
30d8’ (120)
30d6’ (90)
20d6’ (60)
Storm Giant
44d12’  (264)
44d10’ (220)
44d8’ (132)
44d6’ (132)
30d6’ (90)
50d12’ (300)
50d10’ (250)
50d8’ (200)
50d6 (150)
33d6’ (99)
*I prefer Gnomes to be tinier than Halflings, reverse if you disagree. The average distance listed in the parenthesis above is weighted low to punish DMs and players that don't want to roll all those dice.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hit Points, It's just a flesh wound

Oh Hit Points you lovely aged and timeless mechanic for measuring a character's capacity to endure harm. They're luck, divine favor, toughness,vitality, pounds of flesh, and pints of blood all rolled into one that an awful lot of people really have a tough time coming to grips with.

At their core a character with more HP than another character is more important than a character with less HP (on the battle field and in meat-grinder dungeons). More of the tale is going to be about the guy with more HP, becasue they will be there longer...most of the time. HP only get weird when folks start thinking of abstract values in terms of absolutes. Some folks see a blow that causrd 8 HP of damage as the same 8 HP of damage regardless of the target being struck. This is a limited view of HP and how damage is dished out in the game that serves to confuse.

In the simplest form HP are how much of a beating one can stand until they can stand no more. Some folks really hate this, they feel every blow (or almost every blow) should reflect some sort of wear and tear; other folks believe HP represent a threshold from "doing fine" to  "done fighting".

The value to HP is they can offer a relative balance of estimated staying power, harm, and recovery  within game-able context. Sure it seems odd one can heal luck and divine favor but really folks, how many different score do yuo want to track in your RPG? Stick with one score for dead and not dead.

 Hit points are abstract, arrows in a quiver aren't; an arrow represents an arrow not an abstract ability to inflict harm over distance. What is abstracted is the degree of harm the arrow causes following the discrete use of the arrow by an archer, not the number of arrows used. How many arrows does it take to kill a warrior with 90 HP....the last arrow. The rest of the arrows skimmed him, didn superficial damage, slapped armor hard enough to cause a minor degree of trauma but htey dsisn't stick leaving the target looking like a pin cushion. Unless of course HP aren't abstract in the game you are playing and then things get more complicated.

I really don't care for the now you are fine, now you are done nature of HP and I don't care for yo-yo fights caused by easy healing magics. I favor HP as a buffer between "doing okay" and "now you are in trouble" but it isn't an exclusive notion it's one that varies with the needs of the campaign  and the rules of the game begin used. No one gets arms lopped off fighting at 80 HP (unless special powers and techniques are being applied) until HP are 0 or less becasue HP are a measure of multiple factors and characters don't run out of luck until they run out of that luck, divine favor, toughness, vitality, pounds of flesh, and pints of blood.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Describing and accounting for differences in the woods and forest that characters may encounter in outdoor adventuring can be limited by the GMs familiarity with the nature of woodlands. The following is meant to describe the various woodland one would find near to settlements and habitation. The woods described here could be found on hex maps described as Open, Cultivated, Light Forest, or Moderate Forest.

Coppice- an area of woodland in which the trees or shrubs are normally cut back to ground to stimulate growth as well as to provide firewood and timber. Carts may be able to navigate if recently maintained and equestrians should have little trouble.
Young trees will be frequently cut back in sections (coups) and allowed to regrow for a few years until harvested (and cut back again).  Quick growing trees will be harvested fro firewood as frequently as every three years where as slower growing hardwoods will be allow dot grow for half a century for their timber. Quicker growing shrubs will be kept away from the more valuable wood.
A maintained coppice is a sure sign one is nearing an active habitation.
Paths will be clear and obvious in an active coppice (some spots far from harvest may still be rather wild looking in comparison).
Crown Cover: 1-2 .Very Sparse 3. Sparse 4-5. Low 6. Moderate

Thicket- a very dense stand of trees or tall shrubs. A thicket will prohibit equestrians, may inhibit visibility over distance, and can be dense enough to prohibit swift travel by foot.
Paths will generally skirt thickets but some game trails may lead into and wind about.
Crown Cover: 1. Moderate 2. Dense 3-6. Very Dense

Covert- a small dense thicket in which game may easily hide. No one is riding a mount through a covert and likely would not be able to lead one through such a patch of wood either. Movement by foot may be difficult and visibility is certainly impared.
A path may bound a section of covert but is unlikely to pierce it, game trails will be narrow and difficult to follow.
Crown Cover: 1-3 .Dense 4-6. Very Dense

Stand- an area of trees where the tree growth is relatively  homogenous.  A dense stand may be as troublesome to navigate as a thicket but sparse stands are easily navigated afoot or by those on mounts.
Paths and Game trails in all but the denser stand will usually be easy to spot and follow unless the terrain is otherwise difficult.
Crown Cover: roll d6 on chart at end of article.

