In SR4, there's a rule that you can't get an item over rating 6 or availability 12 at chargen: "no piece of gear purchased at character creation can haev a rating higher than 6 or an Availability higher than 12." (SR4A 86.)

In Arsenal, the Armor vehicle modification can have an Armor Rating from 1-20, or twice the vehicle's body. The armor rating replaces the vehicle's stock armor.

One of the guys in our game thinks I shouldn't be able to get a vehicle with an Armor rating higher than 6. What gives? Many of the stock vehicles in the core book have more than 6 Armor; most armored gear, like an Armored Vest, can also go above 6.

Am I allowed to upgrade my vehicle's armor above 6, or not? What's the most armor I can give a vehicle during character creation?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I had the obvious answer of "yeah, you can, duh", until I realized about the "no gear over Rating 6" rule, which I never considered as applying to vehicle armor. Now I have a serious doubt. So good question, will be interested to see an answer on whether the "Max Rating 6" applies to Vehicle armor or not. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2013 at 16:56
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Another good question would be 'Can a starting character have vehicle mods AT ALL?' - given that Arsenal describes the rolls one needs to make to mod-up a vehicle. I know some GMs tend to rule only stock guns and vehicles are permissible when starting-out. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2013 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


You can get a vehicle with armor higher than 6.

SR4A p86 quote:

All gear is subject to gamemaster approval—just because you can purchase something doesn’t mean you should be allowed to get it at the start of the game. Finally, no piece of gear purchased at character creation can have a rating higher than 6 or an Availability higher than 12 (for more information, see Availability & Buying Gear, p. 312).

Now, let's take a look at page 69

Gear Ratings Some gear has ratings, beginning at 1 and increasing with the capability and sophistication of the item. In addition to cost, gear usually has an Availability, which determines how readily and quickly the item can be obtained.

and 311, which treads on the same topic:

Device Rating: The Device rating determines the overall quality and effectiveness of an item. When the item provides a bonus to certain types of tests, apply the rating as a dice pool bonus to the test. For example, a medkit with a Device rating of 3 would add three dice to First Aid Tests, while a medkit with a rating of 5 adds ive dice. In some cases, a Device rating may be used in place of a character’s skill, such as a medkit that is hooked up to a patient and allowed to work without a character’s supervision.

The gear rating limit of 6 can be interpreted in two ways:

  1. Device/gear rating limit of 6
  2. Limit of 6 on every of the gear's attributes, which are accidentally called ratings as well (SR4A p310).

In second case, I'd argue that availability is a rating, too, and one is therefore limited to availability 6 at chargen (and incidentally Restricted Gear is a useless quality). While SR4 have multiple cases of bad design, this would be a little over the top.

In first case, you're fine, since the vehicle doesn't have rating.


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