When using armor accessories with a "+" there is a paragraph on page 169 that states:

Armor accessories, items listed with a “+” in front of their rating, add to the character’s Armor for the purpose of Damage Resistance tests. The maximum bonus a character receive from these items is limited to their Strength attribute. For every 2 full points by which the bonus exceeds the character’s Strength, the character suffers a –1 penalty to Agility and Reaction.

Assume now a character with STR 1 and AGI 3, REA 1. If he is using any item with +3 or +4 armor rating, his attributes would drop to AGI 2, REA 0.

Is this valid? What are the effects of REA or AGI 0 (or even negative when the armor rating is higher)?

Does it have any effects on derived values like initiative (REA+INT+1d6) and defense (REA+INT)?

When asking the question on reddit, a user supplied the description of the spell "Decrease Attribute", which states

If a Physical Attribute is reduced to 0, the victim is incapacitated and paralyzed. If a Mental Attribute is reduced to 0, the victim stands still, mindlessly confused.

But even if that would be generally valid and not just for the spell, it does not address what happens to the initiative, or what happens with negative values.

Ps.: I cross checked the German translation and it is no clearer there.


I've checked the ruling from 4th edition (checking the encumbrance rules on p.161) as well as Arsenal, and checked the ruling from 5th edition and found nothing pertaining the Armor Encumbrance bringing the Agility and Reaction stat going below the score of 1. The idea behind the paralyzed/incapacitated value would be fitting.

My idea behind too much armor is akin to a kid wearing a full football suit, with added weight. He'll be alive and thinking inside the suit, but won'T be able to move his arms around, and if he takes a step, will most likely lose balance and fall, inert, on the floor.

A description of the "paralyzed" effect from toxins (SR5 p.409) describe it as unable to take physical actions (hence my inert on the floor image). So while not specifically written, I think the initiative would remain the same calculation (REA+Int+xd6), but having the limitation of being paralyzed during this character's turn, while the armor remains donned.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Butt the rules in 5th say that it cant go below 1 meaning you will still be able to move just at a slower walking rate to be determined by your gm. It is detailed slightly in the armor and encumbrance on page 169 of the 5th edition sr for the armor encumbrance. Toxins are a completely different rule set. \$\endgroup\$ – Middlewilliam Oct 3 '15 at 14:35

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