Brake- a planted or naturally occurring row of trees and or tall shrubs with accompanying undergrowth that serve as a barrier either visually or physically. Organized cavalry simply can not pass through a brake in formation, bodies of troops on foot may have difficulty, riders should typically wish to pass around than through a brake, it is even possible for a brake to be dense enough to prohibit travel by foot for individuals.
Paths and trails may skirt or follow a brake but will seldom if ever penetrate such a feature.
Crown Cover: 1-2. Moderate 3-4. Dense 5-6 Very Dense

Ancient Woodland- an old-growth forest centuries old in age that has been managed periodically over the years. Ancient woodlands will be rich in a diverse range of plants and perhaps wildlife due consistent periods of clearing and introduction of desired species.
As ancient woods have been and likely still are managed their boundaries are often well defined by banking, a ditch, and possibly runs of low rock wall (in areas with enough stone), some will be clearly bounded by hedges and it isn’t uncommon for streams to standing stones to serve as boundary makers for the current (or former) owners.
Well defined paths and trails are not an unusual feature of an Ancient Woodland.
Crown Cover: 1-2. Sparse. 3. Low 4-5. Moderate. 6. Dense

Estover- a section of wood that tenants are allowed to take wood and timber from by their landlord for the repair of their home, industry, fences, and for firewood. an ester may have a more tightly defined and restrictive boundary than may be found with other wooded spots.
Estovers will often have a obvious entry path and perhaps a work area but will seldom have much in the way of game trails due to the nature of the wood use.
Crown Cover: roll d6 on chart at end.

Woodland- a low density forest with plenty of open patches and sunlight. A woodland may be naturally occurring or a result of lapsed or meager land management. Except for the occasional thicket, brake or bracken mounted travel through such an area would not be difficult but organized cavalry may still have some trouble.
A woodland may have winding paths in various states of use and repair and surly has game trail aplenty if there is sufficient wildlife.
Crown Cover: 1. Very Sparse 2-3. Sparse 4-5. Low 6. Moderate

Grove- an area of trees with minimal or no undergrowth.  A grove will typically but is not exclusively in place for the cultivation of nuts or fruit. A grove may be bounded by denser thicket growth or clearer boundaries such as hedges, banking, ditches, and rocks.
Paths in groves are often broad and obvious but some may be difficult to distinguish from the general ground cover of the grove.
Crown Cover: 1. Very spare 2-3. Sparse 4. Low 5. Moderate 6. Dense

Orchard- a large area of trees (or shrubs) maintained crop production. The planted and maintained nature of an orchard is often rather obvious but some may take to more natural growth patterns if allowed. The lack of other invasive species of plant life and undergrowth should be obvious to most folk, indeed the presence of undergrowth and other plants may indicate an orchard with owners in financial distress or recently absent.
Orchard paths will be clear and generally well maintained to facilitate the industry of the orchard.
Crown Cover: 1-2. Very Sparse 3-4. Sparse. 5. Low 6. Moderate

Crown Cover for a woodland or forest-   the amount of upper canopy that provides cover for the ground beneath.
1. Very Sparse (1-10%)
2. Sparse (11-30%)
3. Low (41-50%)
4. Moderate (51-670%)
5. Dense (71-85%)
6 Very Dense (86-100%)

Crown Cover will impact on how readily one can find cover against arial observation and distant sighting.


A few past posts on Terrain:
Shore Approach:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Grotconomy, a first look at building one

Determining the prices and availability of goods in a Grotty age will set the tone for what the players will have their characters strive for. The average character will is assumed to start with roughly 100 groats worth of goods and gear on hand and as such they will tend to be limited to items of low quality and dubious functionality.

 In a grotty age much of what there is has been around for a while, that which hasn’t is recycled or quickly despoiled by the general environment of verdant decay. Gear and grub are always going to be dear and one can’t be sure the coins in their rotting purse will be of much worth in a few days or mayhaps be a fortune to someone in need of selling off ill-gotten gain.

Finding a Base Price by converting prices from other sources:
Duff goods costs1/2  the number of standard D&D price in g.p. ibut exposed as Groats
Shonky goods cost the same number of groats as g.p.  normally listed.
Bodge goods cost x2
Fit goods cost x5
Brill goods cost x20
Ace goods costs x50
(if your source material uses a silver based economy a groat should be considered to equivalent to a s.p. instead of a g.p. for common goods).
Example: if the core riles beign used show a Sword to be 10 g.p. in a grotty age campaign a Duff Sword could be had for as little as 5 Groats or an Ace Sword could be had for 500 Groats (well outside the range for most characters starting funds).

It should be apparent from the conversion guidelines above a well made steel sword would likely classify as a Fir of Brill purchase and cost a good bit of coin.

If your prices are under 1/10th of a Groat it is recommend to express the price in Gubbins.
Between that and a whole Groat prices will likely be stated in Spangles and Baub. Much over a dozen groats and it is likely prices will be given in Lucre or Marks. While Gilders and Zlotz are valuable it’s unlikely anyone would express prices in units of such coins.

When coming up with pricing to fit a particular campaign the GM is encouraged to consider the following:

Keep in mind it is vaguely possible for a person to get by on 3 groats a week if they don’t mind sleeping packed in a leaky shed, eating cabbage soup of dubious character and drinking hootch that has a chance of blinding them.

Food is precious but cheap. Because of the general conditions of things food doesn’t last long typically and is priced to move unless well preserved or a rare luxury. When converting the prices of common food items (in often inflated prices of gamebooks) it may be necessary to reduce the rice to 10% or less of normal prices before adjusting for quality.

Drinks and smoke will prove to be more valuable more often as they tend to preserve a tad better. Unless beer has soured really badly it will still get you drunk, and a dry powdery smoke will still provide a few puffs.

Above drinks and smoke at least at the base end of the scale one will find colognes, perfumes, and nose-snuff to be of moderate value as folks seek to distance themselves from the decay around themselves.

Tools will run a wide spectrum in pricing with precision tools begin far more expensive than common ones.

Weapons and Armor will run from affordable to dear in pricing.  Materials, age, method and origin of construction should all be considered when deterring true quality and price of such important goods.

Above more common weapons and armor will be magical items and technological artifacts the pricing for which will be steep but lower than one may expect in more traditional campaigns because of the general dysfunction of the economy and the cruel fact that someone with enough coin in their pocket may have enough muscle to take an item and keep their coins.

Medicines, balms, slaves, unguents, tonics and poultices of all sorts are available with a wide range of effectiveness in treatment for a wide range of conditions, diseases, and disorders. Prices will vary wildly from one place to the next but times from more reputable sources will fetch more coin than those foisted by unknown snake-oil peddlers.

Gems and precious metals do have value align with works of art and curios but the intrinsic value of such items will vary wildly base don the needs and tastes of the purchaser. A gold bar is certainly useful and will fetch a fair bit of coin but a golden goblet that can be seen to be mostly pure will likely fetch a better price from the right person. While such items are of value that value can not be certain from place to place.

Don't forget clothing, certainly not footwear folks walking about in a grotty age would likely want to keep their feet of of the general effluvium and detritus of ages. This author has found starting player characters off with lowly footwear provides a strange motivation to improve their lot on life by purchasing or thieving a pair of good boots.

Applying Variability to Prices.
In a grotty age prices in the market are nor set in stone from week to week or even day to day the challenges placed peddler will cause fluctuations in pricing.

When prices are expressed in single units the price can vary in either direction by 1d4 coin.

When prices are express in units of 10 the price can vary 1d20  in either direction.

When prices are expressed in 100;s the actual price may vary 1d100 in either direction.

In the rare case prices are expressed in thousands, leave them as they are but keep in mind items priced in 1000's and above will be very rare and seldom for sale.

Violence in games

I've played many games but no innocent plastic tokens have starved, no cardboard orphans have been left behind to starve, and no lead widows have lamented love brutally taken from them. Playing games does not trivialize oppression, bigotry, and hypocrisy or promote war any more than reading a book on history does or when children play in the backyard.  When people play the act of play serves as a mechanism to deal with such difficult issues as crime, and violence.

When we play violent games we aren’t just getting it out of our system, or fueling our need for mayhem with pretend mayhem we are setting play as an example of the role of violence in our lives. The very fact so many of us are able to deal with imaginary play violence instead of physical actual violence is a wonderful thing. Simulated violence in play is moving violence outside and beyond other parts of life it’s often showing it as an undesirable means of conflict definition and resolution outside the confines of the game.

I’m not a violent criminal because I don’t want to inflict harm on others through violence and loss of property and I think such folk are awful in reality but in fiction and recreation focusing on the deeds and activities of a violent criminal can be interesting because of the differences they present between my comfortable reality and the world they live in.

I’ve gotten into martial arts, recreational combat sports, and running round the woods wearing pointy ears hitting others with padded sticks for the sport of it not as a release valve for the violence. For me fake fighting hit a sweat spot for athletics,physical development, and preparing for the unlikely. My self defense advice is “if no one else will be harmed, run away”. Those few times someone has been hurt by accident just aren’t fun as inflicting harm isn’t the goal.

The world is 99% boredom and 1% excitement (according to my aging father), we are fortunate people in fortunate circumstances that some of that excitement is pretend violence against pretend foes and not despicable people for pretending to be part of the awfulness very few people would ever want to be part of.

Alignment can have it's place

Erik at Tenkar’s Tavern asks if alignment is better left out of the game. I think the answer lies in how the game and campaigns deals with alignment along with the GMs understanding  of how alignment works within said game and campaign that provide the answer.

Here was my reply to Tenkar’s Tavern commenting from my phone:
Alignment works well when it is defined as a general tendency or alliance and not a straight jacket for individual behavior. When there are few if any game mechanics that deal directly with alignment and and alignments are treated as something to impose it's un-fun. When mechanics support and give meaning to alignment choices and present themselves as a challenge to be mastered instead of avoided thegame is better.
Whether the game has 3 point, 5 point, or 9 point alignment is irrelevant if the DM and campaign don't support the relevance of the alignments. In AD&D the rules for alignment restricted access to classes and were a factor in measuring player performance as their. character and would have an impact on training costs, most DMs seem to have ignored this over the year So alignment had little relevance beyond "mother may I" to retain membership and advancement in a class.
Give alignment a wider and clearer role in a campaign and it is useful and campaign enriching.

To elaborate on the above: alignment is significant and useful if it means something in the campaign and provides a means for superior players to shine instead of begin used as a stick to punish wayward murder hobos.

Alignment as faction i pretty easy to understand you got the Lawful folks here and the Chaotic ones there: lets fight!  The neutrals can be bought but are self-serving jerks. Not very complicated is it? That’s how alignment started out in RPG and it can still be applied today in just that fashion. If adhered to it is entirely useable and campaign shaping, players shouldn’t have a hard time dealing with it. Sure there might be silly things like the gods and all decent folk expect Lawful folk to keep to their promises, like the real world works ideally (if not in truth), its simple but it works. No one really trusts the neutral mercenaries and the others are the enemies.

Alignment as personal morality can work as well but when the GM starts telling someone the personal morality they are claiming and enacting don’t mesh up and hits them over the head with the consequences it can be troublesome as it is a a situation that is no longer personal. Alignment as personal morality should be a guideline not a straightjacket players should be rewarded for role-playing well when adhering to alignment ideals not flat out punished or told…no you can’t do that you are Lawful Good.  Lawful Good isn’t Lawful Stupid, LG characters can steal, lie and murder but how they deal with the personal consequences is what should matter folk that turn themselves in to the authorities for their crimes are begin lawful, those seeking redemption of their sins are being lawful and good. A LG PC that kills in cold blood and is played as if troubled and seeking redemption for their crime is being played well not poorly, personal trials and tribulations are being played out and that’s excellent role-playing.

Alignment as cosmic force is a little trickier as it does present a degree of “mother may I” that some folks find distasteful. When alignment is a cosmic force it makes sense some folks get screwed over for certain decisions and there may be entities out there keeping score. When alignment is a cosmic force it needs to stay relatively impartial and game mechanics should support that with wider application of the cosmic force. Some spells in a campaign where alignment is a cosmic force work differently when cast by magicians of certain alignments or are entirely un-castable. Spells may impact folks of different alignments differently depending on inter-relations. PCs may drift between alignments based on their behavior or be forever cast in a mold to gain the benefits and damnations of alignment selection and as long as alignment matters in a tangible way alignment as cosmic force works.

Alignment as vague ethos gets a bit trickier, here alignment would deb predictive and possibly an means of identification but aside form some odd psychological reactions there should likely be few mechanics that function in regard to alignment. Players who constantly adhere to the ethos should likely gain a benefit for playing well but restrictions and judgements against those that deal with their professed alignments poorly are likely out of line. Sure lawful folk in a campaign where law is a loose ethos support groups and order and may be respect by other lawful folk but they are not bound to other lawful folk by more than explicit contract and actions. Alignment as vague ethos makes cackling evil or goodie-two-shoes benific good ridiculous factors to enforce and even have much mechanical impact outside social interaction within the game but again it has a place if the place is understood.

Leave out alignment if you just don’t want to bother but it is my opinion that if well understood by the GM and supported by game mechanics actually put to use consistently alignment can be a useful (but not absolutely required) tool in role playing games that offers the GM an ability to define the campaign and give players a means to identify the role of their PCs and gives players another way to shine within the game.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grotty Repairs

Keeping kit and arms in decent shape in a Grotty Age can be a trial.Materials may be in short supply and construction methods poorly understood by locla craftsmen.
Repairs with a Skilled Craftsman
The quickest method to get equipment resolved for campaigns that want to keep track of repairing gear but not getting to fiddly is to bring the time in question to a skilled craftsman.

Broken Gear can be reworked (if all pieces are retained) for 1/3rd the times original cost with a 50%  chance of success. A second attempt is allowed at 1/5th of cost (additional) but if that fail the item is scrap.

Downgraded Gear can be reworked at 1/5th the original cost. The item is not improved on a roll of 1-2 on d6 but repairs are otherwise improved. If two attempts to improve downgraded gear fail the gear is permanently downgraded to it;s current condition the origna condition is no longer relevant.

Worn Items can be mended by 1 step for 1/20th the original cost of the item.

Repairing Items in the Field

Sometimes a trip to a skilled craftsman in a proper workshop just isn’t an option and repairs must be made in the field.

Broken Gear may not be repaired without a proper workshop. For those crafts with a decent portable toolkit reworking may be attempted for 1/4 of the cost  but is only successful on a 2d6 roll of 8+.  It takes at least a work shift to repair a broken item in the field.

Downgraded Gear might be possible to improve to it’s previous state in the field. Such a repair requires some tools and supplies (consuming 1/10th the original cost of the item).

Field Improvements to Downgraded Gear
2d6 Die Roll
3 or less
Item must save or it is broken.
4 or 5 
Item is currently downgrade to current state
no improvement yet (must spend 1/2 pervious material cost to continue trying)
Item improved one grade (to max of original state)
Superior skill, materials, and tools may improve the 2d6 roll.
It takes a minimum of 1 hour to improve downgraded equipment in the field.

Worn Items may be mended in the field but is is a little risky without preparer tools and some experience. The cost for such repairs is (1/50th the orignal cost of the item if no specific resources are on hand)

Field Repairs to Worn Items
2d6 Roll
2 or less
Item must save or it is broken, even on a save it is downgraded in quality.
Shoddy work causes worn condition to be removed but quality is downgraded
one step of wear is removed
all steps of wear are removed.
Apply the modifier for the current state of wear of the item to the 2d6 roll. Tools materials and skill may improve the repair roll.

It takes 20 minutes to attempt to remove wear on an item.

Quality and Steps of Wear are in last post.

Grotty Kit and Arms

In a Grotty Age things have been used, reused, and abused a multitude of times and it shows in the quality of good traders peddle and daring bravos and lowly churls have one hand. The quality of a characterless equipment is of dire concern in a campaign that takes place in a Grotty age.

Grotty Equipment Quality

Damage Check
-1 to use, hit, and damage
Auto-Break on 1 and 20
Auto-Break on 1
Save vs Downgrade on a 20
Save vs Break on 1
Save vs wear on 20
Save vs Downgrade on 1
Save vs Wear on 20
+1 to use, and +1 to hit or damage (no both)
Save vs Downgrade on 1
+1 to use, hit and damage (non-magical)
Save vs wear on 1
Modifiers: apply to normal use of the item. Armor class will not be lowered or improved by the general quality of the armor in question.  Note: some GMs may apply a modifier to reflexes/dodging based on this modifier.
Damage Check: when to check for wear and tear on an time when used.
Save: The saving throw of the item
Integrity: the minimum damage an time must suffer if a check for wear and tear is to be made.


Auto-Break: it’s broken no saving throw required.
Save vs Break: make a save (using the times saving throw chance) or the item breaks
Save vs Downgrade: make a save (using the items saving throw chance) or the item downgrades to the next lower quality. (record current quality but don't remove notation of original quality immediately)
Save vs Wear: make a save (using the items saving throw chance) or the item suffers a degree of wear.

Degrees of Wear
Marred:  -1 to use, saves, hit , damage, and AC as applicable
Worn:  -2 to use, saves, hit , damage, and AC as applicable
Battered: -3  to use, saves, hit , damage, and AC as applicable

Equipment Damage

Weapon Wear and Tear
Weapons may be damaged when exposed to the rigors of combat. The attack roll of the character wielding the weapon in hand is the die consulted to determine if a weapon is damaged in normal conditions.
Sir Mortimer is armed with a shonky sword he hits a grue with an attack roll of 20 unfortunately for him this means a saving throw is required and alas a 7 is rolled for the save causing his weapon to become downgraded in quality.
On the third round of combat Sir Mortimer gets a 1 on his attack roll causing his (now) Duff Sword to break.

If a weapon breaks while otherwise successfully striking a foe damage is still suffered by that foe.

A foe is attacking another foes weapon and score a 20 on their hit roll it exposes the foe to the risk of their weapons wear and tear. Ones own weapon is not harmed by a successful saving throw roll of 20 on the d20 but a roll of 1 is of concern.Example:
Sir Mortimer having survived the contest with the Grues above and has himself a new Fit Sword is now Dueling a Crimson Swordsman, that swordsman has the advantage and strikes at Sir Mortimers Sword striking it with a roll of 20 and 12 pints of damage which require Sir Mortimer to save vs wear which is done readily on a roll of 10.
The relentless Crimson Swordsman strikes at Mortimers Blade again this time striking on a roll of 16, for 11 points of damage this begin a successful strike to the weapon Sir Mortimer is allowed a save but alas a 1 is rolled causing Sir Mortimers Fit Sword to Downgrade in quality to Bodge Sword.  (as a 1 was rolled in the save). If Sir Mortimer had simply failed the save there would be a step of wear on the weapon.

Armor Wear and Tear
The first time in any given combat a character suffers damage in excess of their level they must make a save for their armor. The armor will suffer a step of wear if the save fails (unless a 1 is rolled on the save which may cause more serious damage to the armor).

At the end of any combat lasting 5 or more rounds a saving throw is required for all armor unless a combatant somehow managed to go unharmed the entire fight.

If a character is forced to save vs magical or special attacks in a round the armor may be damage by a roll of 1 or 20 as a weapon is in combat.

Certain weapons and tactics allow a combatant to strike a foes armor or shield to damage it, treat the armor as a weapon begin struck in such a situation.

Boot and shoes require a check be made each day of travel. Make a d20 roll on a 1 or a 20 consult the chart above to determine if additional rolls are required.
Clothing normally requires a check be made each week unless exposed to extra hazards.

Worn clothing may impact a characters Charisma equal to the use penalty fo r the wear an tear.

optional rule: The clothing makes the man. The maximum Charisma one may be considered to have is equal to the integrity score of their clothing plus 10.  So if one is wearing a Duff Tunic and Cloak and has a normal Charisma of 15 they will be treated as if they have a Charisma of  11 at best by NPCs.

All other Equipment
Any time a character fails a saving throw and suffers physical harm from lighting, impact, heat, cold, acid or other physical forces for damage equal to or greater then the integrity of an item a d20 check is required for those items.
GMs may rule extra saves be made above and beyond those required when a saving throw is failed on exposure to special hazards.